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The first video game prototypes in the 1950s and 1960s were simple extensions of electronic games using video-like output from large, room-sized mainframe computers. The first consumer video game was the arcade video game Computer Space in 1971. In 1972 came the iconic hit game Pong and the first home console, the Magnavox Odyssey. The industry grew quickly during the \"golden age\" of arcade video games from the late 1970s to early 1980s but suffered from the crash of the North American video game market in 1983 due to loss of publishing control and saturation of the market. Following the crash, the industry matured, was dominated by Japanese companies such as Nintendo, Sega, and Sony, and established practices and methods around the development and distribution of video games to prevent a similar crash in the future, many of which continue to be followed. In the 2000s, the core industry centered on \"AAA\" games, leaving little room for riskier experimental games. Coupled with the availability of the Internet and digital distribution, this gave room for independent video game development (or \"indie games\") to gain prominence into the 2010s. Since then, the commercial importance of the video game industry has been increasing. The emerging Asian markets and proliferation of smartphone games in particular are altering player demographics towards casual gaming and increasing monetization by incorporating games as a service.
Games can be extended with new content and software patches through either expansion packs which are typically available as physical media, or as downloadable content nominally available via digital distribution. These can be offered freely or can be used to monetize a game following its initial release. Several games offer players the ability to create user-generated content to share with others to play. Other games, mostly those on personal computers, can be extended with user-created modifications or mods that alter or add onto the game; these often are unofficial and were developed by players from reverse engineering of the game, but other games provide official support for modding the game.
With the growth of the size of development teams in the industry, the problem of cost has increased. Development studios need the best talent, while publishers reduce costs to maintain profitability on their investment. Typically, a video game console development team ranges from 5 to 50 people, and some exceed 100. In May 2009, Assassin's Creed II was reported to have a development staff of 450. The growth of team size combined with greater pressure to get completed projects into the market to begin recouping production costs has led to a greater occurrence of missed deadlines, rushed games and the release of unfinished products.
The early history of the video game industry, following the first game hardware releases and through 1983, had little structure. Video games quickly took off during the golden age of arcade video games from the late 1970s to early 1980s, but the newfound industry was mainly composed of game developers with little business experience. This led to numerous companies forming simply to create clones of popular games to try to capitalize on the market. Due to loss of publishing control and oversaturation of the market, the North American home video game market crashed in 1983, dropping from revenues of around $3 billion in 1983 to $100 million by 1985. Many of the North American companies created in the prior years closed down. Japan's growing game industry was briefly shocked by this crash but had sufficient longevity to withstand the short-term effects, and Nintendo helped to revitalize the industry with the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America in 1985. Along with it, Nintendo established a number of core industrial practices to prevent unlicensed game development and control game distribution on their platform, methods that continue to be used by console manufacturers today.
The early World Wide Web would indeed revolutionize commerce, but it would do so in ways many did not fully anticipate in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the ease of setting up a website also led to a gold rush of fraud with knock-off domains impersonating banks, government agencies and household brand names. These problems persist to this day. 59ce067264