The Origins of Driving Games Over the Years

Any regular game player will agree they are totally hooked on driving games. These games have recently attracted the attention of many. Driving Games are an important cornerstone of computer games. They are one of the oldest games. Over the years, the game has gone through many upgrades. However, the spirit of the games remains intact.  

Origin of the Driving Games 

These games found their inception in the arcades of the late 80s. Some of the first-generation consoles had the game. This game was hugely popular amongst the young. Most believe Gran Trak 10 was the first racing game. Released in 1974, Atari designed and distributed it. The game received widespread attention as it used steering wheels as a controller. Additionally, it used pedals and gear shifts.

The game had a top-down style with a simple dot pattern. The diode-based ROM drew a black-and-white course for the player to race against the timer. Another game, Taito’s Speed Race, got released in the same year. This game featured a steering wheel. Additionally, it had a scrolling screen. The feature was new in the game.

In 1976, Atari changed the world of driving games by shifting to a first-person narrative. Their new game, Night Driver, used similar dots for their course. The car had a plastic overlay. In most early games, the players completed laps within a set time. The latest technological development saw the introduction of AI competitors. The multi-player racing in the games eventually started.

However, it was only in the 1980s that virtual car races became a public favorite. Namco’s Pole Position was the highest-grossing arcade game of 1983.

How Did This Game Come Into the Market?

The earliest version of this game was found in arcade games in 1900. A London-based Automatic Sports Company helmed with the manufacturing of the mechanical yacht racing game. The game was popularly called the “Yacht Racer.”

Later in the 1930s, mechanical car driving games attracted an audience in British amusement parks. This increased the already soaring popularity of the games.

The International Mutoscope Reel Company adapted the British model in the United States. The  “Drive Mobile 1941” version, one of the best driving games, came with an upright arcade cabinet. A steering wheel controlled the car. Later, Capitol Projector’s 1954 “Auto Test” was the first model to use simulation.


What was the first driving game?

The first driving game was a spartan plan-view race around a basic track. This first attempt was crude, but it laid the groundwork for what was to come. Notably, the arcade included an actual steering wheel, which is still the standard driving game controller today.

Who invented sim racing?

Colin Champman is credited with creating the first-ever purpose-built racing simulator, so receiving a phone call from my brother, who had discovered one of the original Lotus 31 Racing simulators in a barn in Portland, Oregon, was an absolute highlight of my career.