If you trace video gaming back to its early origins, Space Invaders is recognized as one of the arcade genre's biggest and most enduring successes — but it's also a game that only just made it to the market. The New Yorker just published an in-depth interview with the game's creator Tomohiro Nishikado, who recounts his days getting hooked on Breakout, which ultimately inspired him "to come up with something that was even better." Despite the fact that the game received high marks from Nishikado's colleagues, his superiors weren't sure such a challenging game could be successful. "When I showed a work-in-progress to the upper-level sales management, they weren't impressed," he said. "They couldn't keep up with its pace."
Orders from arcades were initially low, as well, but the few arcades that did pick it up saw huge success, and word began to spread — and the game's growing popularity game as a pretty big surprise to Nishikado. "It was a shock to see all those people sitting in front of my game," he said. "All I could think about was about how terrible it would be if a critical bug appeared." Still, the game's challenge is something that Nishikado still isn't fully comfortable with. "I am terrible at video games," he admits. "I struggle to make it past Space Invaders' first level." Nishikado says that he jacked up the game's difficulty due to feedback from the people he worked with. "Had it been left up to me," he says, "Space Invaders would have been a far easier game."