Classic Video Game Developer Eugene Jarvis Still Hard at Work

It’s been more than 30 years since Eugene Jarvis changed the arcade gaming industry with Defender. His first works appeared before the release of the original Ms Pacman arcade machine, and they continue to go on until today. After completing his education at University of California Berkeley, he working as a pinball game maker. It was during his college years that Jarvis started to become aware of the world of arcade gaming. In the 1960 and 70s, adolescents found entertainment in comic books, music and occasionally, pinball games. Computers were rare, and arcade games didn’t even emerge until the 1970s. Although a skilled pinball gamer could potentially play for extended period of times, arcade games offered a higher level of excitement along with the potential to play for longer.

While under the employ of Atari, Jarvis decided to create an arcade game of his own. Defender, which was released in 1980, was immediately popular in the arcades. Finding that fans responded positively to his creative endeavors, Jarvis slowly began piecing together a long, varied and extensive career in the arcade gaming industry. Stargate, Blaster and Robotron are some of Jarvis’ better known titles released before the 1983 Arcade Gaming Crash.

Because Jarvis has been making successful arcade games since its dawn, some of the most essential gaming foundations can be attributed to him. Robotron - 2084 introduced two joystick game play. While many of Jarvis’ colleagues have retired, transitioned to the home gaming market or left the video gaming world altogether, he has continued to do what is loves and is especially good at. In the late 1980s and 1990s, Jarvis designed several more noteworthy arcade game titles. It is certainly more challenging now for Jarvis to create arcade games that attract attention simply because his customer base has drastically shrunk.

Most recently, Jarvis and his arcade game development company, Raw Thrills, produced a racing themed game for the arcade. Batman is technically a racing game, but closely covers the history of the various bat mobile models featured over the course of the franchise. This is exactly the type of innovation that keeps dedicated fans of arcade games satisfied. At the height of arcade gaming, a successful release like the original Ms Pacman arcade machine almost guaranteed developers the opportunity to produce a few highly anticipated sequels. Today, Jarvis understands that each and every one of his creations will be judged solely on its own merits.