May 5, 1992: Wolfenstein 3-D Shoots the First-Person Shooter Into Fame

1992: Id Software releases Wolfenstein 3-D, and it launches a huge computer-game category.  Wolfenstein 3-D may not have been the very first “first-person shooter,” as the genre came to be known, but it was by far the most successful.

What fond memories of Wolfenstein 3-D.  To be that young again and wishes you a Happy 3-D Day!


Players in the game assume the role of an American commando battling Nazis and their supernatural servants. It was banned in Germany because of its use of Nazi symbols, like the swastika, and music, like the “Horst Wessel Lied.”

Wolfenstein 3D did more than define a genre. It also launched a company, id Software of Mesquite, Texas, which leveraged Wolfenstein 3D‘s success into a franchise of wildly successful first-person shooters, including the seminal Doom and Quake series.


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