Xybots was released in November 1987.
1,752 units were produced in the USA. The selling price was $2,295.
Xybots was another in a long line of videogame innovations from Atari. The company had, of course, created the first commercially successful videogame with the legendary "Pong
". They went on to develop vector graphics with 1979's "Lunar Lander
"; while 1980's "Battlezone
" was on the cutting edge of technology with its hitherto unknown three-dimensional vector rendering.
Xybots was the first arcade game to put the player into a three-dimensional, third-person perspective world (with the action viewed from over the on-screen characters' shoulders). Xybots can rightly be considered to be the father of the modern day first person three-dimensional shoot-em-ups.
By 1987, Atari had split into two different companies; with each sharing the Atari name. The first company produced products for the home entertainment arena; such as personal computers, game consoles, and handhelds. The arcade company, owned by Midway, produced arcade machines exclusively. Perhaps because Xybots was so ahead of its time, it wasn't the commercial success that Atari and Midway were hoping for. Its legacy and influence on future shoot-em-ups, however, is without question.
Xybots was originally going to be "Gauntlet III
", before Atari changed its mind and created a new Sci-fi setting. It's development name was "Robox" until the game was completed.
The monsters and shots were rendered with 'motion objects', a method which had been around since 1977.
Joel Hedge holds the official official record for this game, on tournament setting, with 185,300 points on June 2, 2001.