5 inspiring examples – programming languages that popular computer games are written on

Video games are a big business. Total revenue for the U.S. video game industry reached $23.5 billion last year, a 5 percent increase from 2014. Behind every video game are programmers who help develop the product. Although programming languages vary by game, a few are the most popular. Here’s a look at the languages powering video game development.


Many Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo games were written with forms of assembly, including Super Mario Brothers.

Bonus Points

  • The NES Super Mario franchise sold more than 70 million units.
  • Mario debuted as “jumpman” in Donkey Kong.
  • IGN named Super Mario Bros. 3 the greatest game of all time.



C remains one of the most popular programming languages because of its general simplicity and its strong structure. PC gaming company id software used the C language for Doom. The doom franchise debuted in 1993.

Bonus Points

  • Named most influential first-person shooter of all time; the game pioneered the first-person shooter and 3-D game worlds.
  • Doom’s music is largely influenced by metal bands such as Slayer, Metallica, Alice and Chains, Black Sabbath and more.
  • It’s estimated that the original version of Doom had 10 million installations by 1995.



C++ is used in many of today’s operating systems, software, games and game engines. Due to the flexibility of C++, it makes games easily portable from PCs to consoles or vice versa. Notable games today using the language include World of Warcraft.

Bonus Points

  • 14 million copies of the original WoW have been sold since its launch.
  • 48% of WoW’s subscriber base comes from Asia; 22% from the U.S.
  • The WoW wiki has more than 100,000 articles.



Pronounced C Sharp

Developed by Microsoft in 2000, C# is popular among game developers. The Unity engine — a widely used game engine for PCs, consoles, mobile devices and more — is written primarily in C#. Angry Birds is among the notable titles programed in C#.

Bonus Points

  • Angry Birds is the third most popular iOS game of all time, just behind Candy Crush Saga and Fruit Ninja, respectively.
  • The initial cost to develop Angry Birds was about $140,000, which is considered low.
  • Four people spent eight months developing the game.



Java is in several ways a cousin to C#. They both have garbage collectors and are object-oriented languages. But Java is considered platform independent, meaning that it runs the same way on all platforms that support it. Success stories are indie hits RuneScape and Minecraft.

Bonus Points

  • The “alpha” version of Minecraft was created in just six days.
  • Minecraft is the second best-selling game ever.
  • Minecraft was originally titled “Cave Game.”



Source http://online.concordia.edu/video-game-development-by-language/

3 thoughts on “5 inspiring examples – programming languages that popular computer games are written on

  1. Reblogged this on PIXEL-DUMP and commented:
    This blog post takes me back to my college days; dabbling around with coding. Lets just say I certainly found more enjoyment playing the games than I did creating them.

    Excuse me whilst I go and reminisce…


  2. Thanks to this blog post, I recently learned what programming language was used for many SNES/Genesis games.


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