Pole Position (ポールポジション Pōru Pojishon?) is an arcade racing video game which was released by Namco in 1982 and licensed to Atari, Inc. for US manufacture and distribution, running on the Namco Pole Position arcade system board. The game was designed by Tōru Iwatani, who had also designed the Gee Bee games and Pac-Man. It was the most popular coin-op arcade game of 1983. Pole Position was released in two configurations: a standard upright cabinet, and an environmental/cockpit cabinet.
Both versions feature a steering wheel and a gear shifter for low and high gears, but the environmental/cockpit cabinet featured both an accelerator and a brake pedal, while the standard upright one only featured an accelerator pedal. By 1983, it had become the highest-grossing arcade game that year in North America, where it had sold over 21,000 machines for $61 million ($150 million in 2016), in addition to earning $450 ($1105 in 2016) weekly revenues per machine. It was the most successful racing game of the classic era, spawning ports, sequels, and a Saturday morning cartoon, although the cartoon had very little in common with the game. The game established the conventions of the racing game genre and its success inspired numerous imitators. Pole Position is regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time and “arguably the most important racing game ever made.”