Before the word “free-to-play” entered our lexicon, there was Microsoft Solitaire. The classic card game came free with Windows starting in the 1990s.
Unlike modern free-to-play titles, it wasn’t ad-supported or riddled with microtransactions. Nope, it was just free to play as much as you wanted and whenever you wanted. Always there, always reliable – even in an office environment where it could drain countless hours of productivity.
Well, now it turns 30 years old. Despite its age, it’s still going strong. Here’s more from Xbox Wire:
Microsoft Solitaire Collection, as it is known today, hosts over 35 million players each month, from more than 200+ countries and territories, in 65 different languages. And after 30 years, Microsoft Solitaire is still one of the most played games on the planet every day, with more than 100 million hands played daily around the globe.
The Solitaire we all know and love was first called Windows Solitaire on Windows 3.0 in 1990. The game helped people learn how to drag and drop items on their computer screens using a mouse, which was novel at the time.
By the way, an intern developed the game. His name is Wes Cherry. As it turns out, Solitaire became one of the most used programs on Windows, ahead of even Word and Excel.
“I came up with the idea to write Solitaire for Windows out of boredom, really,” Cherry said. “There weren’t many games at the time, so we had to make them.”
Thirty years later, the iconic computer game lives on. Maybe it will last another thirty years as a Windows staple?