May 5, 1992
id Software Inc. releases the game Wolfenstein 3D, the original first person shooter game for DOS computers. While it was technically not the first FPS in video game history, Wolfenstein 3D was the game that definitively popularized the genre. Using the shareware model to freely distribute the first of three episodes with the ability to purchase the next two episodes, the game became an instant success, selling 200,000 copies in the first year. The success of Wolfenstein 3D made id Software a household name in the gaming world. They followed up in the next year with the massively popular Doom, which cemented the first person shooter gaming genre and the rest is history.
In addition to being credited with launching the first person shooter genre, Wolfenstein 3D is also widely regarded as proving the viability of and popularizing the shareware distribution model. The game was ported to many different platforms over the years and is still available for purchase to play today.