The 1977 arcade game Starship 1 may contain the first ever video game Easter egg.
The discovery was made by former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft, Ed Fries, while interviewing Atari engineer Ron Milner. In an offhanded comment, Milner mentioned that he had programmed a special ‘backdoor’ trick in Starship 1 that gave you ten free games if executed.
“That was the first and only game that I ever programmed and I think it was maybe one of the first games with a backdoor in it,” Milner told Fries. “I didn’t tell people about this, even within Atari, for at least 30 years, but I had some code in there that if you did a certain sequence of controls it would say ‘Hi Ron!’ and give you 10 free games.”