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I am asking about some programming history here.

"In 1998, Thief: The Dark Project pioneered an ECS. The engine was later used for its sequel, as well and System Shock 2."

According to the above statement, ECS appeared in 1998.

Was there an even earlier occurrence of ECS? Maybe OLE?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's safe to assume that we know this a question on GDSE, you don't need to include that in the title. This might be border line on-topic here; "did X game use Y tech" & game dev trivia type questions generally are not on-topic. It might help if you could provide the source for your quote & the context for your question (i.e. are you trying understand something particular about the design ECS, why it is the way it is, etc). \$\endgroup\$
    – Pikalek
    Commented Mar 1 at 15:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ The answer to this question also depends somewhat on what you consider to be the defining features of ECS. You'll trace a different lineage or emphasize different precursors depending on whether the focus is "separation of behaviour into modular, composable components" or "strict separation of code in systems, data in components" or "contiguous storage of component data in dense buffers for batch processing" etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Mar 1 at 19:02

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