In the summer of 1982, Bill Stealey was a strategic planner for electronics company General Instrument. During a break at a company meeting in Las Vegas, Stealey challenged all comers to beat his high score on a coin-op arcade game called 'Red Baron'. No one could - except a programmer at General Instrument called Sid Meier, who promptly kicked his tail. The programmer explained to Stealey that it was not flying skill but down to observing the rudimentary AI of the enemy pilots and anticipating their next move. Meier boasted to Stealey that he could design a better game in a week on his home computer. Stealey said that if Meier could do it, he would sell it. The resulting game was Hellcat Ace - though it was only two months later that Meier finished it. The two men that year left General Instrument to form MicroProse - a company that would produce some of the best flight simulation games during the coming decade. (Source - 'Computer Gaming World', November 1992) Add
It's 1980, predating MicroProse's existence. It may be Sid's first game though.
Did You Know?
This a follow up on my earlier correction. It's a MicroProse bio from November 1984. It adds to the MicroProse's first game debate of Hellcat Ace vs Chopper Rescue. It says "Hostage Rescue"(there's a new one; an earlier name they were floating) was MicroProse's first game. Obviously referencing Chopper Rescue aka Air Rescue I. To me though, the old ads still points to Hellcat Ace(along with Bill's recollection).