Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Video Game History - The Death of Atari

I was watching a program done by NBC the other night. A whole segment called,"Game On" or something along those lines. It was a great story about the history of gaming, at first I thought that these no nothing arsholes are gonna get it all wrong,but they did a damn good job. Stuff that I was really interested in and taught me a bunch of new things. So here are some of the more interesting tidbits that I thought was really interesting.

The Death of Atari

. Atari was the big name in gaming. They had a team of game developers that made all their games.

. One game designer could build a game in 3-6 months by themselves. Its not like today where the list of credits is enormous.

. These game designers would get paid $15,000 a year, for probable designing 2-3 ga
mes that would earn 3-6 million per game.

. After awhile, the game designers asked Atari for a share of the profits for a game that they designed.

. Atari told them that," you guys are a dime a dozen, I can pick a bum of the streets to do what you can guys can do". Ain't it great that the greediness of gaming goes back this far too.

. The core game designers of Atari left Atari and formed their own company, Activision. Here they made there own games and in the first year. This small crew of game designers made a profit of 13 million.

. After the first year of success for the guys of Activision, more people left Atari to start their own company aswell.

. Atari feeling the pressure now says, "We have money, lets get the license to a big
movie and make a game out of that. So at the time the big movie was ET.

. Atari paid the studio 21 million to license the rights of ET to make a game.

. Atari wanting to cash in on the success of ET, wanted the game to be made ASAP. So it can be in the stores for THAT following Christmas to cash in. At this point Christmas was 6 weeks away.

. The crew or guy at Atari had 6 weeks to make ET.

. It was released with critics saying it was the worst game of all time.

. Atari stock begin to fall, ushering in the new age of other systems, Colecovision and Intellivision.

Point being, ET killed the Atari Age or more like Atari shot themselves in the foot.


rowen26 said...


Is that what brought on the video game industry crash of the 80's ?
Probably a big factor at least.

Blake said...

yes, It is the sole cause of it.