Blog Flux LinkLog: Outgoing Link Logging and Click Tracking for From the Bottom Up From the Bottom Up: End of the Atari Age

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

End of the Atari Age

We may be looking at the end of an era in the game industry. During my morning news cycle I came across the following article.
http://www.joystiq.com/2006/05/30/infogrames-prepares-for-atari-disposal/

Which adds fuel to the fire of speculation surrounding Atari's financial troubles. Infogrames Atari's parent company is attempting to restructure the company and possibly liquidate some of it's not so profitable divisions like Shiny Entertainment which in the past has produced such classics as Earthworm Jim. Most alarming are the reports of the possibility that Atari may sell the publishing rights to the long awaited "Neverwinter Nights 2" the Joystiq article also points to the rumor of a merger or buy out between Atari and 3rd party giant Ubisoft.

Now this Atari is the same as Nolan Bushnell's Atari in name and brand only. The developer has come along way from it's Pong coin-op roots. To me this is the video game equivalent of Ford Motor Corp. going under.

Back in the 70s Nolan Bushnell pretty much created the modern gaming industry by making the first coin operated games, the first being Space War. The company really hit it's stride when it released the first coin-op version of pong which went on to be many old-school gamer's first video game experience. Over the years the company has changed many hands since Bushnell was forced out but everyone remembers Atari if not for their coin-op games than for their influence on another way to play games.........The home console.

Now the Atari 2600 or Atari VCS (Video Computer System) was just slightly before my time but that doesn't mean it didn't have an impact. I still play the odd Atari 2600 game to this day even though I had not been born when the console was in it's heyday, I still got to play it once in awhile at an older friend's house or wherever I could until that magical Christmas morning when I opened up that brand sparking new NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and an obsession had begun. Now many years later I am faced with Atari's possible demise and I can't help but shed a tear for the company that started with a bunch of hippies and changed how we play games in our living rooms forever.

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