Atari celebrates its 50th anniversary this Monday (27). Founded by electrical engineers Nolan Bushnell and Ted Daphne, the company has experienced ups and downs and has kept its legacy alive in the hearts of old and new players. By the way, it can be boldly said that GTA 5, Minecraft and other famous subtitles would not even exist without the developer responsible for the cult Atari 2600 and classics like Pong, Pitfall! And space invaders. As a tribute to its history, TechTudo Select eight facts about video game pioneer to see below.
8 8 classic 90s game, remastered on PC to play
Atari turns 50, full of wonderful moments – Photo: Reproduction / Róbson Martins
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A year before Pong existed, Bushnell and Dabni together created an arcade called a computer space in which a player controls a rocket against two spaceships. The idea came after Bushnell met Spacewar! (1962), a game developed by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and ended with the first electronic game available to the general public – since at that time there were only games for computers and they were very expensive. The production company responsible for the computing space was renamed Syzygy, which later became Atari.
Computer Space Celebrates Arcade Beginning with Space Battle Game – Photo: Reproduction / 80LV
2. Launched the first winning game
Manufactured and distributed by Atari, Pong (1972) was basically a virtual table tennis game in which they controlled the vertical stripes up and down, representing their rockets. Despite technical limitations, the arcade game became a fever in North American arcades and became the first commercially successful game. It did not take long for Pong to get the Atari 2600 console version, which sold 150,000 units over the following holidays, yielding extensions and more releases for various platforms such as Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS and PCs.
Pong is a simple game that simulates a ping pong match – Photo: Playback / WUSA9
3. Steve Jobs and Wozniak worked for the company
The founder of Apple had his first and only experience as an employee at Atari, from 1974 to 1975. Even his boss, Nolan Bushnell, said at the 2013 Campus Party that Steve Jobs worked all weekend and “smelled bad” because he was not. Shower Office shower. During this period, Jobs teamed up with Steve Wozniak to develop Breakout, a pong-style game that aimed to destroy the blocks at the top of the screen without dropping the ball. The duo soon left Atari to start their own technology company.
Nolan Bushnell talks about a duet between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 2013 – Photo: TechTudo / Nick Ellis
4. Worst game in history
With the triumph of the Atari 2600, many studios started delivering low quality subtitles to the console because they thought they would still sell well. The biggest example of this was the hasty release of ET the Extra-Terrestrial, a game based on a Steven Spielberg feature film. The intention was to finish the product before Christmas 1982 to make the film a success, but the result did not please users and cost Atari about $ 100 million. In this way, ET gained a bitter reputation as the worst game in history.
Adaptation of the movie ET – The Extraterrestrial goes on sale – Photo: Reproduction / Atari Archives
5. Millions of cartridges were buried in the desert
The failure of ET will have another curious chapter. Dissatisfied with errors and unfinished fragments, more and more dissatisfied customers demanded a refund. Keeping the game on the shelves at that point in the championship would have been a worse image at the box office, with no solution left. The company then removed millions of cartridges from stores and buried them in the Alamogordo Desert, New Mexico (USA). The episode became an urban legend, but it was confirmed after excavations during the filming of the documentary Atari: Game Over (2014).
Zack Penn, Director of Atari: Game Over, Holds Discovered Cartridge – Photo: Playback / IMDb
6. The terrible accident of 1983
1982 brought many good things to the gaming world, from the birth of major manufacturers and distributors such as EA and Lucasfilm Games, Pitfall !, to River Raid and Pac-Man, which had more than 7 million copies. Sold. However, the following year the demand no longer coincided with an oversupply of consoles and games, often genuine copies of the classics, and the bubble burst. Low sales and profits collapsed, leading to the famous “video game crash in 1983”. Already financially fragile, Atari was disbanded by Warner and sold its parts to Bandai and Tramel Technology, the founding company of Commodore.
Although technically inferior to Arcade, Pac-Man was the best-selling game for the Atari 2600 – Photo: Reproduction / 8bit Arcade
7. Holds the oldest Easter egg record in games
The oldest Easter egg found in the game is hidden in Starship 1 (1977), according to Guinness World Records discovered in 2017. When a specific sequence of buttons is pressed, the secret message “Hi Ron!” Appears on the screen and the player gains 10 extra lives. The most intriguing detail of this case is the fact that Ron Milner, the programmer mentioned in the text, revealed the secret only 30 years after the release of the Atari title. Prior to that, the record belonged to Adventure, since 1979.
A secret message appears in the left corner of the Starship 1 screen, among other texts – Photo: Reproduction / Easter Egg Hunter
8. Is it possible to buy Atari NFT
In 2022, following the example of EA, Ubisoft and Square Enix, Atari plunged into the world of NFTs, a kind of certification that guarantees exclusive ownership of digital assets. In partnership with Republic Realm, a reference company in this segment, the company began operations Loot boxes With 10 types of “GFT”. Items are named after the word “gift” because they are revealed only after purchase and some are rarer than others.
When opening a lot box, the buyer has different chances to win each GFT – Photo: Disclosure / Atari
Information from TheGamer (1 And two), Kotaku (1 And two), Guinness World Records (1 And two) And Wear (1 And two)