Secrets of the pioneering game that changed the world –

Atari turned 50 this week. The American company – considered a pioneer and one of the most iconic companies in the world – was responsible for launching the popularization of arcade games, game consoles and personal computers.

Inspired by the success of arcade games in the 1970s, Atari bet on creating a compact home console that could be connected to a television. The idea is that players could have the same experience as an arcade, but could play at home, from the comfort of their living room, sitting on the couch.

In 1977, the brand released a video computer system (2600) – known today as the Atari 2600. It came with two joysticks, worked with a microprocessor and used a cartridge system in which the player could add new games. At the time of release, the console cost $199 and sold more than 30 million units. New York Post.

A cheaper and scaled-down version of the iconic console, known as the “2600 Jr.,” was released only in the United States in 1986.

Throughout the console’s history, Atari has gained relevance by releasing popular games such as Asteroids, Pong, Enduro, Centipede, Black Widow, Missile Command, Breakout, Space Invaders, Adventure and more. Interestingly, Adventure was the first game sold on consoles to include a hidden easter egg.

In partnership with third-party studios such as Activision and Imagic, the console received more than 2,600 games of its own.

The fall of Atari

as noted PCMagIn the late 1970s, other consoles tried to compete directly with Atari in the US market, such as the Mattel Intellivision, RCA Studio II, Bally Astrocade, Magnavox Odyssey2, although at this early stage they did not really threaten the iconic console. .

Although the Atari brand is most associated with the 2600 console, the company also released a smorgasbord of 8-bit personal computers, such as the Atari 400 and Atari 800, beginning in 1979.

However, the company’s success – previously considered unstoppable – began to crumble in the early 1980s, when the gaming market in the United States began to be oversaturated with arcades, consoles and cartridges, many of them quality. Low and low.

In addition, the bet on the Ataris 400 and 800 came at a time when home desktops were starting to be released at lower prices that offered more features than Atari consoles, including the ability to play games on the PC.

Another moment that contributed to Atari’s downfall was the release of a game inspired by Steven Spielberg’s film ET – The Extra-Terrestrial. In addition to paying 20 million dollars for licensing, the game remained on the shelves, with thousands of cartridges unsold.

The sale of Atari to Warner Communications in 1976 is also blamed for the fall. Co-founder Nolan Bushnell argued that the sale destroyed Atari’s extraordinary corporate culture.

In 1983, the company had already accumulated a loss of 538 million US dollars. The following year, Atari laid off 10,000 of its employees.

In the midst of a crisis, back in 1984, the original Atari split into two divisions. The Atari Consumer Electronics Division assets are sold to businessman Jack Tramiel, while Atari Games remains with Warner. In the following decades, other divisions, mergers and acquisitions marked the game company’s history, including the bankruptcy filing of four subsidiaries in 2013.

Atari in Brazil

Atari consoles and games came to Tupinikin lands only in 1983, through a distribution partnership with the Brazilian company Gradiente – through subsidiary Polyvox.

The console quickly became the leader in the Brazilian gaming market, even competing with Philips’ Odissey, Dynacom’s Dynavision and Sayfi Eletrônica’s Dactari – compatible with the Atari cartridge.

However, the Atari fever in the country was short-lived, with sales cooling off since 1986. In the late 1980s, SEGA – with its Master System – finally took the lead in this market.

Enduro, one of Atari’s classic racing games

The company is still alive

Despite being absent from the console market for many years, the 50-year-old company is still active and expanding its portfolio of games for PCs, consoles and mobile phones.

In addition, the company recently released the Atari VCS – which looks like the old 2600 console, but works as a hybrid of both a computer and a game console. The news even destroyed the crowdfunding site during pre-sales.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the company unveiled a new logo that will be used in advertisements, gaming videos and licensing partnerships. Additionally, the brand released the video below where founder Bushnell and CEO Wade Rosen discuss Atari’s legacy of creativity and innovation.

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