That was the Christmas of 1982. What followed is now referred to as the “great video game crash of 1983.” People stopped buying video games.
Companies began collapsing and Atari was soon sold to a man named Jack Tramiel. Over the next decade, Atari made computers, a game console called Jaguar and a handheld game machine called the Lynx. None were hits.
Recognizing the promise of mobile devices and its best-known titles, Atari today makes such phone games as “Centipede: Origins” and “Breakout Boost,” a take on the game Steve Jobs worked on back in the day.
“The legacy is that Atari is essentially where it all began,” says Jim Wilson, the company’s current CEO.
So is Atari living off its legacy?
“To a certain point almost all entertainment companies are doing a bunch of living on their legacy. That’s why we have `sequel-itis’ in triple-A games, movies, books,” Jacobs says. “Why invest in new things when you can beat the old things to death and still make money out of them?”
Follow Barbara Ortutay on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BarbaraOrtutay
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