People in the video gaming scene might have heard about Atari games, like Pong, Frogger, Space Invaders, among others. Although they still classics, they’ve been through a lot in history from who invented Atari to what they are today. By 1972, Nolan Bushnell and his associate Ted Dabney founded Atari, a video gaming console developing company. Originally they planned to name the company Syzygy Engineering, but that name was already registered when they tried to use it, so Bushnell registered the name Atari. He actually got this name while playing his video game Go, and decided on this term Atari which means that one party’s stones are in danger of being taken by other players. It is a Japanese word which means “to hit the target” or when a person predicts anything with great accuracy.

The video game Pong by Atari marked a turning point in Atari’s history as 150,000 copies were sold. In 1975, Atari was acquired by Warner Communications. A lot of success followed through as Atari 2600 and Atari home video system were very popular, gaining most of Warner’s profits in retail sales. But it was in the year 1983 when the sales took a dive in the United States, and Atari held losses of more than $550 million. Warner Communications then sold Atari Company to Jack Tramiel, former chief of Commodore, changing the name to Atari Corporation. Atari still managed to sell up to $25 million during the year 1986. But very soon, their Japanese video gaming competitor Nintendo appeared and took the spotlight. Atari created the Atari Lynx, a handheld video game console with color screen (a great advancement for that era), but it suffered of low sales due to unavailability during the Christmas season plus its price was considerably higher than the everywhere-available Nintendo Game Boy handheld video game console. Soon after, Tramiel tried to rescue Atari with their personal computers line, however Microsoft Windows already was a fierce competitor by that time. There were also several law disputes against Nintendo during these years.

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s was Atari’s darkest hour – they were sold many times during these decades, with companies like Sega, JTS, Hasbro, and Infogrames. With Infogrames during 2008, Atari acquired Cryptic Studios. Atari is far from what it was at the beginning. However, the video gaming console industry will never be what it is today without Atari. Long life the king.

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