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Coleco caused more damage to the games industry then Atari.


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#1 mcjakeqcool OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 9:51 AM

I am of the opinion that Coleco did more damage to the games industry then Atari, and went a long way to causeing the game crash of '83, the many mistakes such as a glut of peripherals which confused gamers, the Coleco Gemini which brought a corporate battle between Atari and Coleco and the failed Adam computer, not only brought significant damage to the Industy worseing the effects of the game crash of '83 but also damaged Coleco as a company, who went bust in 1989. Let me know what you think about this post and tell me you're opinions on the subject.

#2 Dauber OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 10:32 AM

Let me know what you think about this post and tell me you're opinions on the subject.


That post had a lot of typos and grammar errors, including several sentences spliced together with commas. That's what I think about that post.

#3 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 11:04 AM

Ok, Jackassing of the previous poster aside, I can see where your coming from. However.....most of those facts are more a problem for Coleco, than for the overall games market.

Of course, Atari themselves had a ton of addons too, a computer (though I think only released in europe) paddles, driving controllers, extra button addons....plus all of those clones of not so good games.

But then, is the release of a bunch of trash really Atari's fault? I mean, Atari did try to get control of who made games for their systems, but the government decided anyone could, since the 2600 was mostly off the shelf parts. Hell, they even said anybody could build the systems (where the mentioned Gemini came from, as well as the 2600 adapter that came out for almost all pre-NES 8 bits.

#4 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 11:16 AM

From now on when I see a stupid ass thread title I wont post a reply.

But just this once I will.

It wasnt Coleco and Atari that caused the great crash and coleco didnt have "more to do" than Atari.

It was a variety of things..... one of which the rise of home computing.

I'm done posting here.

#5 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 11:30 AM

I am of the opinion that Coleco did more damage to the games industry then Atari, and went a long way to causeing the game crash of '83, the many mistakes such as a glut of peripherals which confused gamers, the Coleco Gemini which brought a corporate battle between Atari and Coleco and the failed Adam computer, not only brought significant damage to the Industy worseing the effects of the game crash of '83 but also damaged Coleco as a company, who went bust in 1989. Let me know what you think about this post and tell me you're opinions on the subject.


What I'd like to ask is, if all this is true, how did any of it do damage to Atari? Atari had a huge install base and was massively popular. Even if the Coleco hadn't done a single thing right, EVER, that would have only turned consumers away from Coleco. Likely they would have turned right back to the Atari they knew and trusted. If at that point, Atari failed, it would have to be because of something else. Today, we know that to be gross mismanagement from within Atari.

I will accept that the glut of peripherals hurt the industry, but I can't see it being more significant than Atari trying to support two (and later three) systems at once, plus its own computer line.

I'm going to try and draw a comparison, which is admittedly not perfect, but it might help anyway. Let's say that an analogy could be made to today's market, with Sony now playing the role of Coleco. In this generation, Sony has made some big mistakes and lost a lot of market share. To react to this, they've released a stupid number of SKUs that vary widely in terms of backwards compatibility*, a VERY confusing thing to the average consumer! Sony's taken it on the chin this generation. Does that mean it's hurting the industry as a whole? Hardly. Nintendo and Microsoft are prospering in the wake, as would any competent company in such a situation. When your competition starts bleeding green, grab a sponge! That wasn't the case with Atari, though... even without Coleco's help, they were prepared to fail in their own special way.

What caused the Crash was the natural end of the first major generation of hardware, and the industry not being prepared to transition into the next generation. There was no historical precedence for this, so rather than have a gradual upgrade as we see today, the industry as a whole entered a two-year stammer.

What we didn't understand at the time was:
*Even successful systems cannot be supported indefinately. A hardware upgrade should occur periodically.
*Even successful games cannot be re-issued indefinately. Make new games, or make sequels to the old, but customers will only re-buy the same titles so many times.
*Crap games will exist. It is natural that they be cheaper than good games.
*Computers did not become our universal do-everything gadget. There is still room in the world for regular set-top boxes. (Prediction: in the next 10 years, we'll learn the same lesson all over again regarding cell phones)
*There will always be a group of people who will buy video games, it is not a fad.

... and that's about it. Some of these misconceptions continue to pop up today in mutated form, but I don't see the market ever being as damaged as it was in '83.


*Yes, MS has a lot of SKUs too, but theirs vary only in storage space and connection cables-- Significantly easier concept for the average shopper than hardware support vs. software support vs. no support.

#6 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 12:50 PM

From now on when I see a stupid ass thread title I wont post a reply.

But just this once I will.

It wasnt Coleco and Atari that caused the great crash and coleco didnt have "more to do" than Atari.

It was a variety of things..... one of which the rise of home computing.

I'm done posting here.



The "rise of home computers" is often overstated, and don't forget that Atari was also in to home computers. Most of the developers saw the transfer to the mid-80's home computer market as an escape from a declining console market, rather than their switch of focus being the reason for the declining market in the first place. With regards to a main cause, a company representing 80% of the market imploding also severely effects said market. And in reality, also you had an over saturation of game platforms and games for said platforms. Nine separate consoles on the US market at the time, 8+ main home computer gaming platforms at the time, all with their own games plus third party games. Considering it started showing its signs in late '82, its a wonder it took so long for the market to shake out.

Edited by wgungfu, Thu May 14, 2009 12:52 PM.


#7 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 12:57 PM

No "one" company is responsible for the crash. The flood of crap carts dumped on the market as well as the personal computer being major contributors.

#8 Koopa64 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 1:57 PM

From now on when I see a stupid ass thread title I wont post a reply.

But just this once I will.

It wasnt Coleco and Atari that caused the great crash and coleco didnt have "more to do" than Atari.

It was a variety of things..... one of which the rise of home computing.

I'm done posting here.



The "rise of home computers" is often overstated, and don't forget that Atari was also in to home computers. Most of the developers saw the transfer to the mid-80's home computer market as an escape from a declining console market, rather than their switch of focus being the reason for the declining market in the first place. With regards to a main cause, a company representing 80% of the market imploding also severely effects said market. And in reality, also you had an over saturation of game platforms and games for said platforms. Nine separate consoles on the US market at the time, 8+ main home computer gaming platforms at the time, all with their own games plus third party games. Considering it started showing its signs in late '82, its a wonder it took so long for the market to shake out.


wgungfu's correct, close the thread please.

#9 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 2:34 PM

Once again I go against my own word for posting here but yes I agree. Close the thread.

#10 Rik OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 3:15 PM

That and also those threads "Coleco made games bad for other systems to make the ColecoVision system and games look better"can be added to the list as well. :ponder: :x

#11 ApolloBoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 4:30 PM

Jake, I would suggest boning up on your gaming history before making another thread like this.

#12 jetset OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 6:11 PM

Ok, so the theme is...we disagree with the op, so let's lock the thread? Kinda retarded isn't it? Just don't post. :roll:

#13 gamerz OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 14, 2009 6:57 PM

Ok, so the theme is...we disagree with the op, so let's lock the thread? Kinda retarded isn't it? Just don't post. :roll:

How true.

#14 mcjakeqcool OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 10:02 AM

Hey everybody! Glad to see the board thriving. Altough both Coleco and Atari did a lot of damage to game industry in order to cause the game crash of '83, I would say that wgungfu's theory is correct, there were 8+ consoles on the market, the market was over saturated with games, and a glut of home pcs tempted gamers away from home consoles and on to home pcs.

#15 CV Gus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 11:50 AM

The single biggest factor that caused the crash (actually, suicide) of the industry back then was marketing "experts," and the fatheads that belived them.

If you were around back then, don't you remember ALWAYS hearing back in 1983 and 1984 that...

"VIDEO GAMING IS DEAD, THE FUTURE IS IN COMPUTING!!!!"

This is THE reason why Coleco decided on that stupid ADAM computer. This is why the industry gave up on video gaming- after all, "everyone" knew that it was over.


Well, here we are, in 2009. Playstation 3. X-Box 360. Generation after generation, 16-bit, 32-bit, whatever-now-bit. 26 years.

This was straight out of "Dilbert." Rather than asking the CUSTOMERS (in this case, "Generation X"), they asked each other. And big surprise- they got it wrong again. Nintendo, on the other hand, DID ask the customers, which is why they gambled on the NES in America. They played the capatalist game right, and grew rich, so, of course, the American government harrassed them, right up to their decision being made on December 7th.

It was not a crash, it was stupidity and suicide. And they still won't admit that they were wrong.


As for a glut- look at how many consoles were available in the mid and late-1990s, and the fact that foreign games (Japan) were more readily available, AND that super-factor that did not count in the 1980s- the Internet. Yet, gaming is still around. So it was not the glut, or it would have happened again in the 1990s.

Edited by CV Gus, Fri May 15, 2009 11:53 AM.


#16 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 12:27 PM

Nicely said, Gus ;)

#17 jboypacman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 12:40 PM

Personal Computers were a factor but so was the flood of "Crap-tacular" games and i think the general public/retailers had anough of it and this lead in part to the crash.

Retailers decided to go the computer route and video games got a bad rep because of everything i think thats why Nintendo had a hard time at first getting a foot hold in the US.

Saying Coleco caused more damage is wrong and saying Atari caused damage is wrong as well it was just a flood of things really.

#18 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 12:49 PM

Gus, what you say jibes with what I remember.

Also, I remember all those reporters going on about how video gaming was a fad and comparing it to pet rocks and lava lamps. They didn't have a frickin' clue, and they were all just waiting for it to die out so they could have the story arc they needed. Then once it showed signs of weakness, they were all over it, stomping it into the ground.

It's comforting to know that reporters haven't changed in the last 25 years.

#19 CV Gus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 1:47 PM

The biggest problem with the "glut" theory is that it assumes two things:

1) There were simply too many games out there for the market to support (good or bad games);

2) And this is the key here, very important, central to it all...

That consumers will evenly spread their money out among all games.


And that's where the glut theory falls flat on its face, friends. If it worked that way, then every business in America would have died out decades ago.

It assumes that we were so stupid, that we didn't know a good game from a bad one. Thus, we spread our disposable income out among all of these games, no matter how bad, and thus, NOBODY made a profit. In other words, Generation X was hopelessly stupid.

But come on, already. Even in the pre-Internet age, how many bad movies, bad songs, bad television shows, and bad (whatever) were out there? Especially in the 1980s, when the VCR came into its own, did movie theaters go out of business? Did television? Did the music industry crash? No.

So what made the 1980s video game industry so different that a glut would cause it to crash? I myself much preferred 2600 Robot Tank or CV Burgertime over Slurpy (CV), I Want My Mommy or Dishaster (2600), and spent my money accordingly. Coleco and Activision got it, not those others. As it usually was. Sure, SOME companies, esp. those with crummy games, would go out of business, but that's how a free market is supposed to work, isn't it? It doesn't mean EVERYONE is going down.

If, however, decisions are made without input from the customers, then you're shooting in the dark. Scott Adams described this sort of thing (...if you're talking ABOUT customers instead of to them) as a "one-off activity."

What happened was a case of the prophesy fufulling itself.

Luckily, thanks to the homebrewers, those old systems have another shot. Thanks to you all. :D

#20 else OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 2:06 PM

It doesn't mean EVERYONE is going down.


If everybody produced too many games, then everybody could (in theory) fail. Remember, ROMs were VERY expensive to make back in the day, and required companies to make a BIG cash outlay (video tapes by comparison were quite cheap to mass produce). So the glut theory seems like a valid one to me. Doesn't necessarily mean it's the 100% right theory, but it don't think it can be ruled out....

Edited by else, Fri May 15, 2009 2:24 PM.


#21 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 2:09 PM

Was Coleco a big enough player to cause that much damage to the games industry? I'm guessing no, but that's just a guess.

Didn't have an Atari or CV in the '80s,
5-11under

#22 Warriorisabouttodie ONLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 2:40 PM

The way I remember it most of my friends that had Colecovisions had the 2600 add on and the Turbo steering wheel. Very few had an Adam, because the Adam was seen (like the Atari 8 bit computers) as not a "real" computer by most people who were buying their first computer. The reason the crash happened was all the terrible games that were released for the 2600. If you think about the Colecovision's game library although small was pretty high quality. The Colecovision wasn't popular enough to get all the shovelware that was coming down the pike for the Atari and that is also why it had little bearing on the industry as a whole.

Now if you want to talk about shooting yourself in the foot with add-on accessories, look no further than the Sega Genesis, but that is another company and another story.

#23 CARTRIDGE STEALER OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 2:46 PM

The single biggest factor that caused the crash (actually, suicide) of the industry back then was marketing "experts," and the fatheads that belived them.

If you were around back then, don't you remember ALWAYS hearing back in 1983 and 1984 that...

"VIDEO GAMING IS DEAD, THE FUTURE IS IN COMPUTING!!!!"

This is THE reason why Coleco decided on that stupid ADAM computer. This is why the industry gave up on video gaming- after all, "everyone" knew that it was over.


Well, here we are, in 2009. Playstation 3. X-Box 360. Generation after generation, 16-bit, 32-bit, whatever-now-bit. 26 years.

This was straight out of "Dilbert." Rather than asking the CUSTOMERS (in this case, "Generation X"), they asked each other. And big surprise- they got it wrong again. Nintendo, on the other hand, DID ask the customers, which is why they gambled on the NES in America. They played the capatalist game right, and grew rich, so, of course, the American government harrassed them, right up to their decision being made on December 7th.

It was not a crash, it was stupidity and suicide. And they still won't admit that they were wrong.


As for a glut- look at how many consoles were available in the mid and late-1990s, and the fact that foreign games (Japan) were more readily available, AND that super-factor that did not count in the 1980s- the Internet. Yet, gaming is still around. So it was not the glut, or it would have happened again in the 1990s.



Im not trying to argue with you but how can one say in 83-84 "VIDEO GAMING IS DEAD, THE FUTURE IS IN COMPUTING!!!!" when the arcades were always packed and they were constantly getting new games each week and it never slowed down?

Edited by CARTRIDGE STEALER, Fri May 15, 2009 2:47 PM.


#24 PingvinBlueJeans OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 2:53 PM

Coleco caused more damage to the games industry then Atari.

Then Atari what?

#25 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 2:55 PM

Im not trying to argue with you but how can one say in 83-84 "VIDEO GAMING IS DEAD, THE FUTURE IS IN COMPUTING!!!!" when the arcades were always packed and they were constantly getting new games each week and it never slowed down?


Very simple: in the early 80s, arcade games and home games were completely seperate entities. They were treated as such by both the developers and consumers. Arcade games kept going because they were something to do while you waited for a movie or a pizza. At home, however, the set-top console was supposed to be a thing of the past, whereas computers were the future. Of course, the computer played arcade ports. By saying "Consoles are dead", it wasn't that games were dying completely, it was just that consoles were seen to be passe.

Good comparison: Movies aren't "dying" in the slightest, but "EVERYONE KNOWS" that downloads are the future and DVDs will be in a landfill by 2011. It's a mantra that gets repeated so often that nobody bothers to think it through anymore. It was the same in 1983... consoles were "dead" because people would rather buy a computer or go to an arcade, not buy a new Atari. Oddly enough, today, consoles are the top of the heap, PCs have a solid following, and arcades are the venue that's becoming an anachronism.




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