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Coleco caused more damage to the games industry then Atari.


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#26 AdeptRapier OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 3:07 PM

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.



If you really look at the history of Video Gaming in the United States in the early 80's and compare that with the demographics of who was playing video games (either arcade or home systems) and then look at the crash, it's pretty obvious what happened. When video games first exploded into popularity and became a part of mainstream America in the very early 80's it was the next big "fad", and just like all fads (pet rocks, hula hoops, cabbage patch dolls, "Baby on Board signs") it ran it's course and general interest faded off rapidly. This is nothing new. What made video gaming different was that there was enough continued interest in the underlying idea of gaming to slowly over time turn it from a "fad" into a mainstream part of society. This can be seen if, as I mentioned above, you look at the demographics of who played games in the 80's and who plays them now. During the videogame "fad" early 80's, EVERYONE was playing this "neat new thing", but after the crash it took DECADES to slowly build the videogame demographic penetration to anything even close to what it was at the "fad" beginning. Even Nolan Bushnell has been quoted as lamenting the low percentage of gamers in the general public in relationship with the heyday of the 80's.

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#27 gamerz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 4:37 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?



Home video gaming was dead, the arcades were coming out with games that could not be produced at home like now. Dragons Lair and such were keeping the arcades alive but these could not be made for home systems. Arcades still thrived, home video games died as people went to computers.
And originally the NES was marketed as a toy, that was their foothold.

Edited by gamerz, Fri May 15, 2009 4:39 PM.


#28 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 8:11 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.


Yes, because the marketing experts made up the massive millions in losses the companies were accruing between 1982 to 1984. And they packed the warehouses full of stock. Yup.

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!!!!"


No, such calls were after the market had already crashed or was in the process of crashing and key game companies like Activision were moving more towards computers. You're running two different things together: the propensity of some analysts and journalists calling video games a fad, which they had been doing since the mid 70's. 2) The movement of top level game platform development to computers during and after the crash. They are not one in the same, one had been going on long before the other.

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.


No, the reason was because it had been an industry promise since the 70's. Turning game consoles in to computers. Bally, Atari, Mattel, APF, etc. etc., that was the reason for the O2's "computer like" keyboard, etc. etc.

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


If you're going to smoke it, at least pass it around for everyone else to enjoy. You and Mcjake are hoggin it whatever it is.

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.


That's just silly, market and business practices evolve and change. That's one of the main reasons Nintendo of America did the tight control they did and molded the new market at the time (Oh yes, marketing experts must have told them to do that as well). The market of the mid to late 90's, including distribution and sales practices, was nothing like the market of the 70's and early 80's. Games, accessories, and the like are licensed now - you can't put out a product for a console on the market without getting a license from the platform owner first. Likewise there was nowhere near as many consoles and computer platforms - by the mid to late 90's you had two home computing platforms left - Wintel and Mac. And you had a handful of major consoles on the international market at any one time (not included generation overlaps which usually occur).

Edited by wgungfu, Fri May 15, 2009 8:47 PM.


#29 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 8:16 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....



Yes, and the way the market was run at the time you didn't have tight controls on manufacturing like now when companies create artificial demand by purposely low balling the numbers. Usually back then you tried to project what sales would be for the upcoming year (companies like Atari got in problems with this practice because they used inflated numbers), order materials, manufacture and fill the warehouses then trying and get retailers to commit. When said sales started to slump, many of these companies were left with expensive stock just sitting there. The only eventual recourse was to either destroy that back stock (which many did), or take a major loss and dump it to distributors, retailers, and closeout companies for pennies on the dollar - which many did as well.

Edited by wgungfu, Fri May 15, 2009 9:07 PM.


#30 brojamfootball OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 8:17 PM

If you're going to smoke it, at least pass it around for everyone else to enjoy. You and Mcjake are hoggin it whatever it is.

High-larious!

#31 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 15, 2009 8:40 PM

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


I'd say the biggest problem with your interpretation of the glut theory is you assume the following two interpretations:

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


Actually no, the problem was the back stock wasn't out there. It was sitting in warehouses because sales were dropping.

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

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


Once again, the opposite was being stated. There were to many game choices and platform choices, hence consumers were more cautious on what they spent their money on, which in turn also effected sales negatively.

Even people involved in the industry at the time clearly stated it and saw the problem compounding. Gordon Crawford, who was tight with Warner Communications and had brokered the Warner/Atari deal started selling off his investment firm's stock in WCI as early as January of 1982 and completely unloaded by that August. Why? In his own words:

"At the Winter CES that year, there were thee or four new video game systems and fifty new software companies -all the warning lights went on for me. Then at the June CES show it was worse! There were two hundred software companies. This was a business that a year before had been essentially a monopoly, and now there were literally hundreds of new entrants."

The entire industry had sustained immense and quick growth from 1980 to 1982, which is exactly why places like the Wall Street Journal were questioning the ability to sustain that growth and the possibility of an implosion of the market. In many ways similar to the tech and housing bubble problems of recent years.

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.


Oh yes, because every business in America is in the same market and industry. Makes a lot of sense. Where do you come up with this stuff? This is yet another thread I've seen try and push this way far from the norm theory. And we have had other markets crash, or market bubbles burst as they're called. Both in tech (the .com bust) and the housing bubble are the few more recent ones.

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.


A) Parents of Gen-X did the spending. Gen-X was a term applied to us in '91 from the book Generations to describe young adults of the late 80's and early 90's. b) What planet are you from? Almost every industry does the bulk of marketing to sway "individuals" to believe their product is the best over others that might be better, even when said product might not be great. That's how marketing works.
Hell, how many crap songs get on the radio and become "hits" because they get pushed, paid, etc. from the Music industry, which is notorious for that practice? c) The opposite was and is being said of what you're interpreting - people were trying to make more intelligent decisions because there were so many choices also infused with a lot of not good product.

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.


Once again, you're running off in a tangent on something that was not being stated. Fact: Sales dropped significantly during that time. Fact: People were more cautious with spending *because* they were trying to make more intelligent purchases. Also related fact: We were just coming out of a recession.

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.


They don't call it a crash because "some companies" go out of business. They call it because the market itself crashes, which it did. Sales tanked, that's a fact. Atari was at sales of 1.1 billion in 1981, guess what it was at by the time of its closing and split? Activision went from a 158 million in sales to 16 million by the end of the crash. Every major console manufacturer either left the industry completely, or went out of business completely. Everybody. Atari Inc., closed and split. Mattel - left. Coleco - shut down Colecovision operations and eventually left all together. Magnavox - left. Bally/Astrovision - left. GCE/MB - left. Zircon - left. Emerson - left. A major portion of the game publishers did as well, with the exception of the few that were able to switch over to computers. That very vacancy with publishers is what let Japanese publishers, who had been having to have American publishers put out there games (Konami, SNK, etc.) enter the markets on their own and fill that void.

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


That's one area we agree on. :)

Edited by wgungfu, Fri May 15, 2009 9:36 PM.


#32 mcjakeqcool OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 16, 2009 4:35 AM

I agree with CV Gus, the game crash of '83 was stupidity and suicide, there was still a thriveing industry, but no one admited it, this was bad news for anyone involved, particuly Atari.

#33 SnapCraft OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 16, 2009 8:04 AM

Blame both...

Atari did rest on its laurels. They had a good run of some crappy games.

Colecovision's biggest error was going with the Adam instead of the "Super" Expansion Module #3. Save high scores! Donkey Kong Pie Factory level. I still get teary eyed talking about this.

Adam Computer. Tape storage, are you kidding? I remember even back then what a horrible idea it was. "Yeah, but, these are a little different--they're faster."

#34 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 16, 2009 10:46 AM

I agree with CV Gus,


Well there's a shocker. The person that started this ridiculous thread doesn't agree with facts and figures and first person accounts from people actually involved in it.

the game crash of '83 was stupidity and suicide, there was still a thriveing industry, but no one admited it, this was bad news for anyone involved, particuly Atari.


How is massive loss of earnings followed by almost all of the companies closing or leaving the industry a "thriving industry"? Where's your evidence to counter that? Please, show me the contrary earnings statements showing any of these US companies thriving and doing great and staying open. This is like when you didn't want to believe Atari Corp.'s own SEC reports on how many Jaguars they actually manufactured (250,000).

Edited by wgungfu, Sat May 16, 2009 10:57 AM.


#35 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 16, 2009 11:18 AM

How is massive loss of earnings followed by almost all of the companies closing or leaving the industry a "thriving industry"? Where's your evidence to counter that? Please, show me the contrary earnings statements showing any of these US companies thriving and doing great and staying open. This is like when you didn't want to believe Atari Corp.'s own SEC reports on how many Jaguars they actually manufactured (250,000).


Isn't it possible that the companies were poorly run, but there was still great demand for electronic games?

Edited by Ransom, Sat May 16, 2009 11:19 AM.


#36 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 16, 2009 12:00 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.


++

#37 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 16, 2009 12:10 PM

How is massive loss of earnings followed by almost all of the companies closing or leaving the industry a "thriving industry"? Where's your evidence to counter that? Please, show me the contrary earnings statements showing any of these US companies thriving and doing great and staying open. This is like when you didn't want to believe Atari Corp.'s own SEC reports on how many Jaguars they actually manufactured (250,000).


Isn't it possible that the companies were poorly run, but there was still great demand for electronic games?


One or two companies it could possibly be argued they were poorly run - but not the entire industry of companies. The issue itself is that demand overall was falling, which is what caused their earnings problems. Nobody is saying there wasn't any demand, or a sustainable one - it was that actual and projected demand was way over inflated after a period of intense growth that many tried to cash in on in a short time. That's why they call it a bubble, which is what this actually was and we've seen it in other industries. The issue is further compounded when it came out later that the signs were already there in '82 and certain companies (such as Atari) tried to hide it.

#38 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 16, 2009 1:30 PM

One or two companies it could possibly be argued they were poorly run - but not the entire industry of companies. The issue itself is that demand overall was falling, which is what caused their earnings problems. Nobody is saying there wasn't any demand, or a sustainable one - it was that actual and projected demand was way over inflated after a period of intense growth that many tried to cash in on in a short time. That's why they call it a bubble, which is what this actually was and we've seen it in other industries. The issue is further compounded when it came out later that the signs were already there in '82 and certain companies (such as Atari) tried to hide it.


It would seem to me that a bubble is caused -- and popped -- by many people making poor decisions. Simply engaging in behavior that relies on the bubble continuing to grow shows poor judgement. Nothing grows continuously and forever. The entire console-based gaming industry of the early 80s seems to have been caught up in the sort of thinking that got us into the current economic mess.

But I guess it's all in how you want to look at it. I suppose it could be seen as fiscally prudent to bet everything on not being the last fool, but I'd much rather not bet so heavily in the face of a mania/bubble.

I'll grant that it does take uncommon good judgment and wisdom to avoid getting caught up in a mania, but then that's why executives get such high compensation.

So my belief is that nearly all of those video game companies were poorly run.

Perhaps I am expecting too much of the people running them?

At any rate, to your larger point, I haven't seen aggregate demand figures from back then. I've seen that individual companies saw demand fall, but that still leaves it open to the theory that there was too much supply spread among the same amount of demand. I'll grant you that aggregate demand dropped off, but whether it was just a relatively small drop-off that exposed the underlying problems of the industry, or whether it was a massive drop-off, I have no idea. Do you happen to have access to such figures from your extensive research? I suppose it would be important to differentiate the figures after the media told everyone that it was all over for videogames from the drop-off before that, to control for the effect of media on purchasing patterns.

Edited by Ransom, Sat May 16, 2009 1:38 PM.


#39 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 16, 2009 3:15 PM

It would seem to me that a bubble is caused -- and popped -- by many people making poor decisions.


No bubble is caused or popped by a simplistic reason. Often it starts because of valid intense growth, prospects of an even better future, and sometimes along the way warning signs are missed or ignored. A bubble doesn't start out being labeled as one and not all industries that experience high initial growth develop in to one. Likewise, the "popping" is usually a perfect storm of reasons based on items related to both businesses and consumers. Not exclusively one or the other.

Simply engaging in behavior that relies on the bubble continuing to grow shows poor judgement.


I completely agree. However the flip side is that not every company that was caught up in the burst was involved in this bad judgment.
Just as like not every .com did, and not every housing contractor did. Nor is every person in debt now or a victim of the current credit/banking crisis necessarily someone who made bad judgment trying to live beyond their means.

Nothing grows continuously and forever. The entire console-based gaming industry of the early 80s seems to have been caught up in the sort of thinking that got us into the current economic mess.


True as well. However it was such a drastic and immediate growth that people didn't see the stopping of growth happening for a while yet. Nobody I've interviewed saw the dramatic drop that happened coming, with the exception of some financers and investors as I previously mentioned. Atari Inc. was predicting doing 6 billion in sales by 1985/86.

You can also draw parallels in to consumers of that market and .com and the house market, and the credit/loan market, etc.

But I guess it's all in how you want to look at it. I suppose it could be seen as fiscally prudent to bet everything on not being the last fool, but I'd much rather not bet so heavily in the face of a mania/bubble.


Half the problem of being in big business is tracking the market, and discerning between a growth and ebb vs. a growth and bust, managing the company to be robust during market trends, etc. Its not easy stuff.

I'll grant that it does take uncommon good judgment and wisdom to avoid getting caught up in a mania, but then that's why executives get such high compensation.


Even though as we've found out even in recent times, that's not always the case. ;)

So my belief is that nearly all of those video game companies were poorly run.


And you're certainly entitled to it. But I'd say the odds that every single company effected by this was done so as a result of poor management is very low. You can point fingers at some of the big and obvious ones, like Atari. But many also left because of good management because they saw the market collapsing so severely.

Perhaps I am expecting too much of the people running them?


I think we all are a bit idealistic of what we expect from leaders.

At any rate, to your larger point, I haven't seen aggregate demand figures from back then. I've seen that individual companies saw demand fall, but that still leaves it open to the theory that there was too much supply spread among the same amount of demand.


I don't recall denying that theory. As stated, it was one of several contributions that made up the market crash.

I'll grant you that aggregate demand dropped off, but whether it was just a relatively small drop-off that exposed the underlying problems of the industry, or whether it was a massive drop-off, I have no idea.


When you have a company loose half a billion in sales over just 9 months and other companies starting to suffer proportionately similar losses (i.e. similar percentages of their sales), that's not a small drop-off.

Do you happen to have access to such figures from your extensive research?


Yes, and interviews, etc. However, with sales figures and company losses publicly available (sometimes for a fee), I'm confident that people here are capable of digging them up as well and not making me start looking through mounds of paper and gigs of digital resources from my archive. Besides, I think its great you're showing an interest in this and wanting more info. That's exactly how myself and other researchers and writers got started. Now go out there and do the research! (and it's not always cheap) ;)

I suppose it would be important to differentiate the figures after the media told everyone that it was all over for videogames from the drop-off before that, to control for the effect of media on purchasing patterns.


The media was saying that since the 70's. There's a difference between interpretation of figures and the additional reporting of the figures you're basing your interpretation on. One can be inaccurate, the other is obtained from the companies themselves. The media doesn't make up company sales, that's what companies do. ;)

What do I mean by that? Atari Inc. was also in trouble for some monkeying with numbers and quarterly reports to try and make things appear nowhere near as bad as they were. Which is also then why Kassar and several others got in trouble with the SEC when they sold off stock during the same time period. At Warner and Atari, there had been people warning about warehouses full of stock as far back as the summer of '82, but they were ignored.

#40 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 16, 2009 5:26 PM

Yes, and interviews, etc. However, with sales figures and company losses publicly available (sometimes for a fee), I'm confident that people here are capable of digging them up as well and not making me start looking through mounds of paper and gigs of digital resources from my archive. Besides, I think its great you're showing an interest in this and wanting more info. That's exactly how myself and other researchers and writers got started. Now go out there and do the research! (and it's not always cheap) ;)


It's been fun discussing this with you, but I'm beginning to feel like we're killing the thread. So I'll leave it at that. :)

#41 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 17, 2009 12:42 AM

Yes, and interviews, etc. However, with sales figures and company losses publicly available (sometimes for a fee), I'm confident that people here are capable of digging them up as well and not making me start looking through mounds of paper and gigs of digital resources from my archive. Besides, I think its great you're showing an interest in this and wanting more info. That's exactly how myself and other researchers and writers got started. Now go out there and do the research! (and it's not always cheap) ;)


It's been fun discussing this with you, but I'm beginning to feel like we're killing the thread. So I'll leave it at that. :)



Not a problem. Feel free to pm me if you want to talk about any aspect of it further.

#42 CARTRIDGE STEALER OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 17, 2009 8:21 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.



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?



Home video gaming was dead, the arcades were coming out with games that could not be produced at home like now. Dragons Lair and such were keeping the arcades alive but these could not be made for home systems. Arcades still thrived, home video games died as people went to computers.
And originally the NES was marketed as a toy, that was their foothold.



I just dont see it. the more arcade games that were released, the more I wanted to play them at home on my own system. I played the hell out of my coleco until I got an NES. from the so called "death", there were hundreds of more games released in the arcades just begging to be reproduced for a home system. think about it. for a couple of years, games just sat in limbo waiting to be introduced to home systems. come on, who didnt want to play commando, gauntlet or tron on thier home system? im sure millions of kids did. I dont think I was the only one.

#43 mcjakeqcool OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 18, 2009 9:13 AM

@ SnapCraft, I agree with you on that one, both Coleco and Atari did a fair bit of damage to the industry, altough you can't really blame 1 or even 2 companys for the collapse of the industry, it was many diffrent things.

@wgungfu, how did you know about the Atari Corp, SEC report Jag debate, that were'ent even on AtariAge. Lol!

#44 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 19, 2009 5:18 PM

@wgungfu, how did you know about the Atari Corp, SEC report Jag debate, that were'ent even on AtariAge. Lol!



Because that's me you've been talking to on there.

#45 mcjakeqcool OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 26, 2009 10:55 AM

Lol! So it is. I've got a terrible memory. Lol! (Again.)

#46 tz101 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 27, 2009 4:20 PM

Atari, which was the behemoth in video games at the start of the 80s, simply lost direction, was split up and sold to too many poorly guided companies. If they had polled the consumers like Nintendo did before release of the NES in America, they would have stayed with a next gen format like the 5200 for a longer period, Releasing newer and better games, rather than rehashed 2600 titles. When consumers saw more of the same old games coming their way, they took their dollars and stayed home. Others, like Coleco, Mattel, and Magnavox simply did not have enough market share or solid enough titles of their own to keep the steamroller going. Not to mention that these other game systems had no real new or intriguing games to speak of either.

#47 Murph74 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 27, 2009 6:24 PM

I believe the crash was multi-faceted, and can't be blamed on one company over another. There. I solved that one.

Actually, I think it had more to do with cross-platform titles. Coleco was producing versions, albeit dumbed down and not exactly sparkling efforts from what I've seen, of their licensed titles for other systems, and Atari and Mattel were doing the same thing. There were no real 'franchise' titles (titles that drove system sales a la Super Mario or Sonic) IMO from the early 80' systems, and I believe that watered down the competition among the general public, Sure, the budding hardcore gamers had their favorites, and wanted the 'best' versions, but parents and families on the whole just bought for the system they already had, they didn't buy the system for the game from what I saw. Hence even Donkey Kong for the 2600 was a huge success, and I thought it stunk. :P

I don't buy the argument that Coleco had too many accessories (3 controllers and 2 expansions if you count Adam!). I's say that's about equal. Atari had their driving controllers, the kids pad, the touch pad, and no lack of 3rd party joysticks. I'm sure there's more I'm not thinking of off the top of my head. Mattel had their add-ons too.

Between crap games that people unknowingly bought, and too many games with the same premise, I think those factors hurt the industry. Nintendo was able to stabilize the industry, in my opinion, by A) developing franchises titles like Zelda and Mario and B) attempting to control titles on the system thru their Licensing and lockout chip.

#48 kool kitty89 OFFLINE  

kool kitty89

    River Patroller

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Posted Thu May 28, 2009 4:00 AM

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.


Wait... What?! How is the Atari 8-bit lone not a "real" home computer, it was a legitimate as the C64, Apple II, Tandy, etc. (granted it wasn't as buisness oriented as the IBM PC, but all these consoles had trade-offs, and the C64 and A8-bit in particular had broader uses, particularly the Games, though the Apple II was OK in this department too, then there's the ZX Spectrum over in Europe, PC-8801 and MSX in Japan etc)

#49 CARTRIDGE STEALER OFFLINE  

CARTRIDGE STEALER

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Posted Thu May 28, 2009 4:55 AM

I doubt coleco was a factor in the crash. so what? they release a computer that didnt fair well at home. lots of companies in history released thier duds and still managed to survive. coleco had great titles in comparison to atari's crap. I just think the systems ran out of steam because they couldnt keep up with the newer, more advanced arcade games.

#50 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

VectorGamer

    Go Sleep In the Cold

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Posted Thu May 28, 2009 9:04 AM

I believe the crash was multi-faceted, and can't be blamed on one company over another. There. I solved that one.

Actually, I think it had more to do with cross-platform titles. Coleco was producing versions, albeit dumbed down and not exactly sparkling efforts from what I've seen, of their licensed titles for other systems, and Atari and Mattel were doing the same thing. There were no real 'franchise' titles (titles that drove system sales a la Super Mario or Sonic) IMO from the early 80' systems, and I believe that watered down the competition among the general public, Sure, the budding hardcore gamers had their favorites, and wanted the 'best' versions, but parents and families on the whole just bought for the system they already had, they didn't buy the system for the game from what I saw. Hence even Donkey Kong for the 2600 was a huge success, and I thought it stunk. :P


I'll disagree with you on the "franchise titles." The most obvious being Donkey Kong for the Colecovision. Zaxxon was also an important win for Coleco. However, I maintain that Zaxxon (arcade and home version) was less about game play and more about being a graphical showcase.

You could argue about what the franchise title for the 2600 was. Early on, Space Invaders was a huge release - that would be my pick. I believe had it not been for Space Invaders, we wouldn't even have this discussion.


Between crap games that people unknowingly bought, and too many games with the same premise, I think those factors hurt the industry. Nintendo was able to stabilize the industry, in my opinion, by A) developing franchises titles like Zelda and Mario and B) attempting to control titles on the system thru their Licensing and lockout chip.


Exactly...

Which brings this question - how was Nintendo able to control the titles being released for their system? Recall that Atari had tried to block Activision from releasing titles for the 2600 but lost that court case thus making way for CommaVid and Froggo to release their crap titles.




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