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Nolan Bushnell Appointed to Atari Board


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#1 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:40 PM

http://www.gamasutra...Gamasutra News)

My first thoughts were "I mean it's a late April fools joke, right? Or a PR stunt? They're
not actually going to take direction from that guy?!?!?!"

#2 mbd30 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:44 PM

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28149/Bushnell_Virden_Appointed_To_Atari_Board.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GamasutraNews+%28Gamasutra+News%29

My first thoughts were "I mean it's a late April fools joke, right? Or a PR stunt? They're
not actually going to take direction from that guy?!?!?!"


I thought Atari was gone.

#3 Chris Leach OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:47 PM

Simpsons Did It!

#4 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:50 PM


http://www.gamasutra...Gamasutra News)

My first thoughts were "I mean it's a late April fools joke, right? Or a PR stunt? They're
not actually going to take direction from that guy?!?!?!"


I thought Atari was gone.


The original Atari is long gone. This is Infogrames re-branded Atari -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari

#5 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:55 PM

Hm, interesting. I'm intrigued to see how this will pan out.

#6 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:59 PM

Hm, interesting. I'm intrigued to see how this will pan out.



Please tell me nobody is taking this as anything more than a PR stunt?

#7 Cebus Capucinis OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:06 PM

I'm getting my sandwich-board sign that says 'THE END IS NEAR' ready as we speak, actually.

Seriously, if it's NOT a PR stunt, and they're going to actually let him run things to some extent.....I shudder.

#8 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:11 PM

Please tell me nobody is taking this as anything more than a PR stunt?


Just this one guy:

My first thoughts were "I mean it's a late April fools joke, right? Or a PR stunt? They're
not actually going to take direction from that guy?!?!?!"


:P

#9 Chris Leach OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:15 PM

I'm getting my sandwich-board sign that says 'THE END IS NEAR' ready as we speak, actually.


I've already got my sandwich-board sign that says "The BEGINNING is HERE!" as we speak, actually!

#10 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:26 PM

Just this one guy:


My first thoughts were "I mean it's a late April fools joke, right? Or a PR stunt? They're
not actually going to take direction from that guy?!?!?!"


:P



Actually, my feelings on the whole thing can be summed up thusly:



#11 cimerians OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:30 PM

Wait....he sold off Atari for money to Warner just when it started getting popular. They peaked in 82' and crashed in 84'. Whats wrong? He wasn't there.

Or is it the goofy later stuff he tried to do?

#12 Ross PK OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:36 PM

Awsome!

#13 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:40 PM

Wait....he sold off Atari for money to Warner just when it started getting popular.


He sold it because once again it was nearing bankruptcy (which it was several times during '72-'76) and they needed the cash. They were looking for investors at first, but finally settled on a buyout when they couldn't get any.

They peaked in 82' and crashed in 84'. Whats wrong? He wasn't there.


See above and below.


Or is it the goofy later stuff he tried to do?


Maybe it's the additional fact that every other venture of his since then he's tanked or driven in to bankruptcy? Or the looney interviews pontificating on the game industry he's given over the years? Or that just about all his "accomplishments" weren't his (the latest being Missile Command, which he *wasn't even around for*). Or....etc. etc. etc.

Honestly, hearing this is like waking up to hear Daffy Duck joined and replaced one of the board members of Time/Warner.

Edited by wgungfu, Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:44 PM.


#14 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:42 PM

Actually, my feelings on the whole thing can be summed up thusly:



LOL!

Yeah, it's pretty funny. I mean, even if the guy really was everything he claimed to be vis a vis Atari (just for the sake of argument), he's been nothing special for the last 35 years. Even as seen in the best light, he's the business equivalent of a one hit wonder. He was in the right place at the right time. So putting him on the board of a company called "Atari" isn't going to do anything but get them (Atari and Nolan) a bit of PR.

Such a sad, pitiful move...

#15 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:42 PM

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28149/Bushnell_Virden_Appointed_To_Atari_Board.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GamasutraNews+%28Gamasutra+News%29

My first thoughts were "I mean it's a late April fools joke, right? Or a PR stunt? They're
not actually going to take direction from that guy?!?!?!"






I saw an old atari page and it had a certain 'steven jobs' as a serving director (perhaps this is another april fool)

#16 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:15 PM


Hm, interesting. I'm intrigued to see how this will pan out.



Please tell me nobody is taking this as anything more than a PR stunt?



Anyone remember this, circa 1989?

http://www.atariage....3&CurrentPage=8
http://www.atariage....3&CurrentPage=9

#17 accousticguitar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:16 PM

Actually, he was a two-hit wonder. Chucky Cheese made him more money by far than Atari did.

#18 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:27 PM

Actually, he was a two-hit wonder. Chucky Cheese made him more money by far than Atari did.


That's right! I forgot about that. So he's better than Dexy's Midnight Runners, but not quite as good as Milli Vanilli.

#19 atari181 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:51 PM

Very interesting, I for one am pullling for him. I have always had lots of respect for him and he is one person I would love to meet and talk to for a couple of hours. The whole atmosphere at Atari has always interested me and I have tons of questions I want to ask him. Good Luck Nolan!

#20 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:22 PM

Very interesting, I for one am pullling for him. I have always had lots of respect for him and he is one person I would love to meet and talk to for a couple of hours.



Why? Based on what?

The whole atmosphere at Atari has always interested me and I have tons of questions I want to ask him. Good Luck Nolan!


Such as?

Edited by wgungfu, Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:25 PM.


#21 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:28 PM

Nolan is a farse...

Some examples:

He claims HE created Computer Space

WRONG - he described the gameplay (based on Space Wars he saw at Stamford) and Ted Dabney designed all of the circuitry for the game.

Nolan Bushnell - the Inventor of Pong

WRONG - He saw Ralph Baer's TV Tennis in Burlingame, May/June of 1972, goes to Al Alcorn, says for him to do a TV tennis games as a "test" - Al's design is so good, it becomes a product - Al did the work, did the designs - Nolan didn't even understand Vertical Hold on the scanlines of a TV.

Atari was a company with the right product at the right time and they got in on the ground floor, even Kassar Years later at the reigns had no clue what he was doing and just went along for the ride... and the glory.

Pizzatime Theatre that Nolan and Joe Keenan bought out from Atari was a semi-success, until Nolan got cheap and the home made pizza's were replaced with craptactular frozen dough and sauce (Domino's tastes like a gourmet meal compared to the plastic pizza sold at Chuck E Cheese.) Then Nolan as usual, got bored, went off sailing and the company folded literally overnight.

Sente - Nolan's BIG return to videogames - the games were all horrible, the only descent thing to come out of it was the pre-jamma universal cabinet designs which were nice cabinets - Sente was folded into Midway so fast you'd never have known they existed.

Androbots - wow, great idea - about 40 years before its time, even today, other then Roomba's and Aibo's running around - the age of personal robots is still not here. Nolan pulled a SUPER-STUPID move on this one - he tried to go public with it, took out a $10 million loan from Merrill Lynch against the IPO, Merrill felt the market wasn't good for the IPO and did a margin call on the loan - small problem - NOLAN SPENT IT ALL!!! So he would spend from 1984 until 1998 trying to pay off that debt and in the end had to sell his Woodside Manor (the old Folgers Estate) to pay off the final balance.

Etak was a minor success - basically stealing the design & technology from a former Atari Corporate Labs engineer - Levon Mitchell who designed the navigation system, Nolan bankrolled and sold that off.

Playnet - Bartop arcade machines - unfortunately Nolan teamed up with a partner more corrupt then Nolan who bleed the company dry and took off to Europe never to be seen again. Playnet was taken over by the bankruptcy courts.

uWink - Still hate that stupid name to this day. Taking the old Playnet technology - Nolan decides to resurrect the old Playnet, but can't use the name, so uWink happens. New designs, games, cash prizes and giveaways -- well the cash prizes, jet ski's and other prizes don't come for most winners part of the uWin gamers network --- another product that couldn't get out the door --- LITERALLY was the "wallruss" - a wall sized jukebox with internet connection to download and play any song you wanted in a bar or restaurant. Small problem -- it was built too deep and wide, nobody thought about getting it through a standard 36" wide doorway - so the prototype never even left the shop. Oh and then there is the OS cracking work and the extraction of a trivia game from the playnet system to be sold to Microsoft and the coin-mech routines pull out of the OS (WinNT) and the HAL layer code to allow the OS to talk directly with the hardware -- Hey Nolan, my consulting fees from 1999 are still unpaid, $42K plus interest - you ever gonna pay me you dead beat!!!

Let's not forget - uWink restaurants - after nearly 7 years of work on the playnet systems and $24million in investments - Nolan opens uWink media bistro's --- a table to kitchen order system no different then the way the kids at the drive thru at Macdonalds take you order and its displayed on monitors in the prep area to make your Big Mac. Oh and the games --- ah the games, cheap and borrowing flash type games that aren't much better then the ones you can find for free on the internet.

Of course there was the big to-do about the gourmet chef that was brought it to create masterful dishes. Who knows how long he stuck around until he probably stopping getting paid or something. Not too long after people blogged about their food being nothing more the heated up microwave mozzarella sticks and microwave baked stuffed clams -- again Nolan pulling the old Chuck E Cheese route of cheap crappy food to save money.

So here we are today - the grand "Huckster" himself manages to squirm his way into Atari as a member of the board. If you thought Atari wasn't doing well in the past - lets see how badly the great "salesman" can sell himself into the destruction of this iteration of Atari.

If those who are wonder "gosh - is Curt bitter over getting screwed by Nolan - damned straigh" Bitter or not - Nolan's string of failures and his history of lies speaks for itself.

Oh - and hey Nolan - what the F*CK did you spend $24million on at uWink - sure as hell wasn't the hardware or games or anything else that went into uWink --- more investment cash poured into the black hole of Nolan's failures.


Curt


Actually, my feelings on the whole thing can be summed up thusly:



LOL!

Yeah, it's pretty funny. I mean, even if the guy really was everything he claimed to be vis a vis Atari (just for the sake of argument), he's been nothing special for the last 35 years. Even as seen in the best light, he's the business equivalent of a one hit wonder. He was in the right place at the right time. So putting him on the board of a company called "Atari" isn't going to do anything but get them (Atari and Nolan) a bit of PR.

Such a sad, pitiful move...


Edited by Curt Vendel, Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:34 PM.


#22 atari181 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:39 PM

The atmosphere at Atari I felt helped the creative process. No set work hours , rewarding employees with parties, booze, and don't forget the hookers.
Would love to talk with him about why he did these things, was it a management strategy? Or just him being caught up in it all? Why did he deny seeing Ralph Baer's box? Did he steer Al Alcorn into making Pong the way it was? Why Syzergy? So many questions I would love to ask.

Sounds like you don't care for him. I really do not care what others think of him. He is a huge part of video game history and you must respect that.

#23 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:44 PM

Wow Curt and Marty! if two Atari aficionados such as yourselves feel this way, my eyes are opened!

#24 SoulBlazer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:51 PM

Wow Curt and Marty! if two Atari aficionados such as yourselves feel this way, my eyes are opened!


I certinaly agree with what Curt and Marty said. Having said that, Atari is doing so badly right now, I can't see this movie HURTING them anymore then they allready are! :P

#25 homerwannabee OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:03 PM

Wow! Is NintendoAge or AtariAge? I have never seen so much vitriol for Nolan Bushnell in one thread here at AtariAge. Wow, I had no idea so many despised the man.

Well I for one still think the man rocks. I found out about this at DigitalPress, and the people there seem to be more cool with this idea, than over here.

Whether you like the man or not Nolan Bushnell still founded the Atari company. He was the one who did the hiring. You have to admit the man had an eye for talent, and he was the one who was able to get the investors to spend the money to make it work. To make an analogy, if Atari was a circus, than Nolan was the ringmaster. Without the ringmaster you have no circus. And while the talent, and the animals are the ones who people come to see, the organizing that talent, and bringing faces to the show revolves around the ringmaster. And because of Nolan we had Atari. And I will forever be thankful for him because of that. As far as what he did after Atari, I kind of like to view him like Bobby Fischer. What Bobby Fischer did after being the Chess champion of the world is another man entirely. And the man after selling the Atari 2600 company is another man entirely.

So welcome back Nolan. Should be really interesting to see what direction or what ideas he has to bring forward. Let's be honest Atari screwed itself over without Nolans help. In fact the list of heads of Atari after Nolans departure have nothing to prove that Atari was better off without the man.




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