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ANTIC Podcast Interview -- Jeff Johannigman


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#26 LoTonah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:50 PM

How about:

 

8. Do you have some pirated games and applications, but when you realized that they had real value in your life that you went and actually purchased them?

 

I grew up in a small town.  I didn't even know that there were dedicated Atari mags (except for START magazine).  I knew ONE other person who owned an Atari, he would provide me with the occasional program.  If I liked it, I would call every store I could in START... if they had it, I would buy it.  But sometimes they didn't know anything about the program I was asking about (mostly European imports).  Sometimes, they would go out of their way to import for me (SimCity, PageStream and HiSoft BASIC come to mind).  But yeah, it wasn't until after I got out of Atari that I knew who some of these companies were and where the programs came from.


Edited by LoTonah, Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:50 PM.


#27 ParanoidLittleMan ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:11 AM

How about:

 

8. Do you have some pirated games and applications, but when you realized that they had real value in your life that you went and actually purchased them?

 

 

Good point. And indeed, most of Atari games did not have demo versions.



#28 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 8:57 PM

 

Okay, so you "don't think that games for Atari ST were pirated more than for any other popular computer. " You have your opinion. We had the sales data from numerous publishers that showed that the Atari ST had a massive piracy problem in its user community.

 

But what irritates me more is the attitude that, if games were cheaper, pirates wouldn't steal them. Sorry, I heard that excuse from every pirate since day 1 on my job at EA. It doesn't fly. If you were caught stealing a Porsche, how hard do you think the judge would laugh when your defense is, "Porsches are just too expensive. If they only made them cheap enough for me to afford..."??

 

Software companies run the same way all other businesses do - they price their products as low as they can to cover their expenses and hopefully make some kind of small profit margin. Truth to tell, most games lose money, and publishers are only sustained by having the rare big hit pay for the losses of 5 other near misses. 

 

What is true is that piracy causes price inflation. More copies pirated means less copies sold, which means companies need to charge more per copy to cover development costs. It's the pirates, not the publishers, who were driving up prices for the legit customers. Do you know of any publishers who succeeded and grew back then with the strategy of, "We will sell games much cheaper than everybody else, so nobody will pirate us any more"?

 

Almost every publisher I worked for in the 80's (Broderbund, Synapese, Epyx, even Atari) went out of business went out of business because they could not get sufficient sales to make a profit. Worse yet, I saw numerous talented game developers driven out of the business into more mundane work, because piracy cut so badly into their royalty income.  

 

So please, don't even try whining to me that, "Games cost too much. We were justified in pirating it." 

 

Epyx went under because David Morse tried to make it into the first $100 million independent game publishing company. [and bragged to the media constantly about his ambition].

 

Part of that was spending money on developing the Handy [which became the "Lynx"]. In a panic, they sold it to Atari Corp and the Tramiels obviously took advantage of the deal and put the screws to Morse & Co. as revenge for what that very same crew had pulled with the Amiga deal just a few short years before.

 

 

For the record, I didn't pirate Atari ST software. We had 3 dealers in the greater Sacramento area and 2 Users Groups that actively discouraged piracy. EA's titles on the ST were shabby compared to their Amiga offerings. And that was when the ST was outselling the Amiga 1000 before the Amiga 500 turned the tide and saved the Amiga platform from death.


Edited by Lynxpro, Mon Dec 4, 2017 8:58 PM.


#29 calimero OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 6, 2017 11:26 AM

 

Part of that was spending money on developing the Handy [which became the "Lynx"]. In a panic, they sold it to Atari Corp and the Tramiels obviously took advantage of the deal and put the screws to Morse & Co. as revenge for what that very same crew had pulled with the Amiga deal just a few short years before.

 

 

Dave Morse did not screw Jack Tramiel with Amiga deal: Jack Tramiel was not aware of contract betwen Amiga Corp and Atari Inc. even few month after he took over Atari Inc.!

 

Jack Tramiel did not care about Amiga, he use that deal just to contra sue Commodore (which sue Shiraz Shivji and other ex Commodore employees after they left Commodore for Tramil LTD. that was renamed to Atari Corp.)


Edited by calimero, Wed Dec 6, 2017 11:28 AM.


#30 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 11:13 PM

 

Dave Morse did not screw Jack Tramiel with Amiga deal: Jack Tramiel was not aware of contract betwen Amiga Corp and Atari Inc. even few month after he took over Atari Inc.!

 

Jack Tramiel did not care about Amiga, he use that deal just to contra sue Commodore (which sue Shiraz Shivji and other ex Commodore employees after they left Commodore for Tramil LTD. that was renamed to Atari Corp.)

 

 

 

It was multi-year litigation between Commodore and Atari Corp. You don't think Jack and company didn't take it personally even though the Amiga debacle started out as Commodore screwing over Atari Inc?  The guy [Jack] threw a fit over us shareholders taking Atari Computer branded coffee mugs home from the shareholders meeting. Of course he took it personally. He felt TI deliberately screwed him and Commodore during the calculator days of the early 1970s and set out to destroy TI over it. That's why he bought MOS. He wanted to be vertically-integrated so he could put the screws to competitors like TI...and he did years later. So yes, Jack took the Commodore Amiga and Commodore's litigation personally and Atari Corp screwed Morse and Epyx hard in return.



#31 calimero OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:47 AM

You can put it that way:

 

Jack take job personally since his job was his company :) so yes, he took personally all deals regarding his business. Never mind.

 

What I can not understand is why you say "Atari Corp screwed Morse and Epyx hard"? Can you explain how exactly?

 

When he bought Epyx his best interest was to make it success!



#32 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:22 AM

You can put it that way:

 

Jack take job personally since his job was his company :) so yes, he took personally all deals regarding his business. Never mind.

 

What I can not understand is why you say "Atari Corp screwed Morse and Epyx hard"? Can you explain how exactly?

 

When he bought Epyx his best interest was to make it success!

 

 

David Morse later became the head of Epyx. His drive to make Epyx the most successful independent video game company caused its finances to crash, especially with developing the Handy. The Handy was developed by RJ and Needle, both of whom were famous for working on the Amiga and both had trash-talked Atari Corp and the ST for ages. So when Epyx crawled to Atari Corp to buy the Handy from them, Atari Corp made sure the contract favored Atari and they went out of their way to screw over Epyx. Read up on the terms. Atari had final approval on each game and Atari would wait until the last day to notify Epyx of required changes to the games and then Epyx couldn't meet the deadlines on completing the games so Atari withheld payments. That's legal revenge.



#33 calimero OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:34 AM

 

 So when Epyx crawled to Atari Corp to buy the Handy from them, Atari Corp made sure the contract favored Atari and they went out of their way to screw over Epyx. Read up on the terms. Atari had final approval on each game and Atari would wait until the last day to notify Epyx of required changes to the games and then Epyx couldn't meet the deadlines on completing the games so Atari withheld payments. That's legal revenge.

 

 

Where I can find contract (Atari Corp - Epyx)?

 

Can you give link to this claim regarding 'waiting and withheld payment'? Who is source of this story (facts)?

 

(it is not that I do not believe you but I would to learn more coz I know little regarding Epyx)


Edited by calimero, Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:35 AM.





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