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godzillajoe

Why did they rename the Sears games?

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I know Sears had a deal where nothing could be sold without the Sears name on it so we got the TeleGames system instead of the Atari VCS but why the need to rename the games from Video Pinball to Arcade Pinball, Surround to Chase, Video Olympics to Pong Sports etc.

 

Seems from a marketing standpoint that would cause a lot of confusion for consumers who might think these were new and different games.

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I know Sears had a deal where nothing could be sold without the Sears name on it so we got the TeleGames system instead of the Atari VCS but why the need to rename the games from Video Pinball to Arcade Pinball, Surround to Chase, Video Olympics to Pong Sports etc.

 

Seems from a marketing standpoint that would cause a lot of confusion for consumers who might think these were new and different games.

exactly, and buy them all over again

 

but nefarious reason aside, I think Sears wanted to associate their version of the VCS with their own brand, not Atari, and so renaming titles of some games, especially early on, was an easy way to do it

 

of course, with other games, the names were already great and/or well known, like Space Invaders or Berzerk...although I suppose Sears could have come up with some funky names on their own (but additional licensing agreements probably also made this prohibitive)

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I know Sears had a deal where nothing could be sold without the Sears name on it so we got the TeleGames system instead of the Atari VCS but why the need to rename the games from Video Pinball to Arcade Pinball, Surround to Chase, Video Olympics to Pong Sports etc.

 

Seems from a marketing standpoint that would cause a lot of confusion for consumers who might think these were new and different games.

exactly, and buy them all over again

 

but nefarious reason aside, I think Sears wanted to associate their version of the VCS with their own brand, not Atari, and so renaming titles of some games, especially early on, was an easy way to do it

 

of course, with other games, the names were already great and/or well known, like Space Invaders or Berzerk...although I suppose Sears could have come up with some funky names on their own (but additional licensing agreements probably also made this prohibitive)

First, I think that it is important to point out that this was Sears in the US only. Sears Canada (Simpson-Sears back then) sold the original Atari games.

 

Secondly, branding is not a new concept, especially for Sears. Even in Canada, Sears does not make the products with the Sears name on it. For example, Sears garage door openers are made by Chamberlain, Craftsman rider mowers by various companies including Murray, and Sears VCRs by Samsung (and maybe others). Atari is the same thing -- Sears being as big as it was wanted to brand the Ataris they sold as their own, and Warner was probably happy to do it since a large portion of their sales would go through this department store. Remember, there were no computer stores, video game stores, even Best Buy and electronic stores etc. back then, so selling them in the TV section of the department stores would just make sense.

 

~G

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Just to clarify, at the time Sears *only* sold Sears-branded merchandise. Often it was just a re-badge, but when you went to Sears, you bought Sears products. And Sears at that time had built up a name for themselves not just as a retailer, but also as a manufacturer - this was back in the days when people would be utterly loyal to one company, and would buy *all* their products there. They felt comfortable with Sears.

 

It also let Sears maintain a monopoly on the entire customer experience, including post-sale. Nowadays you walk into a store and buy a product from some unrelated manufacturer and you never go back to that store again. You buy a printer, for example, and you can go to pretty much any store and get ink for it. Sears wanted to control all that. You buy a Sears printer and you have to buy Sears ink. Ditto for game consoles and anything else. They could do it back then because of how big they were.

 

Sears still sells their own brand of appliances (Kenmore) but they've obviously opened up the whole store to non-Sears brands now. They're more like any department store.

 

But the Video Arcade was not an exception; it followed the same rule as all their other products at the time. They *wanted* you to think the Sears versions of games were distinct, maybe not in terms of compatibility or content, but they thought their loyal customers would rather buy Sears games for a Sears system rather than Atari games.

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Nowdays I'd rather buy the Sears games for the rarity and the air of "oddness" they have. that goes for the picture labels only, though. I can't stand the text labels--I think they needed to have the game title on both labels.

Edited by shadow460

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The Sears versions usually had better artwork IMO.

 

I have to definitely agree with this one. The artwork is superb, and I actually like the all black boxes. It kept things consistent.

 

Phil

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I never understood Breakaway IV...what was the IV for?

 

Four players, probably. Same thing with Speedway II.

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The Sears versions usually had better artwork IMO.

 

I have to definitely agree with this one. The artwork is superb, and I actually like the all black boxes. It kept things consistent.

 

Phil

 

You know I love the Sears boxes! :cool:

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Seems from a marketing standpoint that would cause a lot of confusion for consumers who might think these were new and different games.

 

Actually the confusion on my part personally, was I thought I had gotten "rip-off" versions! :lol: Yeah I had a lot of Sears carts as a kid :P

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QUOTE(Lord Helmet @ Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:36 AM) *

 

I never understood Breakaway IV...what was the IV for?

 

 

Four players, probably. Same thing with Speedway II.

 

Yep, definitely means "four players". They named many of their stand-alone pong systems that way too. So you have things like Pong Sports II and Pong Sports IV, which are the same base units only the former includes two controllers while the latter includes four controllers.

 

They weren't very consistent with this naming convention though. For example they had a system named Hockey-Tennis III....

Edited by else

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People still fetish boxes and stuff? The games are exactly the same, for Pete`s sake (or anyone`s). And the games are....well, kinda the whole point, aren`t they?

 

Anyway, I wonder what Sears would have named other games if they hadn`t wisely gone with widely recognized arcade tities.

 

Space Invaders: Shoot the Big Typewriter

 

(or maybe Fart Sound VII)

 

Berzerk: Maze Tag

 

Battlezone: Backyard Fun

 

Phoenix: Skeet Shoot

 

Joust: Easter Egg Hunt

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People still fetish boxes and stuff? The games are exactly the same, for Pete`s sake (or anyone`s). And the games are....well, kinda the whole point, aren`t they?

 

Anyway, I wonder what Sears would have named other games if they hadn`t wisely gone with widely recognized arcade tities.

 

Space Invaders: Shoot the Big Typewriter

 

(or maybe Fart Sound VII)

 

Berzerk: Maze Tag

 

Battlezone: Backyard Fun

 

Phoenix: Skeet Shoot

 

Joust: Easter Egg Hunt

 

Custer's Revenge:

X-man:

E.T: (Pitfall probably)

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Anyway, I wonder what Sears would have named other games if they hadn`t wisely gone with widely recognized arcade tities.

 

Space Invaders: Shoot the Big Typewriter

 

Berzerk: Maze Tag

 

Battlezone: Backyard Fun

 

Phoenix: Skeet Shoot

 

Joust: Easter Egg Hunt

:lol:

 

Excellent! Backyard Fun, especially. That sounds exactly like Sears!

 

 

Vanguard: Rainbow Land

 

Pac-Man: Haunted Hallways

 

Defender: Space Games

 

Asteroids: Rock Dodger

 

Dig Dug: Shovel Man

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Anyway, I wonder what Sears would have named other games if they hadn`t wisely gone with widely recognized arcade tities.

 

Space Invaders: Shoot the Big Typewriter

 

Berzerk: Maze Tag

 

Battlezone: Backyard Fun

 

Phoenix: Skeet Shoot

 

Joust: Easter Egg Hunt

:lol:

 

Excellent! Backyard Fun, especially. That sounds exactly like Sears!

 

 

Vanguard: Rainbow Land

 

Pac-Man: Haunted Hallways

 

Defender: Space Games

 

Asteroids: Rock Dodger

 

Dig Dug: Shovel Man

 

Adventure: Fun with Dragons

 

RealSports Football: Gridiron Fun

 

Warlords: Castle Combat

 

Space Shuttle: Space Docker

 

Yar's Revenge: Superfly (edges out Space Gunslinger in final head office vote)

 

~G

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Did Columbia House rename their games? Atari is all ass-backwards to me. Same system with a few different names, the Jr has the joysticks plug into the back (not sure about the other models), the labels of the games face outwards... it just leaves me lost.

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What about the Sears exclusives? What names would they have had as Atari releases? Submarine Commander, being a 1982 release, probably would've had the same name, but what about Steeplechase? My money's on Horse Racing. And as for Stellar Track they probably still wouldn't want to license the actual name, so at the time they probably could have gotten away with, say, Galaxy Quest! :)

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Something else I kinda wonder--did Sears charge more for their games than Atari did? Usually when I go into Sears and look at video games, their prices are 5 to 10% higher than places like EB.

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What about the Sears exclusives? What names would they have had as Atari releases? Submarine Commander, being a 1982 release, probably would've had the same name, but what about Steeplechase?

Probably Steeplechase. :)

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Something else I kinda wonder--did Sears charge more for their games than Atari did? Usually when I go into Sears and look at video games, their prices are 5 to 10% higher than places like EB.

Can't say for sure back then about Atari specifically, but Sears in general has always charged a premium. Where I live, Sears was one of the few places to buy Atari games so that was the only place I could get them when I was a kid. Eventually though more places started stocking them, and they were less than Sears. Again, in Canada, there was no "Sears Atari", just straight Atari. So I believe that any price difference between Sears carts and regulars was simply because it was Sears...

 

There are many, many people (especially older) who buy exclusively at Sears -- it's a brand name in itself. In Canada anyway, they are known for their customer service and the fact that they have one of the easiest return policies on big ticket items like electronics, appliances, etc.

 

The Department Store is slowly going the way of the Dodo, as evidenced by some of the US big names (JCPennies? One of them went down...) and Eaton's in Canada. But somehow Sears manages to keep going...

 

~G

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What about the Sears exclusives? What names would they have had as Atari releases? Submarine Commander, being a 1982 release, probably would've had the same name, but what about Steeplechase?

Probably Steeplechase. :)

 

Oh, well, there's that then. Never mind. :)

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