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Nolan Bushnell Appointed to Atari Board

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Wow, you are even more anal than I

 

You mean the quoting and directly commenting on every single sentence of a persons post didn't tip you off before just now? :P (Just messing with you wgungfu)

 

This thread has certainly made me, and I'm guessing others think differently about a lot of things. Sometimes people tend to look back at things and maybe view them through rose colored glasses. Probably because those were days when all of us were young, happy and carefree and now we're all old, bitter and anal and want to hold on to the "good ol days" :cool:

 

lol!

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If this thread is any indication, then Atari did right by hiring Nolan if even for PR.

His name certainly gets people talking.

 

 

True dat. Though again, he wasn't hired. He simply joined the board - not much different than how Apple has a board of people from various companies.

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These wont be allegations - these will be direct facts based on highly scrutinized information obtained from personal notes and memo's that we supplied through close sources, interviews and notes and memo's of close top management, and pieces of Nolan's own court testimony. We're only presenting facts, this is not an op-ed.

 

 

Curt

 

The title of the thread shows an incredible bias against Nolan

 

I'll look forward to Nolan's repsonses on all the new allegations (one by one) when the books come out.

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If this thread is any indication, then Atari did right by hiring Nolan if even for PR.

His name certainly gets people talking.

 

 

True dat. Though again, he wasn't hired. He simply joined the board - not much different than how Apple has a board of people from various companies.

 

Sorry to go off topic again, but I would love to see Marty and Curt turn their two volume history into a video documentary. :D Just a thought.

Thanks again guys for all your hard work on this subject.

Edited by pboland

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Sorry to go off topic again, but I would love to see Marty and Curt turn their two volume history into a video documentary. :D Just a thought.

 

Only if it gets released the exact same weekend as the Atari movie that's still in the works. :D Wouldn't THAT be hilarious!

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I think we can all agree on one thing here. That picture of Nolan in the hot tub on the front page has to go! It's mega creepy, it's like he's giving you 'the eye'. :ponder:

 

Tempest

Yeah!Anyone notice Nolan has a striking resemblance to sleazy "SCREW MAGAZINE"editor in chief,Al Goldstein?I remember seeing the same kind of pic of Al in a hot tub with a cigar and later confusing it with the Nolan one.

Edited by Rik

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Summary of thread so far:

catfight.gif

 

 

Please don't hurt me...

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Is Atari stock still on the Nasdaq? If so, how did it react to the news? I had 100 shares a few years back which was worth about nothing. Sorry if this was already covered. I just saw this thread and didn't want to read 11 pages of posts because I am lazy :P

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Will Nolan be able to have a comeback with Atari? Time will tell I guess. I'm just going to sit back and watch. :thumbsup:

Yeah but the "ATARI" as we knew it will never be the same obviously.Hi-tech media entertainment is mostly all overrated anyway IMO.uWink i knew was a stupid idea,i want to order food,ill order it from a human waiter thank you,and to play games,ill play at home.Entertainment today just seems so redundant,SILLY,SILLY,SILLY.Anything Nolan does today wont knock my socks off I'm sorry to say.

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SO, actually you did not use the term financial collapse, just collapse.

 

What other type of collapse of a company is there? The collapse of the CEO in to his chair after learning he's been fired?

 

However, Warner & Atari Inc. still had more assets than debt when Warner sold Atari off, which is why Atari did not file for bankruptcy.

 

They did not by actual accounting. 65% of Warner's earnings was Atari, which when it started going also dramatically plunged Warner's stock. They didn't file for bankruptcy because they chose not to because they were dumping the companies that were causing the losses (i.e. Atari Inc.), not because of assets. Why have subsidiary you know you're going to be selling off file for bankruptcy? They simply chose to hash it out with creditors and the like on their own, likewise getting Tramiel to take most of the Atari Inc. debt with the purchase so they could write it off their own books. The whole reason for the sale was because they hired an appraiser in January of '84 to recommend what to do to get them out of the mess, and out of being a ripe target for takeover. After the evaluation, the firm recommended dumping Atari Inc. and a few other subsidiaries.

 

(I am now plugging my ears and repeating la la la la la ):)

 

Catchy tune.

 

What was the Natco plan? Can you point me somewhere that I can read about that?

 

Sure, Curt has one of the related documents up here:

 

http://www.atarimuseum.com/ahs_archives/archives/pdf/misc/natco_suit.pdf

 

Basically, Morgan's plan was to dissolve Atari Inc. and split it in half and dissolve it. Two new corporations would be formed. The first, at the time still unnamed, would be used to encapsulate any outstanding debt and employees they weren't sure they wanted to keep on. The second, New Atari Company, would be a streamline company composed of only the money making products and top tier of committed employees. Earnings would only be targeted to the half a billion range instead of the unmaintainable multi-billion range that Warner had inflated it to, with 20% profit goal.

 

Morgan had no idea about the appraisal or the looking of potential buyers, he kept right up with NATCO until the day he was ushered in to the Atari Inc. boardroom by Warner's people to sign papers transferring Atari Consumer to Jack. That's when he first found out about any of it. That's also the reason for the ex-employees doing the lawsuit over it.

Edited by wgungfu

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Only if it gets released the exact same weekend as the Atari movie that's still in the works.

 

And only if it's a 2 disk set that includes the Atari porn movie as a bonus.

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Is Atari stock still on the Nasdaq? If so, how did it react to the news? I had 100 shares a few years back which was worth about nothing. Sorry if this was already covered. I just saw this thread and didn't want to read 11 pages of posts because I am lazy :P

 

That was Atari Inc.'s stock (not Atari SA the company whose board Nolan just joined), and no, they were delisted back in 2008 and then fully acquired by Atari SA (Infogrames Entertainment SA at the time).

Edited by wgungfu

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I asked some questions over at the Atari forums but I don't think MartyG saw them - Do you guys think Harrison, Gardner and Blozak were ousted for the sake of Nolan? I mean it seems like a bad decision to replace three experts in modern gaming with someone who has not been involved on the scene for more than twenty years... Also Marty or Curt - who do you think ran Atari the best, Nolan, Ray or Jack?

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The title of the thread shows an incredible bias against Nolan

 

I'll look forward to Nolan's repsonses on all the new allegations (one by one) when the books come out.

 

I'll look forward to Nolan backing up his own claimns. I'd like to see exactly how he was "involved" in the arcade version of Missile Command as he claims, when its initial proposal wasn't written until the year after he'd left the company.

 

People taking credit for other people's work pisses me right off. As a manager myself I make sure I go out of my way to allocate credit to the proper folks, always. Douche bag liars do the opposite.

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SO, actually you did not use the term financial collapse, just collapse.

 

 

 

However, Warner & Atari Inc. still had more assets than debt when Warner sold Atari off, which is why Atari did not file for bankruptcy.

 

They did not by actual accounting. 65% of Warner's earnings was Atari, which when it started going also dramatically plunged Warner's stock. They didn't file for bankruptcy because they chose not to because they were dumping the companies that were causing the losses (i.e. Atari Inc.), not because of assets. Why have subsidiary you know you're going to be selling off file for bankruptcy? They simply chose to hash it out with creditors and the like on their own, likewise getting Tramiel to take most of the Atari Inc. debt with the purchase so they could write it off their own books. The whole reason for the sale was because they hired an appraiser in January of '84 to recommend what to do to get them out of the mess, and out of being a ripe target for takeover. After the evaluation, the firm recommended dumping Atari Inc. and a few other subsidiaries.

 

1. That is not correct Atari did not account for 65% of Warner's income. At its peak, Atari accounted for a third of Warner's annual income.

2. You just made my point the company did not collapse and did not need to file for chapter 7 because Atari as an asset was worth more the the accumulation of it's debt.

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http://www.atarimuse.../natco_suit.pdf

 

Basically, Morgan's plan was to dissolve Atari Inc. and split it in half and dissolve it. Two new corporations would be formed. The first, at the time still unnamed, would be used to encapsulate any outstanding debt and employees they weren't sure they wanted to keep on. The second, New Atari Company, would be a streamline company composed of only the money making products and top tier of committed employees. Earnings would only be targeted to the half a billion range instead of the unmaintainable multi-billion range that Warner had inflated it to, with 20% profit goal.

 

Morgan had no idea about the appraisal or the looking of potential buyers, he kept right up with NATCO until the day he was ushered in to the Atari Inc. boardroom by Warner's people to sign papers transferring Atari Consumer to Jack. That's when he first found out about any of it. That's also the reason for the ex-employees doing the lawsuit over it.

 

This is really cool! I remember when Morgan was hired and some of his public plans to turn around Atari, but never knew the inside story. I know he was not giving much time at the helm.

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After reading this forum topic, I should be scrambling to sell my Infogrames/Atari,Inc stocks ASAP, right? :P

 

You should have done that years ago!

(I lost money on that stock too time ago...)

Edited by roberto

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If this thread is any indication, then Atari did right by hiring Nolan if even for PR.

His name certainly gets people talking.

 

 

True dat. Though again, he wasn't hired. He simply joined the board - not much different than how Apple has a board of people from various companies.

 

That's even smarter: they get a lot of talking and free exposure without even the need to hire him! :P

 

BTW, Marty, I have a curiosity: how many VCS/2600 units have actually been sold throughout the years? I heard several conflicting numbers and estimates... some people claim up to 30 million units but that seems hard to believe considering that the installed user base was less than 10 million before Pac-Man was released and the market crashed soon afterwards. Ok, the 2600Jr. was sold in other markets (Asia, Brazil?) but still I doubt they could sell 15 million of those...

 

Thanks!

Edited by roberto

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I'll look forward to Nolan backing up his own claims. I'd like to see exactly how he was "involved" in the arcade version of Missile Command as he claims, when its initial proposal wasn't written until the year after he'd left the company.

Wait, don't jump to conclusions....give the man a chance to explain! :roll:

 

I love this part of the interview...

 

We actually got some criticism, you know, "The End" [the game-over screen] – people thought it was a little too dire of a prediction. But it was a fun game. Like the way a smell will sometimes put you back in a particular time and place in your memory, playing the Missile Command re-do transported me back to my office, playing Missile Command with some buddies, and boy, I was right there again. I remember that I was a better player then than I am now, but age tends to do that.

:lol:

 

Nearly everything Bushnell says these days is pure fiction...the man is really something else. That's the thing about lying though...it's a slippery slope and once people get away with it, they tend to get more brash about it over time. It's utterly amazing the tall tales he tells and gets away with. Of course these morons at Yahoo! Games and the like who are interviewing him don't know dick about Atari in the first place to even be able to call him out on blatant BS. This is the sorry stuff that passes for journalism nowadays.

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That is not correct Atari did not account for 65% of Warner's income. At its peak, Atari accounted for a third of Warner's annual income.

 

Nope, it's correct. Per "Master of the Game: Steve Ross and the Creation of Time Warner" (pg 167) for example - "By 1982 it would be producing more than of of WCI's 4 billion in revenues and over 65 percent of it's profits." Atari itself accounted for a 350% growth within Warner in just one year alone.

 

2. You just made my point the company did not collapse and did not need to file for chapter 7 because Atari as an asset was worth more the the accumulation of it's debt.

 

No, I just clearly disproved your point. You've been going around in circles with this changing your point each time. First it was "They didn't claim bankruptcy so they didn't collapse, that's my point." Then it was "Well you said collapse which is generic, that's my point." Then it was "Well you didn't say financial collapse, that's my point." Then it was "Well they didn't need to because of assets". Disproved on that, now you're back to the bankruptcy, which was earlier disproved. Once again to sum it up, claiming bankruptcy whether Chapter 7 or 11 is something you do *after* you have a financial collapse. Likewise, whether or not you do it has nothing to do with Atari still being strong asset wise or not, it would have been frivolous to have Atari Inc. go through a bankruptcy claim when they were just going to sell it off anyways - anybody they'd sell it to would get the debt. Honestly, you can keep going in circles on it, all it's going to do is turn in to the same multiples of 2πr.

Edited by wgungfu

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This is really cool! I remember when Morgan was hired and some of his public plans to turn around Atari, but never knew the inside story. I know he was not giving much time at the helm.

 

Yah, it's a shame because that's what he was known for and brought in for - to reorganize. His biggest mistake was shutting down most of the ready to go stuff that Fall through for his "evaluation" period.

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When you first saw the subject line, did you think the thread was going to be about Nolan posting on an Atari message board?

 

*raises hand*

 

Yeah, I did too. :)

 

 

Oh that's very true. When it was time to give his speech to the crowd he suddenly became the 'Father of Atari' that every seems to think he is. He really does put on a good show.

 

Tempest

You know, that's a really good description: Marty used "carnie" but showman is kinder (if no less accurate). ;)

Really though, that a good point, I was trying to think of a way to describe as such given that saying he was good at business wouldn't fit at all. He was certainly good at persuading people to agree to things (or pulling the wool over peoples eyes as Curt said), had he had good business sense and some real management talent in addition to that, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. ;)

He was technically an engineer as well, but I'm not aware of any significant examples of engineering work done by him. (particularly after joining up with Dabney)

 

Turning things around to the positive, what did Nolan Bushnell bring to the table for Atari and although pure speculation, how successful do you think Atari would have been without his involvement?

It depends how you mean: if you mean no one having the initiative and opportunity to join up with Dabney in similar circumstances, then yes, things probably wouldn't have gotten moving. If, otoh someone a bit more scrupulous with decent business, managerial, as well as entrepreneurial talent had teamed up with Dabney instead, Atari Inc (or whatever its name) would likely have been far more successful and stable early on.

 

 

Perhaps if Phillips had bought Atari or CBM or someone else, wouldn't have made Atari anymore successful,

I'd be more interested in knowing if Mattel or Coleco had been contacted (or considered) when looking for investors prior to the Warner deal in '76. I don't think Coleco was really involved in the industry until the Tellstar in '76, and they otherwise wouldn't likely make sense to approach given their past products, so maybe that would never have been a consideration. I'd think Mattel would have been of interest given their big tie to consumer entertainment products (namely toys). Or perhaps Magnavox given their position in the industry.

 

But people act like Tramiel had a magic wand and could have waved it and perfected everything, but that he didn't. I think he has proven himself as a fighter, tactician, and shrewed businessman when I look back now as an ADULT. Imagine the long shot that they had to overcome.

Damn straight he's a fighter, he survived the Holocaust in Auschwitz for god's sake. ;)

If nothing else, you've got to have some respect for the man. (if you actually look into his past and accomplishments)

Not to come across as any particular fan, but I do find all of this fascinating.

 

They had little (relatively speaking) money, yet they successfully developed the ST (whether you care for ST or not) and marketed it and turned the company around. The thing was a pretty good computer, and certainly the best value on the market by a long shot. After quitting/getting canned at Commodore, I think he did pretty well. Atari Corp. wasn't the huge company people think it was, but rather small, with very limited resources.

Yep, though whether the ST was the best value is arguable, but it'd definitely be between the ST and Amiga, at least as far as hardware/price is concerned. (software support is another matter entirely) THis is an entirely different discussion though. ;)

 

 

somebody should tell some the trade shows that atari inc is no more.

because as I mentioned before: I keep getting mail for Gary Tramiel Marketing for Atari inc but at my home address for trade shows.

I am not kidding: the latest one I got was Gartner Customer 360 Summit thats being held LA 6/28-30th.

Remember that Infogrames took on the title of Atari Inc. so the current "Atari" is indeed Atari Inc. by name.

 

 

Certainly agree. Morgan should have been allowed to follow his Natco plan. Which oddly enough also entailed splitting it in to two separate companies, wiping off Atari Inc. as well. ;)

Yah, it's a shame because that's what he was known for and brought in for - to reorganize. His biggest mistake was shutting down most of the ready to go stuff that Fall through for his "evaluation" period.

 

Wow, 2 things I was already thinking about (bringing up Morgan and that the "hold" was probably the only significant negative impact of his replacing Kassar). :D

 

I think Morgan's efforts is the only real argument against Tramiel's Atari, but that really has no bearing on Tramiel or Atari Corp at all, that was Warner's decision to make, it was also their decision to keep Morgan (and the rest of Atari) in the dark 'till the last minute, which certainly didn't facilitate a smooth transition.

Then again, some have pointed the blame at Rupert Murdoch's takeover attempt for forcing Warner's hand in the matter.

Edited by kool kitty89

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Then again, some have pointed the blame at Rupert Murdoch's takeover attempt for forcing Warner's hand in the matter.

 

I'm sure that had something to do with it initially, as far as why they went for the appraiser in January:

 

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=IGsaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=NCoEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6686,2154551&dq=murdoch+warner&hl=en

 

But the issue with Murdoch was over by March when they completely bought him out by mid March:

 

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=k3AoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=HIcDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5080,1004955&dq=murdoch+warner&hl=en

 

And by the time of the Tramiel sale, it was a non-issue. What was an issue was all the stuff surrounding the insider trading, and the lawsuits from Warner stock holders regarding the Murdoch stock buyback:

 

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=MlwxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=k6UFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5680,185325&dq=murdoch+warner&hl=en

Edited by wgungfu

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These wont be allegations - these will be direct facts based on highly scrutinized information obtained from personal notes and memo's that we supplied through close sources, interviews and notes and memo's of close top management, and pieces of Nolan's own court testimony. We're only presenting facts, this is not an op-ed.

 

 

Curt

 

 

This statement may get you into trouble Curt. Of course I am no lawyer, but this statement could be considered libel. It is one thing to call things allegations, it is another to call things "Facts". Have you ever noticed that in talk radio, or even the news they almost always say the word "Allegedly"? Do you know why that is? It is because if they use the word "Fact" Like you just used they open themselves up for a lawsuit. See Fact is a very, very strong word. A fact is the sun rises in the morning, and 2+2 is 4. A fact is 100 percent provable. So for your sake I hope you have all your T's crossed, and all your i's dotted. I have a feeling that if Nolan ever does go after you for libel he will use this post as his center of contention, and build from there.

 

Of course again I am not a lawyer, it just reeks of something that a lawyer would jump on though.

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