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Mockduck

The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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9 hours ago, JeffVav said:


It is my understanding (from a Midway employee who figuratively stuck around to turn off the lights after the sale to WB) that Mortal Kombat was the purpose of the purchase. They weren't interested in anything else, but Midway had others a-courtin' and so didn't have to concede to selling their properties piecemeal. So WB just bought the whole operation to get it done and get their hands on MK. 
 

The other Midway properties have mostly been treated as value-add bonus material (e.g. levels in LEGO Dimensions, PR content for Ready Player One, ...) since then.
 

There was the Rampage movie, but as I understand it they were originally going to do Spy Hunter with The Rock until interests shifted. 
 

As far as the Atari Games vs. Atari Inc. properties, I always felt that selling the arcade properties was a fatal move. Video games are lead by innovation and the most innovative boundary pushing at the time was arcade advancement, right up until PlayStation took the wind out of the arcade's sails. That was especially the case as the crash led to a shift toward the PC market. Having to reclaim that innovation ground that they lost through that sale was a handicap that's hard to recover from. 

Actually, the Spy Hunter movie development was actually started by Universal in 2003.  The only thing that ended up coming of it was a poorly received tie-in game released in 2006 for PS2, XBox and PC (with no movie to "tie-in" with).  Universal gave up on the idea in 2007.  After the Midway purchase, Warner Bros has tried multiple times to resurrect the Spy Hunter movie project, before, during, and after the Rampage film.  In 2011, Producer John Rickard was the one who actually went through the list of properties that Warner Bros had the rights for movie adaptation to and picked-out Rampage, having personal memories of playing the arcade game himself.

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1 hour ago, Fadest said:

agree, but you can go outside this niche nostalgic market if you do well. Many indie games have a lot of success, surfing on retro-nostalgia pixel art mode. Using CGA mode, or GB style graphics, even 3D flat  or minimalistic rendering.

I'm pretty sure that a game in 2 colors like "Return of the Obra Dinn" in 1993 would have been a flop. Becasue it would have been in 2 colors, when 256 colors was the norm, and "true color" the goal.

Because we wanted more, more colors, more 3D, more complex scenarios, more "things that have never been done before". Reinterpretation of old

games was not something really appealing (even if perfectly done like Tempest 2000)

 

Sure, all of which makes sense.  But I think you've hit on the crux of the matter: making games in an 8- or 16-bit style to run on modern hardware works fine in the context of promoting the game to have an old-school feel to it while seeking to bring in contemporary gamers; continually releasing the same IP from the era when it was current does not, at least not in the long term - especially given that franchise gaming is the norm these days for AAA titles.

 

1 hour ago, Fadest said:

But one thing is still real in 2020 : you have to put lot of work and passion in your game, if you want to give it a chance to be a success. And none of these terms apply to Atari right now in my opinion.

 

Absolutely.  That company is clownshoes from top to bottom.

 

1 hour ago, fultonbot said:

Yeah, but all the more reason to get all the coin-op IP back under the same roof.

 

If, by that, the roof you are referring to is Atari SA's, please see the comment immediately preceding this one for why that is not a good idea.

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Some of the arcade ownership involving Atari, Midway, then WB gets pretty unclear. I briefly worked on Midway Arcade Classics for mobile, doing some community work pre-launch for the title, and was involved during the free to play transition for that title in a minor capacity. The reason I bring it up is that early on I saw a list of games that - could - be included, and I did some digging to see if the list was a total list or just a subset of titles for possible release. I never got a perfectly straight answer on it, but I was told after pushing for it that Moon Patrol could not be included. In short, even some of the "Midway arcade classics" are in a somewhat unclear position from the perspective of the rights holders of at least about five years ago. 

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Moon Patrol was licensed from Irem.

Edited by racerx
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1 hour ago, fultonbot said:

Yep. Love them or loathe them, Nintendo owns this "family console" space hands down and they somehow manage to keep their IP Fresh.
BTW, I don't agree that Atari only has a few IP they can leverage.  With some creativity and good production values, they could relaunch a good portion of what they own, but the games have to be good too.

Atari's IP could be refreshed, but the only way to do so is with someone on the level of Shigeru Miyamoto's creativity and expertise. Problem is that's pretty rare. 

 

As many others have mentioned, it'd be really hard to relaunch a lot of these games since they didn't have any evolving steps. Had games like Yars Revenge, Adventure, Sword Quest, Star Raiders, etc. been updated on the 7800 with the mentality of "we need to compete with the NES" and taking the games a step further, then more on the Lynx, then the Jaguar, then it probably would be easier to do that. Tempest & Missile Command are the only game that really seems to have gone in that direction. I am surprised that Atari hasn't whored Missile Command VR out on Oculus or something (probably because they have no idea about it or don't have the source code)

 

As they are though, Atari games are arcade titles at their heart. The best way to reinvent them right now would be as arcade titles. This has been done with Breakout and Centipede .

 

18 minutes ago, Mockduck said:

Some of the arcade ownership involving Atari, Midway, then WB gets pretty unclear. I briefly worked on Midway Arcade Classics for mobile, doing some community work pre-launch for the title, and was involved during the free to play transition for that title in a minor capacity. The reason I bring it up is that early on I saw a list of games that - could - be included, and I did some digging to see if the list was a total list or just a subset of titles for possible release. I never got a perfectly straight answer on it, but I was told after pushing for it that Moon Patrol could not be included. In short, even some of the "Midway arcade classics" are in a somewhat unclear position from the perspective of the rights holders of at least about five years ago. 

The place where that gets confusing are with titles that people knew/thought were Midway games, because Midway licensed certain titles for US manufacturing - Space Invaders (Taito), Moon Patrol(Irem), Pac-Man, etc. Since those games were never originally programmed by Midway, that's why they couldn't be included. Also Gorf, since most of the modes were "borrowed" from Taito and Namco. 

 

11 hours ago, AlecRob said:

Does the VCS not have any potential as a platform for mainly third party games, kind of like the PS1?  Development and publishing costs on VCS are extremely low.   Isnt that a positive aspect of the VCS?

Potential, sure, but chances of any 3rd party wanting to put any content on there exclusively, I think it's zero. If the VCS were the only platform on the market, then it'd be a different story. Since they're one of many, then developers are going to look at the platforms that give them the best chance at recouping their investment. Making games is an expensive endeavor no matter how you slice it.

 To get 3rd party content, you need a huge install base. 10k~11k is nothing in this business. Even the WiiU, which managed to sell millions of units, got tepid 3rd party support, because it made more business sense to launch your game on the PS3/PS4; X360/X1. This is why we still haven't really seen any announcements about 3rd party games on the VCS. IT makes no sense to put a game on the machine when your chances of success are far greater on Steam/GOG/iTunes/Google Play/eShop/XBL/PS Store.

 

Oh BTW I recall when I was laughed at for suggesting a $99 price on the Mini Pong Jr. unit. Well...

 

Arcade 1up is asking a mere $129 for one

Edited by Shaggy the Atarian
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On 11/30/2020 at 2:29 PM, AlecRob said:

VCS will ship soon and people will actually physically have them. I wonder how the narrative will change at that point.

"Where is Netflix?"

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3 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Maybe, maybe not.  Film licenses generally only cover the content of the film, but not original works that the film may be derived from.  Lord of the Rings is a good example of this.


It was codeveloped not licensed. The Last Starfighter might be a better example. 

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33 minutes ago, Mockduck said:

Some of the arcade ownership involving Atari, Midway, then WB gets pretty unclear. I briefly worked on Midway Arcade Classics for mobile, doing some community work pre-launch for the title, and was involved during the free to play transition for that title in a minor capacity. The reason I bring it up is that early on I saw a list of games that - could - be included, and I did some digging to see if the list was a total list or just a subset of titles for possible release. I never got a perfectly straight answer on it, but I was told after pushing for it that Moon Patrol could not be included. In short, even some of the "Midway arcade classics" are in a somewhat unclear position from the perspective of the rights holders of at least about five years ago. 


Midway did a renewed licensing deal with Irem to include Moon Patrol in our 1997 Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Midway Collection 2. It was product-specific and didn't even remain in place to allow it to be part of Midway Arcade Treasures in 2003. 
 

The ownership isn't unclear. It's just that there are very few people left involved who have knowledge of the paper trail. :)

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5 minutes ago, JeffVav said:


*snip*
 

The ownership isn't unclear. It's just that there are very few people left involved who have knowledge of the paper trail. :)

Exactly. Especially when you get into big companies, the knowledge about this stuff gets obscured or lost, and while I'm sure WB has a list of games they know they own, I suspect there are also a bunch of games they could theoretically release if they had the time, ability, money, and interest in pursuing it. 

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9 minutes ago, JeffVav said:


Midway did a renewed licensing deal with Irem to include Moon Patrol in our 1997 Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Midway Collection 2. It was product-specific and didn't even remain in place to allow it to be part of Midway Arcade Treasures in 2003. 
 

The ownership isn't unclear. It's just that there are very few people left involved who have knowledge of the paper trail. :)

Sounds like you were directly involved, in which case god bless you, having moon patrol in Midway 2 is how I played moon patrol throughout the past decade or so most frequently (until the recently-released and excellent Hamster release). 

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23 minutes ago, Mockduck said:

Sounds like you were directly involved, in which case god bless you, having moon patrol in Midway 2 is how I played moon patrol throughout the past decade or so most frequently (until the recently-released and excellent Hamster release). 


I started and ran the emulation team of Digital Eclipse based in Vancouver, so basically developed or led development on every Williams/Midway emulation compilation (Atari too) from 1995 Williams Arcade Classics up until the company's demise. That core team is now Code Mystics. 


(Just to confuse things further, the current Digital Eclipse was revived by Other Ocean after it bought the name from Foundation 9. Other Ocean is run by one of the four original Digital Eclipse founders but that location was actually the GBA team. The Wikipedia article on the company history is really messed up, but I can't fix it because there are apparently rules against that.)

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2 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

 

If, by that, the roof you are referring to is Atari SA's, please see the comment immediately preceding this one for why that is not a good idea.

Lord No.  Someone who gives a flying f*ck would be nice.

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That Centipede Chaos looks amazing. That would make a great downloadable game on modern consoles

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Good news! Everything is "locked in!"  Atari can prepare the preparations of prepping the shipments! Stay tuned!

 

guvAhbC.thumb.png.7e71a0a08c452a42dac6c08ca3598505.png

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^
Good NEWS!! Everyone, the thing you paid for that had been delayed for years is finally might be getting assembled to ship to you!

We just need to shuffle some more papers until we actually get the item, then we can begin shipping!

But dont you worry, we have plenty of dark matter around here 💩💩💩 because it smells like that all the time at Atari! so our space ship will be able to get your VCS to your door in light speed once we get a notice that we might get the delivery time for the Joysticks

prof.jpg

Edited by OCAT
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They must be serious if they're not going to put a number on it in terms of months, weeks or business days this time. 😀

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Well, I guess the only thing I can do to help Atari is to tell some bed time stories to help stall... I mean pass the time until the Joysticks are delivered.
Are we sitting snuggly? then let us begin... 🛌🏻

I remember being a kid, playing the NES at K-Mart, it was the best place becuase there was never any line, I clearly remember the Atari XE or XEGS was next to it for sale. I thought to myself "who wants this when they can have a NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM, NOW YOUR PLAYING WITH POWER!" Yea the marketing hype got me
It was K-mart because I remember the big can of cooked bacon in the food section, also it was where i was exposed to nudity on TV, someone put Total Recall in the VCR/TV on display and I saw that part with the (.  )( . )(  .) and I actually thought that this was real... i should sue K-mart for exposing me to false hopes & broken dreams :(

Anyhoo what was this post about?  oh yea
Atari's VCS, yea thats it... you know, I kinda liked the look of the XE with the Pastel buttons, looks like macaroons. If you make it black it would look like a modern game console with all those lines.

axegs.jpg

Edited by OCAT
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I appreciate the many months of prep work being put into this initial shipment. A lot of companies just receive stuff to ship and ship it out practically right away, not dedicating the considerable time and resources such shipments deserve.  But that's not Atari.  It just means things will go absolutely smoothly once things actually start going out the door. 

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Quote

2 weeks to get into US. 

Assuming no customs issues several days to a week to get to their warehouse. 

A day minimum for product testing / confirmation. - we probably skipped this one to be fair

Rest of the week to package orders to ship out. 

Week to arrive if it wasn't covid Christmas, so perhaps two. 

 

2nd or 3rd week of December for first units in backers hands.

Don't you just hate being right. Yep we are still on the second step as they are still waiting for some, but hey, at least they are doing some of the order prep now. Perhaps next week actual shipping... for a 3rd week of December earliest delivery?  Looks like some kids might get these by the 17th of December after all!

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Nup ...FArtari will mess this up on the try line so bad that they will be blaming the shipping company for delays in picking them up.

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16 minutes ago, Chopsus said:

Nup ...FArtari will mess this up on the try line so bad that they will be blaming the shipping company for delays in picking them up.

The excuses is starting to run out, but perhaps they have one last surprise up their sleeve! 

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27 minutes ago, Chopsus said:

Nup ...FArtari will mess this up on the try line so bad that they will be blaming the shipping company for delays in picking them up.

I know @Chopsus, I just wanted to somehow rattle the nest, and point out the potentially catastrophic consequences of locking addresses and delaying shipping 

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42 minutes ago, Mikebloke said:

The excuses is starting to run out, but perhaps they have one last surprise excuse up their sleeve! 

 

FIFY 😜

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