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Rodney Hester

How did you find out about The Crash(TM)?

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Took years for myself to be aware it even happened. 

 

Young, UK Gamer at the time, wasn't until magazines started running historical features on it and likes of E. T, I even knew it was an event. 

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I suppose the modern equivalent would be seeing things "delisted" from digital stores, especially licensed games. I'm slightly bummed I didn't grab Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy game while it was available. 

 

I wonder if anyone is trying to make complete collections of anything modern these days? 

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13 minutes ago, Flojomojo said:

I'm finding that unless you follow the business side of things, it's easy to ignore signs of trouble in an "industry" -- for example, I knew Atari was in a weak position with the Jaguar, but I didn't know that they were in various stages of money trouble since the Warner days. I was only interested in the products, the games and consoles. 

It was easy to miss Warner Atari's troubles.   They had a massive marketing budget up until the end, and we'd regularly see Atari ads on TV and everywhere else.  I suppose that was their financial problem in a nutshell...  still living way beyond their means after the market cooled off.

 

With Jack it always seemed like the company was run on the cheap, even in their profitable years.  They never invested enough in R&D,  They never seemed to give anything enough of a marketing push to compete, instead Jack seemed to expect that all he had to do was sell at the lowest price and everyone would flock to it because it worked with the C64

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12 minutes ago, Flojomojo said:

I suppose the modern equivalent would be seeing things "delisted" from digital stores, especially licensed games. I'm slightly bummed I didn't grab Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy game while it was available. 

Telltale was another shock, they seemed to hit their stride getting big IP after big IP to license.   So when they suddenly announced they were closing it was like "huh??"

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2 minutes ago, zzip said:

It was easy to miss Warner Atari's troubles.   They had a massive marketing budget up until the end, and we'd regularly see Atari ads on TV and everywhere else.  I suppose that was their financial problem in a nutshell...  still living way beyond their means after the market cooled off.

 

With Jack it always seemed like the company was run on the cheap, even in their profitable years.  They never invested enough in R&D,  They never seemed to give anything enough of a marketing push to compete, instead Jack seemed to expect that all he had to do was sell at the lowest price and everyone would flock to it because it worked with the C64

Yeah, I have been learning a lot more about those days and this podcast has been interesting to me. https://www.theycreateworlds.com/listen

 

They did 3 episodes about the console crash and explain what they see as big drivers. For example, I didn't realize that Imagic was going to announce an IPO the day after Warner told everyone about their mounting losses. Or that the Atari 7800 was delayed because Warner owed money to the engineers that made it, but Jack T didn't want to settle the debts. I always figured they were holding it back for market reasons. 

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In Europe, but we got a 2600 around 1980 and bought a fair few games per year, and also rented them from the local video store. We definitely knew something was up in relation to the format, new games were harder to find from the end of 1983 and prices were noticeably reduced, and the video store started clearing their stock. Parents sold up the 2600 and used the money towards a C64 in 1984. Didn’t understand or find out why things had transpired the way they did until the 1990s.

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45 minutes ago, Flojomojo said:

Or that the Atari 7800 was delayed because Warner owed money to the engineers that made it, but Jack T didn't want to settle the debts. I always figured they were holding it back for market reasons.

Right, according to the talk by one of the GCC guys who designed it,  the arrangement was supposed to be royalty-based, where they get a cut of the sale of each.   But then Jack came in and wanted to sell the 7800 for $49 instead of the $149 that was originally planned.   That meant almost no profit or royalties, so they blocked it until a more reasonable deal was reached.  (talks about the Jack situation after the 58:00 mark:)

 

 

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A $50 7800 with $15 games would have been incredibly cool, especially if it came out early like it was planned. I would have been all over that. Risky but could have changed game history. 

 

GCC did so much great stuff in this era and they deserve more credit than what they seem to get. 

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From the internet in the 90s. I was 8 in 1984 and I definitely noticed arcades closing, but didn't realize it was part of an industry-wide crash. I just thought they were businesses that closed for whatever reason businesses close. And by that time my family has moved on to a C64, so I didn't notice super cheap Atari games. Even if I had, it's possible I would have assumed they were cheap because everyone else had moved on from the Atari like we had and no one wanted them.

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On the handheld side, Merlin, the Mattel Electronic Sports and especially the Tomy games were awesome. It was a long while before gameboy came around. Nintendo game and watch games went mostly over my head. Those tabletop coleco games were awesome as well. 

 

This was my jam as a kid.

tomydigitalderbyautoraceway001.jpg

 

Cloak & Dagger, Tron, Last Starfighter, etc. movies were really cool as a kid. Then it was crickets until The Wizard and Super Mario Bros. I would say the Movie Industry backed off video games as well. So, it appears there were other signs of the crash at the time that im not even noticing until now.

You kind of cant notice stuff like that when its ALL brand new and youre a small kid.

Edited by Draxxon
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I've typed a similar reply in another thread, maybe I should just find it and copy/past, but let's make a new one! :D

 

Same as many others here - I was 9-10 when the "crash" occurred.  But all us neighborhood kids still played Atari, and I remember getting to pick bargain bin games when the parents took us to the mall.  I had a CoCo, but some friends got TI's because they were so discounted, so we played the games on those too. 

In 86-87 we all begged for a Nintento, and video game playing kept on going.

 

Learned about the crash in the 90's when I was an adult and in college.  "Huh.  That's why all those games and computers were so cheap."

 

And we all got ET for Christmas, and since we had the instructions, we played it and liked it.  I don't ever recall thinking it was terrible.  We figured out how to navigate the pits!

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, thanatos said:

I've typed a similar reply in another thread, maybe I should just find it and copy/past, but let's make a new one! :D

 

Same as many others here - I was 9-10 when the "crash" occurred.  But all us neighborhood kids still played Atari, and I remember getting to pick bargain bin games when the parents took us to the mall.  I had a CoCo, but some friends got TI's because they were so discounted, so we played the games on those too. 

In 86-87 we all begged for a Nintento, and video game playing kept on going.

 

Learned about the crash in the 90's when I was an adult and in college.  "Huh.  That's why all those games and computers were so cheap."

 

And we all got ET for Christmas, and since we had the instructions, we played it and liked it.  I don't ever recall thinking it was terrible.  We figured out how to navigate the pits!

 

 

 

Yeah, that was basically it for those of us who were there during "The Crash". We moved on from Atari to computers to Nintendo and whatever, so we never stopped playing games at all.

 

In fact I was playing ET well after the Crash at other people's homes who still had Ataris that were stashed under beds, didn't even knew I was suppose to hate on it till I read the Internet of course.

 

I truely believe everything YouTubers say about the Crash was part of the Nintendo Narative which was to blame Atari for the whole thing while making the Big N saviors of the whole industry.  That was to convience reluctant retailers to stock NES's and was also mirrored in the post-Crash magzines which get quoted on Wikipedia.

 

(Of course this whole thread is from the "gamer's" perspective at the time, not that of the businesses themselves...)

 

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28 minutes ago, MrMaddog said:

I truely believe everything YouTubers say about the Crash was part of the Nintendo Narative which was to blame Atari for the whole thing while making the Big N saviors of the whole industry.  That was to convience reluctant retailers to stock NES's and was also mirrored in the post-Crash magzines which get quoted on Wikipedia.

I don't know if Nintendo is behind the narriative-  but I can see how the idea that a glut of games caused the crash would help them justify their draconian policies regarding third party publishing.  So maybe?

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I moved on from Atari to Intellivision, but still kept my Atari.  From there, I slowly got out of video games by the time nintendo came around.  I briefly got back into it with the Sega Master System and Genesis, but after that it was back to my original consoles.  I had a super nintendo briefly, but didn't care for it.  I have regrets of not getting a Wii, but these days I play the old systems through emulation consoles via the Retron 77 & Raspberry Pie.  There were a ton of games I didn't discover for those systems until I signed onto Atari Age.  Now with the addition of homebrew games, it's like they never stopped making games for those great old consoles! 😉

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5 hours ago, MrMaddog said:

Yeah, that was basically it for those of us who were there during "The Crash". We moved on from Atari to computers to Nintendo and whatever, so we never stopped playing games at all.

I moved on not necessarily because of so-called crash. But more for wanting more capability.

 

5 hours ago, MrMaddog said:

In fact I was playing ET well after the Crash at other people's homes who still had Ataris that were stashed under beds, didn't even knew I was suppose to hate on it till I read the Internet of course.

Internet has a way of making you think a certain way. Applies to everything.

 

5 hours ago, MrMaddog said:

I truely believe everything YouTubers say about the Crash was part of the Nintendo Narative which was to blame Atari for the whole thing while making the Big N saviors of the whole industry.

It's easy to spin it that way. But sooner or later a company, any company, would come along and do the same thing.

 

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4 hours ago, zzip said:

I don't know if Nintendo is behind the narriative-  but I can see how the idea that a glut of games caused the crash would help them justify their draconian policies regarding third party publishing.  So maybe?

It happens on big industry-sized scales and small personal-sized collections. Too much of anything makes it unpleasant and removes uniqueness. Desirability. No longer feels personal.

 

I hated going into Toys'R'Us or Minnesota Fats or Random Department Store and seeing hundreds of carts on the cheap. Oh sure it was a feeding frenzy alright, but just so much! Stuff! Overwhelming. Was spending too much time on deciding what to get, what to play, what to collect. Then feeling bad I may have missed out on a sleeper when I didn't get every single available cart.

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2 hours ago, atarifan88 said:

I moved on from Atari to Intellivision, but still kept my Atari.  From there, I slowly got out of video games by the time nintendo came around.  I briefly got back into it with the Sega Master System and Genesis, but after that it was back to my original consoles.

I did both Atari and Intellivision nearly equally. 55/45 respectively. I got out of consoles (foolishly) when the Amiga 1000 came out - putting all my eggs in that basket. A basket without a handle to go anyplace.

 

I tried getting back into the console scene with SMS. But it was a shallow experience compared to the sheer numbers and variety offered by the earlier consoles. Colecovision, Astrocade, and Vectrex would be included too.

 

2 hours ago, atarifan88 said:

I had a super nintendo briefly, but didn't care for it.  I have regrets of not getting a Wii, but these days I play the old systems through emulation consoles via the Retron 77 & Raspberry Pie.  There were a ton of games I didn't discover for those systems until I signed onto Atari Age.

Emulation is always a viable option, especially with the increasing fidelity and attention to detail. Won't get a neg from me!

 

2 hours ago, atarifan88 said:

Now with the addition of homebrew games, it's like they never stopped making games for those great old consoles! 😉

They haven't! It's nice to see the Melody platform having been accepted as a standard today. Brings lots of capability and versatility to 50-year old hardware.

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14 minutes ago, Keatah said:

I hated going into Toys'R'Us or Minnesota Fats or Random Department Store and seeing hundreds of carts on the cheap. Oh sure it was a feeding frenzy alright, but just so much! Stuff! Overwhelming. Was spending too much time on deciding what to get, what to play, what to collect. Then feeling bad I may have missed out on a sleeper when I didn't get every single available cart.

I was still pretty picky about what I'd buy even at $5.   The game had to look interesting and I passed over many titles.  Still I was happy to flip through the bins in case they added something new and interesting that week.

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19 hours ago, Draxxon said:

On the handheld side, Merlin, the Mattel Electronic Sports and especially the Tomy games were awesome.

I had a whole slew of those things. And calculators and plastic remote control cars from Sears and other big stores. They were equal partners in our electronic entertainment. They also served as a great discovery into microchips. Chips were new and magical in the 1970's. Maybe even the early 80's if you appreciated the growing complexity.

 

Remember when OMNI or some other pulp magazine published an article on how they worked and what was inside. You could send a SASE and get a sample for free! They even did Nitonol samples too. Amazing to see these advancements as they happened.

 

19 hours ago, Draxxon said:

It was a long while before gameboy came around. Nintendo game and watch games went mostly over my head. Those tabletop coleco games were awesome as well.

Couldn't afford the tabletop games. Spent too much money on other things. The game and watch stuff also flew over my head. Just didn't "get it". Felt dull compared to games like Ideal's Amaze-A-Tron or Merlin. Or anything else that had LEDs. Because LEDs were still an impactful development. Light without heat?!? And low-power? Wow!

 

19 hours ago, Draxxon said:

Cloak & Dagger, Tron, Last Starfighter, etc. movies were really cool as a kid. Then it was crickets until The Wizard and Super Mario Bros. I would say the Movie Industry backed off video games as well. So, it appears there were other signs of the crash at the time that im not even noticing until now.

I always thought that movie tie-in games weakened part of the pair. I also believe that movie tie-ins happened too soon. The blocky graphics and all. But I did like the Atari version of Superman and maybe Parker Brothers' The Empire Strikes Back. Tron on any platform was good too - it was natural to do that one. All others were really stretching it. Wanting.

 

19 hours ago, Draxxon said:

You kind of cant notice stuff like that when its ALL brand new and youre a small kid.

It's always hard to see the forest when you're in it..

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I was really too young for the 'crash' in the US at the time, but I remember at that age seeing 2600 games marked down for pennies on the dollar at toy stores (Circus World, Toys R' Us, Kaybee).  Where I lived in the 80s there were all the time Colecovisions/Ataris/etc at garage sales and Goodwill; my dad would refurb the broken ones and flip them for probably a little more than the parts he bought for them.

 

I read into it more in the 90s with the advent of readily-accessible Internet. :)

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Was I the only one that continued to (literally) play Atari *well* after "the crash"?

 

Didn't have a NES, didn't know anyone with a NES.  I did get a Commodore 64 shortly thereafter, and gamed like a monster on it, but it didn't replace my 2600, it merely augmented it.  I still very actively played Atari games from 'the haul' right up until I gave the system to a neighborhood friend when I headed to college in 1990.  They were as fun (to me) in the mid to late 80s as they were in the early 80s when they were new or now for the nostalgia value...a fun game is a fun game, period.

 

Hell, I didn't *see* my first NES (whose owner only brought Tetris!) until 1990.  Frankly, compared to games I was VERY familiar with on my C64 (I never saw an Amiga in the flesh until 1991), I was very nonplussed with the Nintendo.  The SNES was nice, though...

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10 hours ago, Rodney Hester said:

Was I the only one that continued to (literally) play Atari *well* after "the crash"?

You're not alone brother! Same thing at our house. Even after the NES came, we continued to play 2600 and 7800.

We didn't get the NES as soon as it came out. Probably because we had so much for atari and still played it. Even when we did get the NES Action Set and Mike Tysons punch-out, it didnt stop atari play.

Edited by Draxxon
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13 hours ago, Rodney Hester said:

Was I the only one that continued to (literally) play Atari *well* after "the crash"?

If you mean 2600,  I got an Atari XL for Christmas 83 and was mostly gaming on that.   But I would still buy some 2600 bargains and play them, for at least another year.   But after that I don't really recall playing the 2600 very often and it ended up in storage.

 

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