There are many important software and hardware companies in the gaming world, such as Electronic Arts, and Blizzard, that have contributed an enormous amount to the gaming industry. Without Blizzard, after all, we would not have had Warcraft, and so perhaps never had real time strategy games as they exist today. And World of Warcraft would never have existed, a game that has dominated the MMO scene for over a decade.
There are a few companies, however, that all but shaped the gaming industry as a whole, pushing innovation and design in ways that defined gaming entirely. One such company is Atari. Had it not been for Atari, the gaming world as we know it would have been entirely different.
Let’s take a look at the enormous role played by this one company, which guided the world of games to where it is today, and landed up being a big player in the casino gaming industry.
Atari has gone through a number of changes over the years, and not just to the name of the organization itself. Originally opening in 1972, Atari built the first commercial arcade game, which is a milestone in history that is certainly worthy of praise. Arcade games were many peoples first experience with these type of games, and so Atari can be said to be the first company to bring video games to the masses.
In 1976 Atari released a home console, one of the very first to have the functionality of switching between a number of games. Called the Atari Video System, the console sold well, and was again the first experience many people had of a home video game system. The games available for the Atari Video System may seem ludicrously primitive by modern standards, but were cutting edge technology at the time.
Failures and Video Game Crash
It was in the 1980s that Atari had its first major problems. The first was the home computer revolution, which introduced the concept of keyboards to users. In an effort to follow this trend, Atari rushed to create an equivalent system. The system failed, however, mainly due to the fact that previous Atari games were not compatible with the new hardware. The failure of the system was an enormous hit to the company.
The impact of the loss was made a great deal worse by the infamous video game crash of 1983. The crash was brought on by the enormous amounts of money put into video games, and the somewhat inferior products delivered to the public. One such game, the legendary ET that has become a pop culture sensation, had Atari paying $20 million dollars for the rights to use ET in a game.
In a rush to meet the Christmas deadline, however, the designer of the game was given an obscenely small period of time for actual development, resulting in a less than good final product being shipped. The game is one of the most notorious video game flops in history.
Video Game Crash Recovery
Multiple companies failed during the crash, and many more were pushed to the brink of bankruptcy. Atari was one of these companies, and the failure of ET, as well as the soured gaming market, had Atari on its knees.
In order for Atari to stay afloat, deals were struck with Warner Communications, which provided the support needed for a new computer system to be finalised and released to the public. Known as the Atari ST, the system offered keyboard and mouse support, as well as relatively powerful processing power for the time. The system was not a runaway success, but kept Atari alive.
Atari – 2000s
The 1990s were a period of change for Atari, with divisions being split up, sold off, and renamed. By the time the 2000s came round the company had all but given up on creating home consoles, and tuned its attention to games.
A flurry of successful games was released in the early 2000s, including Enter the Matrix, which saw a fair amount of success. Other less successful games were released, but none that made any real impact on the gaming world.
After the gaming releases of the 2000s it seemed that Atari had finally succumbed to bankruptcy, and a number of new deals were struck, and divisions sold off. One department of Atari, however, continued on to remain in business in present times. This division was named Atari Casino, with its main focus on online casino games and software.
Atari Casino is reported to have only ten employees, a great difference from the hundreds once employed when the company was at its peak. Given the current trends in the online casino world, however, Atari Casino may once again rise to make Atari the kings of the gaming world.