Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney

Today we celebrate the pioneers of an industry that swept the world - the video game industry.

Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney are the minds behind the video computer system known as ATARI. Bushnell and Dabney began with the introduction of the first arcade game, Pong, in 1971. Four years later, Atari would re-release Pong as a home video game.

The success of Pong - over 150,000 units sold - in a single year prompted the interest of Warner Communications. In 1976, Atari would change hands for the first of many times when Bushnell sold Atari to Warner for $28 million. In the four remaining years of the decade, Atari would reach over $415 million in sales. Atari's success consequently prompted competition.

In the years since Atari's prosperous stint in the 1970s, Atari has faced many challenges - including an anti-trust lawsuit from Nintendo which proved a devastating loss for Atari. The intellectual property rights to Atari's games has since been sold to Hasbro - which has since been acquired by the French company, Infogrames - which re-established Atari as Atari Interactive, and later Atari Inc.

Despite Atari's dwindling success, today we can appreciate the motivation of original pioneers Bushnell and Dabney for kick starting an explosion in home gaming. Today the gaming industry spans the globe. 2007 figures estimate the game industry took in around $9.5 Billion in the U.S. alone.


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