How is it possible that the world of video gaming had such a crazy history even before things like the Oculus, the Wii, or even the Power Glove?


Do you remember the video game crash of 1983?

I briefly touched on this when I wrote about classic games turning 40 this year.

This is quite interesting to see now-a-days when there is a multitude of things people can do with a simple game system and think that 40 years ago there was such a saturation of products that some game developers when out of business.

According to Wikipedia, The Video Game Crash of 1983 was a large-scale recession in the video game industry that occurred from 1983 to 1985, primarily in the United States.

Back in the 1980's, video game developers were a dime a dozen, creating and licensing all sorts of games under the sun. While this was all happening, they had people within their companies spying on game development resulting various editions and renderings of games that were subpar and barely playable being used on different consoles that everyone was encouraged to buy. This included regular game consoles and early forms of the personal computer. Atari were not able to stop third party developers from producing these games.

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I personally have two versions of the popular game Pacman, one from Sears of all places, and one officially licensed from Atari. This was common place as time went on.

At one point Atari felt like they were basically printing money with their titles and using that money in excess. Contests and developments ran crazy and consumers lost a lot of confidence in the products being put out.

The straw that broke the camels back is universally blamed on the fast development of E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, a game tied to the blockbuster hit movie from Steven Spielberg. Negotiations ran too long and the company put developer Howard Warshaw on the case to develop a game in 6 weeks.

Howard was no slouch, he created one of the best Atari games ever made titled Yar's Revenge. It's nearly impossible to beat

With no time to properly put together a good game, they released something that was promised to amazing for it to be something no one dared to play.

Atari eventually got copies of unsold ET games back from stores and didn't know what to do with them, so they buried them in a landfill in New Mexico to the tune of somewhere around 800 cartridges.

There's a documentary put out sometime ago going in-depth on the scrubbing of ET and Atari.

The bubble burst and gaming was more or less stagnant until 1985 when Nintendo Entertainment System came into play and we all know where Nintendo went with everything.

Do you remember gaming back in the early 80's and how it fell? Let us know in comment on social media.


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