Happy 40th Anniversary Atari!
Atari celebrates their 40th Anniversary today. It’s nice to see that Blade Runner isn’t completely dated as Atari is still kicking after all this time. Of course, that wasn’t always the case. It was touch and go for a while there in the 90′s and early 2000′s as Atari was sold twice and almost relegated to the dustbin of history. In 2009 however, then current owner Infogrames changed their name to Atari and the iconic logo was back, hopefully for good this time.
My experiences with Atari have been well documented on the podcast so I won’t go in depth here but like many Nintendo loyalists who came of age with an original NES at home, I cut my teeth on the Atari 2600 and I was an absolute Atari fanatic. As important as Nintendo was in bringing the industry back after the Great Video Game Crash of 1983, the industry wouldn’t have even existed if it weren’t for the pioneering successes of Atari in the 70′s.
To this day, just seeing the logo brings joy to my heart. My trusty six switch 2600 and four port 5200 work just as well now as they did the day I got them back in 1977 and 1982 respectively. Call me cynical, but I don’t think my PS3 or 360 will last as long. You never forget your first love and I’m glad that mine is still around for a quick fling every now and then.
For their part, Atari is planning a yearlong celebration starting today with the requisite Facebook contest, 40 Giveaways in 4 Days, open to US residents only. Check out www.facebook.com/atari for the chance to win Atari Arcades, t-shirts and more. They’re also asking fans to post pictures of themselves and their friends wearing Atari t-shirts to the Facebook page.
As an added bonus to iOS users, if you download the Atari’s Greatest Hits app from the iTunes store, you’ll have access to all 100 games for free until you delete or reinstall the app (a $14.99 value). Act fast on that one though because the offer is only good today, June 27th.
From the Press Release:
“Over its 40 years of operation, Atari has become one of the most iconic and recognized brands around the world, responsible for mainstreaming video games with blockbuster franchises including Asteroids®, Breakout® and Centipede®,” said Jim Wilson, CEO of Atari. “Today, we aim to keep the tradition alive through new and creative development efforts based on what made us great in our early days – offering our devoted and growing fan base fun but challenging games on mobile and online platforms.”
Congratulations on 40 great years, and here’s to 40 more. Check out the sweet and rather large infographic provided by Atari, even though it’s missing the 5200 =(