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Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 9710
Posted: 15 June 2017 at 9:39am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

According to a couple of books I read it was a combination of ET and --strangely enough -- Pac-Man, alongside a few other key factors, that did for Atari.

As I understand, for ET, they massively over-estimated demand (a problem exacerbated by the game being utter dross). Leading up to this there was Pac-Man, for which the demand certainly was there. Pac-Man sold bucketloads, but the game was a disappointing transfer from the coin-op and served to underline the weaknesses in Atari's system in comparison to the superior arcade version. This created a combo of retailers shipping in loads of Ataris to sell (increasing supply) but the company's rep taking a battering (lowering demand). ET furthered this damage to the company's rep. Add in increasing competition from personal computers and competing platforms trying to shoe-horn in on the previously burgeoning market and you had a saturated market ripe for a collapse. Which happened in spectacular fashion in 1983.

What is true is that they buried a landfill with ET games just to get rid of the huge surplus.

Edited by Peter Martin on 15 June 2017 at 9:39am
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Doug Centers
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2344
Posted: 15 June 2017 at 10:34am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Wow, I remember the ET game.

That.......was not good.
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Brandon Frye
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 17 November 2004
Posts: 1075
Posted: 15 June 2017 at 7:11pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Reading the treatment for the aborted sequel involving "evil" aliens with sharp teeth terrorizing the cast, I can't help but wonder if that had any influence on Gremlins which was made only 2 years later. 

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