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Atari Inc. Business Is Fun: New Book Tells Inside Story of the Iconic Cornerstone of Video Game Industry

Once as well-known as McDonalds and Coca-Cola, Atari Inc. has stamped its place in the history books as the pioneering dominant force in the development and popularization of video games. Now, after nearly eight years of diligent research, a new book chronicles the company’s genesis, meteoric rise to power and its eventual downward financial spiral in the mid-1980’s.


Carmel, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/07/2013 -- To many, Atari is iconic for introducing the world to video arcade games, and later the world’s most popular home video gaming system. However, the company’s compelling story goes well beyond its wires and micro chip. As it staked its place in American history as one of the most complex and diverse organizations ever formed. Now, following almost a decade of research, two well known and respected video gaming experts have released the first in a series of books that takes a deep look under Atari’s hood by telling its story from the very employees who worked there and made FUN for a living.

‘Atari Inc.: Business is Fun’ – written by Martin Goldberg and Curt Vendel- is comprised of thousands of researched documents, hundreds of interviews, heavily cross-checked research and unprecedented access to a wealth of materials that are being made public for the first time.


An amazing 800 pages, including nearly 300 pages of rare, never before seen photos, memos and court documents, this book details Atari's genesis from an idea between an engineer and a visionary in 1969 to a nearly $2 billion dollar juggernaut, and ending with a $538 million death spiral by the end of June, 1984.

Several key and important fully detailed side stories are included, such as:

- The creation of "Rick Rats Big Cheese Restaurants" which later became "Chuck E. Cheese's"

- The amazing story of Atari's very own "Xerox PARC" research facility up in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains

- The full recounting of Steve Jobs first job working at Atari, with comments from the people he worked with on projects and the detailed story of the creation of Atari Breakout, including input by Steve Wozniak on his development of the prototype, and how it couldn't be used and another Atari engineer would have to make the final production Breakout arcade game instead.

- The dramatic dealings and double-dealings between Atari Inc. and Amiga Corp. for months prior to Jack Tramiel coming into the picture.

If you've ever wanted to learn about the truth behind the creation of this iconic company directly told by the people who worked their and and saw events unfold firsthand, then this is the book for you.

As one of the book’s co-authors explains, their book is the first of its kind to tell Atari’s story straight from the mouths of those who worked there.

“Atari is mentioned in various history books on video games, but none has even been written solely about this powerhouse company, and all told from the employees who worked there, came up with dreams that became reality to entertain, entice and delight millions... a company who made FUN for a living,” says Vendel.

Since its release, the book has garnered a consistent string of rave reviews.

“If you want details from Atari sources on how things were like this is the book to have. They are so many photos I have not seen before that illustrate the depth in detail the authors were committed too. A must have book for sure!” says David A. Leonardis, who reviewed the book on Amazon.

Another Reader, Jeff Fulton, was equally as impressed. He said that, “Anyone interested in Atari History, Video Game History, or Retro Gaming at all should read this massive collection of stories and information. No stone has been left un-turned no dumpster "un-dived".”

‘Atari Inc.: Business is Fun’, published by Syzygy Press, is available from Amazon: http://amzn.to/Un3cG5

About the Authors: Martin Goldberg and Curt Vendel
Martin Goldberg - A writer and programmer in the video game industry, Goldberg has had a lifelong fascination with all things electronic entertainment since first playing PONG and Tank as a child at his local arcadesin the 70's. As the former site director of IGN/GameSpy's 'ClassicGaming.Com' and a current freelancer for Retro Gamer magazine, Goldberg has been writing about video games for 13 years. Along with Dan Loosen and Gary Heil, Goldberg is also a co-founder of the Midwest Gaming Classic, one of the largest electronic entertainment expos in the United States open to the general public. In 2004, Goldberg also founded the Electronic Entertainment Museum (E2M), a non-profit archive whose mission is to help preserve the history and artifacts of the video game and home computer industries. In line with this goal, he's also a member of the International Game Development Association's (IGDA) Game Preservation SIG, a hub and community for those interested in digital game preservation and history.

Curt Vendel - A former IT Systems Engineer, Vendel is also a self-taught Electrical Engineer with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. In the 1980’s, Vendel had begun collecting Atari products, engineering logs, schematics, drawings, and technical materials from former Atari employees - even making trips to Atari’s buildings in California to salvage Atari’s valuable history from its dumpsters. Founding the Atari History Museum in 1998, the Atari History Museum archives have amassed over 15,000 files, folders and documents, two archival rooms of schematics, mechanical drawings, artwork and PC board films. Vendel is frequently tapped as a valued resource for Atari insight and archival information by Atari, SA., Atari Interactive, numerous research institutions, trade publications and entertainment magazines, television networks and movie studios.


Book preview: ataribook.com/chapter1preview.pdf
Web: ataribook.com Facebook: facebook.com/syzygycompany
Twitter: twitter.com/#!/ataribook