Atari History Timelines by Michael Current

A History of
WCI Games / Atari / Atari Games / Atari Holdings

http://mcurrent.name/atarihistory/wci_games.html
Compiled and Copyright (c) 2008-2018 by Michael D. Current
Library Department, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Additions/suggestions/comments/corrections to:
michael@mcurrent.name

Information presented here is derived as directly as possible from sources published or produced in the original time period.  While also consulted extensively, modern historical retrospectives (including books, oral histories, and especially websites) are utilized chiefly as pathways to primary sources.

Jump to: 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | Links


1976
July 26: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) filed a Certificate of Incorporation for the new subsidiary, WCI Games Inc., in the Office of Secretary of State, State of Deleware.  WCI Games Inc. main office: 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY; California office: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank CA.  Martin D. Payson was WCI Games Inc. VP; Emanuel Gerard was a WCI EVP; Steven J. Ross was WCI chairman, president, and CEO.

Warner Communications Inc. logo     WCI Games Inc.

Summer/Fall?: Engineering technician Ed Riddle, who previously worked with Atari (Consumer) engineer Frederick R. Holt (Rod Holt) at Hickok Electronic Instrument, joined Atari (Consumer). Riddle would report to Atari (Consumer) engineering manager Wade Tuma. (one source)

September 7: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) announced it had signed a contract to purchase controlling interest in Atari, Inc.  Warner EVP Emanuel Gerard anticipated it would eventually acquire "all or virtually all" Atari shares for purchase price of approximately $28 million in cash and debt. The contract was subject to approval by at least 66.7% of each class of Atari shareholders and by the California Commissioner of Corporations. (WSJ 9/8, NYT 9/8)

September: Atari (Consumer) offered Super Pong (C-140) and Pong (C-100). (Merch. p56)

September: Sears offered Tele-Games Pong (#99716; "1976 version"; $59.99) by Atari (same as Sears #25796 original 1975 version and Atari Pong C-100) and released Hockey Pong (#99721; $69.99) by Atari (same as Atari Hockey Pong C-121), Super Pong (#99736; $79.99) by Atari (same as Atari Super Pong C-140), and Super Pong IV (#99737; $99.99) by Atari (same as Atari Super Pong Ten C-180). (newspaper ads)

October 1: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) acquired all of the outstanding stock of Atari, Inc. for approximately $12,000,000 in cash and $16,000,000 in debentures.

Warner Communications Inc. logo       WCI Games Inc.         Atari logo 1973-1984          Kee Games logo     Cyan Engineering logo

October 4: Atari, Inc. was merged with and into WCI Games Inc., which was renamed to: Atari, Inc.  The new Atari, Inc. was authorized to issue 1,000 shares of common stock, par value $1.00 a share.

Warner Communications Inc. logo      Atari logo 1973-1984          Kee Games logo     Cyan Engineering logo

October 12: "Atari" became a registered trademark of Atari. (Reg. No. 1,050,153, filed Nov. 19, 1975)

October: Atari moved into their new 60,000 square foot corporate headquarters at 1265 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA (previously: 14600 Winchester Blvd., Los Gatos CA).  Atari now occupied six buildings with over 275,000 square feet of total space in the Moffett Park industrial park (Consumer Division at 1195 Borregas, Pinball Division/manufacturing at 1173 Borregas, company headquarters at 1265 Borregas, and 3 warehouses), housing administrative, engineering, marketing research and manufacturing departments along with international marketing (working closely with Atari-Europe, 12, rue de l'Helvétie, Baume-les-Dames, France) and domestic marketing.  (Cash Box 6/19/76 p46-47; Vending Times 7/76, 11/76 p58)  Atari Coin-Op Division manufacturing and customer service remained at 2175 Martin Ave., Santa Clara CA (65,000 sq ft); Consumer Division manufacturing remained at 1280 Reamwood Ave., Sunnyvale CA (125,000 sq ft).  Atari would grow to include 800 employees.

October: Atari released Night Driver (original upright version).

October: Atari had appointed Sue Elliot, previously of Multi-National Corporation (where she had handled Atari's international servicing, reporting to company founder and Atari director of international operations Ron Gordon), as the first administrator of Atari's new International Division, replacing Ron Gordon who departed the company. (Gordon would establish Friends Amis, Inc. on 11-Jul-78.)  Gene Lipkin remained Atari VP marketing.  (Vending Times 10/76; Cash Box 10/30/76 p53; TVDigest 10/25/76 p13)    

October: Edward J. Boasberg joined Atari as Pinball Marketing Coordinator. (Fun p416)

October: Engineer David R. Stubben joined Atari (Coin-Op).  (He had previously worked for a disk drive company in head and media development, and before that had designed subsystems and test stations for Sidewinder missiles.)

October: Atari (Consumer) was promoting Super Pong and Pong. (Merch. p37)

October: Michael C. Shea (Mike Shea) remained Atari Consumer Division director of marketing. (Vending Times 10/76 p91)

October 25: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) established an office of the president, which would be held by four persons: Jay Emmett, Emanuel Gerard, David H. Horowitz (each previously WCI EVPs and directors), and Kenneth S. Rosen (new to WCI).  All four would now be directors of WCI as well.  Steve Ross, previously WCI chairman, president, and CEO, would remain WCI chairman and CEO. (WSJ 10/26)  Atari chairman Nolan K. Bushnell and president Joseph F. Keenan, as co-CEOs of Atari, would now report to Emanuel Gerard; Gerard was now responsible for Atari on behalf of WCI. 

October 25: The Atari C-160 Pong unit (Pong Doubles) had earned FCC approval. (TVDigest 10/25/76 p11)

Fall?: Atari established a Restaurant Operating Division.  Marketing consultant Gene N. Landrum, previously (until August 1975) General Manager of the Novus (consumer products) division, National Semiconductor, and author of the May 26, 1976 ""Product Plans and Strategy: Consumer Video Games" marketing plan for Atari, joined Atari where he would be Restaurant Operating Division General Manager. 

November 12-14: At the MOA International Exposition of Music and Games at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Namco/Atari released F-1 (De Luxe or custom models), designed by Nakamura Seisakusho Co., Ltd. ("Namco", parent company of Atari Japan), and Atari released Sprint 2 by Kee Games.  Atari held a roundtable discussion on solid state pinball games that included 12 operators and Atari representatives Carol Kantor (Manager of Marketing Services), Allan E. Alcorn (VP research and development), and Eddie Boasberg (Pinball Marketing Coordinator), where Atari announced (but did not show --Vending Times 4/77p59) The Atarians, to be the first Atari pinball machine. (CC 1/77; Vending Times 2/77p50)  Also announced to attend from Atari: national sales manager Frank Ballouz, VP marketing Eugene J. Lipkin, western regional sales manager Terry Speizer, president Joe Keenan, chairman Nolan Bushnell, VP engineering (coin operated games) Stephen D. Bristow, coin-op engineering manager Bob Skyles, customer service manager Don Smith, VP finance William L. White, and VP manufacturing Gilbert J. Williams. (Vending Times 10/76p83)  Atari introduced the first edition of its new Coin Connection newsletter,"Atari's official monthly newsletter," edited by Atari manager of marketing services Carol Kantor, at the show. (Cash box 11/6 p51; 11/13 p7)  Atari announced Compugraph Foto (previously: Computer Portrait; never shipped) and again promoted the Theatre Kiosk (never shipped).

November?: Atari (Consumer) engineer Rod Holt departed the company (to Apple Computer, as VP engineering).  M. John Ellis, previously Atari (Consumer) director of engineering, became Atari VP Consumer engineering.  Atari (Consumer) engineering manager Wade Tuma would be promoted to director of engineering (replacing Ellis in the role).  Douglas A. Hardy, previously of Fairchild Electronics, would join Atari (Consumer) as Stella project chief industrial designer (reporting directly to Ellis).  (Frederick W. Thompson (Fred Thompson) remained Atari (Consumer) industrial design manager.)

November 19-21: Atari exhibited at the 58th International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) show at the Rivergate in New Orleans.  Atari featured F-1 at the show (Vending Times 1/77; CC 3/77).

November/December?: Atari VP manufacturing Gil Williams additionally became Atari Pinball Division general manager, essentially replacing engineering manager Don Lang who departed the company.

December 13: The Atari C-200 had earned FCC approval. (TVDigest 12/13/76 p11)

December: An Atari Theatre Kiosk (6-sided) was installed at the San Francisco Powell Street Station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) System.  The unit included: Pong Doubles, Space Race, Trak 10, Jet Fighter, LeMans, Tank.  (Cash Box 5/14/77; Vending Times 2/77 p46)

December: Atari announced the promotion of Jean Morosin to administrative assistant to the VP of marketing and coin-operated games division general manager Gene Lipkin. (Vending Times 2/77 p50; CC v1n2 1/77)

December 21: John Burton Anderson, previously Atari assistant treasurer, became Atari VP Administration. (CoinConJan77)  John Peterson, previously of Arthur Young & Co. (where he had served as an auditor on the Atari account), would join Atari as assistant treasurer (replacing Anderson in the role).  Joe Keenan remained Atari president. (Vending Times 3/77 p61)

December 21: Malcolm Kuhn remained Atari (Consumer) sales director. (AP)

In 1976 Atari sold more than one million consumer electronic video game units.  (WCI/Knickerbocker acquisition SEC filing, 1977)

1977
January 13-16: Atari introduced Super Pong Ten (C-180; $79.95) and Video Music (C-240; "expected to retail for under $200") at the 5th annual Winter Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held at the Conrad Hilton in Chicago (the last Winter CES held in Chicago). (Merch 1/77 p79; Billboard 1/29/77 p52; TVDigest 1/17/77 p12)  Kerry M. Crosson was Atari (Consumer) new products manager.

January: Programmer Bob Whitehead joined the Atari (Consumer) Microelectronics group as a Stella project game designer.  He was hired by Atari (Consumer) director of microelectronics Dr. Robert J. Brown (Bob Brown). (source Whitehead was Atari's second Stella programmer, after Larry Kaplan; the software development director for Stella was Larry Wagner.

January: Don Osborne joined Atari as western regional sales manager, replacing Terry Speizer who departed the company. (CC 2/77)

January: Atari released Dominos (original 1 or 2 player upright version).

January 17-18: Atari held a pinball service seminar for their first pinball game, The Atarians, at the new Marriott Hotel at Santa Clara CA's "Great America" amusement park. Nearly 35 attended from across the country.  Don Smith was Atari manager of Customer Service; Steve Nollan was Pinball engineer, Fred McCord was Customer Service Field Rep., Bob Russell (previously of Bally Manufacturing) was Manufacturing Operations Manager, John Petlansky was Plant Manager, Gil Williams (Atari VP manufacturing) was Atari Pinball Division Manager, Eddie Boasberg was Pinball Marketing Coordinator. (CC 2/77; Vending Times 4/77p59)

January 25-27: At the Amusement Trades Exhibition (ATE), Alexandra Palace, London, Atari introduced The Atarians pinball, featured F-1 and Dominos, and also showed the Theatre Kiosk, Night Driver, Sprint 2, Breakout, Le Mans, and Indy 4.  Atari products were also exhibited by the Cherry Group (Atari distributor in the UK) and by Atari-Europe, which also featured the Jupiter phonograph.  Sue Elliot was Atari International Marketing Administrator. (CC 3/77; Vending Times 3/77p62)

February 2: Niles E. Strohl was Atari Stella project engineer within the consumer product engineer group.  The Atari (Consumer) division engineering and Microelectronics groups were now located in a new facility at 155 Moffett Park Dr, Sunnyvale CA.  (Decuir 1977 notes p4)

February 6-8: Atari released Dominos/4 Cocktail and also featured The Atarians, Sprint 2, Night Driver, Breakout, and Indy 4 at the Association of College Unions-International (ACUI) conference and show in San Diego. (CC 3/77)

February: Programmer Gary Palmer joined the Atari (Consumer) Microelectronics group as a Stella project game designer. (source p18)

February 18: The Atarians release event was hosted by Atari distributor C.A. Robinson, marking the imminent arrival of Atari's first pinball machine.  Approximately 300 operators and guests attended, plus representatives from Atari.  Gil Williams (Atari VP manufacturing) remained Atari Pinball Division manager. (CC 3/77; Vending Times 4/77p59)

February 20: Atari had released Super Pong Ten (C-180). (newspaper ad)

February 22: Programmer Alan Miller joined the Atari (Consumer) Microelectronics group as a Stella project game designer. (source p18)

Winter/Spring: Atari included 840 employees. (WCI annual report for 1976)

Winter/Spring: Graphic designer James Kelly joined Evelyn Lim (future: Evelyn Seto) and Bob Flemate in the expanding Atari (Coin-Op) graphics group (reporting to industrial design/design services director George H. Opperman) (ArtOfAtari p248)

March: Gil Williams, previously Atari VP manufacturing and Pinball Division general manager, would remain VP/general manager Pinball Division.  Engineer Noah L. Anglin II, previously director of research for new technology at Memorex, would join Atari (Coin-Op) as engineering and manufacturing manager replacing Williams as head of Coin-Op manufacturing, and also replacing Coin-Op engineering manager Bob Skyles who departed the company. (Skyles would establish Skyles Electric Works on 10/16/78.)

March 20-23: At Atari's Third Annual Distributor Meeting, held at the Del Monte Lodge, Pebble Beach CA, Atari introduced Triple Hunt, introduced Sprint 8 by Kee Games, and also featured The Atarians. Atari awarded a "platinum" Breakout unit to West German distributor Löwen Automaten for outstanding Breakout sales.  Gene Lipkin remained Atari VP marketing. (CC 4/77; Vending Times 4/77p62)

April: Atari released Triple Hunt (Hit the Bear, Witch Hunt, Raccoon Hunt), released Triple Hunt single cabinet, and released Sit Down Night Driver.

April: Atari's 50,000 square foot pinball manufacturing facility at 1173 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA was ramping up to mass production of the first Atari pinball game, The Atarians.  Atari Pinball Division personnel included (manufacturing) operations manager Bob Russell, plant manager Bob Kolbus (having replaced John Petlansky in the role; previously headed Atari video manufacturing), and manufacturing engineer Jim Uszack (previously of Teledyne). (CCApr77)

April: C. Marshall Caras, previously general manager at Rowe International, joined Atari as Director of Marketing (marketing and sales for both coin-op and pinball game divisions).  Gene Lipkin remained Atari VP marketing. (CCMay77; Vending Times 5/77p54)

April: National TV debut of Coca-Cola "Coke adds life" series ad taking place in an arcade game room and featuring an Atari Pong competition (as a take-off on the recent Bobby Riggs vs. Billy Jean King tennis competition). (CC 4/77; Vending Times 5/77p59)

April: University of Santa Clara student Tom Petit joined Atari as schedule coordinator for the VP of manufacturing. (CC 11/81)

May 2-5: At the New York Premium Show held at the Coliseum, Atari introduced Super Pong Pro-Am (C-200; $50; never shipped) (TVDigest 5/9/77) and probably (unconfirmed) also introduced, or at least announced, Super Pong Pro-Am Ten (C-202; $59.95 retail). 

May: Atari released Sprint 8 by Kee Games.

May 15: Opening of new Atari (Consumer) building at 1215 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA (100,000 square feet; Moffett Park industrial park). (Fun p316; TVDigest 4/18/77 p10)  The building was slated to replace the Consumer products manufacturing plant at 1280 Reamwood Ave., Sunnyvale CA.

May: Brad Stewart joined the Atari (Consumer) Microelectronics group as a Stella project programmer.  Bob Brown remained director of microelectronics. (source)

May 16: Kerry Crosson was new-product manager at Atari. (source)

May 16: Atari opened the initial "prototype" Pizza Time Theatre in a 5,000-sq.-ft. converted brokerage office at 370 S. Winchester Blvd. in Town and Country Village, San Jose, California. The family pizza and entertainment concept featured the computer-animated characters Chuck E. Cheese, Crusty (the cat), Jasper T. Jowls (hillbilly country singing dog), Pasqually (Italian opera-singing chef), and The Warblettes (three soul-singing magpies).  Gene N. Landrum was Atari Restaurant Operating Division General Manager.

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984 Kee Games logo
Cyan Engineering logo 
Pizza Time Theatre logo 1977-1980

May/June?: Atari shipped Super Pong Pro-Am Ten (C-202; $59.95 retail).

May/June?: Sears released the Tele-Games Super Pong IV (#99789; $54.99; uses 4 "C" batteries not included) by Atari (same as Atari Super Pong Pro-Am Ten C-202).  (direct replacement for Super Pong IV #99737)

June 6: The Atari CX-2600 had earned FCC approval. (TVDigest 6/6/77 p12)

June 5-8: At the 11th annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at McCormick Place/McCormick Inn in Chicago, using the slogan "We take fun seriously", Atari introduced the Video Computer System (VCS; CX-2600; $189.95; previously: Stella project; to ship with 2 Joystick Controller (CX10) units, 1 pair of Paddle Controllers (CX30; also to ship separately), and Combat Game Program cartridge), Video Pinball ($74.95), Stunt Cycle ($72.95), Tank II ($64.95; never shipped), Ultra Pong ($42.95), and Ultra Pong Doubles ($52.95).  All of the new systems were expected to ship in July.  To be sold separately for the VCS Atari also introduced the 5 cartridge titles Air-Sea Battle, Space Mission (would ship as: Star Ship), Indy 500 (to ship with CX20 Driving Controller), Street Racer, and Video Olympics (for a total of 6 announced titles), and announced that a total of 9 cartridges would comprise the initial library for 1977, with 2 or 3 to be released monthly starting in 1978. (TVDigest 6/13/77 p12)  Distribution in Canada by Paragon Entertainment Products, Inc. (Merch 6/77 p43-54, 88)  Stephen Bristow was Atari VP engineering (coin operated games); Mike Shea was Atari director of marketing. (Merch 7/77 p83)

June: Atari released Time 2000 (pinball), released Pool Shark, and released Drag Race.

June: Atari announced the appointment of Howard Rubin (Howie Rubin), previously of Betson Enterprises, as Eastern regional sales manager.  Frank Ballouz remained national sales manager; Marshall Caras remained director of marketing. (CC 6/77; Vending Times 7/77)

June: Engineer John Ray joined Atari (Coin-Op).

June 27: Atari had canceled Tank II, introduced at the CES earlier in the month. (TVDigest 6/27/77 p11)

Months?: In France, Atari-Europe released the Hit-Parade 108, Hit Parade 144, Concerto 120, and Rustica 160 jukeboxes.

Month?: Mike Hally joined Atari as Pinball division mechanical engineer.

July 2: In Japan, the name of Nakamura Seisakusho Co., Ltd., parent company of Atari Japan, had been changed to Namco Limited.  (Cash Box 7/2/77 pt.III p10)

July 2: Atari (Coin-Op) international distributors included: Canada: Dale Distributing Ltd. (Rexdale, Ontario; Richmond, B.C. (Vancouver)), Laniel Automatic (Mt. Royal, Quebec), New Way Sales (Toronto, Ontario), Rowe International of Canada Ltd. (Dorval, Quebec; Malton, Ontario; Burnaby, B.C. (Vancouver)); Argentina: Jorge Mochkovsky (Sarmiento); Austria: Env-Vertrieb (Frankfurt); Australia: Leisure & Allied Industries (Perth); Belgium: Brabo Corporation (Antwerp); Brazil: Taito do Brazil (Sao Paulo); Panama: Isthmian Amusement Corporation (Albrook Field AFB); Central America: Alegrias S.A. de C.V. (San Salvador, El Salvador), Plazalegre (San Salvador, El Salvador); England: Cherry Group (London); France: Socodimex (Paris); Germany: Löwen Automaten (Bingen/Rhine), Seevend Automaten (Hamburg); Holland: Vale Automaten Imports (Veldhoven); Hong Kong: Coin & Vending Ltd.; Italy: Fratelli I. Berolino (Torino); Japan: Atari Japan (Ohta-ku, Tokyo); Mexico: Operado Nacional Espectaculos (Avila Camacho); New Zealand: Brian Dowlie (Auckland); Philippines: Bhagwan Ramnani (Palm Village, Makati, Rizal); Puerto Rico: Raymond Amusements (Guaynabo); South Africa: Plankomat (Pty) Limited (Johannesburg), Space Age TV Games Ltd. (Transvaal); Spain: Sega S.A. (Madrid); Scandinavia: Cherryforetagen; Mondial Commercial Corp. (New York); R.H. Belam Companuy, Inc. (New York); Pan American Amusements (Hillside NJ)  (Cash Box 7/2/77 pt.III p13)

July 2: At Atari, Nolan Bushnell remained chairman, Joe Keenan remained president, Gene Lipkin remained VP marketing, C. Marshall Caras, was director of marketing, Frank Ballouz was national sales manager, Don Osborne was Western regional sales manager, Sue Elliot was head of international sales, Steve Bristow was VP engineering, Gil Williams was VP/general manager Pinball Division, Al Alcorn was VP R&D, Bill White was VP finance, John Anderson was VP administration.  (Cash Box 7/2/77 pt.III p22)

July: Atari released Starship 1.

July: Steve Hendricks joined Atari (Coin-Op) as an illustrator (reporting to industrial design/design services director George H. Opperman).

July 25: John Vurich, previously National Semiconductor product marketing manager, had joined Atari (Consumer) as new product manager (personal computer). (TVDigest 7/25/77 p11)

August 1: Atari had begun shipping the Video Computer System (TVDigest 8/1/77 p11) (VCS; CX-2600; 6 switches; woodgrain; NTSC for U.S. only; VHF channel 3 only; box: "The Super System... with 10 to 50 dynamite game variations per Game Program"; with two CX10 Joystick Controllers, one pair of CX30 Paddle Controllers, and Combat), and had also begun separately shipping the four VCS Game Programs: Air-Sea Battle, Video Olympics, Star Ship (previously: Space Mission) (never released in PAL format), Indy 500 (with two CX20 Driving Controllers)

August 1: Atari Video Pinball (also approved under Sears label) had earned FCC approval. (TVDigest 8/1/77 p11)

August 1: Early newspaper ad by Longs Drug Stores listed the Atari #CX 2600 Video Computer System with Combat for $169.88, and offered "Atari" cartridges Air-Sea Battle or Space Mission (would ship as: Star Ship) for $17.88.

August 9: As the followup project to the Atari VCS, Atari "Colleen" broad specifications as proposed by Cyan Engineering senior engineer Steven T. Mayer and Atari (Consumer) microelectronics engineer Joseph C. Decuir were accepted by Atari decision makers including Synertek/Atari LSI chip designer Jay G. Miner, Atari (Consumer) director of microelectronics Bob Brown, Atari VP Consumer engineering M. John Ellis, Atari (Consumer) new product manager (personal computer) John Vurich, and Atari VP research and development Al Alcorn (head of the Consumer Division). (Decuir 1977 engineering notes p65-74)  Synertek/Atari LSI chip designer Jay Miner would be Colleen project manager.

August?: Sears published the Wish Book for the 1977 Christmas Season.  On pages 2-3 Sears introduced the Tele-Games Video Arcade (#99743; $178.95) by Atari (same as the Atari VCS CX2600), which shipped with Target Fun by Atari (same as Atari Air-Sea Battle), two Sears-branded joystick controllers by Atari (same as Atari CX10), and a pair of Sears-branded paddle controllers by Atari (same as Atari CX30).  Sears offered 6 Video Arcade (or Atari VCS) game cartridges sold separately: Tank-Plus by Atari (same as Atari Combat), Outer Space by Atari (same as Atari Star Ship), Speedway II by Atari (same as Atari Street Racer), Pong Sports by Atari (same as Atari Video Olympics), and Blackjack by Atari ($19.95 each), plus Race by Atari (same as Atari Indy 500; with two driving controllers (same as Atari CX20); $34.95).  On pages 4-7 Sears introduced the Tele-Games Speedway IV (#99748; $98.95) by Atari, the Tele-Games Motocross Sports Center IV (#99729; $83.95) by Atari (same as Atari Stunt Cycle), the Tele-Games Tank (#99728; $58.95; never shipped) by Atari (same as Atari Tank II), the Tele-Games Pinball Breakaway (#99713; $79.99) by Atari (same as Atari Video Pinball), the Tele-Games Super Pong (#99788; $39.95; never shipped) by Atari (same as Atari Super Pong Pro-Am C-200 which never shipped), and the Tele-Games Super Pong IV (#99789; $49.95) by Atari (same as Atari Super Pong Pro-Am Ten C-202).  On page 391 Sears offered the Atari Video Music (#99761; $169.95).

August 22: Atari had announced the commencement of final production of video games at the new Atari (Consumer) building at 1215 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA (100,000 square feet; Moffett Park industrial park), bringing Atari's total manufacturing area [actually all buildings, not just manufacturing] to 556,000 sq. ft. (TVDigest 8/22/77 p9)  The new building was slated to replace the Consumer products manufacturing plant at 1280 Reamwood Ave., Sunnyvale CA.

August 23: Bill White remained Atari VP finance. (CA Sec. of State filing)

Summer/Fall?: Atari (Consumer) engineering technician Ed Riddle departed the company (to Dynabyte). (source)

September 3: Newspaper ad from PayLess Super Drug Stores offered Atari Super Pong C-140 for $29.88, offered the Atari VCS for $169.88, and listed all 8 VCS Game Programs: Air-Sea Battle, Video Olympics, Star Ship, Street Racer, Indy 500, Blackjack, Surround, Basic Math

September 11: Newspaper ad from Macy's offered the Atari VCS for $180 and Atari Video Pinball (C-380) for $80.

September: Atari announced the release of four new game programs (cartridges) for the VCS : Surround (Sears title: Chase), Basic Math (Sears title: Math), Blackjack, Street Racer (Sears title: Speedway II) (Merch 10/77 p48; Merch 1/78) for a total of 8 available (not counting the pack-in game, Combat). (TVDigest 10/17/77 p10)

September 1: Sears had released the Tele-Games Video Arcade (#99743 package with two joysticks, pair of paddles, and Target Fun cartridge; $179.99) by Atari (same as the Atari VCS CX2600). (newspaper ad)

September: Gil Williams remained general manager of the Atari Pinball Division. (CC 9/77)

September: David Crane, previously an associate engineer at National Semiconductor, joined Atari (Consumer) as a (VCS) video game designer.

September: Atari released 2 Game Module (cabinet that houses 2 games facing opposite directions), released Airborne Avenger (pinball), and released Super Bug by Kee Games.

September 18-22: Atari displayed four games in its hospitality suite at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) annual meeting in Toronto: Time 2000 (Atari), Starship 1 (Atari), Drag Race (Atari), Super Bug (Kee Games).  Howard Rubin was Atari Eastern regional sales manager, and Carol Kantor was manager of marketing services. (Vending Times 11/77p62)

September 24: Sears had released the Tele-Games Pinball-Breakaway (#99713; $79.99) by Atari. (newspaper ad)

October 2: Sears had released the Tele-Games Speedway IV (#99748; $99.99) by Atari. (newspaper ad)

October 2-5: Atari featured Starship 1, Time 2000, and Super Bug at the Best Western 29th Annual Round-Up, "the world's largest convention of lodging executives," at the New Orleans Hilton.

October 4: Sears had released the Tele-Games Pong Sports IV (#99708; $49.99) by Atari (same as Atari Ultra Pong Doubles C-402(D); direct replacement for Super Pong IV #99789). (newspaper ad)

October 13-16: At the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) show at McCormick Place in Chicago (booth 200), Atari introduced the Vending Kiosk concept (never shipped) and Destroyer and featured Airborne Avenger along with: Time 2000, The Atarians, Super Bug, Starship 1, Breakout, Triple Hunt, Sprint 2

October: Atari released Ultra Pong (C-402(S); $32.88 sale price). (newspaper ads)

October?: Steve Smith joined Atari (Consumer) as a chip enginering technician.  He had been interviewed by Craig Hansen. (source, but mc suspects the interviewer's correct name to be Craig Nelson)

October 17: Atari had shipped 90,000 Atari VCS units so far, over 2 1/2 months.  Patrick Kearney was Atari VCS product manager. (TVDigest 10/17/77 p10) (Kerry Crosson remained Atari (Consumer) new products manager.)

October 28-30: At the Amusement & Music Operators of America (AMOA) International Exposition of Games and Music at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago (booths 16-23 and 26-33), Atari featured Airborne Avenger, introduced Destroyer, Canyon Bomber, and Sprint 4, featured The Atarians, Time 2000, 2 Game Module, and F-1 with a new reinforced canopy, and also showed Super Bug, Sprint 2, Starship 1, Breakout, Triple Hunt.  At Atari, Nolan Bushnell was chairman, Joe Keenan was president, Al Alcorn was VP research and development, Gene Lipkin was VP and general manager Coin-Op, Bill White was VP finance, Steve Bristow was VP engineering, John Anderson was VP administration, Gil Williams was VP manufacturing and general manager Pinball, Frank Ballouz was national sales manager, Don Osborne was Western regional sales manager, Howie Rubin was Eastern regional sales manager, Lenore Sayers was sales representative, Eddie Boasberg was pinball marketing coordinator, Carol Kantor was manager marketing services.  (VendingTimes 10/77 p80)

October 30: Sears had released the Tele-Games Pong Sports II (#99707; $39.99) by Atari (same as Atari Ultra Pong C-402(S); direct replacement for Super Pong #99788). (newspaper ad)  

Fall: Jim Huether joined Atari (Consumer) as a game designer/programmer. (source)

Fall: Douglas G. Neubauer joined Atari (Consumer) as a chip design engineer.

Fall: At Atari (Consumer), John Hayashi would be promoted to director of Consumer graphics (industrial design/design services), replacing Fred Thompson who departed the company.  Doug Hardy, previously VCS project industrial designer (reporting directly to VP Consumer engineering John Ellis), would now report to Hayashi. 

Fall?: Engineer Richard Simone joined Atari as LSI Design Manager.  He was previously with National Semiconductor.  Simone was to head large-scale integration chip design for Atari dedicated game consoles, while Synertek's Jay Miner was to head Atari's LSI chip design for cartridge-based game consoles (and computers). (Atari User #4)

Fall?: Electronics technician Steve Wright, with prior experience at IBM, joined Atari (Consumer) as Manager of LSI Test.

Fall?: Atari and Dorsett Educational Systems reached a licensing agreement that would bring Dorsett's Talk & Teach Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) System to the Atari personal computer systems.

Fall: In France, Atari sold its controlling ownership share of Atari-Europe, S.A., including the manufacturing plant at 12, rue de l'Helvétie, Baume-les-Dames.  The name of the Atari-Europe, S.A. would be be changed to, Europe Electronique SA, and the company would continue to manufacture Atari (Coin-Op) games for European distribution for Atari.  The Atari Rustica 160 jukebox would be rebranded as the Europe Electronique 60R.

November 2-5: The $250,000 World Championship Foosball Festival was held at the Gateway Convention Center in St. Louis.  Tournament Soccer, Schlitz, and Atari were the event sponsors.  An Atari arcade was set up at the event, Atari sponsored a buffet barbeque, and a Breakout tournament was held: Bob Curtin won an Atari VCS for 1st place, while Paul Wolack and Jim Campbell won Atari Video Music Systems for 2nd and 3rd place.

November 12: Atari had released Stunt Cycle (SC-450). (newspaper ad; $68.88)

November: Atari released Canyon Bomber.

November: Programmer Warren Robinett joined Atari (Consumer) as a game designer. (source)

November 17: Atari had released Ultra Pong Doubles (C-402(D)). (newspaper ad; $39.99)

November 19-21: At the IAAPA Exposition at the Rivergate Exhibition Center in New Orleans, Atari introduced Ultra Tank, introduced Wolf Pack (never released), and also featured: Sprint 4, Canyon Bomber, Destroyer, Airborne Avenger, The Atarians, Time 2000

November: Atari's Coin-Op and Pinball engineering units were integrated, while a new Atari Electronic Board Game Division was formed.  Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP Engineering (coin operated games), became Atari VP Engineering, Electronic Board Game Division and Coin Operated Games.  Noah Anglin, previously Coin-Op engineering and manufacturing manager, became Coin-Op director of engineering.  Gil Williams, previously Atari VP and general manager, Pinball Division, would become Atari VP Coin-Operated Manufacturing (reassuming the role from Anglin).  Gene Lipkin, previously Atari VP and general manager Coin-Operated Division, would become Atari VP and general manager Coin-Operated Group (assuming Pinball management from Williams). 

November?: Loren T. Schoof, previously director of Consumer operations (manufacturing), would be promoted to Atari VP Consumer Division operations (manufacturing).

December: Atari released Sprint 4 (four-player version of Sprint 2).

December: Kenneth Rosen, Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) office of the president, formally resigned his position with WCI.  The position of WCI office of the president would be reduced from four to three persons: Jay Emmett, Emanuel Gerard, and David H. Horowitz.  Gerard remained responsible for Atari.

In 1977 Atari sold some 850,000 consumer game units, of which roughly 40% (340,000) were Video Computer Systems.  (WCI annual report for 1977; TVDigest 4/10/78)

1978
January 1: Atari, Inc. became the exclusive US distributor (sales & service) for the NSM phonograph (jukebox) line, which originated in West Germany and was represented internationally by Löwen Automaten.  Bert Davidson, previously in charge of US sales of NSM products, would remain as a consultant to Atari and Löwen Automaten.  NSM units to be marketed in the U.S. by Atari were to include the 160-selection Prestige, 160- and 120-selection Consul, and 120-selection Hit. Gene Lipkin remained Atari VP marketing. (Vending Times 12/77p35)

January 5-8: At the 6th annual Winter CES, held in Las Vegas, Atari introduced the Game Brain (C-700; $115; to ship in June; never shipped), and for the Game Brain announced the 5 cartridge titles: Super Pong, Video Pinball, Stunt Cycle, Ultra Pong, Video Music (each intended to replace existing Atari dedicated units of the same names).  For the VCS ($189) Atari introduced the Keyboard Data Entry Controllers (CX50; prototype units labeled "universal keyboard"; would ship as: Keyboard Controllers; to be delivered in June) and, to require the new keyboard controllers, the 2 VCS cartridge titles Concentration (would ship as: Hunt & Score) and Code Breaker (would ship as: Codebreaker).  Atari also introduced 2 more VCS titles, Hangman and Starship II (would ship as: Space War), for a total library of 12 VCS cartridges available/soon available, not counting Combat). (TVDigest 1/2/78 p12, 1/9/78p9)  Michael Shea was Atari (Consumer) marketing director. (TVDigest 1/16/78 p9)

January 11: Geoffrey A. J. Harrop was Atari pinball engineering manager (having replaced Steve Nollan who departed the company?). (source; source)

January: Atari opened a 10,600 square foot sales, service, and parts facility at 44 Colonial Dr., Piscataway NJ, headed by Eastern regional sales manager Howard Rubin. Frank Ballouz remained national sales manager. (CC 1/78)

January: Atari released Sprint One by Kee Games.

January?: Gene Wise joined Atari's Cyan Engineering as a Mechanical Engineer/Design Supervisor.

January 24-26: Atari was represented at the Amusement Trades Exhibition (ATE) at Alexandra Palace in London by the Cherry Group, Atari distributor in Great Britain.  Atari's Sky Raider and Tournament Table were introduced at the show.  Also featured: 2 Game Module, Sprint 4, Ultra Tank, Destroyer, Sprint 1, Middle Earth, Starship 1, Super Bug.  Previewed at the show: Competition 8 (never released).  CC 3/78

Winter?: Angela Jones was Atari Special Markets Manager. (source)

Winter: Atari acquired the right to port Microsoft BASIC M6502 8K Version to the upcoming Atari personal computers. (one source)

Winter?: New production Sears Tele-Games Video Arcade systems by Atari would ship with Pong Sports (#99744 package, replacing the #99743 package that shipped with Target Fun).

February 6: Atari (Consumer) new products manager Kerry Crosson had been assigned marketing responsibility for the new Atari Professional Products Division. (TVDigest 2/6/78p12)

February 12-14: Atari exhibited at Show West '78 in San Diego, a trade show for movie theater owners.

February 13: Atari was reconsidering its commitment to the Game Brain console introduced weeks earlier at CES.  Michael C. Shea remained Atari (Consumer) director of marketing (WSJ; TVDigest 2/13/78 p9)

February: Atari released Middle Earth (pinball).

February: Atari released Ultra Tank by Kee Games.  This would be the last Atari product release to carry the Kee Games brand.

February: George E. Logg (Ed Logg) joined Atari as a video game designer. (source; Retro Gamer #117 p36)  He was hired by Mike Albaugh.

February: Bill Bassett, previously in product development for Atari Pinball Division, had been appointed International Field Service Manager at Atari (CC 2/78), replacing international field service engineer Ronald G. Wayne (Ron Wayne) who had departed the company to LDF Semiconductors, Inc. (Wayne p114).  Don Smith remained Customer Service Manager. (CC 2/78)

February?: David Gjerdrum joined Atari (Consumer) as a software engineer.  He would be assigned to the project to port Microsoft BASIC M6502 for the Atari Colleen project.

February: Raymond E. Kassar, founder and president of R.E. Kassar Corporation (importer of men's and women's apparel) since 1975, previously co-founder and president of apparel importer Abraham-Zumsteg, Inc., and before that EVP and a director at Burlington Industries until 1974, was hired by Warner Communcations as a senior marketing and management consultant.  Kassar was to make an evaluation of the state of affairs at Atari, reporting to Manny Gerard, office of the president. (HowTheyAchieved p99 for date) 

February 20: At Atari (Consumer), Donald R. Thompson (Don Thompson), previously eastern zone manager, had been promoted to national sales manager, replacing Malcolm Kuhn who had departed the company (to Mattel Elecronics). (TVDigest 2/20/78, 3/13/78p12; Merch 4/78)

March 12-15: Atari's fourth annual distributor meeting, held at the Del Monte lodge, Pebble Beach CA.  The Breakout Consolette wall box game concept developed at the former Atari-Europe was displayed at the event. (International Atari personnel in attendance included Serge Lievoux and Jean-François Gaillard from Socodimex and the former Atari-Europe in France, and M. Nakamura and Hideyuki Nakajima from Atari Japan). (source)

March: Ray Kassar, president of R.E. Kassar Corporation and Warner Communications senior marketing and management consultant for several weeks, was named general manager of Atari's Consumer Division, replacing Sheldon Ritter who departed the company.  The appointment was on a temporary, 6-month basis, and Kassar was free to return to R.E. Kassar Corp. as needed. (NYT 1/5/79, HowTheyAchieved, Merch 6/78)

March: Atari released Sky Raider, and released Tournament Table (12 games: Breakout, Soccer I, Soccer II, Foozpong, Hockey I, Hockey II, Hockey III, Quadrapong, Handball, Volleyball, Basketball I, Basketball II)

March 27: Atari was seeking a video games marketing manager who will have "total responsibility for managing a product in the development & marketing phases." (TVDigest 3/27/78 p11)  (position to replacing Kerry Crosson as Atari (Consumer) new products manager?  or to replace Patrick Kearney as VCS product manager?  Was this position filled?)

April: Atari released Avalanche.

April: Through a new product catalog, for the VCS Atari announced the 5 new titles Home Run, Outlaw, Breakout, Football, and Basketball, and again promised the 4 titles Hunt & Score (previously: Concentration), Codebreaker (previously: Code Breaker), Hangman, and Space War (previously: Starship II), for a total library of 17 cartridges available/soon available (not counting Combat).

April: Atari Pinball game designer Steve Ritchie departed the company (to Williams Electronics, Inc.).

April 20: Educational technology consultant Liza Loop of the LO*OP Center ("Learning Options Open Portal") gave an invited presentation to the Atari Colleen project engineering team. (Decuir 1978 engineering notes p71)  Atari would proceed to hire Loop to write user manuals for the upcoming Atari personal computer systems. She interviewed with Atari director of consumer engineering Wade Tuma.

April 23-26: Atari and New Way Sales exhibited Atari games at the Canadian Restaurant-Hotel-Motel Show in Toronto, Canada, featuring: Middle Earth, Sky Raider

April 26-29: Löwen Automaten, Atari's distributor in West Germany, had a display of Atari games at the International Coin Machine Exposition in West Berlin, West Germany, featuring: Middle Earth

Spring?: Programmer Dennis Koble, previously of Atari (Coin-Op), joined the Atari Electronic Board Game Division.

May 1-4: National Premium Show, New York.  Was Atari there?

May 10: Articles of Incorporation of Pizza Time Theatre, Inc. were executed by Atari chairman Nolan Bushnell, for the purpose of acquiring the Pizza Time Theatre restaurant and concept from Atari.  The initial agent for service of process was Lionel M. Allan.

May 12: Pizza Time Theatre, Inc. was incorporated by Atari chairman Nolan Bushnell, who would serve as the company's chairman and CEO while remaining Atari chairman as well.

May: Atari Restaurant Operating Division COO Gene Landrum departed the company to become president of Pizza Time Theatre, Inc.

May?: Dennis D. Groth, previously of Arthur Young & Co., had joined Atari as VP finance (CFO), replacing Bill White who departed the company.  (by June 28; see also TheArthurYoungJournal Sum/Aut78 p53)  Groth was hired by Atari (Consumer) general manager Ray Kassar.  (source)

May: Atari (Coin-Op) Customer Service had moved to a new building: 1344 Bordeux Dr., Sunnyvale CA (CC 5/78)  (previously: 2175 Martin Ave., Santa Clara CA, where Coin-Op manufacturing remained)

May: At Atari (Consumer), George Simcock was director of software development (source), having replaced Larry Wagner in the role.  Wagner had started an advanced R & D laboratory to investigate algorithms, artificial intelligence applications, robotics, and digital signal processing. (source)  (Wagner's group would develop Video Chess for the VCS.)  Senior programmer Larry Kaplan would become Consumer software manager (new position, reporting to Simcock).

May: Atari announced four new VCS titles: Basketball, Capture the Flag (would ship as: Flag Capture), The Maze (would ship as: Slot Racers), Wizard (would ship as: Brain Games) (Merch 6/78)

May 27: In Ireland, Atari Ireland Limited was incorporated. (date of Memorandum and Articles of Association of Atari Ireland Limited)

June 2: In Ireland, Atari established Atari Holdings Ltd and Atari Ireland Ltd., as Atari moved to establish a new manufacturing site for Europe. 

June 8: Namco Ltd. (of Tokyo, Japan) established Namco-America, Inc.  In Tokyo, Atari Japan Corporation would be shut down, and its operations absorbed into its parent company, Namco Ltd.  Hideyuki Nakajima, previously Atari Japan EVP (head of the unit), would be president of Namco-America.

June 11-14: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced 7 new game program cartridges for the VCS: Breakout, Home Run, Space War (previously: Starship II), Flag Capture (previously: Capture the Flag), Brain Games (previously: Wizard), Basketball, Slot Racers (previously: The Maze) (TVDigest 6/12/78 p13), and again promised Hunt & Score, Codebreaker, Hangman, Outlaw and Football, for a total library of 20 VCS cartridges available/soon available (not counting Combat).

June: Atari released Fire Truck, and released Sky Diver.

June: The Atari (Coin-Op) Graphic Design Group had grown to eight artists/illustrators: Jim Arita, Roger Hector (formerly Atari (Coin-Op) industrial designer), Steve Hendricks, industrial design/design services director George Opperman, Gjalt Van Der Wyk, Bob Flemate, Evelyn Lim (future: Evelyn Seto), Jim Kelly (CC v2n6 6/78; ArtOfAtari p22)

June: Atari (Coin-Op) field service engineer Fred McCord was promoted to Field Service Manager.

June: John Constantine, previously Warner Communications senior auditor (and who had recently performed an audit of Atari for Atari VP finance Bill White), joined Atari as general accounting manager, Consumer division.  He was hired by VP finance Dennis Groth. (source 2:00)

June?: Atari displayed products at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago, including: Avalanche, Sprint 1, Starship 1, Sky Raider, Tournament Table, Middle Earth, Airborne Avenger, The Atarians, 2 Game Module.  Prototype game design concepts, Wall Unit and Game Booth were shown by Atari as well.

June: Opening of new Atari engineering facility, to house both Consumer and Coin-Op division engineering departments, at 1272 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA (77,000 sq. ft.; Moffett Park industrial park). (source; Fun p317 for date)  (previously: 155 Moffet Park Dr (Consumer) and 1265 Borregas (Coin-Op))

June: Pizza Time Theatre, Inc. (PTT), which had just been established by Atari chairman Nolan Bushnell, completed its acquisition of the Pizza Time Theatre prototype restaurant and associated intellectual property (including "Chuck E. Cheese") from Atari for US$500,000; Atari would retain minority ownership in PTT.

Warner Communications Inc. logo     Atari logo 1973-1984     Cyan Engineering logo     

June 26-28: Atari's latest video and pinball games were on display at the Bowling Proprietor's trade show (BPAA), including: Fire Truck, Sky Diver, Avalanche, Sprint 4, Middle Earth

Month?: Rich Adam joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a Pinball division programmer.

Month?: Dave Theurer joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a programmer/game designer.

Month?: In the UK, Atari distributor Cherry Leisure (UK) Ltd. shipped the VCS (new 2600U version for PAL I; 6 switches; woodgrain).

Month?: Atari began using contract submanufacturers in Taiwan to supplement their own consumer product manufacturing capacity.  Atari would establish a Taipei Liaison Office at (2nd floor) 217 Chang-Kuo North Road, Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China / ROC).  Rick Krieger would be Materials Manager for Atari.  Taiwanese contract manufacturers of the Atari VCS would eventually include: TRW Electronics Components Co., Dimerco Electronics, Kingtek Electronics Co.

Month?: Atari (Consumer) hired Peter N. Rosenthal as a market research associate (personal computers).

Month?: Game developer Brian Johnston, previously of Extensys Corporation (consultants to: Bally, Atari), joined the Atari Electronic Board Game Division. (source)

July 1: Atari (Coin-Op) international distributors included: Canada: Dale Distributing Ltd. (Rexdale Ontario; Richmond, B.C. (Vancouver)), Laniel Automatic (Mt. Royal, Quebec), New Way Sales (Toronto, Ontario), Rowe Int'l of Canada, Ltd. (Dorval, Quebec; Mississauga, Ontario; Burnaby, B.C. (Vancouver)), J.E. Weatherhead Dist. Ltd. (Burnaby, B.C. (Vancouver)); Central & South America: R.H. Belam Company (New York); Australia & S.E. Asia: Leisure & Allied Industries (Perth, West Australia); Belgium: Brabo Corporation (Antwerp); Brazil: Taito do Brazil (Sao Paulo); England: Cherry Leisure (U.K.) Ltd. (London); France: Socodimex (Paris); Germany: Löwen Automaten (Bingen/Rhine), Seevend Automaten (Hamburg); Holland: Vale Automaten Imports (Veldhoven); Italy: Fratelli Bertolino (Torino); Japan: Atari Japan (Ohta-ku, Tokyo); South Africa: Plankomat (Pty) Limited (Johannesburg); Spain: Sega S.A. (Madrid); Scandinavia: Cherryforetagen (Solna, Sweden)   (Cash Box 7/1/78 pt.III p5)

July 1: At Atari (Coin-Op), Gene Lipkin was VP marketing, Frank Ballouz was national sales manager, Don Osborne was Western regional sales manager, Howie Rubin was Eastern regional sales manager, Lenore Sayers was sales representative, Sue Elliot was head of international sales.  (Cash Box 7/1/78 pt.III p20)

July: Atari released Smokey Joe (one player version of Fire Truck).

July: Engineer Rich Moore joined Atari (Coin-Op). (source-p40)

July: Atari published a new VCS product catalog, again promising the 11 new titles: Space War, Home Run, Outlaw, Breakout, Hunt & Score, Codebreaker, Hangman, Brain Games, Basketball, Slot Racers, and Flag Capture, for a total library of 20 VCS cartridges available/soon available (including Combat).  Football had been dropped from the list of upcoming titles.

Summer: Engineering student Rob Fulop worked for Atari (Coin-Op) on a 10 week summer internship.  He was hired by Manager of Software Engineering Steve Calfee. (source)

Summer?: Engineer Harry H. Jenkins, Jr. joined Atari (Coin-Op). (see Zap! p105)

Summer?: Alan S. Henricks, previously management consultant for Arthur Young & Co. (Atari had been one of his clients), joined Atari as controller of the Consumer Division. (TheArthurYoungJournal Sum/Aut78 p53)  Henricks was hired by Atari VP finance Dennis Groth. (source)

Summer?: New production Atari VCS units would include a channel selection switch for VHF channels 2 or 3, and would include a new version of the Joystick Controller (CX40) shipped with the systems, replacing the original CX10 Joystick Controller which was discontinued.  Revised VCS box: "The Super System...More Games. More Fun"

Summer?: New production Sears Tele-Games Video Arcade systems (#99743 package with Target Fun, replacing the #99744 package with Pong Sports) by Atari (same as the Atari VCS) would include a channel selection switch for VHF channels 2 or 3, and would include a new version of the joystick controller (same as the new Atari CX40).  (Earlier units output on VHF channel 3 only, except some units modified for channel 4 for television markets with a local station on channel 3. - source).

August: Sears published a Video Arcade Cartridge Tele-Games System catalog featuring 20 titles for the Video Arcade/Atari VCS, all by Atari: Baseball, Basketball, Gun Slinger, Space Combat, Outer Space, Capture, Brain Games, Math, Spelling, Memory Match, Tank-Plus, Race, Spaceway II, Chase, Blackjack, Code Breaker (would ship as: Codebreaker), Maze, Target Fun (included with the Video Arcade), Breakaway IV, Pong-Sports

August: Atari Ireland Ltd. commenced operations at new manufacturing facility located in Tipperary Town (Aherlow Ct.), Co. Tipperary, Ireland.  First game manufactured at the plant: Sprint 2. (AGPCapr86 for date and 1st game)  The operation had been organized, initiated, and was headed by Atari VP Manufacturing Gil Williams. (CC 9/78)  Kevin Hayes, previously of W.R. Grace, joined Atari Ireland as financial controller. (source The Atari Ireland management team would also include Tommy Martinez and Phillip Stewart. (sourceFor cabinet production Atari Ireland would contract with, and become the exclusive customer of, nearby Murray Kitchens (Ardfinnan) Limited which had operated its 30,000 square foot factory for Murray Kitchens Ltd. at Mill Road, Youghal, Co. Cork since 1974.  Manufacturing for Atari by Europe Electronique (formerly, Atari-Europe) at Baume-les-Dames, France was discontinued.

August: Carol Shaw joined Atari (Consumer) as microprocessor software engineer (game designer/programmer). (source)

August: Atari (Consumer) hired NEOTERIC consultant Harry B. Stewart to oversee and document "Colleen" project systems software development.  Stewart was hired by director of software development George Simcock.

September: Atari released Super Breakout, and released Space Riders (pinball).

September: R.E. Kassar Corporation president Ray Kassar agreed to continue his temporary position with Atari as Consumer Division general manager through the end of the year. (HowTheyAchieved p98)

September: George Simcock remained Atari (Consumer) director of software development. (source)

September: Atari announced that Bob Betters, previously of Casper Instruments, had been hired as Manager of Customer Service at Atari Coin-Op (replacing the departed Don Smith).

October: Atari released Atari Football.

Fall: Atari announced the VIDCOM I ($299) and VIDCOM II ($499) portable communications system for the non-verbal, including an advertisement (original scan by mc 2013) on page 386 in the Oct/Nov issue of The Volta Review (journal of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing). (see also Atarimuseum's VIDCOM page)  Kerry Crosson was Atari Professional Products division general manager. 

Fall: For the VCS Atari released: Hangman (Sears title: Spelling), Outlaw (Sears title: Gunslinger), Space War (Sears title: Space Combat), Breakout (Sears title: Breakaway IV), Home Run (Sears title: Baseball) (never released in PAL format), Basketball, Flag Capture (Sears title: Capture) (never released in PAL format), Slot Racers (Sears title: Maze)

Fall?: Paul J. Malloy, previously of NCR Corp., joined Atari (Consumer) as VP manufacturing (source), replacing Loren Schoof who departed the company. (source)

November 10-12: Atari exhibited at the AMOA in Chicago, using the theme "STARWORLD '78."  Atari introduced Orbit, Subs, UFO (wall game), Hercules, and Monza (pinball cocktail; never released), and also showed: Atari Football, Space Riders, Super Breakout, Middle Earth, Sprint 2, Sit Down Night Driver, Starship 1, Smokey Joe, Fire Truck

November: Atari Ireland Ltd. reached full production of all current Atari (Coin-Op) games in Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary. 

November: Atari released Orbit.

November?: Atari exhibited at the IAAPA, using the theme "STARWORLD '78."  Atari introduced Orbit, Subs, UFO (wall game), Hercules, and Monza (pinball cocktail; never released), and also showed: Space Riders, Middle Earth, Atari Football, Super Breakout, Fire Truck Starship 1, Sit Down Night Driver, 2 Game Module

December 9-10: At Melbourne's first Home Computer Show, held at the Box Hill Town Hall, Atari home consumer products distributor Futuretronics Australia Pty Ltd introduced the Atari VCS to Australia ($339, including 2 joysticks, paddles, and Combat).

December 11: The New York City premier of the Warner Bros. movie Superman also included private previews of Atari Superman pinball and Atari Superman for the VCS.

December 14: Warner Communications introduced the Atari 400 ($500) and Atari 800 ($1000) personal computers at a New York news conference.  The computers would each ship with 8K RAM, and support "optional Atari-designed floppy disc & printer units.  Atari plans over 25 cartridges, including games, home financial management, mini-courses, etc. User can record own programs on audio cassettes with BASIC & FORTRAN cartridges."  According to Atari, the 400/800 were expected to ship August 1, 1979; they had been in development for 18 months; they were designed to pass FCC tests for use with home TV, unlike computers from other companies. Atari said it was studying connecting the 400/800 with the Warner Amex QUBE two-way interactive cable television system in Columbus OH.  (TVDigest 12/4/78 p11; 12/18/78 p11)

December: Gil Williams, previously Atari (Coin-Op) VP Manufacturing but now residing in Ireland heading Atari Ireland Ltd., would become Atari VP Manufacturing, Ireland.  Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP Engineering, Electronic Board Game Division and Coin Operated Games, became Atari VP Engineering and Plant Manager Pinball Production (assuming the new role from Williams).  The Atari Electronic Board Game Division would now be known as the Electronic Toy and Game Division.  Noah Anglin, previously Atari (Coin-Op) director of engineering, would become Atari (Coin-Op) director of engineering and manufacturing (assuming the added role from Williams).  Lyle V. Rains, previously an Atari (Coin-Op) Project Team Leader (one of several), would become (Coin-Op) Manager of Electrical Engineering and game development. 

December: For the VCS Atari announced the release of the Keyboard Controllers (CX50) (Merch 1/78 p81), and shipped the first three titles for keyboard controllers: Hunt & Score (Sears title: Memory Match), Codebreaker, Brain Games

December 28: Manny Gerard, office of the president of Warner Communications with responsibility for Atari, instituted a change of leadership at Atari.  Nolan Bushnell, previously Atari chairman and co-CEO, became creative consultant.  Joe Keenan, previously Atari president and co-CEO, became Atari chairman (replacing Bushnell in the role).  Ray Kassar, previously Atari (Consumer) general manager (temporary basis while remaining president of R.E. Kassar Corporation), joined Atari on a permanent basis as president (replacing Keenan in the role) and CEO (replacing Bushnell and Keenan in the role).  (Fun p381 for date; TVDigest 1/1/79p12; NYT 1/4/79 two articles; Cumma press release 7 Jan 1984; Merch 2/79 p46)

Atari sold 800,000 VCS units in 1978 (InfoWorld Nov 28, 1983 p. 157), but had an inventory of 200,000 unsold VCS units. (TVDigest 4/2/79p14)

1979
January: (by Jan. 6) Donald Kingsborough, previously of D.K. Marketing, joined Atari (Consumer) as Director of Sales & Marketing, replacing Don Thompson (sales) and Michael Shea (marketing) who both departed the company. (TVDigest 1/8/79p12)  (Thompson would establish Donald R. Thompson Associates, Inc. on 11/1/80, join Arcadia Corporation (later: Starpath Corporation) in 1982, join American Educational Computer, Inc. in 1983, and join Atari, Corp. in 1985.

January 6-9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas (Las Vegas Convention Center, Hilton hotel, and Jockey Club hotel), for the VCS ($189) Atari introduced the 8 new cartridge titles (for a total library of 28 available/soon available): Football (title originally announced April 1978 but dropped July 1978), Human Cannonball, Sky Diver, Miniature Golf, Slot Machine, Canyon Bomber, Bowling, Casino.  (In advance of the show, WCI had announced there would be 10 new titles presented (see Fun! p475), but Merch 1/79 article and Atari ad, Merch 4/79 and April 16-June 30 promotion info all support tally of 8 new titles introduced at the show.)

Atari featured the new Atari-400 Personal Computer and the Atari-800 Personal Computer.  The 400 would come with 8KiB of RAM and was expected to retail for approximately $500.  The 800 would ship with 8KiB of RAM, expandable to 48KiB, and would sell for approximately $1,000.  Peripherals announced/previewed: custom tape cassette recorder (410), high speed floppy disc (810), 40-column printer (820).  Software applications promised: "personal financial management, income tax preparation, household and office record keeping, computer aided instruction in over 20 subject areas including math, English, history, literature, economics, psychology, auto mechanics, and many others."  Games promised: Basketball, Chess (would ship as: Computer Chess), Life (would ship as: Video Easel), Kingdom, Lemonade Stand (would ship from APX as: Lemonade), Fur Trader (never shipped), Stock Market (never shipped).  Programming language promised: BASIC.  Availability dates were not announced.  Atari (Consumer) software manager Larry Kaplan and chip engineering technician Steve Smith led the live demonstrations of the 400/800 at the show.  Don Kingsborough was Atari (Consumer) Director of Sales & Marketing.  Emanuel Gerard represented the Office of the President, WCI.  Coverage of the introduction of the Atari 400/800 from Creative Computing magazine: http://mcurrent.name/atari1979/  (see also The Intelligent Machines Journal Issue 2, 79 Jan 17; Merch 1/79)

The new Atari Electronic Toy and Game Division introduced the electronic strategy and action games (board games) Pro Darts (never shipped), Pro Coach (never shipped), Pro Ball (never shipped), and Proteus 4 (later: Tronic 2; never shipped) (Fun p258, 475), and privately previewed the handheld Touch Me.  (TVDigest 2/12/79p8)

January: The Atari (Consumer) Microelectronics group (MOS-LSI circuit design and testing, microprocessor based consumer product development, software development, R&D) was folded into the Consumer engineering group (headed by VP Consumer engineering John Ellis), and Atari (Consumer) director of microelectronics Bob Brown would depart the company along with engineer Craig Nelson (together to Hitachi Micro Systems, Inc. (HMSI); on 6/11/81 they would depart HMSI to co-found Acorn, later known as Arcadia, and then known as Starpath Corporation). (one sourceThe Atari (Consumer) microelectronics group's R&D lab was shut down, and lab director Larry Wagner departed the company (to Votan). (source

January: Stephen N. Davis would join Atari (Consumer) as Product Marketing Manager (personal computers), replacing John Vurich who departed the company. (source) (Vurch and former Atari chairman and co-CEO Nolan Bushnell would together establish Axlon Incorporated on 3/26/1980).  Peter Rosenthal, previously hired by Atari (Consumer) as a marketing research associate (personal computers), would join the company as Atari (Consumer) Manager of Software Planning (personal computers).

January: Engineer Ed Rotberg joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a game designer/programmer. (source)

January: Jed Margolin joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a hardware engineer; he had been interviewed by Dave Stubben. (source)

January/February: The Atari Electronic Toy and Game Division became the Electronic Toys & Games product line of the Atari Consumer Division.

January 19: Atari (Coin-Op) moved into their new 56,800 square foot printed circuit board assembly facility at 1320 Bordeux, Sunnyvale CA. (CC 2/79)   Final product assembly remained at their plant at 2175 Martin Ave., Santa Clara.

January 23-25: Atari products were exhibited by the English distributor, Cherry Leisure (UK) Ltd., at the Amusement Trades Exhibition (ATE) in London.  Also finalized at the show, Quintin Flynn Ltd. became Atari distributor for Ireland. (CC 2/79)

January 26: Atari consultant Nolan Bushnell formally contested his December 28, 1978 ouster as Atari chairman to Emanuel Gerard of the Office of the President of Warner Communications, but Bushnell would instead depart the company. (Fun p381 and 413) (Bushnell and former Atari Consumer Division new products manager John Vurich would together establish Axlon Incorporated on 3/26/1980.)

Winter?: Atari committed to shipping the 400/800 with the BASIC developed for Atari by SMI, abandoned efforts to port Microsoft BASIC to the 400/800, and Atari (Consumer) senior software engineer (personal computers) David Gjerdrum departed the company.

February: Synertek/Atari engineer Jay Miner departed the companies (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 386; source #2) (to Custom MOS, Inc.).

February: Atari (Consumer) hired Ted M. Kahn, previously member of the Learning Research Group at Xerox PARC, as a personal computers educational marketing strategy consultant, essentially replacing consultant Liza Loop who would depart the company.

February: Atari released Video Pinball.

February 18-21: Atari introduced the handheld Touch Me (BH-100) at the Knickerbocker Toy Co. (fellow Warner Communications Inc. subsidiary) booth at the 76th annual American Toy Fair in New York.  Atari indicated that Pro Coach would be the second game in the Electronic Toys & Games product line, due in the fall (never shipped). (TVDigest 2/26/79)

March 5: Atari announced the release of Superman (pinball).

March 25-27: Atari exhibited at the Association of College Unions-International (ACUI) conference and show in Cincinnati.  Atari introduced Superman and also showed: Space Riders, Video Pinball, Atari Football, Sprint 2, Super Breakout

March 26: Atari had asked the U.S. FCC to extend the comments deadline on Texas Instruments' petition for a waiver of Class I rules on RF modulators, in what was seen as an attempt to delay market introduction of the TI home computer. (TVDigest 3/26/79)

Winter/Spring: For the VCS Atari shipped: Football (never released in PAL format), Human Cannonball (Sears title: Cannon Man), Sky Diver (Sears title: Dare Diver), Miniature Golf (Sears title: Arcade Golf), Slot Machine (Sears title: Slots), Canyon Bomber (never released in PAL format), Bowling, Casino (Sears title: Poker Plus)

March/April?: In the UK, Ingersoll Electronics Ltd. (subsidiary of Heron Corporation) became the new Atari Consumer products (Atari VCS) distributor, replacing Cherry Leisure (UK) Ltd. in the role.  (Cherry Leisure would continue as Atari (Coin-Op) distributor.)  The first VCS cartridge releases from Ingersoll would be, scheduled for May 1979: Codebreaker, Hunt & Score, Brain Games

April 9: In joining others including Apple, Interact, Mattel, and Radio Shack, Atari formally opposed Texas Instruments' RF devices waiver request from the U.S. FCC by submitting a 60-page report accompanied by technical data showing that TI standards could cause massive interference in urban areas, and claiming that "TI simply presented the Commission with its self-serving appraisal of what it considered 'reasonable standards' for home computer manufacturers, and asked for authority to produce & market a computer line satisfying its own standards." (TVDigest 4/9/79 p11)

April 9: Roger Gerard, previously of Fairchild Semiconductor, had joined Atari as VP administration (TVDigest 4/9/79 p12) replacing John Anderson who departed the company to Pizza Time Theatre, Inc.

April: The Atari (Coin-Op) Video Production Facility operations were moved from 2175 Martin Ave., Santa Clara, which Atari would abandon, to Atari's plant at 1215 Borregas, Sunnyvale (previously: Consumer final assembly / domestic VCS production) (CC 5/79), which would also be the new location for division administrative functions including Coin-Op Marketing Services.  The Atari VCS would no longer be produced domestically.

April: Atari (Coin-Op) announced the promotion of Darl Davidson (previously: production manager of the printed circuit board facility; he had joined Atari in January 1977) to Manager of Customer Service (replacing the departed Bob Betters).  (CC; TVDigest 7/16/79p12)

April: Atari released Hercules (pinball -- the largest pinball machine ever made (93" long, 39" wide, 83" high), and also the last Atari production pinball machine), and released Atari 4-Player Football.

April: Atari chip engineering technician Steve Smith departed the company (to Custom MOS, Inc.).

April: Rob Zdybel joined Atari (Consumer) as a VCS programmer. (source)

April 16-June 30: Direct-mail "refund" promotion to all known (US) Atari VCS owners.  Each of "hundreds of thousands" of owners would receive a blank check good for $2 on purchase of any of 28 VCS game programs.  In addition, consumers were asked to answer 3 questions about Atari's new personal computers.  Winners drawn from correct responses would receive Atari 400 & 800 computers and $100 computer merchandise certificates. (TVDigest 3/12/79p12; Merch 4/79)

May 11-13: At the 4th West Coast Computer Faire, held in San Francisco's Civic Auditorium & Brooks Hall, in a booth as elaborate as those seen at Consumer Electronics Shows, Atari demonstrated its new 400 and 800 series computers.  This was Atari's first public display of their new computer product lines. (Intelligent Machines Journal 79 Jun 11 p8)  In addition to business & household management software, educational applications promised: Algebra (would ship as: Basic Algebra), Economics (would ship as: Principles of Economics), Auto Mechanics (never shipped), Sociology (would ship as: Basic Sociology), U.S. History, Zoology (never shipped), Counseling Procedures, Vocabulary Builder (never shipped), Basic Psychology, Spelling, Spanish (never shipped), Accounting (would ship as: Principles of Accounting), Carpentry (never shipped), Great Classics, Statistics (never shipped), Basic Electricity, World History.  Entertainment applications promised: Chess (would ship as: Computer Chess), Backgammon (never shipped), business simulations, Stock Market Simulation (never shipped), space adventure, strategy games, Four-Player Basketball (would ship as: Basketball), Superbug Driving Game (never shipped), Game of Life (would ship as: Video Easel), Super Breakout. Also promised: Atari BASIC

May: Atari released Atari Basketball, and released Subs (2 players, 2 monitors).

May: For the VCS Atari announced the 4 new titles Superman, BASIC Programming, Backgammon, and Video Chess, each to ship by summer. (ad in Merch 5/79)

May 21: In response to Texas Instruments' technical reply to the U.S. FCC regarding its Class I waiver request, which said its interference standards exceeded Computer & Business Equipent Manufacturers Association (CBEMA) standards, Atari had filed a followup noting that CBEMA standards were for commercial computers up to 30 meters from a TV, enclosing photos of broken-up TV pictures reportedly caused by a home computer with TI standards. (TVDigest 5/21/79 p13)

June 1: New suggested retail price for the Atari VCS: $179.95 (previously: $189). (Merch 7/79 p103; TVDigest 6/11/79)

June 3-6: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari promised that the 400/800 base units would ship fall 1979, and featured a firmed 400/800 product line including suggested retail prices.  400 system with BASIC cartridge and Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide): $549.99; 800 system with BASIC cartridge, Education System Master Cartridge, Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide), 410 Program Recorder, and Guide to BASIC Programming cassette: $999.99; 810 Disc Drive: $749.99; 820 Printer: $599.99; 410 Program Recorder: $89.99; 8K RAM Memory Module: $124.99; 16K RAM Memory Module: $249.99; Driving Controller Pair: $19.95; Paddle Controller Pair: $19.95; Joystick Controller Pair: $19.95; ROM cartridges: Education System Master Cartridge (would ship as: Educational System Master Cartridge), Basketball, Life (would ship as: Video Easel), Super Breakout, Super Bug (never shipped), Atari BASIC, Assembler Debug (would ship as: Assembler Editor), Music Composer, Computer Chess, Home Finance (earlier: Checkbook; later: Personal Finance; never shipped); Educational System cassette programs: U.S. History, U.S. Government, Supervisory Skills, World History (Western), Basic Sociology, Counseling Procedures, Principles of Accounting, Physics, Great Classics (English), Business Communications, Basic Psychology, Effective Writing, Auto Mechanics (never shipped), Principles of Economics, Spelling, Basic Electricity, Basic Algebra; BASIC game and program cassettes: Guide to BASIC Programming (would ship as: An Invitation to Programming 1: Fundamentals of BASIC Programming), BASIC Game Programs (never shipped); diskettes: Blank Diskettes (would ship as: 5 Diskettes), Disk File Manager (would ship as: Master Diskette).

For the VCS ($179), Atari introduced Superman, BASIC Programming, Backgammon, and Video Chess (expanding the VCS library of cartridges available/soon available from 28 to 32 titles).

Don Kingsborough, previously Atari (Consumer) director of sales & marketing, was now Atari (Consumer) VP sales & marketing. (TVDigest 6/11/79)

June 15: Atari announced U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Type I approval for the Atari 400 and Atari 800 personal computer systems, along with the Atari Program Recorder (410).  It was the 29th consecutive Atari product approval by the FCC.

June: Atari microcomputer systems engineer Joe Decuir departed the company (Fun p387; source #2) to Standard Technologies.

June: Atari (Consumer) programmer/game designer Warren Robinett departed the company. (source)  (He would be a co-founder of The Learning Company, established 8/12/1980.)

June?: For the VCS Atari shipped: Video Chess, Backgammon (newspaper ad 6/12/79 titles "coming soon")

June: Atari released Atari Baseball.

June 25: Mark M. Weinstein was Atari, Inc. Assistant Secretary.

Month?: Anton Bruehl, previously a VP of one of the Burlington Industries' international divisions, joined Atari to establish and head the new Atari International Consumer division. (source) (source)

Month?: Bill Carris joined Atari (Consumer) as manager of technical services (personal computers).

Month?: Cyan Engineering Mechanical Engineer/Design Supervisor Gene Wise departed the company.

Month?: Steve Wright, previously Atari manager of LSI test, would become an Atari (Consumer) training manager.  Carl J. Nielsen would join Atari as director of LSI design and test, replacing Wright as well as LSI design manager Richard Simone who departed the company to Maruman Integrated Circuits

July 2: Atari personal computers were in the Penny fall-winter catalog at $550 & $995. (TVDigest 7/2/79)

July 2: Atari was out of the dedicated consumer video game business, closing out inventories of Video Pinball, Ultra Pong, Ultra Pong Doubles, and Stunt Cycle. (TVDigest 7/2/79)

July 7: Atari (Coin-Op) international distributors included: Canada: Dale Distributing Ltd. (Rexdale, Ontario; Richmond, B.C.), Laniel Automatic (Mt. Royal Quebec), New Way Sales (Toronto, Ontario), Rowe Int'l of Canada, Ltd. (Dorval, Quebec; Mississauga, Ontario), J.E. Weatherhead Dist. Ltd. (Burnaby, B.C.); Central & South America: R.H. Belam Company (New York NY); Australia: Leisure & Allied Industries (Perth); Belgium: Brabo Corporation (Antwerp); Brazil: Taito do Brazil (Sao Paulo); England: Cherry Leisure (U.K.) Ltd. (London); France: Socodimex (Paris); Germany: Löwen Automaten (Bingen/Rhine); Holland: Vale Automaten Imports (Veldhoven); Italy: Fratelli Bertolino (Torino); Japan: Atari Japan (Ohta-Ku, Tokyo); Republic of Ireland: Quintin Flynn Ltd. (Dublin); Scandinavia: Cherryforetagen (Solna, Sweden)   (Cash Box 7/7/79 ptIII p7)

July 7: At Atari (Coin-Op), Gene Lipkin was president, Frank Ballouz was national sales manager, Don Osborne was western regional sales manager, Howie Rubin was eastern regional sales manager, Lenore Sayers was sales rep, Tom Petit was sales rep, Sue Elliot was head of international sales, Carol Kantor was marketing services manager.  (Cash Box 7/7/79 ptIII p20)

July: Charles S. Paul (Skip Paul) joined Atari as general counsel.  Paul was previously with the San Francisco law firm Cooley, Godward, Castro, Huddleson & Tatum for 3 years.

July: For the VCS Atari shipped: BASIC Programming (Merch 6/79)

July: Atari VP research and development Al Alcorn, previously head of the Atari Consumer Division, would recruit Atari (Coin-Op) graphic designer (and previously industrial designer) Roger Hector and engineer Harry Jenkins to work with him to investigate designing a consumer electronics product that would utilize holography.  The new R&D unit would come to be known as the Atari Advanced Products Group.  Donald Winn joined Atari as Consumer Division president (replacing Alcorn in the role).  William Grubb (Bill Grubb), previously of Black & Decker, joined Atari (Consumer) as video games sales & marketing VP and Robert A. Hovee, previously of Questor, joined Atari (Consumer) as personal computers sales & marketing VP, together replacing Donald Kingsborough who departed the company (to rejoin D.K. Marketing). (TVDigest 7/30/79p11)

Summer?: Atari (Pinball) programmer Eugene Jarvis departed the company.

Summer: Engineer Rob Fulop joined Atari (Consumer) as a game designer/programmer.

Fall?: In West Germany, new Atari distributor Unicom Consumer Electronics GmbH (Unimex) shipped the Atari VCS (new version 2600P for PAL B; woodgrain; 6 switches).

August?: For the VCS Atari shipped: Superman (newspaper ads)

August: Atari released Lunar Lander.  Atari's first game to feature their QuadraScan vector monitor display system.

August: Atari (Consumer) programmer Dennis Koble, previously of the division's Electronic Toys & Games group, would become (Consumer) software manager, replacing Larry Kaplan who departed the company.  Koble would report to Atari (Consumer) director of software development George Simcock.

August: Atari (Consumer) chip design engineer Doug Neubauer departed the company (to Hewlett-Packard). (Compute! #3 Mar/Apr 80 p75)

August?: On pages 650-655 of the Wish Book for the 1979 Holiday Season Sears featured: the Tele-Games Pong Sports IV (#99708) by Atari ($24.95), the Tele-Games Motocross Sports Center IV (#99729) by Atari ($34.95), the Tele-Games Video Arcade (#99743) by Atari ($154.95), and the Atari 400 personal computer system ($549) and accessories.

August/September: In the Atari Coin-Op Division Atari announced: Frank Ballouz had been promoted to Director of Marketing (replacing the departed C. Marshall Caras), including international marketing; Don Osborne (previously: western regional sales manager) had been promoted to National Sales Manager (replacing the promoted Ballouz in the role); Howie Rubin continued to head the East Coast office and would also work on new special markets; Sue Elliot had been promoted to International Sales Manager; Tom Petit, sales representative, would also have increased responsbilities including distributor accounts throughout the U.S.  Gene Lipkin remained president of the Atari Coin-Operated Games Division. (CC) 

Summer/Fall: The Atari plant at 1173 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA, previously Atari's pinball manufacturing plant, was repurposed for 400/800 computer line manufacturing.

September 4: Chris Crawford, previously an instructor with the University of California Extension, and designer of the self-published game Legionnaire for Commodore PET, joined Atari (Consumer) as a game designer/programmer.

September 4: The New York Times reported on p. D7, "Atari Inc., the maker of home video games, will introduce two new personal computer systems in the fall. The inaugural ad campaign, created by Doyle Dane Bernbach, will break in October in 12 national publications. TV commercials will also be aired in Los Angeles in November and December."

September: Atari (Consumer) senior programmers / game designers Bob Whitehead, Alan Miller, and David Crane departed the company and with recently departed Atari manager of consumer software Larry Kaplan, former GRT Corp. VP Music Tapes division Jim Levy, and venture capitalist Richard W. (Dick) Muchmore, would together establish Activision, Inc. on 10/1/79.

September: Raymond E. Kassar, previously Atari president and CEO, would become Atari chairman and CEO, replacing Atari chairman Joe Keenan who announced his departure from the company.  Keenan was named president and COO of Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell's Pizza Time Theatre, Inc. (PTT), replacing Gene Landrum in the role there; Landrum became PTT SVP development.

September?: Dennis Groth, previously Atari VP finance (CFO), would become Atari EVP finance (CFO).

September: Atari opened a factory with 30 employees in an unused building in the Farah Manufacturing plant at 5645 Beacon, El Paso, Texas.  The plant would manufacture home video game cartridges. (source) (source)  It was a 38,500 square foot location. (source)

September: Kevin Hayes, previously Atari Ireland Ltd. financial controller, would be promoted to Atari Ireland managing director, replacing Gil Williams who departed the company. (sourceMike Nevin would join Atari Irelend as controller (replacing Hayes in the role).

September 19: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a new set of "Technical Standards for Computing Equipment" (FCC 79-555, 79 FCC 2d. 28).  The new Class A (commercial) and Class B (residential) digital device standards were both less stringent than the earlier Type I standard which, among home computers released and announced to date, only the Atari 400/800 had succeeded in complying with.  Atari, among others, would formally protest the new standards.

September 24: Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (staff engineer Paul Laughton for SMI) completed the File Management System (FMS) for the Atari personal computers.

September 24: In the U.S., registered buyers of the Atari VCS in the 3rd quarter received 5 LP albums: Diana Ross/Theme from Mahogany, Jefferson Airplane/Flight Log, Crosby & Nash/Live, The Beach Boys/Love You, Ohio Players/Gold.  In the 4th quarter, registered VCS buyers would get five scrip checks (coupons) each worth $2.50 off the price of any of: Flag Capture, Black Jack, Surround, Space War, Basic Math. (TVDigest 9/24/97p10; Merch 10/79)

September/October?: At Atari (Consumer), Steve Wright, previously a training manager, became a VCS game developer.

October: Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP Engineering and Plant Manager Pinball Production, became Atari VP Engineering, Consumer and Home Computer Division, replacing John Ellis who departed the company.  Engineer Niles Strohl would be promoted to director of Consumer engineering, replacing Wade Tuma who departed the company. (Ellis and Tuma would together establish Compower Corp. on 5/19/80).  Noah Anglin, previously Atari (Coin-Op) director of engineering and manufacturing, would be promoted to Atari (Coin-Op) VP of Engineering and Manufacturing (Cash Box 2/2/80 p41; TVDigest 6/2/80 p12) (assuming the previous role of Bristow).  Lyle V. Rains, previously (Coin-Op) Manager of Electrical Engineering and game development, would be promoted to (Coin-Op) Director of Engineering (replacing Anglin in the role). (CC Apr80)  Atari (Coin-Op) engineer Dan Van Elderen would be promoted to electrical engineering supervisor/manager (replacing the promoted Rains in the role). 

October/November: Colette Weil was promoted to Manager of Marketing Research at Atari Coin-Op.

Fall: Atari shipped the handheld Touch Me (BH-100), the first release in the Atari (Consumer) Electronic Toys & Games product line.

Fall: Carla Meninsky joined Atari (Consumer) as a game designer.  Dennis Koble remained Atari manager of Consumer software; George Simcock remained Atari (Consumer) director of software development.  (source)

Fall: Tod Frye joined Atari (Consumer) as a game designer/programmer. (source)

November: Atari released Asteroids (original upright version).  Asteroids was the first video game to allow players to personalize their high scores with their initials.

November: Conrad C. Jutson, previously of Texas Instruments, joined Atari (Consumer) as VP Sales & Marketing, Personal Computers, replacing Robert Hovee who departed the company. (TVDigest 1/21/80p14; Compute!s 1st Book p2 for date)

November: Atari exhibited at the AMOA.  Using the theme, "The Atari Adventure...the games of the future" Atari introduced Asteroids, Atari Soccer, and Monte Carlo, and also featured Lunar Lander, Atari 4-Player Football, Atari Baseball, Atari Football, Hercules.

November?: Atari exhibited at the IAAPA.  Atari introduced Asteroids, Atari Soccer, and Monte Carlo, and also featured: Lunar Lander, Atari 4-Player Football, Atari Baseball, Atari Football, Hercules

November: Atari shipped the 400 personal computer system (NTSC; 8KiB RAM) and, shortly thereafter, the 800 personal computer system (NTSC; 8KiB RAM), each boxed with the BASIC Computing Language cartridge (Atari BASIC by SMI) and the Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide) book; the 800 additionally shipped with the 410 program recorder and the Educational System Master Cartridge (Dorsett Educational Systems), which each also shipped separately.

November?: Dale Yocum, previously of Telesensory, joined Atari (Consumer) to head a new application programmers group (non-game, non-systems software) as Applications Software Manager (personal computers).  Yocum would report to director of software development George Simcock.

November 26: On procedural grounds, the U.S. FCC had denied Atari's motion for a stay of the waiver given to Texas Instruments to sell an independent RF modulator for home computers & video games, saying Atari hadn't presented any new evidence. (TVDigest 11/26/79)  (Atari would try again.)

November/December?: Programmer Lane Winner, previously of Versatec, joined Atari (Consumer) as an applications programmer (personal computers).  Winner would report to application programmers group manager Dale Yocum. (source)

November/December?: Fred M. Gerson joined Atari (Coin-Op) as VP Finance for the division. (CC 6/80)  Gerson was previously an audit manager with Arthur Young & Co., where his clients had included Atari.

November/December?: For the 400/800 Atari shipped: Basketball, Video Easel (previously: Life), Super Breakout, and the Talk and Teach Courseware cassettes: U.S. History, U.S. Government, Supervisory Skills, World History (Western), Basic Sociology, Counseling Procedures, Principles of Accounting, Physics, Great Classics, Business Communications, Basic Psychology, Effective Writing, Principles of Economics, Spelling, Basic Electricity, Basic Algebra

December 3: Publication date of the Atari internal document, Stella Programmer's Guide by VCS game developer Steve Wright.

December: Michael J. Moone (Mike Moone), previously VP and General Manager of Milton Bradley Co., had joined Atari as president of the Consumer Division, replacing Don Winn who departed the company. (TVDigest 12/17/79p14)  

December: Holosonics, Inc. was declared bankrupt, and ownership of more than 150 holography patents reverted to the People's Bank of Seattle and Citibank.

Four of the top ten money-making coin games of 1979 were by Atari: Atari Football, Sprint 2, Super Breakout, Video Pinball

1980
January 4: In Hong Kong, Denovo Company Limited was established, to serve as an investment vehicle.

January 5-8: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas, for the 400/800 ($549.99/$999.99), Atari introduced the 825 printer, 830 modem, and 850 interface, introduced 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Star Raiders, and Calculator, and again promised Music Composer, Assembler Editor (previously: Assembler Debug), and Personal Finance (previously: Home Finance; never shipped).  Atari announced a license agreement to market 8 investment-application programs designed by Control Data Corp. from CDC's Cyberware library, including: bond yield, bond price and interest, bond switch, stock rate of return, stock dividend analysis, stock charting, mortgage analysis, portfolio analysis. (WSJ Jan8p37; TVDigest 1/14/80p13)  

For the VCS ($179), Atari introduced 6 new Game Programs, to ship one title per month over the first half of the year: Space Invaders (title by Taito), 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Night Driver, Golf, Circus Atari, and Adventure (for a total of 38 titles; Basic Math was renamed Fun With Numbers; Hunt & Score was renamed A Game of Concentration.).  Bill Grubb remained Atari (Consumer) VP marketing and sales for video games.

January?: For the 400/800 Atari shipped: Computer Chess, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Star Raiders

January: Chris Crawford, previously an Atari (Consumer) game designer, transferred to the personal computer application programmers group (reporting to group manager Dale Yocum).

January 17-19: Atari games were exhibited by Löwen/MSM at the IMA German Trade Association Show in Frankfurt, West Germany. Atari Soccer and Asteroids Cocktail Table were introduced.  Also shown: Asteroids, Lunar Lander

January 21: Atari and Control Data announced an agreement whereby Atari computer systems could be repaired through the nationwide network of Control Data repair centers.  Approximately 20 centers throughout the country were open; more were scheduled.  (Dr. Dobb's Journal; source for date)

January 24: Atari announced the hand held electronic games Space Invaders (title by Taito; never shipped) and Super Breakout (never shipped).  Michael Moone remained president of the Atari Consumer Division. (source; TVDigest 2/4/80)

January 28: Atari announced that it had signed a license agreement with Taito Corporation of Japan under which Atari was granted the exclusive right to use the name Space Invaders (which was currently the world's most popular video arcade game) in connection with the manufacture or sale of non-coin-operated video games, personal computers, and hand held electronic toys and games.  This was the first such arrangement in the industry.  (The 1978 "Space Invaders" release by Bally for the Bally Professional Arcade home system would no longer be sold under that title.)  Michael J. Moone remained president of Atari's Consumer Division. (source; TVDigest 2/11/80p10)  (Space Invaders would go on to become the "killer application" for the Atari VCS.)

January 29-31: At the Amusement Trades Exhibition (ATE) at Alexandra Palace, London, Atari was represented by distributors Cherry Leisure and (just-appointed) The Music Hire Group.  Games displayed included Asteroids.

Winter: For the VCS Atari released: Space Invaders  (ad in Capital Times 2/28/80 p6)

Winter: For the 400/800 Atari shipped the 810 disk drive with Master Diskette (DOS I developed by SMI), and shipped the 820 printer.

Winter: William (Bill) Kaiser, previously of Xerox, joined Atari (Consumer) in finance.

February 10: Atari introduced the hand-held electronic games Space Invaders (title by Taito; never shipped) and Super Breakout (never shipped) in the opening of their showroom at Toy Center South, 200 5th Avenue, Suite 1357, New York City. (sourceThe opening was timed to coincide with the February 17-20 American Toy Fair.

February 11: Atari had announced a 5% factory price boost on the Atari VCS (previously: $179), effective April 1. (TVDigest 2/11/80p10)

February 11: The Sears spring-summer catalog featured the Atari Video Arcade at $149, the Atari 400 at $549, and the Atari 800 at $999. (TVDigest 2/11/80p10)

February: Nearly 200 holography patents came up for sale by the People's Bank of Washington in Seattle and New York's Citibank, which had taken possession of the patents when they foreclosed on loans to the patents' owners, Holosonics Inc.  Atari would acquire the exclusive right to manufacture and market products involving holograms intended primarily for toys and games (source), and Atari's Advanced Products Group would establish the Atari Holoptics Lab.

February 17-20: Atari featured the hand-held electronic games Space Invaders (never shipped), Super Breakout (never shipped), and Touch Me at the 77th annual American Toy Fair in New York.  Atari's showroom at Toy Center South, 200 5th Avenue, Suite 1357, had opened on February 10.

March 6: In West Germany, Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH (alternately: Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH; Atari Elektronik Vertriebs GmbH) was established as a subsidiary of WEA Musik GmbH (headed by managing director Siegfried E. Loch (Siggi Loch), and itself a subsidiary of Atari parent company, Warner Communications Inc.), to take over the Atari consumer products distribution business of Unimex (Unicom Consumer Electronics GmbH).  The managing director of Atari Elektronik would be Klaus Ollmann, WEA Musik Deputy Managing Director, GOVI Records GmbH (retail store chain) managing director, and Record Service GmbH (record manufacturing) managing director.  Rolf Rehfeldt would be head of sales; Werner Täsler would be head of marketing. (source; source)  Headquarters location (shared with WEA Musik): Arndtstraße 16, 2000 Hamburg 76.  Distribution warehouse (shared with GOVI Records): Gluckstraße 67, 2000 Hamburg 76.  Repair Service (shared with Record Service): Max-Planck-Straße 1-9, 5110 Alsdorf

March?: For the 400/800 Atari shipped: Music Composer

March: Science Research Associates (SRA) and Atari announced that SRA would develop educational computer courseware in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, intended for Atari personal computers used in the home; Atari would have the right to market this software.  Additionally, SRA would have primary responsibility for the sale of Atari personal computers and services to the educational community (public and private, pre-school through university level). (Compute#4p76)

March: Atari (Coin-Op) announced three new international distributors.  The Music Hire Group had joined Cherry Leisure as co-distributors in the UK, Bo Billing was the new exclusive distributor in Sweden, and Raha-Automaattiyhdisys was the new exclusive distributor in Finland.  Sue Elliott remained Atari International Sales Manager. (CC 3/80)

March 20-22: Atari exhibited at the Amusement Operators Exposition in New Orleans.

March 23-26: Atari exhibited at the Association of College Unions-International (ACUI) conference and show in Minneapolis.  At the show Atari introduced Atari Soccer, and also featured: Asteroids, Atari Football, Atari Baseball

April 1: Atari increased the suggested retail price for the VCS to $199 (previously: $179)  (TVDigest 2/11/80p10; (TVDigest 6/2/80 p11)

April 9: Atari's petition to the U.S. FCC to rescind the waiver of Class I TV rules granted to Texas Instruments was rejected by the commission. (TVDigest 4/7/80 p11; 4/14/80 p12)

April: Atari released Asteroids Cocktail, released Atari Soccer, and released Monte Carlo.

April?: Tandy Trower, previously of WICAT, joined Atari (Consumer) as an evaluator of 3rd party software titles (personal computers).  He was hired by Atari (Consumer) Manager of Software Planning (personal computers) Peter Rosenthal. (source; source)

April 18-20: Atari exhibited at the International Coin Machine Trade Show in New York City.

April 26-30: 6th Annual Atari Distributor Meeting, entitled "The Atari Roundup," was held at The Wigwam in Phoenix AZ.  Over 200 attended. (CC 6/80)

April 28: Activision, Inc. had announced their first releases and the first-ever third-party games for a game console, 4 titles for the Atari VCS to be introduced at the June 1980 CES and to ship in September: Drag Race, Boxing, Checkers, Fishing Derby (TVDigest 4/28/80 p11)

Spring: For the VCS Atari released: Adventure  (ad in Medicine Hat News, Alberta CA, 5/9/80 p10)

Spring: For the 400/800 Atari had shipped: An Invitation to Programming 1 (PDI; previously: Guide to BASIC Programming), Biorhythm, Hangman, Kingdom, Blackjack (6/1/80 price list)

Spring: Tom Petit, previously Atari (Coin-Op) sales representative, became Atari (Coin-Op) regional sales manager, Western States (CC 11/81)

May 5-8: At the New York Premium Incentive Show, Atari (Coin-Op) featured Atari Soccer, Football, and Asteroids, and Atari (Consumer) exhibited as well. (CC 6/80)

May 6: In West Germany, Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH was registered for business, with Klaus Ollmann registered as sole director of the company.

May?: David Burling, previously an associate at Collier, Shannon, Rill, Edwards, and Scott, joined Atari where he would be VP counsel.

May 19: Atari had filed a $20 million suit (in San Francisco) against Activision, Inc., charging the company with theft of video game secrets, unfair competition, and trademark infringement, and asking for an injunction to keep the cartridges off the market. (InfoWorld Aug.4; TVDigest 5/19/80 p15)

May 19-22: Atari featured the 400/800 personal computer systems at the 1980 National Computer Conference at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim CA.  Also at the show, Personal Software introduced the Atari 800 version (and the Commodore PET/CBM version) of VisiCalc by Software Arts. (The original Apple version had shipped Oct. 1979.)

May/June?: Dennis Koble, previously Atari manager of Consumer software, was promoted to Atari (Consumer) director of software development, and John R. Powers, III, co-founder and previously of The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI; developers of software for the CyberVision home computer), joined Atari (Consumer) as director of software development (personal computers), together replacing George Simcock who departed the company (retired).  (Powers was hired by VP engineering Steve Bristow. (source)(source for date; late reference to Simcock still at Atari; letter to Atari; another source; sourceSteve Wright, previously Atari (Consumer) game developer, became Atari (Consumer) software manager (replacing the promoted Koble in the role).  Brian Johnston, previously Atari (Consumer) game developer (electronic toys & games), became Atari (Consumer) systems software manager (personal computers).  Johnston and application programmers group manager Dale Yocum would both report to Powers.

June 1: Atari increased suggested retail prices for the 400/800.  The 400 personal computer system (still 8KiB RAM) was now $630 (previously: $549.99); the 800 personal computer system, now with 16KiB RAM (previously: 8KiB RAM), was now $1,080 (previously: $999.99/8KiB RAM). (TVDigest 6/2/80 p11 and price list)

June 4: Joseph Robbins (Joe Robbins), most recently president of Empire Distributing Company, a division of Bally, Inc., was named Atari co-president Coin-Op Division.  Gene Lipkin, previously Atari president Coin-Op Division, would also be Atari co-president Coin-Op Division. (TVDigest 6/16/80 p16)

June: Atari announced the appointment of Shane Breaks as International Marketing Director for the Coin-Operated Games Division of Atari.  Breaks would be headquartered at Atari's facility in Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.  Sue Elliot remained International Sales Manager and would now report to Breaks.

June: Dona Bailey joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a programmer.

June: Atari released Asteroids Cabaret (the introduction of the Cabaret mini-cabinet concept), and released Missile Command (original upright version).  Missile Command was the first Atari game to default to 50 cents per play, rather than the standard 25 cents.

June 15-18: At the Summer CES in Chicago, for the 400/800 ($630/$1,080) Atari introduced: 815 dual disk drive with DOS 2.0D ($1499.95; never shipped), 822 printer ($449.95), and Light Pen (CX70; $74.95), and again promised the 825 printer ($999.95), 830 modem ($199.95), and 850 interface ($219.95). (CC Sep80p30; 6/1/80 price list)  400/800 software Atari announced or again promised (6/1/80 price list): Mortgage & Loan Analysis (Control Data), Bond Analysis (Control Data), Stock Analysis (Control Data), Stock Charting (Control Data), An Invitation to Programming 2: Writing Programs One and Two (PDI), An Invitation to Programming 3: Introduction to Sound and Graphics (PDI), Astrology (never shipped), Conversational French (Thorn EMI), Conversational German (Thorn EMI), Conversational Spanish (Thorn EMI), Mailing List, Touch Typing, Calculator, Graph It, Statistics I, Energy Czar, States & Capitals, European Countries & Capitals, TeleLink I (previously: Terminal Emulator), Space Invaders (title by Taito), Assembler Editor.  Atari also previewed The Atari Accountant series (by BPI; would consist of: General Accounting System; Accounts Receivable System; Inventory Control Program; series never shipped).

Also, Atari had modified the 800 personal computer system package.  The 800 would now ship with one CX853 16KiB RAM module installed (previously: one CX852 8KiB RAM module); the 410 program recorder and Educational System Master Cartridge were removed from the package; the BASIC Reference Manual was added to the package.

For the VCS ($199) Atari introduced: Maze Craze, Video Checkers, Dodge 'Em, Pelé's Championship Soccer (Sears title: Soccer).  (Two VCS titles were dropped: Slot Machine and Star Ship, making a total of 40 titles available.)

Atari featured the handheld Electronic Games, Space Invaders and Super Breakout (or at least one of them) as well. (NYT 12/14/80)

Month?: John S. Farrand, previously Managing Director at Music Hire Group Limited, a UK company specializing in coin-operated music systems (juke boxes), joined Atari (Coin-Op) as president of international operations.

Month?: The Atari Professional Products Division was shut down, and Atari Professional Products general manager Kerry Crosson departed the company.

Month?: Jeff Burton joined Atari International as International Market Manager - Europe.

Month?: Nancy Garrison, previously of Revlon, joined Atari International in marketing.

Month?: In Canada, Irwin Toy became the country's exclusive distributor of Atari products for the home consumer market. (source)

July 1: In the U.S., until September 30, Atari offered free set of Keyboard Controllers for the purchase of A Game of Concentration and Codebreaker for the VCS. (source)

July 5: At Atari (Coin-Op), Gene Lipkin was president, Joseph Robbins was co-president, Frank Ballouz was director of marketing, Don Osborne was national sales director, Sue Elliot was international sales manager. (Cash Box 7/5/80 pt.iii p16)

July 5: Atari (Coin-Op) international distributors included: Canada: Dale Distributing Ltd. (Rexdale, Ontario; Richmond, B.C. (Vancouver)), Laniel Automatic (Mt. Royal, Quebec), New Way Sales (Toronto, Ontario), J.E. Weatherhead Dist. Ltd. (Burnaby, B.C.); R.H. Belam Company (New York, NY); Leisure & Allied Industries (Perth, West Australia); Brabo Corporation (Antwerp, Belgium); Taito do Brazil (Sao Paulo, Brazil); Music Hire Group (Leeds, England); Ruffler & Deith Ltd. (London, England); Socodimex (Paris, France); Löwen Automaten (Bingen/Rhine, West Germany); Fratelli Bertolino (Torino, Italy); Sega Enterprises (Tokyo, Japan); Taito Corporation (Tokyo, Japan); Lars Berg A/S (Trondheim, Norway); Quintin Flynn Ltd. (Dublin, Ireland); Bo Billing/Bally Scandinavia (Solna, Sweden) (Cash Box 7/5/80 pt.iii p23)

July: Engineer Larry Plummer, previously General Manager, Computer Products at Heathkit, joined Atari (Consumer) as personal computer systems director of engineering (replacing Atari (Consumer) director of engineering Niles Strohl in the role).  Engineer Carl Goy would join Plummer in moving from Heath to Atari.

July: Electronics engineer and programmer Tim McGuinness, previously of Plantronics / Zehntel, joined Atari (Consumer) as a personal computer systems engineer.

July 22: In Hong Kong, Atari established Atari Far East Limited, for International Consumer Division regional marketing. Location: Wing on Plaza, 6th Floor, Suite #605, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon

July 25: In Hong Kong, Atari and The Wong's Electronics Company, Limited (WEC), which had recently begun contract manufacturing of the Atari VCS for Atari, jointly established Atari-Wong Limited.  On behalf of Atari-Wong, WEC executives Wong Chung-Mat, Ben and Tsui Ying-Chun, Edward would continue to head the manufacturing plant at: 2/Fl., King Yip Bldg., 59 King Yip St., Kwun Tong, Kowloon

Summer: For the VCS Atari released: 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Circus Atari (Sears title: Circus), Night Driver, Golf  (newspaper ads, including Chicago Heights Star 6/29 pS 5)

Summer?: Atari (Consumer) game designer Carol Shaw departed the company.

August: Atari released Missile Command Cocktail.

August?: Atari products were displayed by distributor Leisure and Allied Industries at the Australian AMOA, including: Asteroids, Missile Command 

August: Atari co-president Coin-Op Division Gene Lipkin departed the company (Fun p388 for month).  Joe Robbins, previously the other Atari co-president Coin-Op Division, would now be the sole Atari president Coin-Op Division.

August: Steve Wright was Atari (Consumer) software manager when Atari became aware of the hidden programmer credit in Atari's VCS game, Adventure, by departed Atari game designer Warren Robinett; Wright coined the term: "Easter Egg" (letter to Atari; source #2)

August?: On pages 655-657 of the Wish Book for the 1980 Holiday Season Sears featured the Video Arcade (#75001; $154.95; with two joysticks, pair of paddles and Target Fun included; previously: #99743) by Atari, along with 28 cartridges. 6 of the titles were listed as new at Sears: Space Invaders, Night Driver, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Golf, Adventure, Circus

August 12-17: Atari installed an Atari Game Center at Benson Memorial Center, University of Santa Clara, for the free use of Junior Olympic athletes taking part in the Amateur Athletic Union 1980 AAU/USA Junior Olympic Games held at the campus.  Atari also sponsored a Missile Command tournament for the athletes on Aug. 14 and Aug. 16.  Atari regional sales manager Tom Petit supervised the tournament. (CC 9/80)

August 19: Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (staff engineer Paul Laughton for SMI) completed the File Management System (FMS) for Atari DOS II.

Summer/Fall: For the 400/800 Atari shipped: 822 printer, 825 printer, 830 modem, 850 interface, CX70 Light Pen, Assembler Editor (SMI), TeleLink I (original "small box" release with 1 hour of access to CompuServe), Space Invaders (original cassette release), States & Capitals, European Countries & Capitals, Mortgage & Loan Analysis, Energy Czar

September 1: Atari now had 40 cartridges available for its VCS. (TVDigest 9/1/80 p10)

September 9: In Hong Kong, Atari had acquired Denovo Company Limited (investment vehicle), and the name of the company was changed to: Atari Hong Kong Company Limited.  The unit was set up to hold assets as a tax haven for Atari. (source 5:20)   

September: Atari released Missile Command Cabaret and Missile Command sit-down versions.

September: Shane Breaks arrived at Atari Ireland Ltd. to serve as International Director of Marketing (Coin-Op).

September: Roger H. Badertscher joined Atari to be president of the new Personal Computer Division.  Badertscher was previously VP and general manager of the microprocessor division of Signetics, an electronics semiconductor manufacturer. (InfoWorld 7/26/82p29 for date)  Bruce W. Irvine would join Atari (Personal Computer) as VP software.

September: The Atari (Consumer) Software Support Group began offering telephone Customer Software Support for Atari 400/800 users. (AtariConnection v1n1p24)

September 15-December 31: Atari-sponsored dealer promotion: Free 410 plus Educational System Master Cartridge and choice of one Talk & Teach series title with purchase of 400 computer.  Or, free CX852 8KiB RAM module with purchase of 800 computer (which shipped with one CX853 16KiB RAM module installed).

September 17: Sears had released a newly repackaged version of the Tele-Games Video Arcade (#75001; previously: #99743) by Atari (same as the Atari VCS), system still supplied with two joysticks, pair of paddles, and Target Fun cartridge. (newspaper ad)

October 6: In the Sears Christmas catalog, the only video game offered was the Sears Tele-Games Video Arcade (#75001) by Atari.  J.C. Penney's holiday book featured the Atari 800 and VCS. (TVDigest 10/6/80 p15 for date)

October: Atari (Coin-Op) announced the appointment of Dick Needleman, previously manager of Atari Leisure Industries (Florida), as Regional Sales and Promotion Manager for the southeastern U.S., and announced the appointment of Howard Rubin, previously Atari East Coast Regional Sales Manager (New Jersey), as Special Markets Manager (replacing the departed Angela Jones?), based at Atari headquarters in Sunnyvale.  Don Osborne remained National Sales Manager. (CC 10/80)

October: Atari spun off a new Personal Computer Division from the Consumer Division.  (BusWk 6/15/81 for date)  Conrad Jutson, previously Atari (Consumer) VP Sales & Marketing for Personal Computers, became Atari VP planning (corporate).  Peter Rosenthal, previously Atari (Consumer) manager of software planning (personal computers), became Atari (Personal Computer) director of marketing (replacing Jutson in the role, in part).  Stephen Davis, previously Atari (Consumer) product marketing manager (personal computers), would be Atari (Personal Computer) product marketing manager.  Keith E. Schaefer joined Atari (Personal Computer) as National Sales Manager (replacing Juston in the role, in part).  Brenda K. Laurel, previously Manager, Educational Product Design at The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI), joined Atari (Personal Computer) as Manager, Software Strategy and Marketing (replacing Rosenthal in the role).  Tandy Trower, previously an evaluator of 3rd party software titles (personal computers), became an Atari (Personal Computer) product manager.  Kevin McKinsey, previously Atari (Consumer) industrial desginer, would be Atari (Personal Computer) manager of industrial design and graphics.  Bill Kaiser, previously of Atari (Consumer), would be Atari (Personal Computer) director of finance.

October: Atari (Personal Computer) hired Ken (Charles) Balthaser, previously designer and programmer at The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI), as a consultant. (source)

October: Jose A. Valdes joined Atari as development engineer.

October 23: Amiro France and Salmon S.A. became Atari (Coin-Op) distributors in France (CC 12/80), replacing Socodimex in the role.

Fall: For the VCS Atari released: Maze Craze, Video Checkers, Dodge 'Em (newspaper ads)

Fall: Robert A. Kahn, previously an educational computer applications consultant (and prior to that, director of the Computer Education Project at the University of California, Berkeley), joined Atari (Personal Computer) as Manager, Educational Software Products.  He was hired by Atari (Personal Computer) director of marketing Peter Rosenthal.  Chris Bowman, previously director of media services at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, would join Atari (Personal Computer) as national manager of educational sales, as Atari would take the sale of Atari personal computers and services to the educational community in-house (previously: outsourced to Science Research Associates (SRA)).

Fall: In the Netherlands, WEA Records B.V. ("WEA Benelux" or "WEA Holland"; unit of Atari parent Warner Communications Inc.) established an Atari Consumer Division to market Atari consumer products in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.  "Atari Benelux" would operate at the home of Record Service Benelux B.V. (RSB), the joint distribution firm of record companies WEA and Ariola: Franse Akker 9, 9814 AL Breda. (source; source).  Ben Bunders, founder of the Atari division (source), had been managing director of "WEA Holland" since 1975 (source) and "WEA Belgium" since 1977 (source).

Fall: The Atari VCS became available in Italy through importer Melchioni.

October 31-November 2: At the 1980 AMOA Show in Chicago, using the theme "StarGate 80" Atari introduced Battlezone (both standard upright and Cabaret configurations) and also featured Missile Command.  At a cocktail party on Saturday night Nov. 1, Atari was awarded a 1980 Play Meter Award for Video Game Excellence for Asteroids, voted by U.S. amusement operators as the highest earning video game in 1980. (CC 12/80; source)

November 9: Nova Apparate Gmbh and Company joined Löwen Automaten as an Atari (Coin-Op) distributor in Germany. (CC 12/80)

November 10: Five Regional Winners from San Jose, Calif., Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Chicago and New York competed in Atari's National Space Invaders Finals from 10 a.m. to noon in the Third Floor Screening Room, Warner Communications, Inc., 75 Rockefeller Center, New York City, for the title of National Space Invaders Champion.  Championship winner Bill Heineman, age 16, of Whittier CA was awarded an Atari Asteroids Cocktail unit. (PR 11/10/80; CC Mar81p44)  William F. Grubb was Atari (Consumer) vice president of marketing and sales.

November 15: In the U.S., until January 15, 1981, Atari offered $5 rebate coupons on any two of 20 selected VCS game cartridges. (source)

November: Atari released Battlezone (original upright version).

November: In France, Guy Millant, previously sales and new products manager at Maison Brandt Frères (MBF, or "Brandt") for 17 years, departed that company to establish and serve as président-directeur général (PDG) of a subsidiary in France for Atari consumer products.  The unit would be set up as a division of the Warner Communications French subsidiary, Productions et Editions Cinématographiques Françaises SARL, and would be known as P.E.C.F. Atari. (source)  Location: 9/11 rue Georges Enesco, Créteil (near Paris).

December 10: Atari Ireland Ltd. had recently been approved grant assistance to expand its activities in Tipperary town. It was projected that an additional 63 jobs would be provided, bringing the total employment potential of the project to 151 by 1983. (source)

December: Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP Engineering, Consumer and Personal Computer Division, became Atari VP Engineering, Consumer Game Division.  Gene B. Rosen joined Atari as VP of engineering for the Atari Computer Division (replacing Bristow in the role). (ComputerWorld 3/16/81p74)

December: Atari (Personal Computer) software consultant Ken (Charles) Balthaser joined the company as an applications programmer (source) (reporting to applications software supervisor Dale Yocum).

December: At Atari (Personal Computer), Applications group programmer Chris Crawford (having completed Energy Czar and SCRAM) was promoted to supervisor of the Software Development Support Group.

December: Atari released Battlezone Cabaret.

December: Atari (Consumer) general accounting manager John Constantine moved to Hong Kong to serve as managing director of Atari Far East Limited. (source 12:50) 

December 19: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Caribe, Inc. (for consumer electronics manufacturing operations in Puerto Rico)

Atari reportedly lost $10 million on sales of computer equipment of $13 million in 1980 (InfoWorld 9/14/1981)

Atari had sold 35,000 400/800 computers through 1980. (source?)

1981
January 1?: The Atari Personal Computer Division would now be known as the Atari Computer Division.

January 5: Atari announced the Cosmos Programmable Game System (EG500; featuring "Holoptics" images; never shipped; see Atarimuseum's Cosmos page).  For the Cosmos, Atari also announced 8 games (all never shipped): Superman, Football, Basketball, Outlaw, Sea Battle, Space Invaders (title by Taito), Road Runner, Asteroids.  Asteroids was to ship with the system. (source)  (In their ad in Merchandising Atari announced a ninth game for Cosmos: Dodge 'Em) 

January 5: Atari announced the Remote Control Video Computer System (2700; never shipped; see Atarimuseum's 2700 page). (source)

January 6: Warner Amex Cable Communications, Atari, and CompuServe jointly announced the availability of the CompuServe information service to Columbus OH subscribers of the Warner Amex QUBE two-way interactive cable television system.  An Atari 800 personal computer was lent to the subscriber as part of the service. (source)

January 9-12: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas Atari introduced the Remote Control Video Computer System (2700; never shipped) and introduced the Cosmos Programmable Game System (EG500; never shipped).

Atari announced that the 400 would now ship in two versions: original 8KiB RAM version at the new list price of US$499.95 (previously: US$630), or new 16KiB RAM version for US$630.  For the 400/800 Atari introduced/featured (CC Mar81p54; Analog#1): Asteroids, Missile Command, SCRAM (A Nuclear Power Plant Simulation), Atari PILOT, Conversational Spanish (Thorn EMI), Personal Fitness Program (ultimately released via APX), Atari Accountant: General Accounting System (BPI; "Accounting Primer Manual" by Arthur Young & Company; never shipped), Atari Accountant: Accounts Receivable System (BPI; never shipped), Atari Accountant: Inventory Control Program (BPI; never shipped), Atari Word Processor.  Also announced or again promised (1981 Software Catalog): An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to Programming 3, Astrology (never shipped), Personal Financial Management System (replacement for the canceled Personal Finance).  Again promised (Analog #1): Conversational German, Conversational French.  Privately announced (Analog#1): Conversational Italian

Atari also introduced four new games for the VCS: Asteroids, Warlords, Video Pinball, Othello (Space War and Miniature Golf were dropped, bringing the total number of VCS titles available to 42).

January 11: Howard Scott Warshaw, previously of Hewlett-Packard, joined Atari (Consumer) as a video game engineer. (Fun for date) (source)

January 12-15: At the Amusement Trades Exhibition (ATE) at the Olympia in London, Atari was represented by UK distributors Music Hire Group and Ruffler & Deith.  Atari Red Baron and Warlords (cocktail) were introduced at the show.  Also displayed: Asteroids, Missile Command, Battlezone

January: At Atari (Coin-Op), Lyle Rains, previously director of engineering, became VP engineering, and Curt Russell would become VP Manufacturing, together replacing Noah Anglin who departed the company (to Exidy where he would be president).  Dan Van Elderen, previously electrical engineering supervisor/manager, would be promoted to director of engineering (replacing Rains in the role).  Engineer Howard Delman was promoted to electrical engineering supervisor (replacing Van Elderen in the role). (timing: CC 3/81; Marquis; Esquire 2/81)

January: Ron Stringari would join Atari (Consumer) as VP Marketing (Stringari was previously at Sears for 16 years, where he had worked with Atari on marketing the VCS.), and Robert K. Faught would join Atari (Consumer) as Director of Sales, together replacing VP Marketing & Sales Bill Grubb who departed the company (to New West Marketing Company, which Grubb had established on 12/8/1980).

January: Atari (Computer) marketing established a Users' Group Support Program; Earl Rice would be Marketing Manager, Users' Group Support Program.  (link)

January: Bob Harvey, previously western regional sales manager for a tailored clothing firm, joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a regional sales manager. (CC 10/81)

January 22-25: Löwen Automaten and Nova Apparate, the two Atari (Coin-Op) distributors in West Germany, represented Atari at the international trade show in Frankfurt.

Winter: For the VCS Atari released: Pelé's Championship Soccer  (newspaper ads)

Winter: For the 400/800 with 810 disk drive Atari released Master Diskette II (DOS II version 2.0S developed by SMI/Atari).

Winter: For the 400/800 Atari shipped: Bond Analysis, Stock Analysis, Stock Charting, Mailing List, Touch Typing, Graph It, Statistics I (Analog#2p47)

February 2: Atari announced that Rigdon Currie, previously of Xerox subsidiary Diablo, had joined Atari as VP marketing for the Computer Division.  Roger Badertscher remained president of the Computer Division.  (Compute!#11p166).  Peter Rosenthal, previously Atari (Computer) director of marketing, became Atari (Computer) VP business planning (new position).

February 9: Atari announced that there would be 8 games for Cosmos - The Third Dimension, including: Asteroids, Superman, Football, Road Runner, Destroyer, Space Invaders, and Outlaw.  Cosmos with Asteroids was to retail for $99.95 and was expected to ship August 1981 (never shipped). (source)

February 15-17: Atari featured the Cosmos (never shipped) at the 78th annual American Toy Fair in New York.

February: J. Fred Thorlin joined Atari (Computer) as director of software acquisitions (new position, hired by Atari (Computer) VP software Bruce Irvine).

February: Mark A. Lutvak, previously product program general manager at Memorex, joined Atari (Computer) as director of product management, replacing Stephen Davis who departed the company (to Corvus Systems Inc.).

February: Andrew Soderberg, previously a partner at a computer retailer called Computer Connection, joined Atari (Computer) as an assistant product manager.  He had been hired by product manager Tandy Trower. (source)

February?: Paul Laughton, previously Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) staff engineer, joined Atari (Computer) as a systems software programmer (hired by manager of systems software Brian Johnston).

March 4: For the Atari VCS, Sears had released Tele-Games Steeplechase by Atari and had released Tele-Games Stellar Track by Atari. (newspaper ads)

March: Atari released Video Pinball for the VCS.

March: Jim Tittsler, previously Director of Software Development at International Remote Imaging Systems (and before that a Software Engineer at Heath Zenith (Heathkit)), joined Atari (Computer).

March: Through Atari Caribe, Inc., Atari opened a new 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Atari's fourth manufacturing site outside the continental U.S. (subcontractors in Taiwan since 1977, Atari Ireland since 1978, Atari-Wong in Hong Kong since 1980), complementing Atari's manufacturing plants in Sunnyvale CA and El Paso TX.  Led by general manager William Planas, previously of Storage Technology Corp., the site would manufacture VCS cartridges.  Initially 40 would be employed at the new location, projected to increase to 150. (source)

March: Atari (Coin-Op) named Frank Ballouz VP of Marketing (previously: director of marketing), and named Don Osborne VP of Sales (previously: national sales manager).  (CC 3/81)

March: Atari (Coin-Op) announced plans to establish a Wood Shop in Milpitas CA, to be headed by plant manager Tom Thompson (with Atari since January 1981; previously of Ethan Allen furniture), to open summer 1981. (CC 3/81)

March: The Atari Bradley Trainer ("Army Battlezone"; "MK-60"; never shipped) prototype was introduced at a worldwide U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) conference (held via satellite).

March: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari now consisted of 6 people. (source)

March 23: Atari introduced Asteroids Deluxe (standard upright, Cabaret, and cocktail cabinet models) and VCS Missile Command in a national press conference at the Time and Life Building in New York City. (CC Apr/May81)  This brought the total number of VCS titles available to 43, including the renamed Pelé's Soccer (previously: Championship Soccer).  The latest VCS catalog also announced, and invited VCS fans to join, the new Atari Game Club ("George Dakota," Founder).

March 28-April 1: Atari's 7th Annual Distributor Meeting, themed "The Atari Classic," was held at Pebble Beach CA.  Atari introduced Asteroids Deluxe, Warlords, and Red Baron at the event. (CC Apr/May81)

April 1: Atari (Coin-Op) established the Atari Far East office in Tokyo Japan on a provisional basis, headed by manager of marketing and sales Rivington Hight, Jr. (Riv Hight), previously head of Taito Australia.  Hight would be responsible for marketing and sales in Japan, Australia, and the Far East. (CC Apr/May81, 7/82)

April 1: In West Germany, Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH commenced operations at its new, consolidated location: Bebelallee 10, 2000 Hamburg 60 (previously: headquarters location shared with WEA Musik GmbH at Arndtstraße 16, 2000 Hamburg 76). (sourceKlaus Ollmann would remain Atari Elektronik managing director; Werner Täsler would remain director of marketing; Rolf Rehfeldt would remain director of sales.

April 2-30: Atari-sponsored dealer promotion: Free $100 subscription to The Source with purchase of Atari Communicator System: choice of 400 or 800 computer with 850, 830, and TeleLink I.

April 3-5: At the 6th West Coast Computer Faire, San Francisco Civic Auditorium and Brooks Hall, Atari (Computer) announced the Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP), which would involve the creation of ASAP regional centers where qualified developers could work with Atari equipment and receive technical assistance (the first ASAP center was expected to open in the Sunnyvale CA area in mid-May), and Atari Program Exchange (APX), a free quarterly mail-order catalog of user-written software (first edition due for publication in May).  Programs accepted for the APX catalog would qualify for $100,000 in prizes to be awarded over the coming year, including a grand prize of $25,000 cash.  Bruce W. Irvine was Atari (Computer) VP software; Fred Thorlin was Atari director of software acquisitions (ASAP and APX) (see Compute! #12 5/81 p150).  The event also featured Atari's "first annual" invitational hospitality suite for Atari computer users' group officers and their guests.  About 20 persons attended, on behalf of about 30 total groups registered with Atari Users' Group Support. 

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Atari Software Exchange Program logo
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1981

April 3?: Dale Yocum, previously Atari (Computer) applications software supervisor, had become APX manager, software acquisition department (ASAP and APX).  Paul V. Cubbage, previously of The Wollongong Group, joined Atari (Computer) as Manager, Software Review, Software Acquisition Department (ASAP and APX).  Fred Thorlin remained Atari (Computer) director of software acquisitions (ASAP and APX).  Ken Balthaser, previously an Atari (Computer) applications programmer, had been promoted to manager of applications software development (replacing Yocum in the role).

April 12-15: Atari (Coin-Op) featured Asteroids Deluxe and Battlezone at the Association of College Unions-International (ACUI) conference and show in San Francisco. (CC Apr/May81)

April: Atari released Asteroids Deluxe Cabaret (original release), released Warlords Upright, and released Warlords Cocktail.

April: Atari released Missile Command for the VCS.

April: William Lord, previously of Nimbus Waterbeds, joined Atari International (in Sunnyvale CA) where he would be an assistant product manager, 2600 VCS.

April: Atari acquired an exclusive sublicense to manufacture and sell versions of Pac-Man for use on both home video game systems and personal computers from Namco-America. (IW 12/21/81)  The agreement also covered Galaxian. (Merch Jan/Feb82)

April/May: Ashley Chamitoff (Al Chamitoff) was VP of quality assurance at Atari Coin-Op.

Spring: First issue of The Atari Connection, the glossy magazine published by Atari (Computer) in support of the 400/800.

Spring: First issue of Atari Age, the official newsletter of the Atari Game Club.  "The first national video game club" was set up by Atari for VCS fans, and already had "well over 10,000 members."

May 4-7: At the National Computer Conference in Chicago, Atari announced that the 8KiB Atari 400 was being discontinued and that the price on the 16KiB version was being reduced to US$399 (was US$630); also, the Atari BASIC cartridge and Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide) book would no longer be included with the now "mass market packaged" 400.  Atari also introduced: Personal Financial Management System (PFMS), Dow Jones Investment Evaluator (never shipped), Atari Microsoft BASIC, Program-Text Editor (would ship as a standalone title via APX), Sorcim Macro Assembler (the latter two titles would ship together as: Macro Assembler and Program-Text Editor).  Also introduced: Conversational Italian (by Thorn EMI).  Additionally, new production units of TeleLink I would include one hour of time on each of: Dow Jones Information Service, The Source, CompuServe (previously: CompuServe only).

May: Atari released Asteroids Deluxe Upright, released Asteroids Deluxe Cocktail, and released Red Baron Sitdown (original version).

May: Atari (Coin-Op) published The Book, compiled by Field Service staff. (CC AprMay 81)

May: Industrial engineer Michael Baughman joined Atari (Consumer).

May: Jon D. Ebbs joined Atari, where we would be VP of Consumer Product Service.  By January 1982, in support of both Atari Consumer and Atari Computer division products, the unit would establish a new national network of Atari Factory Authorized Service Centers ("Atari Service Factory Authorized Network").  The new network would replace Control Data Service Centers for Atari computer repairs.  (source) (source)

May 31-June 3: Summer CES in Chicago. Atari seemingly did not attend?

June 1: Steve Wright, previously Atari (Consumer) software manager, would be promoted to Atari (Consumer) director of software development, replacing Dennis Koble who had just departed the company. (Koble, with former Atari (Consumer) VP marketing & sales Bill Grubb and two former Mattel engineers, established Imagic).

June: Atari released Centipede (original Upright version), released Red Baron (upright version), and released Battlezone open face upright version.

June?: In the U.S., new production Atari VCS units would be the new 4-switch, woodgrain 2600A (NTSC) model, replacing the original 6-switch 2600 (NTSC) version. (6/24/81 newspaper ad is first evidence of 4-switch model.)  Systems would continue to ship with two joysticks, one pair of paddles and Combat.  (Atari would continue to ship the 6-switch Sears Video Arcade (#75001) version of the VCS and internationally, Atari would continue to ship the 6-switch woodgrain 2600U, 2600P, and 2600PN versions of the VCS.)

June: Atari released Warlords for the VCS.

June: Steve Mayer, previously Cyan Engineering senior engineer, became Atari VP research and product development, replacing Al Alcorn who departed the company.  Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP Engineering, Consumer Game Division, became Atari VP Advanced Technology (consumer electronics; new position) and would form and head a new research and development group charged to develop a followup system to the Atari VCS (would lead to: 5200).  Bristow's group would include: programmer Rob Zdybel.  Michel A. Ebertin, previously consumer product development director at National Semiconductor, would join Atari (Consumer) as VP Engineering (replacing Bristow in the role) (source for date).  Atari Advanced Products Group industrial/graphic designer Roger Hector was promoted to Manager - Advanced Products, replacing the departed Alcorn as head of the unit, and would now report directly to Atari CEO Ray Kassar (source).

June: Engineer Jess Jessop, previously of Commodore, joined Atari where he would be lead engineer on Atari's new Service and Support Group.  Jon Ebbs remained Atari VP Consumer Product Service.

June: Dan Hitchens joined Atari (Consumer) as a game programmer.

June 18: For the VCS Atari had released the Action Pak (PRO-500; free Air-Sea Battle with purchase of Atari Street Racer and Atari Bowling). (newspaper ad)  Likely also at about this time, Atari also offered: free Atari Home Run with purchase of Atari Golf and Atari Bowling. And another offer: free Atari Home Run with purchase of Atari Golf and Atari Basketball.  (source including pictures)

June 23-25: Atari attended COMDEX/SPRING held at the New York Coliseum. (Comdex PR 6/3)

Month?: In West Germany, Steve Molyneux, previously of American Express Military Banking, joined Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH as software manager.  He was recruited by Atari International marketing manager Nancy Garrison.

Month?: Alan Stratton joined Atari as Plan Controller, El Paso Texas (manufacturing plant financial functions).

Months?: Claude Nahum and Gerd Stoecker joined Atari International in financial planning & analysis.

Summer?: In France at P.E.C.F. Atari, Christian Paternot, previously division director at Doyle Dane Bernbach and board member of Peyrat Paternot Garnier DDB, would be director of marketing; Antoine Gallozzi, previously Marketing Manager of Maison Brandt Frères (MBF), joined the company as sales director; Peter Brookhouse Richards, previously of Telex Computers and Memorex, joined the company as financial controller (CFO).  Guy Millant remained P.E.C.F. Atari président-directeur général (PDG).

Summer?: Atari created the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research, which began awarding major grants of Atari home computer products, cash stipends, and/or consulting services to selected individuals and non-profit institutions or organizations interested in developing new educational uses for computers in schools, community programs, or in the home. Founded and directed by Dr. Ted M. Kahn, Ph.D. More than US$250,000 would be awarded in the program's first year.

Summer?: Barry Berghorn, previously of Memorex, joined Atari (Computer) as sales & marketing VP, replacing Rigdon Currie who departed the company. (WeeklyDigest 1981p.dxxx/530)

Summer?: J. Peter Nelson joined Atari (Computer) as public relations manager. (source)

Summer: Atari sold the rights to their 400/800 Talk & Teach series of educational software titles, plus the Educational System Master Cartridge, back to the developer, Dorsett Educational Systems.

Summer: By mid-1981 Atari had sold over 50,000 400/800 computers to date. (InfoWorld 9/14/1981)

Summer: Second and final issue of Atari Age, the official newsletter of the Atari Game Club, which had expanded to support fans of Atari coin-operated games in addition to Atari home video game enthusiasts.  (A reformulated Club and a new Atari Age magazine would return in spring 1982.)

Summer: For the 400/800 Atari shipped: Conversational Spanish, Conversational French, Conversational German, An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to Programming 3, SCRAM (A Nuclear Power Plant Simulation), Missile Command, Asteroids, Atari Word Processor, plus TeleLink I new "large box" version with one hour of time on each of: Dow Jones Information Service, The Source, CompuServe

Summer: First edition of the Atari Program Exchange (APX) catalog, a component of the Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP).  See http://www.atariarchives.org/APX/.  Listings for the 400/800: Newspaper Route Management Program, The Computerized Card File, Text Formatter (FORMS), Lemonade, Mugwump, Avalanche, Outlaw/Howitzer, Preschool Games, Roman Checkers, Space Trek, Castle, Wizard's Gold, Sleazy Adventure, Alien Egg, Chinese Puzzle, Sultan's Palace, Anthill, Centurion, Tact Trek, Comedy Diskette, Graphics/Sound Demonstration, FIG FORTH (this version never shipped), Sound Editor, BASIC Program Compressor (MASHER), BASIC Cross-Reference Utility (XREF), BASIC Renumber Utility (RENUM), Disk Fixer (FIX), Variable Changer, Character Set Editor, Extended WSFN, Supersort. APX also introduced several hardware products: DE-9S with DE51218 Shell (controller plug), 5-pin DIN connector, 13-pin I/O plug, 13-pin I/O socket, DA-15P with DA110963-2 Shell (850 printer plug), DE-9P with DE110963-1 Shell (850 serial plug), 2716 EPROM cartridge.  APX location: 155 Moffett Park Dr, Sunnyvale CA

July 4: At Atari (Coin-Op), Frank Ballouz was VP marketing, Don Osborne was VP sales, Sue Elliot was international sales manager.  (Cash Box 7/4/81 pt.iii p22)

July 4: Atari (Coin-Op) international distributors included: Canada: Dale Distributing Ltd. (Rexdale, Ontario; Richmond, B.C. (Vancouver)), Laniel Automatic (Mt. Royal, Quebec), New Way Sales (Resdale, Ontario), J.E. Weatherhead Dist. Ltd. (Burnaby, B.C.); Central & South America: R.H. Belam Company (Lake Success, NY); Argentina: Florencia SA (Sarminento); Australia: A. Hankin & Company (Newcastle), Leisure & Allied Industries (Perth); Belgium: Brabo Corporation (Antwerp); Chile: Entretenimientos Electronicos Ltda. (Santiago), Geyger Mailath e Hijos (Santiago); Finland: Raha Auto (Helsinki); France: Amiro France (Geneuille); Germany: Löwen Automaten (Binger/Rhein), Nova Apparate Gmbh & Co. (Hamburg); Holland: Hommerson Amusements (Scheveningen); Italy: Fratelli Bertolino (Torino); Japan: Sega Enterprises (Tokyo), Taito Corporation (Tokyo); Malaysia & Singapore: Rosan Sdn. Bhd. (Penang); Norway/Denmark: Lars Berg A/S (Trondheim, Norway); Republic of Ireland: Quintin Flynn Ltd. (Dublin); South Africa: Lewlesal (Pty) Ltd. (Johannesburg), Plankomat (Pty) Ltd. (Johannesburg); Spain: Sega SA (Madrid); Sweden: Bally Scaninavia/Bo Billing (Solna); Switzerland: Amiro Automaten AG (Muenchenstein/B.L.); Taiwan: ATA Electronics Ltd. (Taipei); United Kingdom: Music Hire Group (Leeds), Ruffler & Deith Ltd. (London)  (Cash Box 7/4/81)

July 10: Centipede (upright) had become the first Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-approved coin-operated video game. (CC 9/81)

July 11: Warner Bros./WEA had launched an extensive promotional campaign in the U.S. featuring a retail display contest offering Atari VCS cartridges and Atari 400 computers in support of the album "Computer World" by the German electronic music band Kraftwerk.  (Cash Box 7/11p14)

July: Atari released Centipede Cocktail 14", and released Centipede Cabaret.

July: Michael Cooper-Hart, previously director of design at Exidy, joined Atari where he would be Cyan Engineering Product Concept Manager.

July: Atari (Consumer) game designers Rob Fulop and Bob Smith and national accounts manager Mark Bradley departed the company (to Imagic, which opened for business on July 17).

July: Atari acquired Amplifone Corporation, expanding the component manufacturing capabilities of Atari (Coin-Op). (Brownsville Herald 2/24/83 p10B)  (Amplifone was originally founded 12/30/1950, incorporated in Illinois.)  Location: Brownsville Compress, Bldg. No. 900, Brownsville TX.  Michael Smith would be plant manager.

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Atari Software Exchange Program logo
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1981
Amplifone logo

July 23: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) had named Bert W. Wasserman, the company's CFO and a director, to the office of the president, replacing Jay Emmett who departed the company.  Additionally, Emanuel Gerard and David H. Horowitz, the other members of the office of the president, had been additionally named to the newly created positions of co-chief operating officers (co-COOs) of the company.  Steven J. Ross remained WCI chairman and CEO. (source)   Gerard remained responsible for Atari.

July/August: Atari released Asteroids for the VCS.

August 1: In the UK, Atari consumer products distributor Ingersoll Electronics shipped the Atari 400/800 computers (new UK versions for PAL-I; £345/£645 incl. VAT; both with 16KiB RAM). (source)

August 3: Jewel Savadelis joined Atari (Consumer) as Video Software Product Manager (new position, reporting to Atari (Consumer) VP Marketing Ron Stringari).

August: James Alan Cook (Jamie Cook) joined Atari as VP and Counsel of Atari's Computer division.

August?: In response to Atari's legal complaint, General Computer (GCC) of Boston received a restraining order from Judge Robert E. Keeton of the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, to temporarily prevent them from manufacturing, advertising or selling their Super Missile Attack kit (released June 1981) for Atari Missile Command.  (Atari and GCC would settle, and GCC would go on to develop many products published by Atari including 2 coin-op games, the 7800 hardware platform, and numerous 2600, 5200, and 7800 games.)

Summer/Fall: Artist Hiro Kimura joined Atari (Consumer). (ArtOfAtari p215)

Summer/Fall: At Atari (Coin-Op), Dick Needleman, previously Regional Sales and Promotion Manager for the southeastern U.S., became Manager, Special Markets and Operations, replacing Howie Rubin who departed the company to Gottileb.  John B. Hill would join Atari (Coin-Op) as southeast regional sales manager (replacing Needleman in the role). (source for name)

September 10-12: Atari distributor Ingersoll Electronics introduced the Atari 400/800 and featured the Atari VCS at The 4th Personal Computer World Show at the Cunard Hotel, Hammersmith, London.

September: Atari released Centipede Cocktail 19".

September: Atari (Consumer) programmer Brad Stewart had departed the company (and joined Imagic). (source)

August: Sears published a Video Arcade Cartridges catalog (Sears part number version / Atari part number version) featuring 34 titles for the Sears Video Arcade or Atari VCS, all by Atari: Football, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Golf, Arcade Golf, Pong Sports, Bowling, Warlords, Gunslinger, Tank Plus, Video Chess, Checkers, Othello, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Backgammon, Arcade Pinball, Adventure, Breakaway IV, Target Fun (included with the Video Arcade), Circus, Canyon Bomber, Super Breakout (Sears exclusive through 1981), Night Driver, Dodge Cars, Maze Mania, Race, Speedway II, Poker Plus, Space Invaders, Asteroids, Missile Command, Steeplechase (Sears exclusive), Stellar Track (Sears exclusive)

September 15: Art Gemmell, future Atari SVP administration, remained Pizza Hut Inc. VP personnel.

September 25: There were 16 video game programmers working for Atari in the Consumer Division's engineering software department.

September 25: The position of Hardware Product Manager at Atari (Consumer) was vacant.

September/October: Atari (Consumer) established a Special Programs development group.  Steve Wright, previously Atari (Consumer) director of software development, became director of special programs (new position, still reporting to Atari (Consumer) VP engineering Michel Ebertin).  The Special Programs group's intitial charter would be to develop a video game simulator for rapid game prototyping; the group would establish a new facility at 292 Gibraltar, Sunnyvale CA.  Atari (Consumer) video software product manager Jewel Savadelis (who reported to VP marketing Ron Stringari in her role) additionally became acting director of software development (replacing Wright and reporting to VP engineering Michel Ebertin in the role).

October 1: Date of the "Nonexclusive Sublicense Agreement for Home Video Game Devices" between Atari and Magnavox, which broadened and supplemented their June 8, 1976 "Non-Exclusive Cross License for Video Games" patent agreement to include overseas rights. (source)

October 3: For the Atari VCS Sears had released Tele-Games Super Breakout by Atari (Sears exclusive title through 1981). (newspaper ad)

October 4-8: Atari (Coin-Op) attended the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) annual meeting in Reno NV.

October 14: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) had named Deane F. Johnson to the office of the president; he would become a WCI director as well.  Johnson would join Emanuel Gerard (also WCI Co-COO), David H. Horowitz (also WCI Co-COO), and Bert W. Wasserman (also WCI CFO) in the office of the president, which would now (once again) consist of four people instead of three.  Steven J. Ross remained WCI chairman and CEO.  (WSJ 10/14)  Gerard remained responsible for Atari.

October: Dr. Alan Kay, previously a Xerox Fellow at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), joined Atari (Corporate) in the new position of VP/Chief Scientist. (InfoWorld 5/21/84 for date)  Kay would be responsible for the new Atari Corporate Research division, which would include the existing Atari R&D unit Cyan Engineering as well as the existing Warner Communications L.A. Lab R&D unit (QUBE cable television system development) located at 3701 Oak Street, Burbank, CA ("Fantasy Trailer" on the Warner Bros. Ranch), which would now be known as the Atari L.A. Lab.  Engineer Steven J. Davis would remain director of the L.A. Lab, now as Atari director of advanced research.

October: Atari Advanced Products Group engineer Harry Jenkins would be promoted to Manager - Advanced Products (head of the unit, report directly to Atari CEO Ray Kassar (Zap! p105)), replacing Roger Hector who departed the company; Atari (Coin-Op) engineer Dave Stubben would be promoted to electrical engineering supervisor, replacing Howard Delman who departed the company; and Atari (Coin-Op) senior staff engineer Ed Rotberg departed the company.  (Hector/Rotberg/Delman would establish Videa, Inc. on 1/18/82.)

October: As part of the Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP), Atari opened its first Regional Software Acquisition Center, managed by Steven H. Gerber, in the 4,000 square-foot location that also housed the Atari Program Exchange (APX): 155 Moffett Park Dr, Sunnyvale CA

October: Atari (Computer) software product manager Tandy Trower departed the company. (for Microsoft)

October: Ken Nussbacher, joined Atari as associate general counsel for intellectual property (copyright and trademark; continuation of his role for Atari as Warner Communcations IP counsel since November 1980).  Also, Michael L. Sherrard, previously associate patent counsel at National Semiconductor, would join Atari as patent counsel.

October: At WEA Records B.V. in the Netherlands, Hans Tonino would be promoted to managing director of "WEA Holland"/"WEA Benelux" (replacing Ben Bunders in the role; Bunders became managing director of the new WEA Spain). (source)  Toine Stapelkamp, previously WEA Records B.V. promotion manager, would become product manager Atari division (replacing Bunders as head of "Atari Benelux").

October: In Japan, via Atari Holdings Ltd. (Ireland), Atari (Coin-Op) established the new wholly owned subsidiary, Atari Far East Japan K.K.

October 15-18: The Northeast Computer Show (NCS) at the Hynes Auditorium, Boston MA was attended by 50,000.  For the 400/800 Atari featured Missile Command, Asteroids, the Atari Word Processor, Personal Financial Management System, States & Capitals, Conversational Italian, Conversational French, Conversational Spanish.  Atari director of business planning and development Peter Rosenthal was a featured panelist at the show, alongside Microsoft president William H. Gates, Commodore president H.E. James Finke, Radio Shack VP Jon Shirley, IBM Personal Computers director Philip Estridge, and Apple Computer president A.C. (Mike) Markkula.

October 19: InfoWorld reported that a new 400/800 home accounting system (would ship as: The Bookkeeper) would replace the unshipped Atari Accountant (which would have required the unshipped 815 disk drive). (p37)

October 20: At Atari (Computer), Brian Johnston, previously manager of systems software, had become a product coordinator.  Lou R. Tarnay, previously of GTE Sylvania, had joined the company as systems development manager (replacing Johnston in the role).  Direct reports to VP software Bruce Irvine now included: T.J. Gracon (software product acquisition (ASAP)), P.E. Liniak (product coordination), Fred Thorlin (product review and research (APX)), J.P. Romanos (product test), John Powers (applications & development systems), Tarnay (systems development), vacant (international).  Reports to Thorlin still included product review manager Paul Cubbage and APX manager Dale Yocum.  Reports to Powers still included Ken Balthaser (applications) and Chris Crawford (development support).  Reports to Tarnay included Paul Laughton (operating systems supervisor).  (source

October 29-31: At the AMOA at the Conrad Hilton in Chicago, using the theme "The Atari Era" Atari released Tempest Upright (original version; Atari's first game to feature their QuadraScan Color vector monitor display system) and featured Centipede.

October 29-November 1: The Atari $50,000 World Championships (coin-operated Centipede tournament) as part of the Tournament Games, Inc. (TGI) "$400,000 Weekend" at the Chicago Expocenter.  Mariann Layne, Atari's Manager of Marketing Services, organized the Atari Tournament.

Fall: APX Catalog for the 400/800 introduced: Data Management System, Financial Asset Management System, Decision Maker, Banner Generator, Personal Fitness Program (previously announced for Atari's main 400/800 product line), Blackjack Tutor, Mapware, Video Math Flashcards, Dice Poker, 747 Landing Simulator, Eastern Front (1941), CodeCracker, Domination, Terry, Bumper Pool, Reversi, Minotaur, Lookahead, Babel, Wizard's Revenge, Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator, Diskette Librarian, Disk Fixer (FIX) Rev. 2, BASIC Utility for Renumbering Programs (BURP), BASIC Utility Diskette, Screen Dump Utility, Load 'n Go, BLIS, Developer's Diskette. APX also announced their full software product line for sale via download from CompuServe MicroNET. One hardware product was modified: DE-9S with DE110963-1 Shell (controller plug).

Fall: At Atari (Computer), Keith Schaefer was promoted from National Sales Manager to sales VP (WeeklyTVDigest 1981p.dcclxv) and Don Kurtz (of the Kurtz & Tarlow agency) would be hired as director of marketing services (see AtariConnection Sum82), together replacing VP sales & marketing Barry Berghorn who departed the company.

Fall: For the 400/800 Atari shipped the Starter Kits The Communicator, The Entertainer, The Programmer, and The Educator, and shipped: Conversational Italian, Calculator, Atari PILOT (Educators' Package and Home Package).  Space Invaders, previously released on cassette, was now re-released on cartridge.

Fall: In West Germany, Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH shipped the Atari 400/800 (new PAL versions for PAL B), and importer Adveico shipped them in Italy.

Fall: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari shipped the VCS 2600S (SECAM; woodgrain; 4 switches; original UHF version), marking the launch of Atari consumer product sales in that country.

Fall?: Arthur J. Gemmell, previously Pizza Hut Inc. VP personnel, joined Atari as VP administration, replacing Roger Gerard who departed the company to Intel.

Fall: In Taiwan, Atari established Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC) and acquired the 180,000 square foot (16,700 square meters) manufacturing facility at 31 Min-Chu Road, Chu-Wei, Tam-Shui, Taipei, Taiwan (ROC Republic of China) from Sylvania-Philco Taiwan Corp.  The plant was originally built by Philco Corp., via Philco Taiwan Corp., and dedicated on June 15, 1966; in February 1975 GTE-Sylvania, Inc. had purchased Philco Taiwan Corp., then a Philco-Ford subsidiary, and renamed it Sylvania-Philco Taiwan Corp. (Byte)  Loren R. Wolter, previously president of RCA Taiwan Ltd, would be president of ATMC; Richard Krieger, previously Atari materials manager, would be VP and general manager of Atari Far East in Taiwan.

November 1: For the 400/800, Atari 810 disk drives began shipping with DOS II version 2.0S (replacing the original Atari DOS I).

November 8-11: Atari exhibited Centipede and Tempest at the 32nd National Licensed Beverage Association (NLBA) Annual Convention and Trade Show at the MGM Grand Hotel in La Vegas NV.

November 14: The Atari International Asteroids Tournament Final was held at the International Club in Washington, D.C.  16 finalists competed on Asteroids for the VCS, game number 6, difficulty A.  The championship winner was 15-year-old Andy Breyer of Arlington Heights IL, who was presented a check for $5,000 from Atari chairman and CEO Ray Kassar.  Second place went to Gary Wong, and third place to Dirk Mueller.  Phil Quigley was Atari's director of merchandising.

November: Chemical Bank began testing their prototype Pronto electronic home banking system in about 200 homes in the New York area.  Homes were provided Atari computers with prototype client software developed with Atari as part of the project.

November: Tom Petit was Atari (Coin-Op) Regional Sales Manager for the Western States. (CC 11/81)

November 17-20: Atari consumer products distributor Ingersoll Electronics featured the Atari 400/800 at Compec '81 (Computer Peripheral and Small Computer Systems Exhibition), Grand Hall, Olympia, London. (source)

November 25: Specialty Camps Corp. was established by Herbert Resnick in New York, possibly established specifically for a joint summer computer camp venture with Atari.  Linda S. Gordon may have already joined Atari as VP special projects (assistant to the president).

December: Atari released Tempest Cocktail, and released Tempest Cabaret.

December 4: In Atari, Inc. and Midway Mfg. Co. vs. North American Philips Consumer Electronics Corp. and Park Television, d/b/a/ Park Magnavox Home Entertainment Center, The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division ruled in favor of Philips, denying the motion for preliminary injunction against the continued marketing by Philips of K.C. Munchkin for the Magnavox Odyssey2 due to the game's claimed infringment of the copyright held by Atari for Namco's Pac-Man.  (Atari and Midway would appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.)

December: Chris Crawford, previously Atari (Computer) Software Development Support Group supervisor, became Atari (Corporate) Manager, Games Design Research Group, Atari Corporate Research.  (So far the new Atari Corporate Research unit in Sunnyvale consisted of Atari (Corporate) VP/chief scientist Alan Kay, Kay's administrative assistant Wanda Royce, Chris Crawford, and Crawford's employee Larry Summers.)

December: Atari had agreed to settle all pending litigation against Activision, Inc. (initiated May 1980). (InfoWorld 12/21/81)

December: Bill Carris, previously manager of technical services, was now Atari (Computer) national sales training manager. (InfoWorld)

December 15: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Sales Co.  (MA filing for original name)

December 23: Atari established the non-wholly owned subsidiary, Atari Clubs, Inc., which would replace the earlier Atari Game Club.  Launched by Linda S. Gordon who had joined Atari as VP special projects (assistant to the president).

December 30: Atari said that it would cut the retail price for the 800 home computer (with 16KiB RAM and newly "mass market packaged") to US$899 from US$1,080.

Atari claimed to have sold 300,000 400/800 computers in 1981. (InfoWord 6/14/82 p.57)

Atari (Atari International) sold 800,000 VCS systems overseas (outside the U.S.) in 1981 (ChiTribune 2/21/82s5p6)

1982
January 1?:
The Atari Computer Division would now be known as the Atari Home Computer Division, and it adopted the advertising slogan, "We've brought the computer age home."

January 6: Atari announced the publication, Atari Special Editions, a catalog of more than 400 products for the Atari computers from 117 vendors.

January 7: The name of Atari Sales Co. was changed to: Atari Sales Corp.  (MA filing)

January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas (booth #610), for the VCS Atari introduced Super Breakout (to ship in January; previously released as a Sears exclusive), Haunted House (February), Pac-Man (title by Namco; March), Yars' Revenge (May), and Defender (title by Williams Electronics; June).  With additional re-release of Space War, and the discontinuation of Blackjack, Flag Capture, Fun With Numbers, and Surround, for the first half of the year Atari now offered a library of 45 game program cartridges for the VCS (previously: 43).  Also for the VCS Atari announced Hot Rox (April; would ship as: Demons to Diamonds), Math Grand Prix (July), Berzerk (title by Stern; August), Star Raiders (September), Adventure I (October; would ship as: SwordQuest: EarthWorld), and Adventure II (November; would ship as: SwordQuest: FireWorld).  The Remote Control Video Computer System (2700) was confirmed cancelled. (Video Take-Out) 

Atari previewed (publicly) their new "Supergame System" at the show: the Atari Video System X Advanced Video Computer System ($349.95; to ship fall 1982; would ship as: 5200). 14 games for the new system were promised by the end of 1982; 11 Game Program titles were announced: Super Breakout, Space Invaders (title by Taito), Missile Command, Asteroids (never shipped), Baseball, Football, Soccer, Skiing (never shipped), Star Raiders, Pac-Man (title by Namco), Galaxian (title by Namco). (Analog #5 p9, Fun! p665; Merch Jan82; Merch Apr82 p99)  Ron Stringari remained Atari (Consumer) VP marketing.

For the 400 ($399/16K RAM) and 800 ($899/16K RAM) Atari introduced Pac-Man (title by Namco; to ship in May -Analog#6p13), Centipede (June -Analog#6p13), and Caverns of Mars (which had only just been added to the APX product line as of winter 1982; it would be the first APX title to be transferred into Atari's main product line), announced The Bookkeeper, The Home Filing Manager, the CX85 Numerical Keypad (price tba), The Bookkeeper Kit (price tba) and The Home Manager kit (price tba), and again promised: Dow Jones Investment Evaluator (never shipped), Personal Financial Management System, Atari Macro Assembler and Program-Text Editor, Atari Microsoft BASIC.  Following the 400 packaging theme introduced in 1981, the 800, 810, and 410 would now ship in silver/full color packaging.

January: George Kiss joined Atari (Consumer) as director of software development (reporting to VP engineering Michel Ebertin, replacing interim director Jewel Savadelis in the role; Savadelis remained video software product manager, reporting to VP marketing Ron Stringari). (one timing clue)

January: Jan Soderstrom, with Atari since 1980, was Atari VP advertising.

January: Atari released Super Breakout for the VCS.

January: Atari opened their new, 185,000 square foot home video game manufacturing plant at 11460 Pellicano Dr., El Paso Texas. (source Atari's original El Paso factory at 5645 Beacon (38,500 square feet), which had employed 350, had been shut down. (source)  Gary D. Weaver would be general manager of the site.

January: The Atari Coin-Operated Games Division marketing, sales, finance, personnel, final assembly, woodshop, and silkscreen facilities were moved from 1215 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA to a new 58,162 square foot new facility at 790 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas, CA, USA.  (CC v6n2Mar82)  Construction of the new Atari (Coin-Op) engineering building across the street (1501 McCarthy, Milpitas) was underway.  Richard L. Maslana (Dick Maslana) would be VP operations (replacing Curt Russell who would depart the company).  (CC 3/82)  Atari's plant at 1215 Borregas would be repurposed for 5200 production.

January 16: At the first Atari Star Awards banquet, held at San Francisco's Maxwell's Plum restaurant in Ghiradelli Square, the Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP) awarded the Star Award Grand Prize and US$25,000 to Fernando Herrera for his APX title, My First Alphabet. Star Award of Merit winners: Ronald Marcuse & Lynn Marcuse, Sheldon Leemon, Greg Christensen

January 18: Mark Cerny joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a programmer/designer. (source)

January 18-21: At the Amusement Trades Exhibition (ATE) at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham England, with their own exhibition stand for the first time, Atari featured Tempest. (CC Dec/Jan 81/82)

January 21: Bob Harvey remained Atari (Coin-Op) regional sales manager. (CC 3/82)

January 19-22: Atari featured the 400/800 at the third annual Which Computer? Show, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England. (source)

Winter: Atari general counsel Charles S. Paul (Skip Paul) was promoted to Atari SVP legal.

Winter: Franz Lanzinger joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a software engineer.

Winter: Leland L. Moyer, previously assistant to the vice chairman of the board at Cannon Mills (and prior to that, EVP and general manager for corduroy at Burlington Sportwear Fabrics, a division of Burlington Industries), was named SVP and general manager of the Consumer Electronics Division of Atari, Inc. (newly-created position). (source)

Winter: APX Catalog introduced for the 400/800: Bowler's Database, Family Cash Flow, Weekly Planner, Enhancements to Graph It, Hydraulic Program (HYSYS), Keyboard Organ, Morse Code Tutor, Player Piano, Atlas of Canada, Hickory Dickory, Letterman, Mathematic-Tac-Toe, My First Alphabet, Number Blast, Presidents of the United States, Quiz Master, Stereo 3-D Graphics Package, Attank!, Blackjack Casino, Block 'Em, Caverns of Mars (would be available from APX only briefly before moving to Atari's main product line), Dog Daze, Downhill, Memory Match, Pro Bowling, Reversi II, Solitaire, Source Code for Eastern Front (1941), Space Chase, Atari Program-Text Editor (also released in Atari's main product line in package with Macro Assembler), Dsembler, Extended fig-FORTH, Insomnia (A Sound Editor), Instedit, Supersort Rev. 3, T: A Text Display Device, Ultimate Renumber Utility, Word Processing Diskette (Text Formatter (FORMS) + Atari Program-Text Editor).  APX sales via CompuServe MicroNET had been discontinued.  Dale Yocum was APX Manager.  APX had a new logo:

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo
Atari Software Exchange Program logo
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1981-
Amplifone logo

Winter?: For the 400/800 Atari shipped Atari Microsoft BASIC and the software development package, Macro Assembler and Program-Text Editor. (Macro Assembler developed for Atari by Sorcim; Program-Text Editor also released via APX)

Winter?: Artist Warren Chang joined Atari (Consumer).

February: Atari announced that Kenneth K. Harkness had joined the company as Atari president Coin-Op Division (replacing the departed Joe Robbins).  Harkness was previously president and CEO of Revell, one of the largest toy companies in Europe.  Before that, he spent ten years at the Racquet Sports Division of Wilson Sporting Goods, ultimately as president of the division. (CC 2/82)

February: Atari released Haunted House for the VCS.

February: Atari (Corporate) VP/chief scientist Alan Kay founded the Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory (one source for date), which would serve as the primary home of Atari Corporate Research.  Systems Research Group research scientists (many personally recruited by Alan Kay) would eventually include: Michael Liebhold (would also serve as Director of the lab at its inception), Stephen D. Arnold (source for date), Susan E. Brennan, William M. Bricken, Jan D. Dekema (also: administrative manager of the lab), Scott S. Fisher, Steve Gano, Eric Gullichsen, Kristina Hooper (later: Director of the lab), Eric A. Hulteen, Thomas Kennedy (clue), Jaron Lanier, Brenda K. Laurel, Michael Naimark, Jeffrey Sarnoff, Bob Stein, Craig Taylor, Randal Walser, Stephen Weyer, Kathleen S. Wilson, Thomas G. Zimmerman.  The recently-established Games Design Research Group would be housed in the new lab, and would eventually include manager Chris Crawford, Valerie Atkinson, Douglas Crockford, Jim Dunion, Randall Smith, Larry Summers, Kim Whitmore, Aric Wilmunder.  The Interactive Animation Group would include Ann Marion (Principal Investigator / Program Manager) and Wayne Harvey.  Research Engineering would eventually include: Dale Yocum (Research Engineering Manager at the group's inception), Bob Alkire, Scott H. Foster, Jess Jessop, Jim LeitermanTim McGuinness (Senior Research Engineer / Assistant Director Research Engineering), Sam Nicolino, John Howard Palevich (Jack Palevich), David Sampson, Steve Saunders, Gary Sikorski (later: Director of the lab)

February 16: Atari introduced Space Duel (original upright version) to distributors in a meeting in San Francisco.  Ken Harkness was Coin-Operated Games Division president. (CC 3/82)

February 16: Jeff Hoff was an Atari spokesman. (NYT)

February 18: Atari introduced Space Duel (original upright version) to distributors in a meeting in Chicago.

February 18: Atari and Centuri, Inc. announced a four-year contract whereby Atari would have rights to all current and future Centuri coin-operated video games in all home consumer product categories.  Atari's initial plans were to release for the VCS: Phoenix, Vanguard, Challenger

February 18: In the U.S., Atari established the subsidiary, Atari International (U.K.) Inc., to replace U.K. distributors Ingersoll Electronics, Music Hire Group, and Ruffler & Deith.  The new unit would be set up by Atari Far East Limited managing director John Constantine (source).  Location (shared with WEA Records, fellow subsidiary of Warner Communications): 185-195 Ealing Road, Alperton, Wembley, Middlesex

February 19: Atari introduced Space Duel (original upright version) to distributors in a meeting in New York.

February 20-22: 79th annual American Toy Fair in New York, Atari announced that their new "Supergame System" (Video System X; would ship as: 5200) would wholesale for $240, with a retail price possibly as low as $279 (previously announced: $349).  Michael Moone was Atari (Consumer) president. (Merch Mar82) 

February 22: At Atari, Inc., Raymond Kassar remained president, Dennis Groth remained VP finance and treasurer, David Burling was clerk/secretary, and Joan Pincus was assistant secretary.  The Atari board of directors consisted of: Raymond Kassar, Emanuel Gerard, Jac Holzman.   (MA filing)

Winter/Spring?: Artist Terry Hoff joined Atari (Consumer).

March 2: In Atari, Inc. and Midway Mfg. Co. vs. North American Philips Consumer Electronics Corp. and Park Television, d/b/a Park Magnavox Home Entertainment Center (672 F.2d 607), The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit accepted the appeal of Atari and Midway of the December 4, 1981 decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, and directed the lower court to enter a preliminary injunction against the continued infringement of Atari's rights to Namco's Pac-Man by Philips through the sale of K.C. Munchkin for the Magnavox Odyssey2.  (Philips would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

March 9: Atari announced the March 12-15 dedications marking the openings of new manufacturing facilities in El Paso, Texas, and Fajardo, Puerto Rico (Atari Caribe, Inc.; 2nd building there), with a combined employment of 1400 people.  In El Paso Atari had opened a $7 million home video game cartridge manufacturing plant at 11460 Pellicano Dr. (source), which had replaced their initial plant there at 5645 Beacon Ave. (source Atari employed more than 700 at the El Paso facility.  Paul Malloy remained Atari (Consumer Electronics) SVP of manufacturing and operations.

March 12: At Atari (Home Computer) in software, Lou Tarnay remained systems development manager and had two direct reports: operating systems supervisor Paul Laughton and telecommunication supervisor John Curran.  (source)

March 15: Atari had announced Atari Computer Camps, "the first effort by a major home computer manufacturer to fully sponsor summer camps for 10 to 18-year-olds interested in computers."  Atari was to conduct eight camp sessions during summer 1982, two in each of four locations: Pennsylvania (East Stroudsburg State College), North Carolina (Asheville School), Wisconsin (Lakeland College) and sourthern California (University of San Diego).  Each session would last four weeks.  Day-to-day operation of the camps would be handled by Specialty Camps Corp.  Linda Gordon was Atari VP of special projects; Atari (Home Computer) Educational Software Products Manager Robert A. Kahn was Atari Computer Camps Curriculum Director; Ray Kassar remained Atari chairman and CEO.  (InfoWorld 3/15/82p43; Interface Age 6/82 p26)

March: Atari established the new AtariTel Division.  Atari EVP finance (CFO) Dennis Groth would additionally be AtariTel director.  Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP Advanced Technology (headed the team that developed what would ship as: 5200), became Atari VP AtariTel Division.  Niles Strohl, previously Atari (Consumer) director of engineering, became AtariTel director of engineering.  J. David Remson would join Atari (Consumer) as director of electrical engineering (replacing Strohl in the role).  AtariTel location: 1272 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA

March?: The Atari Holoptics Lab was shut down, and the Atari Advanced Products Group would be reconstituted into the Atari corporate Design Research group. Harry Jenkins, previously Atari Manager - Advanced Products (reporting to Atari CEO Ray Kassar), would become manager of corporate design research (reporting to Atari VP/chief scientist Alan Kay). The unit would eventually include Brad Nemeth, Randy Horton, Michael Barry, John Bell, Rich Caselli, Sherman Kennedy, Joe McArtle, Dave McDonald, Michael T. MacKay, Dave Willis, freelance software engineer Stan Osborne, consultant Ed Tannenbaum. (source)

March: Bill Carris, previously Atari (Home Computer) training director, would become Atari (Home Computer) director of software marketing (replacing Brenda Laurel who transferred to the new Atari Sunnyvale Research Lab).

March: Atari released Pac-Man for the VCS.

March: Engineer Eric Hoh joined Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp.

March: Atari Star Raiders for the 400/800 was awarded Computer Game of the Year by Electronic Games magazine. (EG 3/82 p49)

March: At Atari (Consumer): Alan Henricks was now SVP finance, Paul J. Malloy remained SVP operations, and Lee Moyer remained SVP and general manager; Michael Moone remained president of the Division. (WCI Annual Rpt 1981)

March 18: In response to the March 2, 1982 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Federal judge George N. Leighton, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, had ordered Philips Magnavox Home Entertainment Center to take its K.C. Munchkin video game for the Odyssey2 off the market, because it was too similar to Namco's Pac-Man, the U.S. home market rights to which were exclusively held by Atari. (UPI)

March 19-21: At the 7th West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, Atari's held their second annual invitational hospitality suite for Atari computer users' group officers and their guests, where Atari introduced APX Atari Pascal Language System.  About 80 persons attended, on behalf of 15 of the 200 total groups registered with Atari Users' Group Support.  At Atari (Home Computer), Don Kurtz was director of marketing services; Earl Rice was manager of the users' group support program.  (AtariConnection v2n2p1)

March 23: Jeff Hoff remained an Atari spokesman. (WashPost)

March 26: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Special Projects, Inc., for their Atari Computer Camps venture with Specialty Camps Corp.

March/April: Perry D. Odak, previously general manager of Jovan Inc., the fragrance and cosmetics company, joined Atari in the new position of president of the Consumer Product Group, which would consist of the Consumer Electronics Division (still headed by Michael Moone) and the International Consumer Division (still headed by Anton Bruehl).  On the same day, Angelo M. Pezzani joined Atari as VP and general counsel for the Consumer Products Group. (source for March date; source for April date)

Spring: For the 400/800 the APX Catalog introduced: Family Budget, Diskette Mailing List, Isopleth Map-Making Package, RPN Calculator Simulator, Advanced Musicsystem, Sketchpad, Cubbyholes, Musical Computer--The Music Tutor, Starware, Wordmaker, Block Buster, Atari Pascal Language System, Extended fig-FORTH Rev. 2, GTIA Demonstration Diskette, Instedit (Microsoft BASIC version), Keypad Controller, Speed-O-Disk. APX also introduced the book, De Re Atari.  Dale Yocum was APX Manager.

Spring?: Dale Yocum, previously APX Manager, became Atari (Corporate) research engineering manager.  Atari (Home Computer) director of product review and research (including APX) Fred Thorlin would additionally become APX general manager (replacing Yocum in the role).

April 3: In the U.S., Atari marked the release of Pac-Man for the VCS by widely promoting the day as Atari National Pac-Man Day.  Atari arranged for Pac-Man to appear via life-sized costumes in 27 cities.

April 9: In Tokyo Japan, Atari (Coin-Op) officially opened Atari Far East (Japan) Ltd. (previously: Atari Far East Japan K.K).  Rivington Hight, who had provisionally established the office in April 1981, was Atari Far East president, John Farrand was Atari (Coin-Op) EVP and international division president, Shane Breaks was (Coin-Op) vp international division, and Lyle Rains was (Coin-Op) VP engineering.  (CC 7/82)

April: Atari released Dig Dug by Namco (original Upright version and European upright versions), and released Space Duel Cocktail.

April: For the VCS, Hot Rox was now slated to ship in July (previously: June). (Video Take-Out 4/82)

April: For the 400/800 Atari shipped Caverns of Mars (on disk). (Video Take-Out 4/82)

April: Bob Fournier was Atari (Home Computer) entertainment product manager. (source)

April: Thomas M. McDonough joined Atari as SVP of sales and marketing in Atari's home computer division (NYT 12/19/82 for date), replacing director of marketing services Don Kurtz who departed the company (remaining with the Kurtz & Tarlow agency).  (Keith Schaefer remained VP sales.)

April: Atari 8th annual distributor meeting and 10th anniversary ceremony was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu HI. (one source)

April 16: "The Electronic and Computer Technician Vocational Education Incentive Grants Act" hearing before the Subcommittee on Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education of the Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, included testimony by Atari VP research and product development Steven Mayer.

April 21: Grand opening of the Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC) manufacturing facility in Taipei, Taiwan which Atari had acquired in fall 1981.  Employment at the plant was scheduled to reach 1,500 by the middle of 1982.  (source; Byte v7n11 p192-14 ad; sourceLoren P. Wolter was ATMC president.

April/May: Atari named John S. Farrand, previously president of international operations for Coin-Op, as Atari EVP Coin Operated Games Division (international operations and domestic sales and marketing).  Atari also announced the promotion of Don Osborne, previously Atari (Coin-Op) VP sales, to Atari (Coin-Op) VP sales and marketing, replacing the departed Frank Ballouz in the additional VP marketing role. (CC)

April/May: For the 400/800 Atari shipped, then promptly pulled from the market for further development, Personal Financial Management System. (see Analog #9p118, plus C017535revC)

May 1: Atari Special Projects, Inc. began supplying both equipment and instructor training for the Club Méditerranée computer classroom at Club Med Ixtapa in Mexico (replacing Computer Camp of Santa Barbara CA, which had the role since the classroom opened in November 1981).  (Atari did not take on the other existing Club Med computer classroom at Club Med Kamarina, Sicily, which had opened in May 1981.)  A second Atari computer classroom was planned for Club Med Eleuthera, the Bahamas. (InfoWorld 7/12/82 p14-16) 

Mary 13: In the U.K., Atari International (U.K.) Inc. introduced Pac-Man for the VCS with a reception at the top of the London Hilton.

May 14: Atari International (U.K.) Inc. (established in the U.S. on 2/18/82) was registered for business in the U.K., where it had replaced Ingersoll Electronics as Atari consumer products (VCS, 400/800) distributor in the UK and Eire, and had replaced Music Hire Group and Ruffler & Deith as Atari Coin-Op distributors.  Anthony Jones, previously of Ingersoll, would join the company as its first Managing Director (replacing Atari Far East Limited managing director John Constantine in the role).  Location (shared with WEA Records, fellow subsidiary of Warner Communications): 185-195 Ealing Road, Alperton, Wembley, Middlesex

May: Atari released Yars' Revenge for the VCS.

May: As part of the Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP), Atari opened its second Regional Software Acquisition Center, managed by Jerry Connelly, at: 57 John F Kennedy St, Cambridge MA.  Bruce Irvine remained Atari (Home Computer) VP software.  While plans for additional ASAP centers were not announced, Atari was considering opening a "satellite facility" in New York City in the near future. (InfoWorld 5/24/82 p9)

May?: The Atari (Consumer) programming groups moved from 1272 Borregas to a new building at 275 Gibraltar Dr., Sunnyvale CA (34,200 square feet).  William Lord, previously Atari International assistant product manager, 2600 VCS, became Atari (Consumer) manager of project control, software development.

May: In the Netherlands, the Atari division ("Atari Benelux") of WEA Records B.V. ("WEA Holland";"WEA Benelux") was spun off to form Atari International (Benelux) B.V.  Peter Woodward, previously EVP of Casablanca Records (PolyGram), would be managing director of the new "Atari Benelux" which remained at (location shared with Record Service Benelux B.V.): Franse Akker 9, 9814 AL Breda.  Ruud Van Nispen would join the company in sales.  (source; source; CashBox 7/3/82 p39)

May 22-26: Atari exhibited at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.  Dick Needleman was Atari Manager, Special Markets and Operations.

May 23: Jim Chang was financial controller at Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (source)

May 25: Paul Cubbage remained Atari (Home Computer) Manager, Product Review.

May/June: First issue of Atari Age, the glossy magazine published by The Atari Club through the Atari subdsidiary, Atari Clubs, Inc.  Editor: Steve Morgenstern; Design Director: Tony Prizzi; Club Director: Parker Jerrell.  Atari VP special projects Linda Gordon remained responsible for Atari Clubs, Inc.

May/June?: Robert A. Kahn, previously Atari (Home Computer) Educational Software Product Manager, became Atari Director of Special Projects (Atari Computer Camps and Club Med initiatives; reporting to VP special projects Linda Gordon.)  Dr. Sueann Ambron, Ed.D, previously assistant professor of educational psychology at Stanford University, joined Atari (Home Computer) as Manager of Software Products for education products (replacing Kahn in the role). (link)

June 5: Bill Sobieski was Atari (Consumer) VP Sales (Billboard), having replaced the departed VP Sales Bob Faught.

June 6-9: At the Summer CES in Chicago, for the VCS Atari introduced/again promised Defender (June), Demons to Diamonds (previously: Hot Rox; July), Math Gran Prix (July), Berzerk (August), and Star Raiders with Video Touch Pad (CX21) controller (September), for a library of 49 Game Program Cartridges (previously: 45), and also announced or previewed: Baseball (tentative title; would ship as: RealSports Baseball; September), Volleyball (tentative title; would ship as: RealSports Volleyball; September), Football (tentative title; would ship as: RealSports Football; October), Adventure I (tentative title; would ship as: SwordQuest: EarthWorld; October), Adventure II (tentative title; would ship as: SwordQuest: FireWorld; November), Frog Pond (November; never shipped), Combat (Combat Two; tentative title; later: Failsafe; December; never shipped), Raiders of the Lost Ark (December) (source)

For the 400 ($349/16K RAM; previously: $399) and 800 ($899/16K RAM), Atari introduced Atari Speed Reading (by Learning Multi-Systems), announced Music Tutor I (would ship as: AtariMusic I), Juggles' Rainbow (by The Learning Co.), Juggles' House (by The Learning Co.), and TeleLink II (never shipped as a standalone release; would ship as part of Communicator II kit only) and introduced/announced The Bookkeeper Kit ($249.95; Bookkeeper program plus CX85 Numerical Keypad), The Communicator II Kit (price tba; new 835 modem with TeleLink II), The Home Manager Kit (price tba).  The APX title, My First Alphabet would be re-released as part of Atari's standard product line.  Again promised: The Bookkeeper (standalone program), The Home Filing Manager, Personal Financial Management System (PFMS now to ship winter 1983), Centipede.  Atari also introduced the Electronic Retail Information Center (ERIC; an Atari 800 home computer linked to a videodisc player) for retailers.  Keith Schaefer was VP of sales for Atari's Home Computer division.

June 6: Atari announced that Atari and Lucasfilm Ltd. had joined creative forces for the purpose of developing and marketing video games for coin-operated games, home video games and home computers. (PR)  Helen M. Gray, previously executive director of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, had joined Atari as VP Corporate Communications (having replaced Jeff Hoff who had departed the company?).

June 8: At the Summer CES in Chicago, Atari introduced the 5200 Home Entertainment System (previously: "Supergame System" Video System X Advanced Video Computer System), to ship with two 5200 Controller (CX52) units and Super Breakout (announced as the pack-in game at the show, separately from the press release) for the package price of $299.95.  The system was to ship in October along with 9 games to be sold separately (for a total of 10 launch titles): Pac-Man (title by Namco), Space Invaders (title by Taito), Asteroids (never released), Missile Command, Star Raiders, Baseball, Football, Soccer, Galaxian (title by Namco).  Another 4 games were to ship later in the fall (for a total library of 14 games by Christmas): Centipede, Tank (never released), Qix (title by Taito), Defender (title by Williams Electronics).  Atari also announced three 5200 add-on devices planned for 1983 release: a Trak-Ball Controller (CX53), a Voice Synthesizer module (never released), and an adapter to allow all VCS game cartridges to be played on the Atari 5200 (would ship as: VCS Cartridge Adapter (CX55)). (PR; AtariAge Sep/Oct82p8)

June 13: Richard Krieger remained VP and general manager of Atari's Far East operations in Taiwan. (source)

June: Atari released Kangaroo by Sun Electronics (standard Upright cabinet and "European" cabinet), released Dig Dug by Namco in Cocktail and Cabaret versions, and released Gravitar.

June: John Hill was Atari (Coin-Op) regional sales manager (CC 6/82)

June: Atari released Defender for the VCS.

June: The Atari (Consumer) Special Programs group began a software development collaboration project with the Children's Computer Workshop (CCW) (AtariAge v1n5p11)

June: Through Atari Ireland Ltd., Atari (Consumer) initiated the design and contruction of a light manufacturing and European operations center in the Raheen Industrial Estate on Ballysimon Road, Limerick, Ireland (source; source)  Atari (Consumer) industrial engineer Michael Baughman would be Project Manager for the construction and operations at the site.

June: For the 400/800 Atari shipped Pac-Man (Roklan). (Video Take-Out 4/82)

June: Atari president Home Computer Division Roger Badertscher resigned from company. (NYT 8/25/82)  Atari VP research and product development Steve Mayer would serve as acting president of the division.

June: James A. Heisch, previously an audit partner with Arthur Young & Co., joined Atari as SVP finance (CFO) (source) (assuming the CFO role from Atari EVP Dennis Groth).  Erwin N. Lenowitz, previously general manager of Revlon Vision Care International, would join Atari in finance (reporting to Heisch).

June: Paul Jakab joined Atari as corporate counsel.

June 17: Centuri, Inc. announced a licensing agreement with Atari, Inc. whereby Centuri had exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture and distribute Tunnel Hunt by Atari, set for a July 1982 introduction.  The agreement marked the first time that Atari had licensed a game concept to another manufacturer.  Ken Harkness was president of Atari's coin-operated game division.  (Centuri PR)

June 25-27: Atari and distributor C.A. Robinson Co. sponsored 10 play-free games (five Centipede units and five Dig-Dug units) at the hospitality area of the Special Olympics event held at UCLA (Los Angeles).  A contingent of 15 from Atari helped staff the event. (Cash Box 7/3/82 p40)

June 28: Engineer John Skruch joined Atari (Home Computer) in software production engineering (cartridge manufacturing).

Month?: At Atari (Coin-Op), industrial design and design services/graphics/art became separate units.  George Opperman, previously director of industrial design/design services, would become director of visual communications (Graphics Group / art department).  Peter L. Takaichi would be promoted to industrial design services director (RePlay 7/97 pA61) (replacing Opperman in the role).

Month?: Brad Fuller joined Atari (Coin-Op) as director of audio.

Month?: Stephen M. Race, previously of Arthur D. Little Inc., joined Atari's International division in marketing. (source)

Month?: Chris Jeffers joined Atari as manager of Administration for Corporate Research. (Update 4/2/84)

Month?: In West Germany, Wolfgang Blödorn joined Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH as advertising manager. (source)  

July 1-31: In Canada, through the month of July only, exclusive Atari distributor Irwin Electronics offered a free Pac-Man cartridge by mail for the purchase of a new VCS system.

July 3: At Atari (Coin-Op), Ken Harkness was president, John Farrand was EVP, Don Osborne was VP sales & marketing, Mariann Layne was manager-marketing services, Bob Harvey was midwest regional sales manager, John Hill was southeast regional sales manager, Tom Petit was western regional sales manager, Dick Needleman was manager-special markets, Lenore Sayers was manager-operations. (Cash Box 7/3/82 pt.iii p14)

July 12: Theodore N. Voss (Ted Voss), previously of Polaroid, arrived at Atari as Atari SVP marketing and advertising.  Jan Soderstrom remained Atari VP advertising.

July 14: In what was believed to be the largest single order for home computers by a school system, Dade County, Fla., had placed an order for 426 Atari 800 Home Computers and peripherals. "This order brings the total number of Atari Home Computers in use in Dade County schools to approximately 650," said Thomas McDonough, SVP of sales and marketing for Atari's Home Computer Division.

July 15: "Measures to Address the Impact of Computer Technology on Lesser Developed Countries" hearing before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight and the Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology of the Committee on Science and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives, included testimony by Atari VP/chief scientist Alan Kay.

July: The Atari Corporate Research unit established the Atari Cambridge Research Laboratory at Five Cambridge Center, 8th floor, Cambridge MA.  The lab's Director would be Cynthia Solomon, previously VP, Research & Development/Co-Founder of Logo Computer Systems, Inc.  Researchers would eventually include: Margaret Minsky, Max Behensky, Susan Cotten, Jim Davis, Lisa Delpit, Annette Dula, Greg Gargarian, Michael Grandfield, Ed Hardebeck, Henry Minsky, Julie Minsky, Lauren Young, James Russell Davis, Gary Drescher, Mark Gross, Ken Haase, Steven Hain, Jay Jones, Susan Kroon, David Levitt, Dan Melnechuk, Bill St. Clair, Nancy Smith, Tom Trobaugh.

July: Chris Horseman, previously of Centaursoft (and before that, Thorn EMI), joined Atari (Home Computer) as VP software engineering, replacing Bruce Irvine who departed the company.  (Irvine and fomer Atari president Home Computer Division Roger Badertscher would co-found Mindset Corporation on 9/27/82.)  John Powers, previously applications & development systems manager, would (again) become director of software development.

July: Richard O'Keefe joined Atari (Consumer) as a programmer.

July: Les Player joined Atari International (U.K.) Inc. as Technical Services Manager.

July: Opening (Phase I) of the Atari Video Adventure (scan from RePlay Magazine July 1997 p. Atari 24) game room at Marriott's Great America theme park in Santa Clara CA, featuring 88 Atari video games "showcased in a space age arcade of lights, mirrors and high-tech architecture."  Dick Needleman was Atari special markets manager.  The site was designed and built by the Atari corporate Design Research group. (source)

July: Atari released Math Gran Prix and Demons to Diamonds for the VCS.

July: For the 400/800 Atari shipped Centipede. (Video Take-Out 4/82)

July: (after July 19) Atari Senior Research Engineer / Assistant Director for Corporate Research Engineering Tim McGuinness departed the company to Romox, Inc., which had just been established on July 8.

July 26: InfoWorld estimated between 250,000 and 300,000 Atari 400/800 computers had been sold to date.

Summer: APX Catalog introduced for the 400/800: Bowler's Database Rev. 2, Data Base/Report System, Family Vehicle Expense, Recipe Search 'n Save, Calculator (moved from Atari's main product line), Astrology, Blackjack Tutor Rev. 1.1, Going to the Dogs, Algicalc, Elementary Biology (by MECC), Frogmaster, Instructional Computing Demonstration (by MECC), Metric and Problem Solving (by MECC), Music I--Terms & Notation (by MECC), Polycalc, Three R Math System, Block 'Em Rev. 2, Castle Rev. 1.1, Checker King, Galahad and the Holy Grail, Jax-O, Jukebox #1, The Midas Touch, Pushover, Rabbotz, Salmon Run, Seven Card Stud, BLIS Rev. 1.1, Cosmatic Atari Development Package, Insomnia (A Sound Editor) Rev. 1.1, Instedit Rev. 1.1, Microsoft BASIC Cross-Reference Utility, Player Generator, Utility Diskette II.  Fred Thorlin was APX general manager; product review: Paul Cubbage.

Summer: First year of Atari Computer Camps, held at 3 locations: "Camp Atari--San Diego" at the University of San Diego (CA), "Camp Atari--Ashville" at the Asheville School (Asheville, NC), and "Camp Atari--East Stroudsburg" at East Stroudsburg State College (PA). (Camp was canceled at the fourth announced site, "Camp Atari--Sheboygan" at Lakeland College in Sheboygan WI. - source)

Summer: Dave Stubben, previously Atari (Coin-Op) electrical engineering supervisor, became Atari (Home Computer) VP engineering, replacing Gene Rosen who departed the company.  (timing: source; source Atari (Coin-Op) engineering John Ray would be promoted to electrical engineering supervisor (replacing Stubben in the role). (Dan Van Elderen remained Atari (Coin-Op) director of engineering.) 

Summer: Chris Bowman, previously Atari (Home Computer) national manager of educational sales, had become Atari (Home Computer) education marketing manager.  Jim Paige was Atari (Home Computer) national education sales manager (Atari Connection Summer82 p23) (having replaced Bowman in the role).

Summer?: For the VCS Atari released: Action Pak (PRO810; Breakout, Othello, Dodge 'Em), Racing Pak (PRO811; Indy 500, Slot Racers, pair of Driving Controllers), Back to School Pak (PRO812; BASIC Programming, Brain Games, pair of Keyboard Controllers)

Summer?: Atari International market manager - Europe Jeff Burton departed the company (to Electronic Arts).

August 11: Approximately 1,370 Atari Home Computers and peripherals, valued at more than $3 million, had been ordered by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) under a competitive Request for Proposal, it was announced by Thomas M. McDonough, SVP of sales and marketing for Atari's Home Computer Division.

August: Atari released Berzerk for the VCS.

August: At Atari (Consumer), James Kelly would be promoted to art director, replacing Steve Hendricks who departed the company.

August: Atari commenced commercial production of the 5200 at its plant at 1215 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA. (source)

August: Industrial designer Tom Palecki, previously of Xerox, joined Atari (Home Computer).  (He would report to industrial design manager Kevin McKinsey.) (source)

August: In West Germany, Michael Anders, previously marketing and sales director at CBS Schallplatten GmbH, joined Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH as marketing director, replacing Werner Täsler who departed the company.  (CashBox 1/8/83 p10; source)

August?: On pages 642-647 of the 1982 Christmas Wish Book Sears featured the new Tele-Games Video Arcade II by Atari (#75000; $189.99; Sears exclusive version of the Atari 2600), supplied with two Sears All-In-One-Controller units by Atari and Space Invaders cartridge by Atari, and also featured the Tele-Games Video Arcade (new package #75005; $149.99; new Atari 2600A series version with 4 switches; previously: #75001 version with 6 switches; new package still supplied with two joysticks, pair of paddles, and Target Fun) by Atari.

August 15-October 15: "Taste The Thrill Of Atari At McDonald's" promotion.  50 grand prize deluxe packages would each include a 5200, an 800 with peripherals, and a Centipede coin-operated game.

August 18: Atari and the Merchandising Corporation of America, a subsidiary of MCA Inc., announced they had concluded an agreement giving Atari exclusive worldwide rights to market coin-operated and home video games based on E.T., the Extraterrestrial, the film directed by Steven Speilberg.

August 24: John C. Cavalier was named Atari president Home Computer Division (replacing the departed Roger Badertscher).  Cavalier was previously VP and general manager of American Can's Dixie and Dixie/Marathon unit, makers of consumer paper products.

August: Richard C. Frick, previously of United States Leasing, joined Atari (Consumer) (as an assistant product manager to Jewel Savadelis?).

August: (late month) Donald S. Teiser, previously of Trans Union, joined Atari (Consumer) as director of software development, replacing George Kiss who departed the company (to Coleco). (source for timing)

August 29-December 31: "Atari Announces Discount Fares to the Computer Age.  Save up to $60" promotion.  For the purchase of an Atari 400, Atari offered a rebate of $10 for each purchase of up to six additional Atari computer products.

Summer/Fall: Anthony Jones, previously Atari International (U.K.) Inc. managing director, became an Atari product manager (at Atari headquarters in Sunnyvale CA).  Graham Clark became Atari International (U.K.) Inc. managing director (replacing Jones in the role).

Summer/Fall: John Hagel III, previously of The Sequoia Group (founder and CEO), joined Atari (Home Computer) as VP strategic planning.

September 3-5: Atari exhibited in the Technology Exposition at the 'US' Festival held at Glen Helen Regional Park, CA. (SoftSide #36p14-16)

September 8: Chemical Bank announced it would provide the first major home banking and information system commercially available in the country, called Pronto.  Pronto would initially require an Atari home computer system, but programs would be developed for most major personal computers on the market.

September 10-12: Atari featured the 400/800 at the 5th Personal Computer World (PCW) show at the Barbican, London.

September: Atari released Star Raiders (with Video Touch Pad (CX21) controller) for the VCS.

September?: (by October 8) Larry Kaplan, most recently with Hi-Toro (which he had co-founded in June 1982), re-joined Atari (Consumer) as VP product development (new position; director of software development Don Teiser would now report to Kaplan).

September: Atari Corporate Research established a New York City Research Laboratory, headed by Atari VP research and product development Steven T. Mayer, and located in office space at: 300 E 42nd St, New York NY.  Dedicated to the exploration of microprocessor-based products in electronic publishing and transactional services for home computers, the Atari NY Lab would be responsible for development of advanced products for Atari, and also function as a focus for joint research projects with other subsidiaries of Warner Communications Inc. (source)(source)  Lab personnel would eventually include: manager of hardware engineering Gregg Squires (previously of Racal Vikonics), Robert (Bob) Card, Steven Ray, Joel Moskowitz, Philippe des Rioux, Glenn Boles, Risa Rosenberg

September 18: The Atari Pac-Man World Championship was held at Captain Video, Paris France (moved from Monte Carlo just two days prior), organized by the Atari International division.  There were 33 participants, winners of national Atari VCS Pac-Man championship tournaments held by Atari subsidiaries around the world (except North America).  Under-25 championship winner: Craig Heap (Salford, Manchester, England, UK); Over-25 championship winner: Johann Beiderbeck (West Germany).  (source; source)

September 22-October 1: At the SICOB (Salon international d'Informatique, télématique, Communication, Organisation du bureau et Bureautique) show in Paris, P.E.C.F. Atari launched the 400 and 800 in France.

September 24: In Hong Kong, the name of Atari-Wong Limited (Atari's joint manufacturing venture with The Wong's Electronics Company, Limited) was changed to Atari International (Hong Kong) Limited.  In addition to continuing their Atari consumer products manufacturing business as Atari-Wong Co. (AWC), the unit would also establish a new international purchasing/ finance/ distribution/ LSI test/ product engineering/ quality liaison office at: 10, Shing Yip Street, 4th Floor, Kwun Tong, Kowloon.  Managers at the new site would include: Jim Chang (financial controller?), Ted Leno, Joseph Tilmant

September 29: Atari had announced it had formed Atari Semiconductor Group (ASG), to be responsible for all the company's semiconductor design, development and test operations. (NYT)  Gary J. Summers, most recently an independent consultant for several firms including Atari since 1981, and before that head of Commodore Semiconductor Group (CSG, the former MOS Technology) had written the business plan for the new division, and had joined Atari as VP and General Manager ASG.  Carl Nielsen would remain director of LSI design and test, ASG.  ASG location: 275 Gibraltar Dr., Sunnyvale CA (location shared with the Consumer division programmers)

September/October: Atari announced the appointment of John Farrand, previously Atari (Coin-Op) EVP, as Atari president Coin-Op Division, replacing Ken Harkness who departed the company.

September/October: Atari International (U.K.) Inc. moved from 185-195 Ealing Road, Alperton, Wembley, Middlesex (location shared with WEA Records, fellow subsidiary of Warner Communications) to Railway Terrace, Slough, Berkshire (32,000 square feet).  While the owner of the newly-constructed facility, Sardan Limited, had promoted it as "Inter City House" it would now be known as Atari House, as Atari was leasing the entire site.

October 4: In North American Philips Consumer Electronics Corp. et al. v. Atari, Inc., et al. (459 U.S. 880), the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the March 2, 1982 decision of the C.A. 7th Cir. (672 F. 2d 607) in favor of Atari and against the appeal of Philips regarding the resemblance of K.C. Munchkin for the Magnavox Odyssey2 to Namco's Pac-Man.

October 10: Sears had shipped the Tele-Games Video Arcade II by Atari (#75000; $189.99; Sears exclusive version of the Atari 2600), supplied with two Sears All-In-One-Controller units by Atari and Space Invaders cartridge by Atari. (newspaper ad)

October 11: Atari had annouced plans to produce home computers in Hong Kong and Taiwan, beginning January 1983.  Production would take place at facilities already producing games for Atari.  Atari-Wong Co. (AWC), the company's joint venture in Hong Kong, would enlarge employment from 700 to 1000.  Atari said computers produced in the Far East would be marketed there, while the U.S. market would be served from its home facilities in Silicon Valley. (Electronics News 11-Oct-82)

October 13: In Ireland, Omnitech, a division of Thor, had been set up for the sale and distribution of Atari (Consumer) video games and systems. (InfoWorld 10/30/82 p60)

October: Win Weber, previously president of Drackett Products Company, joined Atari (Consumer) as SVP sales, replacing Bill Sobieski who departed the company.  Lee Henderson would join Atari (Consumer) as VP of field sales. (NYT 12/19/82)

October?: Atari released Fast Freddie by Kaneko Seisakusho (manufactured and sold by Atari in Europe; imported and distributed in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and South America by Universe Affiliated International (UAI); manufactured and sold elsewhere by Kaneko as Fly-Boy).

October: For the 2600 Atari released SwordQuest: EarthWorld (earlier: Adventure I) and announced SwordQuest: FireWorld (earlier: Adventure II).  Also released: RealSports Baseball, RealSports Volleyball

October: Atari shipped the 5200 Advanced Video Entertainment System (original 4-port model; previously: 5200 Home Entertainment System) with two 5200 Controller (CX52) units and Super Breakout, and separately for the 5200 shipped: Galaxian, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Star Raiders

October: Atari announced that as of October 22, new 800 computer systems would be sold with two "free" 16KiB RAM modules for a total of 48KiB, for the unchanged list price of $899. The new 800 systems would no longer ship with Atari BASIC, the BASIC Reference Manual, nor the Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide) book. Keith Schaefer remained VP sales for the home computer division.

October: At Atari International (U.K.) Inc., Atari established a Software Development Centre for a new Software Development Group.  Steve Gerber, previously manager of the Atari Regional Software Acquisition Center in Sunnyvale CA, became director of the Atari Software Development Group in the UK.  Gerber would be supported by development manager Jon Norledge and the group's administrator, Frances Conolly. (I/O #4 p4)  APX operations were moved from 155 Moffett Park Dr, Sunnyvale CA to 3281 Scott Blvd, Santa Clara CA.  The two Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP) Regional Software Acquisition Centers (at the former APX headquarters and at 57 John F Kennedy St, Cambridge MA) were shut down, and Atari (Home Computer) director of software product acquisition T.J. Gracon departed the company.  Fred Thorlin, previously Atari (Home Computer) director of product review & research and APX general manager, became APX director.

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1981-
Amplifone logo

October 16: In Hong Kong, Roddy Chan was marketing manager of Atari Far East Limited. (Billboard 10/16/82 p39)  (John Constantine remained Atari Far East managing director.)

October 22: Peter C. Wensberg had said he was resigning as EVP of Polaroid Corp. to become president of a new division at Atari, code named "Project Falcon" (later: AtariTel) according to Dennis Groth, Atari EVP. (WSJ 10/22 p35)

October 24-27: Atari (Coin Video Games) presented at the Congress of Recreation and Parks at the Commonwealth Convention Center, Louisville KY.

October 28: Atari established the new subsidiary, Atari Adventure Corp., which would operate the existing Atari Video Adventure location and future Atari Adventure locations.  Joan Pincus was Atari Adventure Corp. assistant secretary.

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1981-
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo

Fall: APX Catalog introduced for the 400/800: Family Cash Flow Rev. 2, Message Display Program, Stock Management, Text Analyst, Calculus Demon, Counter, Easygrader, Flags of Europe, Math*UFO, Spelling Genie, Word Search Generator, Cribbage, Dog Daze Rev. 1.1, Mankala, Snark Hunt, Dunion's Debugging Tool (DDT), FORTH Turtle Graphics Plus, fun-FORTH, Keypad Controller Rev. 2, Mantis Boot Tape Development System, Mapmaker.  Fred Thorlin was APX general manager; product review: Paul Cubbage.

November 8: Sears had shipped the Tele-Games Video Arcade (new package #75005; $149.99; new Atari 2600A series version with 4 switches; previously: #75001 version with 6 switches; new package still supplied with two joysticks, pair of paddles, and Target Fun) by Atari. (newspaper ad)

November: Atari released Raiders of the Lost Ark for the 2600.

November: For the 5200 Atari shipped: Pac-Man, Soccer (VGU 12/82)

November: Atari opened Atari Lifestyle, "the retail store of the future," next to the Video Adventure (scan from RePlay Magazine July 1997 p. Atari 24) arcade at Marriott's Great America theme park in Santa Clara CA (Phase II of the overall project).  The store featured "an electronic product showroom and self-service shopping area," plus the first deployment of ERIC, the Atari Electronic Retail Information Center.  The site was designed and built by the Atari corporate Design Research group. (source)

November?: At Atari (Coin-Op): Lyle Rains, previously VP engineering, was promoted to VP of creative development (new position); Dan Van Elderen, previously director of engineering, was promoted to VP of engineering (replacing Rains in the role).  (RePlay 12/82p103)  Steve Calfee, previously Manager of Software Engineering, would be promoted to director, electrical engineering and software (assuming the expanded role from Van Elderen).

November: Atari announced that Alan B. Van Campen was the new Director of National Sales for the Coin Video Games Division.  Van Campen was previously a regional sales manager with Kawasaki Motors. (CC 11/82; RePlay 12/82p103)

November: Ron Stringari, previously Atari (Consumer) VP marketing, became Atari (Consumer) VP of sales, merchandising and administration.  David N. Ruckert joined Atari (Consumer) as VP marketing (replacing Stringari in the role).  Ruckert was previously VP of marketing at the Bristol-Meyers Co. where he was employed for 16 years.  (Atari PR 10/10/83 for date)

November: Engineer Rich Pasco, previously a researcher at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), joined Atari Semiconductor Group (ASG) as Manager of VLSI Development.  (Carl Nielsen remained director of LSI design and test, ASG.)

November 15: Atari announced they had obtained an exclusive worldwide license for the development, manufacture and distribution of Nintendo's "Donkey Kong" and "Donkey Kong Jr." video games for Atari's Home Computer (but not for Atari's 2600/5200).  John Cavalier remained Atari president Home Computer Division; Keith Schaefer remained Atari Home Computer Division VP sales; Helen Gray remained Atari VP corporate communications.

November 15-December 24: For the purchase of a VCS Atari offered a $25 coupon book containing five $5 coupons redeemable toward the purchase of VCS cartridges or accessories from Atari through May 31, 1983.

November 16-19: Atari featured the 400/800 at Compec '82, Olympia hall, London.

November 18-20: At AMOA, held at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, using the theme "The Next Decade" Atari released Millipede (original upright version), Pole Position by Namco (both Upright and Sit-Down), Liberator, and Quantum (by GCC for Atari).  Atari also introduced the Atari Coin Executive coin accounting system (ACE; never shipped), which incorporated an Atari 800.

November 18-20: IAAPA was held at Bartle Hall in Kansas City MO.

November 20: Atari filed a copyright infringement suit against the Imagic Corporation in Federal District Court in San Francisco.  Atari claimed that Imagic's game Demon Attack was a copy of Centuri, Inc.'s arcade game Phoenix, which Atari had exlusive rights to produce for the home game market. (NYT 11/30/82, 1/5/83)

November/December?: Atari Computer Camps literature for 1983 (c1982) mentioned: Atari VP/Chief Scientist Alan Kay, Atari Computer Camps Executive Director and VP Special Projects Linda Gordon, Atari Software Consultant Wayne Harvey, Atari Educational Consultant Patricia Tubbs, Atari Computer Camps Executive Director Dan Schliftman, Atari Computer Camps Camp Administration Coordinator Illeen Berg, Atari Computer Camps Executive Director Mike Sparber, Atari Business Manager Robin Bernheim, Special Projects Director Robert Kahn, Atari Computer Camps Personnel and Camper Records Director Flip Shulman, and Computer Camps Site Selection and Facility Director Tony "Big T" Sparber.

December 1: Through Atari Ireland Ltd., Atari (Consumer) commenced light Manufacturing, alongside Materials and Administration, at their site in the Raheen Industrial Estate on Ballysimon Road, Limerick, Ireland. (source)   Michael Baughman remained Project Manager for operations at the site.

December 1: Fred Thorlin was APX Director (previously: APX General Manager).

December 1?: Sherwin Gooch, previously Associate Director, Center for Music Research, Florida State University, joined the Atari (Home Computer) communications products group (reporting to manager John Curran).

December 2: Atari, Inc., had signed a long-term working agreement with Destron, Inc., of Chicago, the companies announced.  According to the terms of the agreement, Atari acquired the option to market Destron products (coin-operated amusement and vending equipment) for its home video game and computer systems.  Michael Moone was president of Atari's Consumer Electronics Division. (PR)  

December 2: At Atari (Home Computer), Lou Tarnay was director of software development (reporting to VP software engineering Chris Horseman, and having replaced John Powers who departed the company (to Convergent Technologies)).  Direct reports to Tarnay included Paul Laughton (systems products), John Curran (communications products), Ken Balthaser (entertainment and education products), Joseph B. Miller (advanced development).  Reports to Laughton included Scott Scheiman (operating systems development) and Jim Cox (advanced consumer product development).  Reports to Balthaser included Clyde Grossman (entertainment product development) and Vincent H. Wu (amusement product development).  (source

December 3: Atari Research and the Columbia University Computer Science Department sponsored a free one-day public seminar on the diverse future of video games, "Video Games: Serious Business?" at the school's campus in New York City.  Guest speakers included Steve Mayer (Atari), Chris Crawford (Atari), Chris Cerf ("Sesame Street" writer, composer, and computer aficionado), and Warren Robinett (The Learning Company, and formerly of Atari). (RePlay 1/83p38; InfoWorld 12/20/82)

December 8: Atari corporate parent Warner Communications (WCI) announced that current quarter sales earnings would be dramatically lower than Wall Street's expectations, citing a very sudden and severe slump in sales at Atari.

December 8: In behalf of Atari, Warner Communications announced that Perry Odak had been relieved of all his responsibilities as president of Atari's consumer product group.  A replacement was not announced; Michael Moone, president of the domestic consumer electronic division, and Anton Bruehl, president of Atari's international consumer electronic division, would now report directly to Atari CEO Ray Kassar.  (Helen Gray remained Atari VP of corporate communications.)

December 8: Atari announced that it had filed suit in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division against Coleco Industries, charging patent infringement and unfair competition under State and Federal law.  Atari's lawsuit sought a preliminary and permanent injunction against the manufacture and sale of Coleco's Expansion Module No. 1 which was intended to allow Atari's VCS compatible cartridges to be played on the Colecovision home video game unit.  Atari claimed that the Coleco cartridge adapter infringed two basic video game patents held by Atari--U.S. Patent No. 4,112,422 covering motion objects commonly referred to as players, missiles or sprites and U.S. Patent No. 4,314,236 relating to digital generation of sound and noise especially suitable to video games. Coleco said it would file a counterclaim charging violations of antitrust law by Atari.

December 9: Rick Krieger remained factory manager for Atari Taiwan. (Fun p623) (mc believes his title remained VP and general manager, Atari Far East in Taiwan.)

December 13: At the Plaza Hotel in New York City Atari introduced the 1200XL home computer ("well under $1,000"), 1010 program recorder ($99), 1020 printer/plotter ($299), and 1025 printer ($549), and again promised the Communicator II kit (with 835 modem) and the Home Manager kit.  The Programmer kit was updated to include the new Inside Atari BASIC book (instead of Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide)), and the Entertainer kit was updated to include Pac-Man (instead of Missile Command).  The 800 would now ship with 48KiB RAM standard, and the 400 computer, 410 program recorder, 810 disk drive, 830 modem, and 850 interface module were to remain available as well.  For 400/800/1200XL Atari introduced VisiCalc (by Software Arts for VisiCorp; previously released by Personal Software, the earlier name for VisiCorp), Juggles' House (January), Juggles' Rainbow (January), Galaxian (title by Namco), and Defender (title by Williams Electronics), again promised Atari Speed Reading (to ship imminently) and TeleLink II (never shipped apart from Communicator II), and announced: E.T. Phone Home! (March), Qix (title by Taito; February), Dig Dug (title by Namco; April), AtariWriter (earlier: Word-Wise, see ANALOG #9p17; March), Family Finances (enhanced combination of the two APX titles, Family Cash Flow and Family Budget; replacement for the canceled Personal Financial Management System; March), Timewise (RLM Micro Systems for Atari; based on Weekly Planner from APX; March), Eastern Front (1941) (updated version on cartridge; previous version released by APX), Star Trux (never shipped), Superman III (never shipped), AtariMusic I (previously: Music Tutor I), Microsoft BASIC II.  Atari also announced the Disney Education Series, to consist of 5 programs developed & published by Disney, and distributed by Atari, featuring Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan, and the Cheshire Cat.  Keith Schaefer was VP of sales and John Cavalier was Atari president Home Computer Division. (source; source; source; source; Analog#9 p 17, 117-118; VGU 1/83)

December 13: Cynex Manufacturing Corporation announced that it had entered into an agreement to produce its Game Mate 2 cordless joystick for Atari, Inc. on an exclusive basis. (would ship as: CX42)

December 14: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari International (Italy) Inc. for international consumer products operations in Italy and to replace distributors Melchioni (2600) and Adveico (400/800).  Until a dedicated location and full operations could be established, the nascent Atari International (Italy) Inc. would operate out of the office of WEA Italiana, Via Milano 16, 20090 Redecesio di Segrate (MI)

December 14: In the U.S., Atari established the subsidiary, Atari International (Nippon) Inc. (International consumer products operations in Japan; Atari Far East (Japan) Ltd. would continue Coin-Op operations in Japan)

December 15: In Hong Kong, Ben Wong remained Atari-Wong Co. General Manager. (source)

December: For the 2600 Atari released E.T..

December: For the 5200 Atari released: Defender, Football (VGU 12/82)

December: For the 400/800/1200XL Atari shipped Galaxian and Defender in time for holiday shoppers.

December: Atari EVP Dennis Groth additionally became Atari president Consumer Products Group (replacing the departed Perry Odak).

December:  Atari (Consumer) VP of field sales Lee Henderson departed the company. (NYT 12/19/82)

December: Atari (Home Computer) SVP of sales and marketing Thomas M. McDonough had departed the company. (NYT 12/19/82

December: Atari Adventure Corp. opened the second Atari "Adventure" location, the Atari Adventure Amusement Center in the "Seaports of the Pacific" waterfront shopping bazaar and entertainment attraction at Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, CA.  An underwater location below the dock.  64 games would be featured.  Frank Verkich was the room's coordinator.  Dick Reynolds was manager of operations for Atari Adventures.  Distant view of the entrance.

December: Helen Gray, previously Atari VP corporate communications, would become Atari VP public affairs/public relations.  Bruce Entin, previously of the San Jose Mercury News, joined Atari as VP corporate communications/press relations (replacing Gray in the role).

December: Atari announced the gifts of over 200 coin video games to San Francisco Bay Area charities and other special organizations.  Recipients included the Christmas Exchange of Santa Clara County, the Holiday Project, the Veterans Administration in Menlo Park, and several area YMCAs.  Separately, Atari gave 250 games to the "Magic Me" project of the Community Foundation of the Greater Baltimore Area in Maryland. (RePlay 1/83p92)

December: Atari signed a 50-50 joint venture agreement with PCI Pte Ltd, the Singapore subsidiary of the California-based PCI Inc. (Printed Circuits International Inc), to manufacture software cartridges for Atari home computers and video games in Singapore, with production to start in April 1983.  The cartridges were currently made by Atari in the U.S. (Business Times 1/22/83)

December/January?: At Atari (Coin-Op): engineering and graphics moved to the new 133,000 square foot Coin-Op engineering building at 1501 McCarthy Blvd, Milpitas, CA (previously: 1272 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA, which would remain home of AtariTel). (source for Dec. 1982 date; modern real estate listings indicate building completion in 1983)

December 26: Sears had shipped the new Tele-Games Video Arcade #75006 package by Atari, which like the previous #75005 package included two joysticks, pair of paddles, and Target Fun, but additionally included Pac-Man. (newspaper ad)

Atari sold approximately 12 million 2600 VCS units in 1982, and the 400/800 led the home computer market in 1982. (InfoWorld Nov. 28, 1983, p. 157)

Atari sold 400,000 of its 400 and 800 computers in 1982, according to The Yankee Group, a Boston-based computer consulting firm, accounting for 17 percent of all home computer sales. (Washington Post 5/24/1983 pD7)

1983
January 1: In West Germany, Renate Knüfer, previously of Casio, joined Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH as Public Relations Officer. (source)

January 3: In West Germany, Hans-Ueli Hasler would join Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH as marketing director, replacing Michael Anders who had departed the company (to RCA Schallplatt GmbH).  (CashBox 1/8/83 p10; source)

January 5: The suit filed by Atari against Imagic on Nov. 20, 1982 had been settled. The suit charged that Imagic's Demon Attack game for Intellivision infringed the copyrights of Atari's version of Centuri, Inc.'s Phoenix arcade game, which was to be released soon. Imagic said it would continue to sell its version of the game, but the companies did not disclose settlement terms. (NYT 1/5/83)

January 5: At a press event held prior to the Winter CES, Atari introduced the VCS titles: Alpha Beam, Cookie Monster Munch, Big Bird's Egg Catch, Grover's Music Maker, and Oscar's Trash Race; announced its intention to develop home video games based on characters in the Peanuts comic strip, The Muppets, as well as Walt Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse; announced Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede, Kangaroo, Dig Dug and Jungle Hunt; announced that more than 25 home video cartridges were planned for release in the first half of 1983 for the 2600 and 5200; and announced the Pro-line joystick and Trak-Ball controllers.  Bruce Entin was Atari VP for corporate communications/press relations.

January 6-9: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas, for the 5200 Advanced Video Entertainment System Atari introduced the Pro-Line Trak-Ball Controller (CX53), Countermeasure, Dig Dug (title by Namco), Jungle Hunt (title by Taito), Kangaroo (title by Sun Electronics), Pole Position (title by Namco), Basketball (never released), Tennis, Space Dungeon (title by Taito), and Vanguard (title by Centuri; April), and again promised Centipede, Qix, and Baseball (for a total library of 21 titles released/promised, including Super Breakout).  The VCS Cartridge Adaptor (CX55) was again promised.  Also, new production 5200 systems would now ship with Pac-Man (previously: Super Breakout).

Atari introduced new "sleeker, and in black" casing for the 2600 console (silver format 2600A package, 2600A console with 4 switches and black front instead of woodgrain), announced the system's price was now $169.95 (previously: $199.99), and announced the 2600 would now ship with both Pac-Man and Combat (source pS19) (while still including two joysticks and a pair of paddles).  For the 2600 Atari introduced Vanguard (title by Centuri; January), Ms. Pac-Man (title by Namco; February 14), Phoenix (title by Centuri; February), Centipede (March), Galaxian (title by Namco; March), RealSports Tennis (April), RealSports Soccer (April), RealSports Basketball (April; never shipped), SwordQuest: WaterWorld (June), Dig Dug (title by Namco; June), Jungle Hunt (title by Taito).  Again promised: SwordQuest: FireWorld (February), RealSports Football (April).  Atari introduced/announced five Children's Computer Workshop (CCW; later: Sesame Street Library) games (each to ship May/June): Cookie Monster Munch, Alpha Beam (would ship as: Alpha Beam with Ernie), Oscar's Trash Race, Big Bird's Egg Catch, and Grover's Music Maker (never released), each of which would use the new Action Control Base Keypad (CX23; would ship as: Kid's Controller) which would be sold separately.  Atari now offered a library of 70 Game Program Cartridges for the 2600 VCS.  Additional "Coming Attractions" to ship later in 1983: Gravitar, SwordQuest: AirWorld (never released), Kangaroo (title by Sun Electronics) (source) plus Dukes of Hazzard (April; never shipped) (VGU 1/83) and two more new controllers: the Pro-Line Trak-Ball Controller (CX22; June) and the Pro-Line Joystick (CX60; would ship as CX24; June).  Three Disney games were also announced by Walt Disney Telecommunications: Mickey and the Beanstalk (never released), Mickey and the Great Outdoors (never released), and Dumbo Flies Home (never released). (source

Atari featured/again promised the 1200XL, and for the 400 ($299), 800 (now $679, was $899) and 1200XL ($899) Atari introduced Mickey in the Great Outdoors (Walk Disney Productions), Paint (SuperBoots Software from Capital Children's Museum via Reston), and Donkey Kong (title by Nintendo), and featured or again promised: 1010 program recorder, 1020 printer/plotter, 1025 printer, AtariMusic I, AtariWriter, Family Finances, Timewise, VisiCalc, Dig Dug, Eastern Front (1941) (version updated for cartridge), E.T. Phone Home!, Qix, Star Trux (never shipped), Superman III (never shipped), Microsoft BASIC II, Home Manager kit, Communicator II kit. (see 2/1/83 price list)  Atari hired two teenagers, Robert Allbritton and John Dickerson (via family connections with Atari CEO Ray Kassar), to help pitch Atari computers at the show.

January 10-13: Atari exhibited at the 39th Amusement Trades Exhibition (ATE), Olympia Hall in London, showing 5 games; Atari introduced Xevious by Namco, introduced Popeye by Nintendo (Europe only), introduced Time Pilot by Konami (Europe only), and featured Pole Position and Millipede.  Don Osborne remained VP sale and marketing; Shane Breaks remained VP international marketing and sales; Bob Harvey remained U.S. northeastern regional sales manager; David Smith was European sales manager. (CC 2/83)  Also at Atari (Coin-Op): Tad Chase was Middle East Sales Manager, Sue Elliott was Sales Manager for Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean; Riv Hight was Managing Director of Atari Far East, Nathalie Favre-Gilly was Sales Administrator for France. (CC 1/83)

January 15: At the 2nd Atari Star Awards banquet, held at San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the Star Award Grand Prize and US$25,000 to David Buehler for his APX title, Typo Attack. Star Special Award of Merit winners: Douglas Crockford, Harry Koons & Art Prag, Lee Actor.  Keith Schaefer remained Atari (Home Computer) SVP sales.

January: Jeffrey A. Heimbuck, previously SVP marketing for wine operations at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, joined Atari (Home Computer) as SVP marketing (replacing the departed Thomas M. McDonough).  (LATimes 10/11/83 for date)

January: Atari published the Atari Computer Educational Software Directory (first edition).

January?: In the Atari Coin Video Games Division, Customer Service and Field Service were combined to form a new Technical Service Department.  Darl Davidson was the new Director of Technical Service (previously: manager of customer service).

January?: In West Germany, David Evans joined Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH as product manager (marketing). (source Steve Molyneux, previously software manager, would become software development manager.

January: Atari employed about 7,000 people. (NewsBytes)

January: At Atari Coin-Op): Lyle Rains was VP creative development, John Farrand was president, Dick Maslana was VP operations; Don Osborne was VP sales and marketing, Dan Van Elderen was VP engineering. (CC 1/83)

January: Atari released Vanguard (GCC) for the 2600.

January: VLSI design engineer Peter R. Ateshian joined the Atari Semiconductor Group (ASG).

Janaury: Atari commenced production of the 5200 at its El Paso TX plant, and commenced production of the 1200XL at its plant at 1215 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA, where 5200 production would continue as well.  Additionally, 400 (and 800?) production commenced at Atari-Wong Co. in Hong Kong, while 400/800 production would continue at 1173 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA.

January 16: John Brown, previously national sales manager of Johnson & Johnson's McNeill Consumer Products Division, was the new Atari (Consumer) VP of national accounts. (ArcExp v1n12b)

January 18: At the Volvo Masters' tennis championship in New York's Madison Square Garden, Atari's Home Computer Division and the Association of Tennis Professionals unveiled the Atari-ATP Computer Ranking System.  Also, the Atari 800 was now the official computer of the ATP.

January 18-21: Atari featured the 400/800 at the Which Computer? show at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre, England.

January 20: Logo Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI) and Atari jointly announced Atari Logo for the 400/800/1200XL. (It would ship fall 1983.)

January 25-26: Atari Soccer 6, a 6-a-side indoor football championship organized by The Football League, held at the Birmingham International Arena, Birmingham National Exhibition Centre, England.  Birmingham City won the event.

January 31: Steve Mayer, previously Atari VP research and product development, would become Atari SVP engineering (and would remain head of the Atari NY Lab).  Atari announced the appointment of Dr. Marcian E. Hoff, Jr. (Ted Hoff), with Intel since 1968 and previously Intel manager of applications research, as VP of research and development (replacing Mayer in the role).  Hoff was "to spearhead development of new home video games and coin-operated arcade games, the company said." (NYT 2/1/83). 

Winter: APX Catalog introduced for the 400/800/1200XL: FOG Index, Real Estate Cash Flow Analysis, Text Analyst Rev. 2, Astrology Rev. 1.1, Earth Science (by MECC), Easygrader Rev. 1.1, Geography (by MECC), I'm Different!, The Magic Melody Box, The Market Place (by MECC), Monkey Up a Tree, Music II--Rhythm & Pitch (by MECC), Music III--Scales & Chords (by MECC), Prefixes (by MECC), Typo Attack, Air-Raid!, Game Show, Gridiron Glory, Melt-Down, Phobos, Pushky, Quarxon, Rabbotz Rev. 1.1, Yahtman, BASIC/XA, Deep Blue C Compiler, Deep Blue Secrets, Disk Fixer/Load 'n Go, Diskmenu, Music Player.  Fred Thorlin was APX director; product review: Paul Cubbage.

Winter: Atari shipped the AtariWriter cartridge for the 400/800/1200XL.

Winter?: At Atari (Home Computer), Leslie Wolf, with the company since June 1981, and Mark McCrackin, would both be educational product managers, replacing Sueann Ambron who departed the company to Human Engineered Software (HesWare).

Winter: Internationally, new production Atari VCS units would be versions of the new woodgrain 4-switch 2600AP model (PAL-I, PAL-B/G, and PAL-N versions, to replace the 6-switch 2600U, 2600P, and 2600PN models, respectively) except in France, where P.E.C.F. Atari would ship the new VHF version of the VCS 2600S model (SECAM; 4 switches; woodgrain), to replace the original UHF version of the 2600S.  2600AP/2600S systems would continue to ship with two joysticks, pair of paddles, and one game.

Winter: At Atari Clubs, Inc., Harv Johnson became the new director of The Atari Club (replacing Parker Jerrell).

Winter: Through its Atari Adventure Corp. subsidiary Atari purchased the assets of The Magna/Fun Co. (established by James Ginsberg and Marc Rodstein, 4/23/1970), operator of 42 coin-operated video game rooms known as "Space Port" located throughout the U.S.  Atari Adventure Corp. would continue to operate the "Space Port" locations, along with Atari's "Adventure" locations.  Through 1983, Atari Adventure Corp. would open 5 new game rooms under the names "Space Port" or "Atari Adventure". (see WCI 10-K for 12/31/83)  Jim Ginsberg, previously of The Magna/Fun Company, would now be VP of Atari Adventure Corp.

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1981-
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port

February 1: Sears had shipped the new Tele-Games Video Arcade II #75007 package by Atari, which was the same as the previous #75000 package with Pac-Man additionally included. (newspaper ad)

February 1: Atari assumed exclusive distribution rights to the Cynex Game Mate 2 cordless joystick controller, to be available from Atari as the Atari Remote Control Wireless Joysticks (CX42) package beginning March 1.

February 7: "Customer Day" held by Atari (Coin-Op) at company headquarters for distributors and trade press.  Atari introduced Xevious by Namco to the U.S., introduced Black Widow (to be available in March in the form of a conversion kit for Atari Gravitar units), and introduced Millipede cocktail version.  Tommy Thompson was director of operations at Atari's woodshop and silkscreening building; Carl Nielsen was Atari VP Semiconductor Group.  Also at Atari (Coin-Op): Don Osborne, previously VP of sales and marketing, was now VP of marketing; Jerry Marcus, previously president of Bally Midwest Distributing Company, had joined the company as EVP of Sales (replacing Osborne as head of sales). (CCMar83) (RePlay 2/83pp10,14, 3/83p103-106)

February 7-16: At the 80th annual (and newly-renamed) American International Toy Fair in New York, in addition to featuring the 2600 and 5200, Atari announced the 2600 Computer, to be marketed as My First Computer (never shipped), add-on for the 2600.  The 2600 Computer would include 8KiB RAM, expandable to 32KiB, and would sell for "under $90." (NYT Feb 10, 1983, pg. D4.) (press release)

February 9: A.J. Sekel (Andy Sekel), previously of Pizza Hut, had joined Atari (Home Computer) as manager of press relations (NYT), having replaced J. Peter Nelson who had departed the company.

February 13: Keith Schaefer, previously Atari (Home Computer) VP sales, had been promoted to Atari (Home Computer) SVP sales. (ArcExp v1n14 2/13/83)

February: Atari launched "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow," an assembly program for junior and senior high schools in the U.S., offering both entertainment and computer education using films, slides, music, and a live host to explore the role of computers in society. (VGU 1/83 for date)

February: Atari announced that they were now shipping VisiCalc for the 400/800/1200XL.

February: For the 400/800/1200XL Atari shipped: Qix (VGU)

February: For the 2600 Atari released: RealSports Football, Ms. Pac-Man (GCC), Phoenix (GCC), SwordQuest: FireWorld (VGU)

February: For the 5200 Atari released: Countermeasure, Centipede (VGU)

February: The Atari (Consumer) Special Programs group delivered 60 seconds of computer animation for the upcoming Warner Bros. film, Superman III.

February 15: Dick Maslana remained Atari (Coin-Op) VP manufacturing. (CCv7n3)

February 22: Atari announced that manufacturing for its Home Computer Division and its Consumer Products Group would be consolidated mainly in Hong Kong and Taiwan, where Atari already manufactured consumer electronics products, and announced 1,700 layoffs.  Atari said that 600 workers (actual: 537 - source) were laid off effective immediately, and that another 1,100 would lose their jobs over the next four months.  (100 of the 1,700 would be cut at Atari's El Paso TX plant. --source)  "Manufacturing for home computers and video games will come to a virtual halt here in the United States by July," Atari said.  Atari said it would continue manufacturing coin-operated arcade games, design prototypes of new products and maintain its corporate headquarters in California.  Before the layoffs, Atari employed about 7,000 people in the South San Francisco Bay Area and 11,000 worldwide. It had about 2,000 employees in the Far East and planned to increase this by about 1,000 to meet the new production demands.  (AP 2/22; NYT 2/23; UPI 2/23; UPI 5/28)  Atari said it would double the size of the Atari-Wong Co. plant in Hong Kong to 150,000 sq. ft., and double the workforce there to about 2,000. (Economic World)

February 24: Amplifone Corporation, the wholly owned subsidiary of Atari, employed 275.  Michael Smith was Amplifone plant manager. (Brownsville Herald 2/24/83 p10B)

February 25: The Glaziers and Glass Workers Union, an AFL-CIO affiliate that had been working to organize Atari's 3,000 assembly workers at plants in Sunnyvale (1173 Borregas, 1215 Borregas) and San Jose (790 Sycamore, Milpitas) for more than a year, charged the company with shifting its jobs overseas to avoid unionization and announced it would file an injunction with the National Labor Relations Board to block additional layoffs.

March 1: Elaine Shirley became Atari Coin Video Games Division Customer Service Manager (previously: office and materials manager), replacing the promoted Darl Davidson.

March 4: At Atari Special Projects, Inc., Linda S. Gordon was president, Mark M. Weinstein was VP, Steven Yeates was treasurer, James A. Cook was secretary, Teresa Marando was assistant secretary.  Principal office: 1265 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale CA (Atari headquarters).  The Atari Special Projects board of directors consisted of: James A. Cook, Robert Kahn, Linda S. Gordon, Dennis Groth.  (MA filing)

March 7: Atari (Home Computer) software development director Lou Tarnay, systems products manager Paul Laughton, and product coordinator Brian Johnston had departed the company to Fox Video Games.  Jim Romanos was now internal development director (replacing the departed Tarnay).  Direct reports to Romanos: Ken Balthaser (applications), John Curran (system and telecommunications), Douglas A. Chorey (software support).  Reports to Balthaser: Clyde Grossman (entertainment applications), Jim Cox (advanced home applications).  Reports to Curran: Scott Scheiman (systems), Sherwin Gooch (telecommunications, replacing Curran in the role).  Technical staff reporting to Romanos: Joe Miller, G. Riker, Lane Winner.  (source

March 8: Kamalu Bruns was Atari (Home Computer) software support group manager.  Direct reports to Bruns: Fred A. Terzian (support section manager), Jack Quinn (test department manager).  Reports to Quinn: test supervisors Carla Furr, Lisa Reinbold  (source)

March 8: Penril Corp., a Rockville-based electronics firm, had won a $4 million contract to provide low-cost communications modems to Atari.  Penril was expected to ship roughly 100,000 modems (Atari 1030) by the middle of 1984, with delivery beginning July 1983. (Washington Post 3/8)

March 8-April 4: Atari featured the 400/800 at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition, Earls Court, London.

March 10: Direct reports to Atari (Home Computer) VP software engineering Chris Horseman included Jim Romanos (director internal development), P. Liniak (director software conversion), Kamalu Bruns (manager support group).  Reports to Liniak included Vincent Wu (development manager).  (source

March 10: In West Germany, the "Press Meets Atari" event was held at Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH headquarters. (source)  

March 11: Atari Inc. and Coleco Industries announced they had settled their December 1982 lawsuits against each other.  Under their settlement, the companies said Coleco could continue making and selling its ColecoVision Expansion Module No. 1 and also could ship its planned Atari 2600-compatible Gemini Video Game System.  However, Coleco would do so as a licensee of Atari's patents, and would pay a royalty to Atari.

March 11: At Atari Sales Corp., Raymond E. Kassar was president, Charles S. Paul was SVP, Mark M. Weinstein was VP, Dennis Groth was treasurer, Joan Pincus was assistant secretary. Principal office: 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY (Warner Communications headquarters).  The Atari Sales Corp. board of directors consisted of: Emanuel Gerard, Raymond E. Kassar, Jac Holzman.  (MA filing)

March: Richard Glosman, previously director of media and programming at Bristol-Myers, joined Atari in corporate advertising.  Jan Soderstrom remained Atari VP advertising and Ted Voss remained Atari SVP marketing and advertising.

March: Don Teiser, previously Atari (Consumer) director of software development, would become Atari (Consumer) director of product development, replacing Larry Kaplan who departed the company. (source for date, clue#2 Condon Freeman Brown would be promoted to Atari (Consumer) director of software development (replacing Teiser in the role).   

March: Atari (Home Computer) director of engineering Larry Plummer departed the company.

March: Atari (Home Computer) director of finance Bill Kaiser departed the company (to Electronic Arts).

March: Atari shipped the 1200XL, suggested retail price US$899. (Kassar in Across The Board, 6/83 p26 for month)

March: Dan Miller joined AtariTel as director-planning & business development.

March: Atari released Food Fight (by GCC for Atari).

March: Atari released Centipede (GCC) for the 2600 (VGU) and released Crazy Climber for the 2600 (Roklan; title by Nihon Bussan; released exclusively to Atari Club members)

March: Atari released Qix (GCC) for the 5200. (VGU)

March?: In West Germany, Detlev Driemeier, previously of Akai, would join Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH as sales manager (source), replacing Rolf Rehfeldt who departed the company.

March 15/21: Atari International (U.K.) Inc. product manager Graham Daubney had departed the company. (HomeComputingWeekly #2)  

March 17: Atari announced the new AtariTel division (actually established March 1982), developing upcoming consumer telecommunications products. Peter C. Wensberg was AtariTel president; Richard Mier (Dick Mier) would be AtariTel VP marketing.  "AtariTel represents Atari's fourth division, joining Home Computers, Coin-Operated Games, and the Consumer Products Group, which makes home video game products," Mr. Kassar said.

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1983-1984
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port
AtariTel logo

March 18-20: At the 8th Annual West Coast Computer Faire at the Brooks Convention Hall and Civic Center in San Francisco, for the 400/800/1200XL, Atari featured Dig Dug, E.T. Phone Home!, Qix, and AtariWriter, and introduced Atari Logo (Brian Silverman of LCSI for Atari).  Atari announced a $50 rebate, starting April 15, for the purchase of a 400 computer, and hinted that the 400 was soon to be replaced by a new model (presumptive name: 600XL).

March 21-22: Two-day first (only) meeting of the Atari Youth Advisory Board (YAB), held at Atari headquarters in Sunnyvale and San Jose.  The 20 teenagers selected by Atari from across the country included: Robert Allbritton (veteran of the January 1983 Atari CES booth), Tina Bartschat, Todd Bridges, Stephen Cohen, Tracey Cullinan, John Dickerson (veteran of the January 1983 Atari CES booth), Julia Graz, Kerrie Holton, Daniel Janz, Matthew Labyorteaux, David Lurie, Musa Mustafa, Yoon Park, Paul Sunshine, Meilin Wong, Anneke Wyman. (group photo)  YAB Project coordinator for Atari was Noreen Lovoi; Helen Gray was Atari's vice president of public relations/public affairs. (source, source, source, KR Wire story)  

March 23: In the Netherlands, Atari International (Benelux) B.V. headquarters moved from Franse Akker 9, 9814 AL Breda (location shared with Record Service Benelux B.V.) to: Atoomweg 480, 3542 AB Utrecht. (NRC 3/31/83)  Sales/Distribution/Atari Service Centrum would remain at the Breda location.

March 25-27: Atari featured the games Xevious, Food Fight, Pole Position, and Millipede, plus the Atari Coin Executive (ACE), at the Amusement Operators Expo '83 (AOE '83) at the O'Hare Exposition Center in Chicago.  (This was the 4th annual AOE, and Atari's first AOE.)

March 26: Jack Perron had become Acting Manager, Product Review, APX, replacing Paul Cubbage who departed the company (to Mindset).

March 31: In the Netherlands at Atari International (Benelux) B.V., W.L. van Oyen (Ludo van Oyen) had been appointed marketing director, P.C.W. Norp (Pieter Norp) had been appointed financial controller, and W.J.A. Spaans had been appointed sales director. (NRC 3/31/83)

Spring: Atari Special Projects, Inc. and Club Med operated eight Atari computer classrooms in Club Med villages at: Eleuthera in the Bahamas, La Caravelle in French Guadeloupe, Ixtapa in Mexico, Copper Mountain in the Coloado Rockies near Denver, Dom Miguel in Marbella Spain, Chateau Royal in Noumea New Caledonia, Les Almadies in Senegal, and Cherating Malaysia. (Atari Connection p40-41)  Linda Gordon was Atari VP Special Projects; Robert A. Kahn was Director, Special Projects.

Spring: APX Catalog introduced for the 400/800/1200XL: Atspeller, Typit, Fingerspelling, Escape to Equatus, Math Mission, My Spelling Easel, Teasers by Tobbs, Three R Math Classroom Kit, Catterpiggle, Diggerbonk, Getaway!, Impact, Microsailing, Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator (New Version), Hex-A-Bug.  Fred Thorlin was APX director; product review manager: Paul Cubbage.

Spring?: For the 400/800/1200XL Atari shipped the 1010 program recorder, 1020 printer/plotter, and 1025 printer.

Spring: Philip G. Baker (Phil Baker), previously with engineering and management positions at Polaroid, joined AtariTel as director of product management. (source p34)

April 2: Michael Moone, previously Atari president Consumer Division, Steven W. Bengston, previously Atari (Consumer) director of marketing development, and Emory V. Anderson, III, previously Atari (Consumer) director of finance, would depart from those roles with Atari and together established Electronic Publishing Systems, Inc., predessor to Indesys, Inc. which would be established on 2/11/1985.  Donald Kingsborough would rejoin Atari as EVP Consumer Division (WSJ 5/18/84p47 for date), replacing Moone in the role.

April 7: Atari, Inc. filed suit in Santa Clara Superior Court against Nolan Bushnell and Joe Keenan for violation of the non-competition agreement, to expire October 1, 1983, that was a component of the 1976 sale of Atari by Bushnell and Keenan to Warner Communications.  Atari claimed that Bushnell's public comments regarding the new Sente Technologies division of Pizza Time Theatre, and his business purchases (Videa, Inc.) were attempts to lure customers from Atari, a violation of the agreement.

April 11: Bill Carris was Atari (Home Computer) director of software marketing. (source)

April 12: Atari International (Nippon) Inc. announced the 2800 (variant of the Sears Video Arcade II by Atari, designed for the Japanese market), to become available to Japanese consumers for ¥24,800 on May 10 (would ship with two All-In-One Controller units (CX28)) along with 25 cartridge titles.  Another 15 titles for the 2800 were to ship by the end of the year.  Akira Uechi was president of Atari International (Nippon) Inc.

April 13: Sears had shipped the new Tele-Games Video Arcade #75003 package by Atari, which like the previous #75006 package included two joysticks, pair of paddles, and Pac-Man, but also included Asteroids (instead of Target Fun). (newspaper ad)

April 14: Atari Inc. and Williams Electronics Inc. had jointly announced a long term agreement whereby Atari would have right of first refusal to market home video and computer games based on Williams' coin-operated amusement games. Financial details were not disclosed. (The Globe and Mail (Canada) 4/14/83)The first games Atari planned under the agreement were: Moon Patrol and Joust (WSJ 4/14) plus Robotron: 2084 (VGU 5/83).

April: Atari released RealSports Tennis (GCC), and RealSports Soccer for the 2600 (VGU 5/83)

April: Atari released Tennis for the 5200 (VGU 5/83)

April: Alan Van Campen remained National Sales Director at the Atari Coin Video Games Division.

April: Atari discontinued 5200 production at its manufacturing plant at 1215 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA, and commenced both 5200 and 1200XL production by Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp.  5200 production would also continue at Atari's El Paso TX plant, and 1200XL production would also continue at the 1215 Borregas plant in Sunnyvale.

April: Atari established an Advanced Games Group (games for coin arcades, home computers, and home video game systems), to be headed by VP advanced games Chris Horseman (previously: Home Computer Division VP software engineering).  The unit would eventually include: Jim Morris, Robert Weatherby, Michael Gurganus, Jack Ritter, Dave Menconi, Steve Englehart, Aric Wilmunder, Dan Oliver, Rita Pless. (source) (source)   Jeffrey Heimbuck, previously Atari (Home Computer) SVP marketing, became SVP marketing and software engineering (replacing Horseman in the latter role). 

April?: In the Netherlands at Atari International (Benelux) B.V., Han Van Egdom joined the company as product manager home computers, and Jan Henk den Adel joined the company as chief accountant.

April 15: Start date for several Atari computer rebate offers: $50 for the purchase of a 400, or $100 for the purchase of an 800 or 1200XL. (newspaper ads)

April 22: The Milton Bradley Company and Atari, Inc., announced that they had entered into an agreement by which Milton Bradley would manufacture a plug-in peripheral containing voice synthesis and voice recognition for Atari's VCS 2600 and 5200 video game consoles.  This plug-in would be sold with a headset/microphone which would enable the consumer to voice control video game action.  Milton Bradley would also develop a total of 18 Atari cartridges over a three-year period; most of these would incorporate the use of voice capabilities.

April 26: Atari was expected to announce shortly that it would lay off between 500 and 800 employees in consolidating its Home Computer Division with the Consumer Electronics Division. (Washington Post 4/26)  (See June 28 for confirmation.)

Spring/Summer?: At the Atari Sunnyvale Research lab, research engineer Gary Sikorski was promoted to Director of the lab, replacing systems researcher Michael Liebhold who departed the company (to ByVideo).

May 2: Mattel filed a $40 million lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Atari and three Atari employees who previously worked for Mattel: Eric S. Wels, Russell A. Haft and Michael S. Winans.  Mattel alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, breach of contract and breach of their fiduciary duty to keep Mattel Intellivision related secrets confidential.

May 4: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) established the subsidiary, WCI Labs Inc.  The former Atari NY Lab would become the facility of WCI Labs.  Steve Mayer, previously Atari SVP engineering and head of the Atari NY Lab, would become president of WCI Labs, as well as senior executive consultant to the office of the president of WCI.  Most Atari NY Lab staff (including manager of hardware engineering Gregg Squires) would remain with WCI Labs.

WCI Labs logo

May 8: Atari had announced that Dr. Alfred L. Moyé, formerly the U.S. Dept. of Higher Education's Deputy Assistant Secretary during the Carter administration, had joined the company as national educational sales manager (ArcadeExpress v1n20), replacing Jim Paige who departed the company.

May 10: Atari Inc. and MCA Video Games Inc. (formed by MCA Inc. in 1982) announced the formation of a joint venture called Studio Games.  Under the terms of the agreement, Studio Games would create coin-operated videogames, home videogames and computer software based on motion pictures, television and other properties developed and proposed by MCA.  Studio Games would have headquarters in Sunnyvale and operate an office in Universal City, and would be headed by: James N. Fiedler, president of MCA Video Games; Raymond E. Kassar, chairman and chief executive officer of Atari; Stanley Newman, vice president of MCA; and Charles Paul, senior vice president of Atari. (PR)  

May: Atari commenced consolidation of its Consumer and Home Computer divisions into three new divisions: Atari Products Co., Atari Sales & Distribution Co., and Atari Manufacturing Co. (NYT 6/2pD5, WSJ 6/2p20)   John Cavalier, previously Atari president Home Computer Division, would be president of Atari Products Co. (product development/engineering and marketing); Donald Kingsborough, previously Atari EVP Consumer Division, would be president of Atari Sales & Distribution Co.; Paul Malloy, previously Atari (Consumer) SVP operations, would be president of Atari Manufacturing Co.  Cavalier, Kingsborough, and Malloy would each report to Atari chairman and CEO Raymond Kassar, as would the heads of the three unnaffected units: Atari (Coin-Op), Atari International, and AtariTel. (timing clue)

Within the new Atari Products Co.: Dave Stubben (previously: Home Computer division VP engineering) would be SVP engineering (replacing the departed Steve Mayer).  Don Teiser (previously: Consumer division director of product development) would be director of advanced engineering (strategic product development).  John De Santis would be director of game product development (replacing Teiser in the role).  Jeffrey Heimbuck (previously: Home Computer division SVP marketing and software engineering) would be SVP marketing (hardware for video games and computers).  Fred Simon, previously VP of the software division of Walt Disney Telecommunications, joined the company as VP software engineering (replacing Heimbuck in the role).  David Ruckert, previously Atari (Consumer) VP marketing, would be SVP entertainment software marketing.  Philip Restaino, previously of the Bristol-Meyers Co., also joined the company in entertainment software marketing.  Jean M. Hackenburg, previously Atari (Consumer) VP finance (reporting to division SVP finance Alan Henricks), would be VP business planning, replacing Peter Rosenthal who departed the company (to DesignWare, Inc.).  John Hagel, previously Atari (Home Computer) VP strategic planning, would be SVP strategic planning.  Andy Sekel (A.J. Sekel), previously Atari (Home Computer) manager of press relations, would be Atari Products Co. manager of press relations.

Within the new Atari Sales & Distribution Co.: Keith Schaefer would be EVP sales and distribution (XL computer line), and Win Weber would be SVP sales (2600/5200 lines).

Departures from Atari (Consumer) would include: SVP finance Alan Henricks (to Maxim Integrated Products); VP of sales, merchandising and administration Ron Stringari; director of engineering David Remson; director of Consumer graphics (head of industrial design/design services) John Hayashi; Consumer art director James Kelly

May: Atari launched Atari Software Publishing (later: AtariSoft). (for date: source and Atari PR 10/10/83)  Bob Fournier, previously Atari (Home Computer) entertainment product manager, had developed the Atari Software Publishing business plan and formed the unit (source); Fournier would report to Atari Products Co. VP software engineering Fred Simon.  Steve Arnold, previously of Atari Corporate Research, would be Atari Software Publishing director of development. (source; source; source)  John Skruch, previously Atari (Home Computer) senior engineer, software production engineering (manufacturing), would be Atari Software Publishing operations manager (manufacturing).

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1983-1984
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port
AtariTel logo
ATARI SOFTWARE PUBLISHING

May: Atari discontinued production of the 400 (both at 1173 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA and at Atari-Wong Co. in Hong Kong).  Atari also discontinued domestic production of the 800, and Atari's plant at 1173 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA was idled.  800 production would commence (continue?) at Atari-Wong Co. (for the short-term).

May: Atari discontinued domestic production of the 1200XL, and Atari's plant at 1215 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA was idled.  1200XL production would continue by Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp.

May: Production of the 1050 disk drive for Atari commenced in Singapore by Tandon (S) Pte. Ltd.

May: For the 400/800/1200XL Atari shipped: E.T. Phone Home! (VGU)

May: According to Video Game Update, Atari had cancelled Dukes of Hazzard for the 2600 and cancelled Basketball for the 5200. (VGU 5/83)

May: Atari released Arabian by Sun Electronics, released Star Wars Standup, released Star Wars Cockpit, and released Food Fight cocktail.

May 15-20: At the Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Australian College of Education held in Sydney Australia, Atari international marketing manager Nancy Garrison revealed that the 1200XL would not be released in Australia.  Rather, a new range of more power machines was to be debut at the CES in the U.S. the following month.  (SydneyMorningHerald 5/30/83)

May 18: In the U.S., Atari established the subsidiary, Atari International (Belgium) Inc. (for ownership stake in an office of Atari International (Benelux) B.V. to be established in Belgium)

May 20: Atari announced it would cut its payroll by 225 workers effective May 27, this beyond the 1,700 ongoing layoffs as announced on Feb. 22 but not yet fully enacted.  The new reduction involved employees ranging from production workers to supervisors in video-game manufacturing.  Atari had about 5,000 employees in California and in manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico (Atari Caribe, Inc.), Taiwan (Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp.), Hong Kong (Atari-Wong Co.) and El Paso, Tex.  (AP 5/21/83)

May 20: In Milan Italy, Atari announced the opening of Atari International (Italy) Inc., for marketing video games and home computers in Italy, to replace distributors Melchioni (2600) and Adveico (400/800). Anton Bruehl was president of Atari International Inc.  Massimo Ruosi was director general of the new subsidiary (source), which was located at: v.le della Liberazione 18 20124 Milano.  Bennet Goldberg would be Atari International (Italy) Inc. marketing manager (Computer Games April84 p72); Roberto Freggia would be sales manager.

May 26: Atari and Nolan Bushnell announced they had reached an out-of-court settlement of Atari's lawsuit aimed at postponing Bushnell's return to the video game market.  The agreement gave Atari the sole right to develop home versions of all arcade video games developed by the Sente Technologies division of Bushnell's Pizza Time Theatre. No dollar value to the agreement was announced.

May 29: For the VCS Sears had released Tele-Games Submarine Commander by Atari. (newspaper ad)

May/June: Atari said it signed a letter of intent that would license Industrias Gradiente Brasileira to assemble and sell Atari VCS systems and cartridges in Brazil.  (ArcExp 6/19/83)

June 1: Nancy Garrison, previously Atari International marketing manager, would be Atari Software Publishing (later: AtariSoft) international marketing manager.  Stephen Race, with Atari International in marketing (sales and advertising?) since 1982, would be promoted to director of international marketing (replacing Garrison in the role). (sourceJohn Constantine, previously Atari Far East Limited managing director, was to join Atari's international marketing staff in Sunnyvale.  Atari named W. Thomas Bayha, previously of Sterling Drug, as managing director of Atari Far East Limited (replacing Constantine in the role). (WSJ 6/2p20)  Constantine would be Atari International director of sales administration and distribution (replacing Race in the role, in part?), and Richard D. Arroyo would be Atari International director of advertising (replacing Race in the role, in part?).

June 5-8: At the Summer CES in Chicago Atari introduced the 600XL home computer ($199; to ship in July; to replace the 400), the 800XL home computer (price to be announced; to ship in August; to replace the 800), the 1400XL home computer (price to be announced; to ship in September; never shipped; see Atarimuseum's 1400XL page), and the 1450XLD home computer (price to be announced; to ship in October; never shipped; see Atarimuseum's 1450XLD page).

For Atari home computers Atari introduced: 1050 disk drive with DOS III (later: DOS 3), 1027 printer, 1030 modem with ModemLink, Touch Tablet (CX77) with graphics tablet cassette program (would ship as: AtariArtist on cartridge), Trak-Ball controller (CX80), Remote Control Wireless Joysticks (Cynex; CX42), and previewed/announced: CP/M Add-On module with CP/M 2.2 (never shipped), Expansion Box (later: 1090 XL Expansion System; never shipped), Light Pen (CX75), Super Controller (home computer and international name for CX60 Pro-Line Joystick; would ship as CX24).  All-In-One-Pak kits introduced/previewed: Programming System, Entertainment System (never shipped), Writing System (would ship as: AtariWriter System). Add-A-Pak kits introduced/previewed: Atari Accountant (never shipped), Home Manager (never shipped), Arcade Champ, BASIC Tutor I.  Software introduced: Tennis, Soccer (never shipped), Football, Pole Position (title by Namco), Joust (title by Williams Electronics), Donkey Kong Junior (title by Nintendo), Ms. Pac-Man (title by Namco), Pengo (title by Sega), AtariMusic II: Major Scales and Keys.  Again promised: AtariMusic I: Notes and Steps.  Announced: Starter AtariLab (would ship as: AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module; AtariLab (previously: ScienceLab) series by Dickinson College; planned additional modules for 1984 to include: Light, Timekeeper, Lie Detector, Reaction Time, Heartbeat).  Previewed (simulated): Battlezone (title would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1988), Tempest (never shipped), Xevious (title by Namco; never shipped).  Disney Education Series further titles were to include: Peter Pan's Daring Journey (alternate: Peter Pan's Daring Escape; later: Captain Hook's Revenge; Roklan for Walt Disney Productions; never shipped), The Mysteries of Wonderland (never shipped).  Atari also introduced Alan Alda as spokesperson for Atari computers, in an arrangement to extend for the next 5 years.

Atari again promised The Graduate (previously: My First Computer; earlier: 2600 Computer; never shipped), with built-in Microsoft BASIC, and for The Graduate introduced 6 peripherals: I/O Module+8K RAM, Printer, Modem, 16K RAM, Cassette, Micro Disk (wafertape); and 9 programs: An Introduction to Programming, Children's Introduction to Programming, The Home Filing Manager, Family Finances, Typo Attack, Monkey Up a Tree, Donkey Kong (title by Nintendo), Robotron: 2084 (title by Williams Electronics), Caverns of Mars. (all never shipped)  See Atari's publicity photo for The Graduate (Creative Computing 9/83 p.202), and also see Atarimuseum's CX3000 page.  John Cavalier was named Atari Products Co. president.

Atari announced the introduction of 28 new games for the 2600 VCS and the 5200 SuperSystem (including 9 5200 exclusives, 10 2600 exclusives, and 9 games for both platforms).  David Ruckert was Atari Products Co. SVP entertainment software marketing. (ArcadeExpress 7/3) (source)

For the 5200 Supersystem (previously: 5200 Advanced Video Entertainment System) Atari introduced the VCS Cartridge Adaptor (CX55), and introduced or again promised 18 games: Pole Position, Jungle Hunt, Kangaroo, Ms. Pac-Man (title by Namco), Dig Dug, Joust (title by Williams Electronics), Moon Patrol (title by Williams Electronics), Battlezone (never shipped), Vanguard, Space Dungeon, Pengo (title by Sega), Road Runner (never shipped), Sport Goofy (never shipped), Tempest (never released), Robotron: 2084 (title by Williams Electronics), Xevious (title by Namco; never released), Realsports Baseball, Berzerk (title by Stern).  New production 5200 units would feature 2 controller ports (previously: 4 ports).

For the 2600 Atari introduced or again promised 17 games: Pole Position (title by Namco), Jungle Hunt, Kangaroo, Dig Dug, Joust (title by Williams Electronics), Moon Patrol (title by Williams Electronics), Battlezone, Cookie Monster Munch, Alpha Beam with Ernie, Big Bird's Egg Catch, Dumbo's Flying Circus (previously: Dumbo Flies Home; never released), Donald Duck's Speedboat (never released), Sorcerer's Apprentice, Snoopy and the Red Baron, Miss Piggy's Wedding (never released), Pigs In Space, Krull.  Also featured/promoted: Ms. Pac-Man, Vanguard.  Separately announced for future introduction: RealSports Basketball (Roklan; never released), Good Luck Charlie Brown (never released).  Also for the 2600 Atari introduced the Voice Controller (CX45; by Milton Bradley; earlier: Voice Commander; never released), the Pro-Line Remote Control Wireless Joysticks (CX42; by Cynex), and the Pro-Line Space Age Joystick (CX43).

Atari announced the new Atari Software Publishing division (later: AtariSoft) and its first titles: Pac-Man (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A; title by Namco), Centipede (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A), Defender (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A; title by Williams Electronics), Dig-Dug (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A; title by Namco), Donkey Kong (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A; title by Nintendo), Robotron: 2084 (C-64, VIC-20; title by Williams Electronics), Stargate (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64 (version never released), VIC-20 (version never released); title by Williams Electronics), Slime (TI-99/4A; title by Synapse; never released), Protector II (TI-99/4A; title by Synapse), Picnic Paranoia (TI-99/4A; title by Synapse), Shamus (TI-99/4A; title by Synapse),   The games would ship on cartridge for the TI, VIC, and 64, and on disk for the Apple and IBM.  "We plan to make the best popular game titles such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong available to consumers, regardless of which home computer they've purchased," said new VP Fred Simon. (Softline Jul/Aug83 p46)

June 6-8: Atari exhibited at NECC/5, the National Educational Computing Conference 1983, held at Towson State University, Baltimore MD.  For Atari home computers, Atari introduced and demonstrated Starter AtariLab (would ship as: AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module) at the event. (source)  Atari also announced AIMS (Atari Instructional Material Service).  AIMS titles were to include Math Arcademics (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), Atari Sentences (never shipped?), the AtariLab (previously: ScienceLab) series (by Dickinson College), and a multi-program trigonometry and Algebra course from CONDUIT (University of Iowa) (never shipped?).

June 11-Sept 10: Club Med Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, expanding on the Atari computer classroom concept established at other Club Med locations, featured an "Atari Village" (including custom hardware and software by the Atari L.A. Lab).

June 15: Atari announced an exclusive license with Nintendo Co. of Japan to manufacture and distribute home video and computer games based on Nintendo's "Mario Bros." coin-operated video game (except in Japan).  Atari already home computer rights (but not home video game system rights) to the first two titles in the series, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr.  Atari said Donkey Kong Junior was expected to be available for Atari computers in the fall of 1983. Mario Bros. was to ship for Atari home video games (2600/5200) by Christmas and for Atari home computers in early 1984. (PR; WSJ 6/17)

June: The total installed base of Atari 400/800/1200XL computers was estimated by Future Computing, Inc. to be about 950,000.

June?: Atari discontinued production of the 800 (late production units made at Atari-Wong Co. in Hong Kong).

June?: The Atari Products Co. Advanced Engineering division established a Special Projects Group which would commence project "Shakti" ("1600") that would include software engineer Jim Tittsler (source), and would commence an Optical ROM Project that would include: Paul J. Wehrenberg (Project Leader), Wai-Hon Lee, Gilbert Chan, Eric Breeze, Glen C. Hoag, Der-Chang Hsieh (source

June: For Atari home computers Atari shipped: Dig Dug, Donkey Kong (VGU)

June: Atari released Galaxian (GCC) for the 2600. (VGU 7/83)  

June: For the 5200, Atari shipped the Pro-Line Trak-Ball Controller (CX53). (VGU)

June: Fred Gerson was promoted from Atari (Coin-Op) VP finance to Atari (Coin-Op) SVP finance.

June: George Opperman remained Atari (Coin-Op) director of visual communications (Graphics Group / art department); Bob Flemate remained visual communications supervisor (reporting to Opperman). (VideoGames v1n9 6/83 p30)

June 17: Debut of the Warner Bros. movie Superman III, which included 26 seconds of computer animation produced by the Atari (Consumer) Special Programs group. (article)

June 27: Atari opened their first Atari Center, an educational computing concept, at The Oaks Shopping Center in Cupertino, CA.  Atari Centers were operated by the Picodyne Corporation (Dean Brown, president) with Atari providing funding and advertising.  Alan O'Neill was the contract manager of Atari Centers.  Sara Armstrong, director of the Terra Nuova Montessori School in Hayward CA, would be director of the Cupertino Atari Center.

June 28-29: In connection with the consolidation of the Consumer and Home Computer divisions, Atari was in the process of laying off about 1,000 Silicon Valley white-collar employees.  About 500, particularly in engineering and marketing, received notice late the previous week and the rest would be notified throughout the summer.  With the latest cutbacks, Atari employment in California's Santa Clara County would total about 4,000 primarily white-collar workers, down from 7,000 (5,000 white-collar and 2,000 blue-collar) employees at the beginning of the year. (UPI 6/28; Globe&Mail 6/29; ArcadeExpress 7/31)

Month?: Atari released Dragon's Lair and Space Ace both by Magicom, licensed from Cinematronics (both Europe only), and released Mazer Blazer by Stern Electronics (Europe only)

Month?: Atari (Coin-Op) Sr. Software Engineer Rich Adam departed the company.

Month?: At the Atari Sunnyvale Research Lab, Atari (Corporate) Research Engineering manager Dale Yocum departed the company.

Month?: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari director of marketing Christian Paternot departed the company.  He would be replaced by Peter Richout (?). (source for date)

Month?: Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC) president Loren R. Wolter additionally became general manager of Atari Far East in Taiwain, replacing Richard Krieger who departed the company.  Raymond A. Kunavich would join ATMC as general manager of operations.

Month?: Atari Products Co. industrial designer Regan L. Cheng departed the company.

Month?: Atari Products Co. artist Terry Hoff departed the company.

Month?: Claude Nahum, previously Atari International financial planning & analysis, was promoted to director international finance.

July 2: The second Atari Center opened at the corner of Fifth Ave. and 48th St. in Manhattan.  Educator Seth Greenberg would be manager of the Manhattan Atari Center.

July 2: At Atari (Coin-Op), John Farrand was president, Jerry Marcus was VP sales, Don Osborne was VP marketing, Mariann Layne was manager-marketing services, Sue Elliott was manager-international sales, Bob Harvey was midwest regional sales manager, John Hill was southeast regional sales manager, Jim Newlander was northeast regional sales manager, Mary Fujihara was manager-market research.  Division headquarters/manufacturing: 790 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas, CA. (Cash Box 7/2/83 pt.iii p2)

July 7: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) announced that Ray Kassar had resigned as Atari chairman and CEO, and that Kassar's replacement would be James J. Morgan, currently EVP marketing for U.S. cigarette operations at Philip Morris Inc.  Morgan was expected to begin at Atari on Sept. 6.  Emanuel Gerard, WCI office of the president and co-COO, a director, and responsble for Atari, would serve as Atari interim CEO until Morgan's arrival.  Kassar was to remain a consultant to WCI. (source)

July?: AtariEd (previously: AIMS (Atari Instructional Material Service)) published an updated Atari Computer Educational Software Directory.  New Atari home computers education titles from Atari were to include: Alien Addition (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), AtariLab Starter Set (previously: Starter AtariLab), AtariLab Curriculum Modules (never shipped), AtariLab Light Module, Atari Logo in the Classroom: A Teacher's Manual (book by Donna Bearden, would be published by Reston in 1984), Atari/PLATO (would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1986 as: The Learning Phone), Atari Sentences (never shipped?), CONDUIT Algebra Part I & II (never shipped?), CONDUIT Trig Part I & II (never shipped?), Concentration, Demolition Division (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), Denver Pascal (never shipped), Department of Defense Dependent Schools Student Scheduling Program (never shipped), Division Drill (School and Home CourseWare), Geoterms Part I & II (Marc Ed, Inc.; never shipped?), Green Globs & Other Trig Diversions (never shipped?), Math Facts and Games (never shipped?), Math Mysteries (never shipped?), Meteor Multiplication (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM; never shipped?), Peter and the Wolf (never shipped?).

July: Production of the Atari 1200XL computer ended (later units made by Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp.).

July: Russ Haft, previously of Mattel Electronics, joined Atari Software Publishing (later: AtariSoft) to establish and manage a research & development office in Venice CA (suburban Los Angeles) which would develop games for Intellivision.

July: Atari released Crystal Castles (original upright version).

July: Atari (Coin Video Games) and the Young & Rubicam advertising agency received a CLIO Award in the Cinema Advertising Category for "Dig Dug Screenvision" which played in major first-run theaters nationwide during the summer of 1982.

July: Opening of Phase III of the Atari Video Adventure (scan from Atari Age July/Aug 1983 p.7) attraction at Marriott's Great America theme park in Santa Clara CA, featuring five zones including: two Video Kaleidoscopes, the Computer Painting studio, the Tone Tunnel, the Sound & Color Room, and The Host.  The site was designed and built by the Atari corporate Design Research group. (source)

July: For the 2600 Atari released: Jungle Hunt (GCC), Kangaroo (GCC), Pro-Line Joystick (CX24)  (VGU 8/83)

July: Atari released Atari Video Cube for the 2600 (GCC; released exclusively to Atari Club members; later (1984) slightly altered as released as: Rubik's Cube)

July 22: Milton Bradley announced that the previously announced agreement between Milton Bradley and Atari, to manufacture a plug-in peripheral (Voice Controller) for Atari's VCS 2600, had been terminated.

Summer: APX Catalog introduced for the Atari home computers: Home Inventory, Home Loan Analysis, Strategic Financial Ratio Analysis, Drawit, Piano Tuner, Video Kaleidoscope, Circuit Lab, Morsecode Master, Punctuation Put-on, Three R Math Home System, Wordgo, The Bean Machine, Bootleg, Can't Quit, Dandy, Ennumereight, Smasher. APX also introduced the 48K RAM Expansion Kit (for the 400 computer, 8KiB or 16KiB versions).  Fred Thorlin was APX director; product review manager: Jack Perron.

Summer: Second year of Atari Computer Camps, held at 7 locations: Camp Atari-New England (Jerome Singer, director) at the Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield MA; Camp Atari-Poconos (Robert Werner, director) at East Stroudsburg State College in PA; Camp Atari-Chesapeake (Leonard Fagen, director) at the Oldfields School in Glencoe MD; Camp Atari-Smokey Mountains (Jeffrey Wolfe, director) at the University of North Carolina at Asheville; Camp Atari-Midwest (William Merriman, director) at the Shattuck School in Faribault MN; Camp Atari-Old West (Marlene and Don Applebaum, directors) at the Athenian School in Danville CA; Camp Atari-Pacific (Marianne and William Kravitz, directors) at the University of San Diego in CA.

Summer: At Atari Clubs, Inc., the new manager of The Atari Club was Jules Yingling (replacing Harv Johnson).

Summer: In the U.S., new production Atari 2600 systems would ship in the new silver format 2600AR package, including 4-switch black/no woodgrain 2600A console (NTSC), two CX40 joysticks, and both Combat and Pac-Man (paddles no longer included).

Summer:  Internationally (including Canada), new production Atari 2600 systems would ship in the new silver format 2600GP package, including 4-switch black/no woodgrain 2600A console (NTSC, PAL-I, PAL-N, PAL B/G, or PAL M version) or 2600AS console (SECAM), two CX40 joysticks, and one game (paddles no longer included).  NOTE: A small number of these systems shipped in Canada in similar Atari "2400" boxes which were designed for Canada/Mexico/Japan (English/French/Spanish/Japanese), with the imprint of Canadian Atari distributor, Irwin Electronics (pictures); these systems shipped with one joystick (no paddles and no game included).

Summer: Sears discontinued the Sears Tele-Games Video Arcade (#75003) and Video Arcade II (#75007) systems and cartridge product lines by Atari. (Sears would instead carry the standard Atari branded 2600 and games, and would also now carry the Atari 5200 system and games.)

Summer?: Bill Carris, previously Atari Products Co. director of computer software marketing, transferred to the Atari (Coin-Op) division in marketing.  Ken Wirt was promoted to Atari Products Co. VP software marketing - home computers (replacing Carris in the role).  Wirt also assumed responsibility for Atari Software Publishing (later: AtariSoft), replacing Bob Fournier who departed to company (to Tomy)

August 2: Milton Bradley Co. filed a $43 million lawsuit against Atari Inc. in U.S. District Court, alleging Atari illegally backed away from an agreement to buy large numbers of voice synthesis recognition units for Atari's 2600 and 5200 game consoles. The suit alleged Atari originally agreed April 6 to buy 450,000 units for $48 each for the first 250,000 units and $46 each for the rest. Milton Bradley alleged Atari gave it a verbal order for 128,000 units, but that the final order was for only 60,000 units, leading to the termination of the agreement.  (NewsBytes)

August 8: Linda Gordon remained Atari VP special projects. (InfoWorld 8/8/83)

August 12: Philip Morris Inc. EVP marketing for U.S. cigarette operations James J. Morgan departed that company in advance of joining Atari. (source

August: In Brazil, Industria Brasileira shipped the Polyvox Atari 2600 (2600GP for PAL-M).

August: For the 2600 Atari released: Battlezone (GCC), Pole Position (GCC) (VGU 9/83)  

August: For the 5200 Atari released: Kangaroo (GCC), VCS Cartridge Adaptor (CX55) (VGU 9/83)

August: For the Atari home computers Atari shipped the 1050 disk drive, with DOS II version 2.0S. (Page 6 #6 p5)

August: Sherwin Gooch, previously Atari Products Co. manager, Telecommunications Products Group, became Atari Products Co. manager, Applications Software and Telecommunications Products Group, assuming the role of Ken Balthaser who departed the company (to Mindset).

August: Don Thorson would return to Atari as Atari Products Co. director of product management (computers), replacing Mark Lutvak who departed the company (to Durango Systems).  Thea Cain would become XL computer line product manager, replacing Andrew Soderberg who departed the company (to ViMart).

August: Conrad Jutson, previously Atari VP planning, became Atari Sales & Distribution Co. SVP sales and distribution, assuming the responsibilities of heads of sales Keith Schaefer (XL computer line) who departed the company (to NEC Home Electronics (USA)), and Win Weber (2600/5200 lines) who also departed the company (to Schering-Plough).  John Hagel, previously Atari Products Co. SVP strategic planning, would become Atari VP strategic planning (replacing Jutson in the role).

August: Erwin Lenowitz was promoted to Atari VP finance (CFO), replacing James Heisch who departed the company. (source)

August: Steve Calfee, previously Atari (Coin-Op) Director, Electrical Engineering and Software, would become Atari Vice President, Game design (both coin-op and 2600/5200/home computers).  Reporting to Calfee, Richard Frick would become game software product manager (2600/5200), replacing Jewel Savadelis who departed the company.  (Condon Brown remained Atari Products Co. director of game software development; Steve Arnold remained Atari Software Publishing (later: AtariSoft) director of development.)  Atari (Coin-Op) electrical engineering supervisor John Ray would be promoted to director of engineering (replacing Calfee in the role).

August?: At Atari (Coin), Frank Becker became the national Field Service Manager (previously: regional field service manager) (replacing the departed Fred McCord).

August 15: A $13.6 million lawsuit was filed against Atari Inc. on behalf of 600 laid-off workers who claimed they weren't given advance notice of the layoffs on Feb. 22, and had been assured their jobs were secure. Attorney Linda Krieger filed the class-action suit in Santa Clara County Superior Court on behalf of fired employees Maria Carson and Rudolfo Villanueva.

August 16: The U.S. Centipede Championship Playoffs were held by Atari for 10 finalists in the Atari Centipede Bug-Off Contest (5 top scores from both the 2600 and 5200 Centipede divisions) at 10:00 a.m. at the Insect Zoo in San Francisco CA.  Grand prize (two awards: one each for the 2600 and 5200 divisions): an Atari Millipede arcade game.  2600 division winner: Doug Leighty; 5200 division winner: John Hnat.  A final play-off between the two grand prize winners, combining scores on both the 2600 and 5200 Centipede versions, would determine who would represent the U.S. in the Atari World Video Championship Competition in Munich, West Germany, on September 14, 1983. Winner: Doug Leighty. (PR; source)

August 17: Atari Inc. announced it had been named the official home computer of the 1984 Olympic Games.  As part of its major sponsorship of the event, Atari's home video games and coin-operated video games also were named as official products of the Olympic Games.  Atari also would be a major sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team and the U.S. Women's Volleyball Team.  Under terms of Atari's contract with the LACOC, Atari could use the "Star-in-Motion" logo of the 1984 Summer Olympics, and the "Sam the Olympic Eagle" mascot to promote and advertise its products until the close of the Summer Olympics in 1984.  Atari announced plans to launch its most aggressive television advertising campaign ever during the Summer and Winter Olympic Games on ABC Sports, which would broadcast the Games.  The sponsorship agreement also allowed Atari to establish video game arcades at the Olympics sites for the exclusive use by athletes and the news media. (PR)

August 29: Time Delaware Incorporated was established by Time, Inc., publisher since 11/28/1922.  (This corporate entity would be known as Time Warner Inc. from July 1989 to 10/10/1996.  It was then named Time Warner Companies Inc. until 2/24/2009 when it was finally merged into Historic TW Inc.)

August 31: In the U.S., Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Benelux Holding, Inc. (for ownership stake in Atari International (Benelux) B.V.)

August 31: In the U.S., Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Germany Holding, Inc. (for ownership stake in Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH)

September 6: James Morgan arrived at Atari as chairman and CEO (replacing the departed Ray Kassar).

September 6: Andy Sekel (A.J. Sekel) was manager of press relations for Atari Products Co. (Syracuse Post-Standard)

September 7: Atari announced it would consolidate most of its 52 plants and offices in Silicon Valley into a $60 million new facility to be completed in 1985.  Atari now employed 3,400 people at its 52 sites in Santa Clara County. Morgan said the plant in Milpitas, with 1,000 employees, would not be moved into the new facilities. (UPI 9/8)

September 8: Atari announced 380 layoffs, to take effect Sept. 16, at its El Paso TX plant, and that it would shift its El Paso manufacturing and assembly operations (including domestic 5200 production) to plants in Taiwan and elsewhere in the Far East.  The cuts would leave 270 employees at the El Paso plant. Atari said the El Paso plant would be changed from a manufacturing facility for video games and home computers to a plant for repair of defective parts. (UPI El Paso plant manager Gary D. Weaver would be transferred to Atari Far East in Taiwan.  Amplifone, where Gil Gilbert was plan manager (having replaced the departed Michael Smith), would not be affected. (Brownsville Herald 9/9/83 p8A)  

September 8: Richard Mier, previously AtariTel VP of marketing, had been promoted to AtariTel general manager, replacing AtariTel president Peter Wensberg who "was being reassigned to a corporate post." (NYT) (Wensberg would shortly depart the company and co-found Uniform Software Systems, Inc.)  Roy L. Elkins would be the new AtariTel VP marketing (replacing Mier in the role).

September 12: Atari International had named: Christopher P. Deering, previously of Gillette Europe (in London), as VP marketing; John C. Beuttell as VP sales for Canada, Africa, Central/South America, the Middle East and parts of Europe; Steven T. Henick as VP sales for Asia and the Pacific region; Dumas M. Simeus, previously VP strategic planning, as VP new business development. (WSJ p48)

September 14: Atari World Centipede Video Game Championship at 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in Munich, West Germany.  Competition platform: 2600 Centipede (PAL version).  Contestants competed for six (three in each of two age groups) seven-day, all-expense paid trips for two to the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and an Atari 800XL home computer.  The three victors in the 18-and-under age category were Championship winner (World Centipede Champion) Stewart Murray, 14, of Aberdeen, Scotland, with 323,512 points; Shiu Fan Or, 14, of Hong Kong, with 318,881 points; and Michel Minet, 17, of Vise, Belgium, who scored 311,516 points.  In the 18-and-over age category, the three top scorers were Championship winner (World Centipede Champion) Andrew Brzezinski, 19, from Greenford, Middlesex, England, with 322,044 points; the U.S. champion, Doug Leighty, 21, of Carlisle, Pa., with 290,986 points; and Thomas Magnusson, 19, of Malmo, Sweden, with 273,195 points. (PR; source)

September: Atari National Educational Sales Manager Alfred Moyé would additionally become director of the Atari Institute for Education Research, replacing Ted Kahn who departed the company.

September: Atari had cancelled The Graduate for the 2600. (VGU 9/83)

September: For the 5200 Atari released: Pole Position (GCC), Jung Hunt (title by Taito), Space Dungeon (with controller holder), Ms. Pac-Man  (VGA 10/83)

September: John Farrand, previously Atari (Coin-Op) president, was promoted to president of Atari. (source  Charles "Skip" Paul, previously Atari SVP legal and general counsel, would become Atari (Coin-Op) president (replacing the promoted Farrand in the role).  Through VP of research and development Ted Hoff and VP game design Steve Calfee, Farrand would oversee design of all Atari hardware and software. (InfoWorld 2/27/84p104, plus InfoWorld 8/6/84p52 for date)  John Cavalier, previously reponsible for Atari Products Co. hardware and software design and marketing, would retain the marketing responsibilities.

September: Norman A. Newton would become Atari Manufacturing Co. Managing Director of European Operations (Limerick, Ireland), replacing Michael Baughman who departed the company to Apple Computer.  Newton would oversee the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Limerick on Ennis Road, also in the Raheen Industrial Estate.  The existing site on Ballysimon Road was to house expanded European Purchasing/Traffic/Accounts operations but discontinue light manufacturing.

September: In France, Denis Friedman joined P.E.C.F. Atari where he would be Software Manager. (source)

September: In the Netherlands, W.P. (Wilfried) de Graaf joined Atari International (Benelux) B.V. as sales manager (home computers). (source

September 17-25: Atari launched the XL range of home computer products in the UK, and introduced The Lone Raider, at the Great Home Entertainment Spectacular, Olympia, London.

September 23: The two Atari Center locations both closed at the end of the 90-day trial period for the program.

September 25: The Alamogordo Daily News (New Mexico) reported that Atari was in the process of disposing of a sizable amount of inventory at the local landfill, and that "eight 18-wheeler truckloads (of games) have been crushed and buried in the pit since operations began."

September 26: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil complaints against former Atari Chairman and CEO Raymond E. Kassar and current Atari EVP Dennis D. Groth, accusing the two of using their inside knowledge to illegally sell stock in Atari's parent company, Warner Communications Inc., in November/December 1982.  Kassar had agreed to a settlement, while Groth would contest the complaint filed against him in court. 

September 27: The Alamogordo Daily News (New Mexico) reported on the local landfill and "the dumping of 11 semi-trailer truckloads of Atari computers, cartridges, and assorted parts from an El Paso warehouse in the dump since last Thursday."  Atari spokesman Bruce Entin said Atari was sending scrap merchandise to the Alamogordo dump, and said, "I won't tell you there may not be some of that stuff that's good in the items sent to Alamogordo, but most is not. The majority of the stuff is cartridges."

September 28: The New York Times reported that Atari "has dumped 14 truckloads of discarded game cartridges and other computer equipment at the city landfill in Alamogordo, N.M.  Guards kept reporters and spectators away from the area yesterday as workers poured concrete over the dumped merchandise.  An Atari spokesman said the equipment came from Atari's plant in El Paso, Tex., which used to make videogame cartridges but has now been converted to recycling scrap."

September 28-October 2: Atari featured the XL range of home computer products at the Sixth Personal Computer World Show (PCW), Barbican Centre, London.

September 30: Launch date for one phase of the two-phase "Catch on to Computers" computer literacy program by Atari and General Foods' Post Cereals, where Atari computers, equipment, and educational software would be provided to schools in exchange for proof-of-purchase seals collected from Post cereal boxes over the 1983-1984 school year. (source for date)

Fall: APX Catalog introduced for the Atari home computers: Atspeller Rev. 2, AtariWriter Printer Drivers, Color Alignment Generator, Advanced Fingerspelling, Excalibur, Musical Pilot, Puzzler, Ringmaster, Spelling Genie Rev. 2.0, Ion Roadway, Kangaroo (GCC; title by Sun Electronics), Moon Marauder, Saratoga, Space War, Cartoonist, Eastern Front (1941) Scenario Editor, Eastern Front Scenarios 1942/1943/1944, Mathlib for Deep Blue C.  Fred Thorlin was APX director; product review manager: Jack Perron.

Fall: For the Atari home computers Atari shipped the Communicator II kit (with the new 835 modem) and the 1027 printer.

Fall: An Atari TV ad promoted the 400 for $69.95 after $50 Atari rebate, indicating a new/final list price of $119.95 (previously: $299).

Fall?: Atari Products Co. artist Warren Chang departed the company.

October 3: Linda Gordon, previously Atari VP special projects, had become Atari Products Co. SVP education, replacing Chris Bowman who had departed the company (to Apple Computer). (InfoWorld 10/3/83 p20)

October 3-7: At the first ever VidCom-MIJID (Marché international des jeux vidéo et de l'informatique individuelle et domestique) held at the Palais Croisette in Cannes, P.E.C.F. Atari previewed the 600XL.  Guy Millant remained P.E.C.F. Atari PDG. (L'Atarien #1)

October 5: As one phase of the two-phase computer literacy program sponsored by General Foods' Post Cereals and Atari called "Catch on to Computers" a 10-day learning festival opened in New York City, and a similar event opened in San Francisco.  Further events in the program were planned in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C., Houston, New Orleans, and Atlanta through December 1983.

October 6: Atari Products Co. president (marketing) John Cavalier departed the company.

October 10: Atari announced the appointment of David Ruckert, previously Atari SVP of entertainment software marketing, as SVP of Atari Products Management [sic], replacing John Cavalier who departed the company (to Apple Computer).  Ruckert would report directly to Atari chairman and CEO James J. Morgan.  Fred Simon was named SVP of computer marketing, responsible for the marketing of computer hardware and software.  Philip Restaino was appointed VP of games marketing, in charge of marketing game hardware and game software used on Atari hardware.  Simon, Restaino, and SVP of education Linda Gordon would report to Ruckert.  Jeffrey Heimbuck, formerly responsible for the marketing of hardware for video games and computers, had departed the company.  In addition, Rick Glosman was named Atari VP of media (replacing Jan Soderstrom who departed the company), with overall responsibility for planning and execution of advertising for Atari.  Glosman, formerly a director of media, was headquartered in New York. Glosman would report to Atari SVP marketing and advertising Ted Voss, who reported to Morgan.

October 12: The Washington Post reported (p.D11) on Atari's plans to introduce an IBM-compatible personal computer at the January 1984 CES, incorrectly calling the unannounced computer the Sierra.  The project was real, but was actually called Shakti, was a project of the Atari Products Co. Advanced Engineering Division Special Projects Group, and was projected to be announced as the Atari 1600.  Sierra was actually an unrelated concept computer project of Atari Corporate Research Engineering.

October 13: Koala Technologies Corp. announced that Jeffrey A. Heimbuck, formerly a senior marketing executive at Atari Inc., would become its president and CEO October 31. (WSJ 10/14 p3)

October: The Atari Learning Systems division (previously: AtariEd) published Review: A Catalog of Atari Learning Systems.  New Atari home computers education titles from Atari were to include: Spelling in Context 1, Spelling in Context 2, Spelling in Context 3, Spelling in Context 4, Spelling in Context 5, Spelling in Context 6, Spelling in Context 7, Spelling in Context 8, U.S. Geography check marc (by Marc Ed, Inc.), U.S. Geography high marc (by Marc Ed, Inc.), Atari Pascal (Version 2.0) (previously: Denver Pascal; to ship Jan. '84; never shipped), Secret Formula elementary (by Mind Movers), Secret Formula intermediate (by Mind Movers), Secret Formula advanced (by Mind Movers), Screen Maker, Player Maker, Alligator Mix (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), Minus Mission (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), Dragon Mix (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), Atari Super PILOT (previously: PILOT II; to ship April '84; never shipped), Phone Home (never shipped), Name Rondo (never shipped), Create a Rondo (never shipped), Instructional Computing Demonstration (previously released by APX), Music I (Terms & Notations) (by MECC; previously released by APX), Music II (Rhythm & Pitch) (by MECC; previously released by APX), Music III/Scales & Chords (by MECC; previously released by APX), Elementary Biology (by MECC; previously released by APX), Earth Science (by MECC; previously released by APX), Geography (by MECC; previously released by APX), Prefixes (by MECC; previously released by APX), Metric & Problem Solving (by MECC; previously released by APX), The Market Place (by MECC; previously released by APX), Basic Arithmetic (by MECC), Graphing (by MECC), Pre-Reading (by MECC), Counting (by MECC), Expeditions (by MECC), Spelling Bee (by MECC), Word Games (by MECC).  Announced: AtariLab Biofeedback, Timekeeper, Lie Detector, and Mechanics modules (all never shipped), AtariWriter Curriculum Guide (never shipped), Swarthmore Trig (never shipped).  Again promised for future release: AtariLab Curriculum Modules: Temperature and Light, CONDUIT Algebra, Green Globs and Other Trig Diversions.  Linda Gordon was Atari Products Co. SVP Education.  

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1983-1984
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port
AtariTel logo
ATARI SOFTWARE PUBLISHING
Atari Learning Systems logo

October: For the 2600 Atari released Joust (GCC), Dig Dug (GCC), Moon Patrol (GCC), and the Pro-Line Trak-Ball Controller (CX22) (VGU 11/83), plus Gravitar (exclusively to Atari Club members) and SwordQuest: WaterWorld (AA Se/Oc83).

October: For the 5200 Atari released: Dig Dug (GCC), Joust (GCC), Vanguard (GCC), RealSports Baseball  (VGU 11/83)

October: Atari (Consumer) operations manager James Heller departed the company.

October: Atari (Coin-Op) VP operations Dick Maslana had departed the company (and joined SyQuest as VP operations).

October: Atari (Coin-Op) Customer Service had moved to 735A Sycamore, Milpitas CA (later known as 737 Sycamore; previously: 1344 Bordeux, Sunnyvale) (CC 10/83)

October 20: Atari (Coin-Op) established the distributor, Atari Distributing Inc., for Illinois-based distribution, service, and sales.  Ed Pellegrini, previously of Bally Distributing, would head the unit.  Location: 130 Kirk Street, Elk Grove Village IL

October 21: Atari said that it was delaying the making and marketing of its two higher-priced computer models, the 1400XL and the 1450XLD.  The machines would not ship until late December, after the Christmas selling season, and then only in limited quantities. (WSJ 10/24/1983 p.5)

October 21-23: TariCon '83, "the world's first Atari-only computer convention," was scheduled by MACE, Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts, at the Southfield Civic Center Pavillion, Southfield, Michigan.  The even did not come together as planned, but TariCon '84 would be successfully held August 1984.

October 24: Report that plans at Atari to introduced a new computer model, the Atari 1600, had recently been canceled by Atari CEO James Morgan. (WSJ 10/24/1983 p.5)

October 26: Atari held a news conference at the Parklane Hotel in New York to mark the first releases under the AtariSoft label (previously: Atari Software Publishing).  New titles/releases not previously announced: Robotron: 2084 (Apple II, IBM PC, TI-99/4A (version never released); title by Williams Electronics), Stargate (TI-99/4A; title by Williams Electronics; never released), Super Storm (TI-99/4A; previously: Slime; title by Synapse; never released), Centipede (ColecoVision, Intellivision), Defender (ColecoVision, Intellivision; title by Williams Electronics), Pac-Man (Intellivision; title by Namco).  For 1984: Galaxian (ColecoVision; title by Namco).  Bruce Entin was Atari VP for corporate communications; Fred Simon was Atari SVP of computer hardware and software marketing. (source; VGU 10/83)

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1983-1984
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port
AtariTel logo
AtariSoft logo
Atari Learning Systems logo

October 28-30: Atari introduced TX-1 (by Tazmi via Namco), Pole Position II Enhancement Kit by Namco (for Pole Position Cockpit or Upright units), Major Havoc, and Firefox (nonworking units displayed) at the 35th Annual AMOA International Exposition of Games and Music in New Orleans.  Crystal Castles was also featured.  Bob Harvey was Atari Coin Games Division western regional sales manager (having replaced Tom Petit in the role).

October/November: Atari shipped the 600XL NTSC version for North America (US$199) (The Globe and Mail (Canada) 12/23/83), 600XL UK version (£159.99) (Page 6 #7 p6), and 600XL PAL version for Europe (except France).

November 2: Report that Atari announced that because of production snags in Hong Kong (Atari-Wong and contract manufacturer Chelco Sound), it would be able to fill only 60 per cent of its Christmas orders for the 600XL and the 800XL. Atari also reiterated that it would ship the 1400XL and the 1450XLD in limited quantities in late December and more widely after the first of the year. (WSJ 11/2/1983 p.2)

November 3-6: Atari exhibited at the Electronic Fun Expo, New York Coliseum.  ("New York's first consumer electronics show")

November 4: Premier of the Warner Bros. movie, Deal of the Century, which included a fighter plane cockpit monitor where the display was driven by a real (off-screen) Atari 800, software by Atari's Los Angeles Lab (Corporate Research Division L.A. Lab).

November 9: Atari said it would raise the prices of its home computers and video game consoles by between 17 percent and 29 percent, effective Jan. 1, 1984. The increases would raise the dealer price on the 600XL to $180, from $140. The dealer price of the 800XL would rise to $280, from $240.  Dealer prices of the 2600 Video Computer System would rise to $99 from $95, while the 5200 SuperSystem dealer price would climb to $150 from $146.

November: Atari released Major Havoc, released Pole Position II Enhancement Kit by Namco (for Pole Position Cockpit or Upright units), and released Crystal Castles cocktail.

November: For the 2600 Atari released: the Kid's Controller (CX23), Alpha Beam with Ernie (Atari/CCW), Big Bird's Egg Catch (Atari/CCW), Pigs in Space, Snoopy and the Red Baron, Krull  (VGU 12/83)

November: Atari director of special programs Steve Wright departed the company (to Sega/Paramount); the Atari Special Programs group (292 Gibraltar, Sunnyvale CA) would be shut down.

November?: AtariSoft director of development Steve Arnold departed the company. (Arnold would join the Lucasfilm Computer Division Games Group as general manager in January 1984). (source; source for date (Arnold's role would be absorbed by VP game design Steve Calfee.)

November: In the Netherlands, Atari International (Benelux) B.V. shut down the Atari Service Centrum operation in Breda. (source)

November 19: Atari opened their third "Adventure" location, the first Atari Adventure family entertainment center at the Northwest Plaza shopping center located in St. Ann MO (suburban St. Louis MO).  The 8,000 square foot location was planned as the corporate prototype for a nationwide roll-out of 12-15 facilities.  Store design by Bill Poon & Company Architects.  The location combined a traditional video game arcade (65 games), a new video game technology display area, and a Computer Learning Center: a hands-on public computer classroom/lab featuring 8 Atari 1200XL computer stations and a full-time instructor.  Barry Sullivan was VP of Atari Adventure (having replaced the departed Jim Ginsberg). (report1)(report2)(report3)(report4)(report5)(CCv7n11)

November 22: John J. Cardozo had become Acting Manager, Product Review, APX, replacing Jack Perron who departed the company.

November 29: Atari International (Benelux) B.V. established an office in Belgium.  Location: Lambermontlaan 79, 1030 Schaarbeek. (source)

November/December?: Dorothy K. Deringer, previously a program officer at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), joined Atari Learning Systems as VP product development.  Deringer was hired by Atari Products Co. SVP Education Linda Gordon.

November/December?: Peter R. Ateshian was promoted to Atari Manager of VLSI Development, replacing Rich Pasco who departed the company.

November/December?: Joe Miller became Atari Products Co. manager, operating systems software, replacing Scott Scheiman who departed the company.

November/December: Atari Semiconductor Group (ASG) Manager of VLSI Development Rich Pasco departed the company.  (Carl Nielsen remained director of LSI design and test, ASG.)

Fall/Winter: For Apple II Atari released AtariSoft Pac-Man, Centipede, Defender, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Stargate, Robotron: 2084

Fall/Winter: For IBM PC Atari released AtariSoft Pac-Man, Centipede, Defender, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Stargate, Robotron: 2084

Fall/Winter: For C-64 Atari released AtariSoft Pac-Man, Centipede, Defender, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Robotron: 2084

Fall/Winter: For VIC-20 Atari released AtariSoft Pac-Man, Centipede, Defender, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Robotron: 2084

Fall/Winter: For TI-99/4A Atari released AtariSoft Pac-Man, Centipede, Defender, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Shamus, Protector II, Picnic Paranoia

Fall/Winter: For Intellivision Atari released AtariSoft Pac-Man, Centipede, Defender

Fall/Winter: For ColecoVision Atari released AtariSoft Centipede, Defender

December 13: In an open letter posted to the Atari SIG on CompuServe, addressed to Atari users from Atari Chairman and CEO Jim Morgan, Morgan described the Atari he had inherited as being "in way over its head with a computer product line as inclusive as the 600XL, 800XL, 1400XL, 1450XLD, and 1600."  Morgan announced the formation of "a group led by Ted Hoff and Alan Kay which is chartered to define our next generation of computers...In the meantime, we will have to keep our product line rather restricted to broadly saleable products." (M.A.C.E. Journal v4n2/3 Feb/Mar 1984 p.2; see also CC May84p193)

December 15: Atari and Activision, Inc. announced a joint venture to broadcast video games to households. An unspecified type of broadcast technology, but closely related to FM radio, would be used to transmit the games to a home receiver that would plug into a video-game player. Initially, the service would play only on the Atari 2600 player or compatible machines.

December: Atari shipped initial small quantities of the 800XL NTSC version for North America (US$299) (see newspaper ads and Current Notes Jan84p6 for timing).  (800XL production would ramp up dramatically in Winter 1984.)

December: For the 2600 Atari shipped Cookie Monster Munch (Atari/CCW), Sorcerer's Apprentice and Mario Bros. (VGU 1/84), plus Quadrun (released exclusively to Atari Club members).

December: For the 5200 Atari shipped: Moon Patrol, Pengo (VGU 12/83, 1/84)

December: Atari said it would raise the prices of its home computer and videogame consoles between 17% and 29%, effective January 1. (Merch)

December 20: Ken Wirt remained Atari Products Co. VP computer software marketing (including AtariSoft). (source)

December 22: Atari announced the donation of more than $50,000 worth of video game consoles and game cartridges to children's hospitals nationwide, and more than $15,000 worth of video games to the Santa Clara County YMCA for recreational purposes and to help fund the development of four new centers in the county in 1984.

December 23: John Boyle was Atari product marketing manager in Canada. (The Globe and Mail (Canada))

December 31: Atari (Coin-Op) VP of marketing Don Osborne passed away.

"Atari sold about 400,000 units [computers] in December." - Creative Strategies International as quoted in InfoWorld, Feb 6, 1984.

"Atari sold roughly 250,000 of its 800 series computers last year"  - Time magazine, July 16, 1984

In 1983 Atari lost US$539 million on sales of US$1.1 billion.

1984
January 1: In the U.S., the suggested retail price for the Atari 600XL became $249 (previously: $199); the suggested retail price for the Atari 800XL became $399 (previously: $299).

January 1?: At Atari (Coin-Op), Fred Gerson, previously SVP finance, became division EVP (new position).  Steven C. Chiaramonte, previously director of finance (and with Atari since 1974), was promoted to VP finance and CFO (replacing Gerson in the role).

January 7-10: At the Winter CES in Las Vegas, under the AtariSoft label, Atari introduced/announced 7 titles: Joust (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64 (version never released), VIC-20 (version never released), TI-99/4A (version never released); title by Williams Electronics), Jungle Hunt (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A, ColecoVision; title by Taito), Moon Patrol (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A; title by Williams Electronics), Pole Position (Apple II (version never released), IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A; title by Namco), Galaxian (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, ColecoVision; title by Namco), Ms. Pac-Man (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A; title by Namco), Battlezone (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20)

For the 2600 Atari announced: Pengo (title by Sega), Choplifter! (title by Brøderbund; never shipped), Stargate (title by Williams Electronics; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Millipede, Taz, Crystal Castles, Donkey Kong Jr. (title by Nintendo; title previously released by Coleco in 1983; Atari, Inc. version never shipped), Sea Sentinel (later: Aquaventure; never shipped), Xevious (title by Namco; never released) and again promised Oscar's Trash Race.  Also featured: Jungle Hunt, Kangaroo, Mario Bros., Dig Dug, Moon Patrol, Pole Position, Joust, Battlezone (source) (source), Pigs in Space, Snoopy and the Red Baron, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Big Bird's Egg Catch, Alpha Beam with Ernie, Cookie Monster Munch.  New production 2600 systems (for the U.S.) would be the new silver format 2600CR package, replacing the 2600AR package.  2600CR systems would ship in a new square box and include the 4-switch black/no woodgrain 2600A console (NTSC), two CX40 joysticks, and Pac-Man (Combat no longer included).

For the 5200 Atari introduced Mario Bros. (title by Nintendo), announced Choplifter! (title by Brøderbund; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Stargate (title by Williams Electronics; never shipped), Crystal Castles (never shipped), Donkey Kong Jr. (title by Nintendo; never shipped), and Millipede (never shipped) (source), again promised Berzerk, Robotron: 2084, and Xevious, and featured: Joust, Dig Dug, Kangaroo, RealSports Baseball, Pole Position, Jungle Hunt, Moon Patrol, Pengo (source)

Atari again promised the 1450XLD home computer, and introduced the 1064 memory module for the 600XL.  For the 600XL ($249), 800XL ($399) and 1450XLD, Atari again promised the Touch Tablet (CX77), Light Pen (CX75) with AtariGraphics, Remote Control Wireless Joysticks (CX42), the AtariWriter System kit (previously: Writing System), the Programming System kit, The BASIC Tutor I kit, TeleLink II, AtariMusic I, AtariMusic II, RealSports Tennis, RealSports Football, Pole Position, Joust, Ms. Pac-Man, Pengo, and Donkey Kong Junior; Atari introduced The Atari Translator, Captain Hook's Revenge (previously: Peter Pan's Daring Journey or Peter Pan's Daring Escape; by Roklan for Walt Disney Productions; never shipped), Typo Attack (previously released by APX), Mario Bros. (title by Nintendo; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1988), Moon Patrol (title by Williams Electronics; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Jungle Hunt (title by Taito), Robotron: 2084 (title by Williams Electronics), and Millipede (would be shipped by Atari, Corp.); and Atari announced Crystal Castles (prototype box: "Crystal Castle"; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1988), Pop'R Spell (never shipped), Sky Writer, The Mysteries of Wonderland (Walt Disney Productions; never shipped), SynCalc (by Synapse; introduced by Synapse June 1983; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Synapse fall 1984), SynFile+ (by Synapse; introduced by Synapse June 1983; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Synapse fall 1984), SynTrend (by Synapse; consisting of SynGraph and SynStat; introduced by Synapse June 1983; never shipped by Atari; would be shipped by Synapse fall 1984), The Legacy (Atari Advanced Games Group; later: Final Legacy; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.).  The Bookkeeper kit was to be renamed The Accountant effective 4/1/84.  Finally, Atari announced the release of DOS 3 (previously: DOS III), available for free, and also to ship with new production 1050 disk drives. (1/1/84 price list; Analog #17 p13; source; source; picture; picture)

Also for Atari home computers, the new Atari Learning Systems division featured/again promised the AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module ("ready to ship now") and the Atari Lab Light Module, and also introduced: Atari Pascal 2.0 (never shipped), Atari Super PILOT (never shipped), Player Maker, Screen Maker   (source)

January 14: At San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the third annual Atari Star Award and US$25,000 to Mark Reid for his APX title, Getaway!. Other Finalists: James Burton, R. Stanley Kistler, Gregor Novak.  Fred Simon remained Atari Products Co. SVP of computer hardware and software marketing.

January: Atari released Firefox Upright (original version).

January: For the 5200 Atari released Berzerk, Mario Bros. (VGU 2/84)

January: For Atari home computers Atari shipped: Joust (VGU 1/84)

January: Atari opened their fourth "Adventure" location, the second Atari Adventure family entertainment center, at Crestwood Plaza in Crestwood MO (suburban St. Louis MO).  A 2-story location, using the same concept as the area's Northwest Plaza Atari Adventure location.

January: Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP engineering AtariTel Division, became Atari Products Co. VP Engineering Computer Division (replacing SVP engineering Dave Stubben in the role) and would head the Atari Advanced Computer Technologies Design Center.  Director of advanced engineering Donald Teiser departed the company.

January: Atari recognized three of the highest ranking technical positions in the company with the new additional title of "Atari Fellow": Atari VP/chief scientist Alan Kay, Atari Products Co. VP Engineering Computer Division Steve Bristow, and Atari (Coin-Op) VP of creative development Lyle Rains. (see WCI 1983 Annual Report)  

January 19: Atari named Charles J. Vaughan (Chuck Vaughan), previously chief financial executive of General Electric Co.'s consumer product sector, as SVP/CFO (to replace VP finance Erwin Lenowitz as Atari CFO).  Vaughan was expected to join Atari by early February.

January 23: Atari announced the following "organizational realignment":

Officers of Atari would include Farrand, Kingsborough, Ruckert, Paul, Malloy, Hoff, Groth, Vaughan and Bruehl, plus: SVP advertising Theodore Voss, SVP administration Arthur Gemmell, VP and general manager of AtariTel Richard Mier, VP strategic planning John Hagel, VP and chief accounting officer Sol Kershner, and the vacant position of general counsel.

Bruce Entin remained Atari VP corporate communications.

January 23: Atari named Steve Calfee Atari Products Co. SVP for entertainment software (previously: Atari VP, Game design (both coin-op and consumer)).  Reporting to Calfee, Richard Frick was now director of entertainment software development (2600/5200), replacing Condon Brown who departed the company.  (Brown would establish The Software Machine, Inc. on 3/12/84.)

Winter: APX Catalog introduced for the Atari home computers: Equestrian, Mastermatch, Atspeller for AtariWriter, Bellum, Burgers!, Chambers of Zorp, Character Fun, Dragon Quest or A Twist in the Tail, Numberland Nightwatch, Raid on Graviton, Rush Hour, Weakon, National Flags, Dog Daze Deluxe

Winter: For the Atari home computers, Atari shipped the Touch Tablet (CX77; with AtariArtist), Tennis, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man (see 1/1/84 price list)

Winter?: Mark Cator was promoted to Atari Manager, Users' Group Support (replacing Earl Rice in the role; Rice would remain with customer support).

Winter: John Peeke-Vout was promoted to Atari Products Co. VP computer software marketing (including AtariSoft), replacing Ken Wirt who departed the company (to Cognitive Systems).

Winter: Atari Products Co. VP business planning Jean M. Hackenburg departed the company (to Mad Computer Inc.). (source)

Winter?: Claude Nahum, previously Atari director international finance, became director of international business development, replacing Dumas Simeus who departed the company.  Gerd Stoecker was promoted to VP international finance (replacing Nahum in the role).

Winter: In the UK, Atari International (U.K.) Inc. launched the AtariSoft product lines for VIC-20, C-64, and TI 99/4A, plus launched for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum: Pac-Man (title by Namco), Ms. Pac-Man (title by Namco; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Galaxian (title by Namco; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), and also announced: Donkey Kong (title by Nintendo; never shipped), Dig Dug (title by Namco; never shipped), Pole Position (title by Namco; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Moon Patrol (title by Williams Electronics; never shipped).  Announced for the BBC Model B/Acorn Electron: Ms. Pac-Man (title by Namco; never shipped), Donkey Kong (title by Nintendo; never shipped), Dig Dug (title by Namco; never shipped), Pole Position (title by Namco; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Battlezone (never shipped). (ad launched Feb84)

Winter: Atari's Far East office in Taiwan moved to a new location: 2 Min-Tsu E. Rd., Taipei.  Raymond A. Kunavich, previously ATMC general manager of operations, became Atari Far East in Taiwan general manager (replacing ATMC president Loren R. Wolter in the role).  Gary D. Weaver, previously plant manager At Atari's El Paso facility, became ATMC general manager of operations (replacing Kunavich in the role).  Other executives at the new Atari Far East in Taiwan office: D. Downing, R. Jaeger, Ed McDermott (Update 4/2)

Winter?: Internationally, Atari International (U.K.) Inc. employed 137, Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH employed 122 in West Germany, P.E.C.F. Atari employed 77 in France, Atari International (Benelux) B.V. employed 32, Atari International (Italy) Inc. employed 28, and Atari International (Nippon) Inc. employed 17 in Japan.  (source)

February 2: Atari (Coin-Op) VP of creative development Lyle Rains was an Atari Fellow. (source)

February 3: Atari announced a contractual agreement by which Mattel had licensed the rights to market the Mattel System Changer that allowed Intellivision owners to play cartridges compatible with the Atari 2600.

February 13-22: 81st annual American International Toy Fair in New York.  Was Atari there??

February?: As announced on January 19, Charles Vaughan joined Atari as SVP/CFO (assuming the CFO role from VP finance Erwin Lenowitz).

February: For Atari home computers Atari shipped Football(VGU 3/84)

February: Atari 5200 production, now exclusively by Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp., ended. (InfoWorld 6/25/84)

February: Atari Products Co. manager, operating systems software Joe Miller departed the company (to Koala Technologies).

February: Atari released Firefox Cockpit, released Cloak & Dagger Kit for Williams Electronics Defender units, and released Cloak & Dagger Kit for Williams Electronics Stargate, Williams Electronics Robotron: 2084, or Williams Electronics Joust units. (CC; Cash Box)

February: Atari Products Co. VP engineering computer division and Atari Fellow Steve Bristow departed the company.  An Atari Fellow recognition would be given to Atari Products Co. SVP engineering Dave Stubben. (Fun p792 for Stubben business card)

Feburary 17-19: Atari exhibited at the Amusement Showcase International (ASI) show at Expocenter/Chicago.

February 21-23: The first Softcon trade show was held at the Superdome in New Orleans.  Atari featured their latest AtariSoft titles, including: Joust, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Jungle Hunt.  Atari SVP computer marketing Fred Simon remained head of AtariSoft.  (InfoWorld 3/36/84p60)

February 28-March 2: Atari exhibited at the Amusement Trades Exhibition (ATE) in London.

March 6: Date of preliminary Letter Agreement between Atari and Amiga Corporation regarding development of the Amiga Lorraine computer.  Atari would immediately loan Amiga $500,000 as part of the arrangement.  See: primary sources, in-depth analysis, summary of terms

March 7-9: At the Second Computer Software Video Game Conference held at The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, AtariSoft international marketing manager Nancy Garrison was a panelist. ("Getting Over Seas: International Marketing") (source)

March 11-18: At the Festival International du Son et de l'Image, held at the CNIT (Center of New Industries and Technologies) in La Défense in Paris, France, P.E.C.F. Atari launched the 600XL and 800XL in France.  PAL versions were available immediately (2 200 F / 3 200 F); 600XL SECAM version (2 500 F; never shipped) and 800XL SECAM version (3 500 F) were due to ship in June 1984. (L'Atarien #2; L'Ordinateur Individuel #58 Apr84 p81; L'Atarien #4 p18 for prices)

March 12: Atari International VP sales John C. Beuttell had departed the company and named vp/sales and marketing of Mindscape. (AdWeek 3/12/84)

March?: Atari shipped the 800XL UK version (£249.99) and 800XL PAL version for Europe.

March: Atari released: TX-1 (by Tazmi via Namco), Crystal Castles Kit #1 for upright Missile Command units; Crystal Castles Kit #2 for upright Dig Dug, Kangaroo, Food Fight, or Arabian units; Major Havoc Kit "A" Action Pac for Tempest units; Major Havoc Kit "B" Action Pac for Space Duel, Gravitar, or Black Widow units; and Millipede Action Pac for Dig Dug, Kangaroo, or Arabian units. (CC; Cash Box)

March: For the 2600 Atari released: Crystal Castles, Millipede, Oscar's Trash Race (Atari/CCW), Taz.  Outside of the U.S. for the 2600, instead of Taz Atari would release Asterix (very similar to Taz), and would release Obélix. (VGU 4/84)

March: For the 5200 Atari released Robotron: 2084. (VGU 4/84)

March: For Atari home computers Atari released: Donkey Kong Junior, Pengo (VGU 4/84)

March: Atari VP finance Erwin Lenowitz (recently replaced by Charles Vaughan as Atari CFO) departed the company (to Telco Systems).

March: APX director Fred Thorlin departed the company.

March: Atari Products Co. manager of project control, software development (2600/5200/7800) William Lord departed the company.

March: Simon P. Westbrook, previously of Graham Poulter Advertising, joined Atari International (U.K.) Inc. as financial controller.

March 19: Superior Court Judge Peter Stone of Santa Clara County refused to dismiss the August 15, 1983 lawsuit filed by former Atari employees Maria Carson and Rodolfo Villanueva against Atari., but did drop Atari's parent company, Warner Communications Inc., as a defendant in the case. The lawyer for the former Atari employees, Linda Krieger of the Employment Law Center in San Francisco, said she would ask the judge to certify the filing as a class-action suit. The proceeding would then represent about 600 former employees of Atari.

March 20: Atari announced it had signed a licensing agreement with ME-TA Elektronik VE TICARET A.S. of Turkey that would permit ME-TA to manufacture and distribute Atari's 2600 Video Computer System and game cartridges. Anton Bruehl remained president of the international division of Atari.

March 22: Atari SVP advertising Ted Voss had departed the comapny. (Ad Day)

March 22-25: At the 9th West Coast Computer Faire, San Francisco Civic Auditorium and Brooks Hall, Atari showed/again promised the light pen, the Plato System cartridge, and many games.  Atari introduced APX Bumpomov's Dogs, while confirming that APX was being discontinued, with the top 20 APX titles to be absorbed into the "main line" of products.  A new, final production run of 15,000 850 interfaces had just been manufactured.  Atari again promised the 1450XL (previously known as: 1450XLD); Thea Cain was 1450XL product manager.  Dave Wilson remained Atari's director of customer relations; Earl Rice and Bill Bartlett remained with customer support. (source; source)

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port
AtariTel logo
AtariSoft logo
Atari Learning Systems logo

March 24: Atari said it was laying off about 200 white-collar workers (300 laid-off, 100 hired) from its Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters in an effort to ''focus our marketing and development efforts.''  At the Atari Sunnyvale Research Lab, systems researcher Kristina Hooper would be promoted to director of the lab, replacing Gary Sikorski who departed the company.  The Games Design Research Group would be shut down, and group manager Chris Crawford would depart the company.

March 26: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Electronic Distribution, Inc. (Electronic Pipeline joint project between Atari (L.A. Lab) and Activision, Inc.)

March 30: In Hong Kong, The name of Atari-Wong Co. partner The Wong's Electronics Company, Limited was changed to: Wong's Electronics Co., Limited

March/April: Final published issue of Atari Age, the official publication of The Atari Club from Atari Clubs, Inc.  In this issue Atari announced Zoo Keeper (title by Taito; never shipped) for the 2600.

Winter/Spring: For Apple II Atari released AtariSoft Joust, Jungle Junt, Moon Patrol, Ms. Pac-Man, Battlezone, Galaxian

Winter/Spring: For IBM PC Atari released AtariSoft Joust, Jungle Junt, Moon Patrol, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Battlezone, Galaxian

Winter/Spring: For C-64 Atari released AtariSoft Jungle Junt, Moon Patrol, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Battlezone, Galaxian

Winter/Spring: For VIC-20 Atari released AtariSoft Jungle Junt, Moon Patrol, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Battlezone, Galaxian

Winter/Spring: For TI-99/4A Atari released AtariSoft Jungle Junt, Moon Patrol, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man

Winter/Spring: For ColecoVision Atari released AtariSoft Jungle Junt, Galaxian

Winter/Spring: In the UK, for ZX Spectrum, the Atari Software Products Division released AtariSoft Pac-Man

April 2: Electronic Publishing Systems, Inc. (EPS) was jointly established by Atari (L.A. Lab via Atari Electronic Distribution, Inc.) and Activision, Inc., with the Pittsburgh-based venture capitalist Hillman Co.  Location: 1171 Borregas, Sunnyvale CA.  Headed by Rob Newman and Ray Sarch. (Electronic Pipeline Atari/Activision joint project)

April 2: Internally, Atari Products Co. EVP Ted Hoff announced the promotion of Jan Dekema to manager, Research Administration (assistant to Hoff in the administration of the entire Atari R&D and Product Development organization) (Dekema was previously administrative manager for the Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory, and would also retain that role).  Hoff also announced the promotion of Chris Jeffers (previously: manager of administration for Corporate Research) to Atari Products Co. VP Product Development, also reporting directly to Hoff (Update), replacing Don Thorson (computer products) and John de Santis (game products) who both departed the company.

April 2: Programmer Michael Barall joined Atari (hired to develop DOS IV).

April 5: John Peeke-Vout was Atari Products Co. VP computer software marketing. (source)

April 6: In moving to consolidate manufacturing operations, Atari said that it would lay off about 550 workers in Milpitas, Calif. (250 out of the 750 Coin-Op division jobs there) and Fajardo, P.R. (all 300 jobs there; Atari Caribe, Inc. would be shut down).  The Atari El Paso Texas facility, currently where products returned by customers were "re-manufactured," was to expand operations to include coin-operated video game manufacturing (incorporating the former Milpitas manufacturing business), software manufacturing for computers and video games (incorporating the former Puerto Rico manufacturing business), and initial production runs of new video game or computer hardware products.  Hardware manufacturing after initial production runs would remain in the Far East. (AP 4/6; NYT 4/7)  Atari's total employment was now 2,250. (NewsBytes)

April 10: In West Germany, authorized signatories for Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH were formally registered as: Detlev Driemeier, David Evans, Brian Richards

April: Stephen Race, previously Atari International director of marketing, would become Atari International VP marketing and communications (source), replacing Chris Deering who departed the company (to Spinnaker Software).

April: (mid-month) Atari VP/chief scientist and Atari Fellow Alan Kay departed the company. (InfoWorld 6/11/84 for timing)  Harry Jenkins, previously manager of corporate design research, would become Atari Products Co. director of research & development (reporting to EVP research & development Ted Hoff, and essentially replacing Kay in the role).

April?: Kenneth Ashton was promoted to Atari Products Co. VP Product Engineering, replacing Paul Malloy who departed the company. (source)

April: Atari National Educational Sales Manager and director of the Atari Institute for Education Research Alfred Moyé had departed the company (to Hewlett-Packard). (source)

April: For the 5200 Atari had cancelled Battlezone, Sport Goofy, and Road Runner.  (VGU 4/84)

April: Time Delaware Incorporated was renamed to: Time Incorporated (future: Time Warner Inc.)

April 19: Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH (of West Germany) had opened a sales and marketing office in Switzerland, taking over the distribution business there from the former Atari partner, Phonag AG.  Atari Elektronik Director of Marketing Hans-Ueli Hasler would head the new office. (source)  Klaus Ollman remained Atari Elektronik managing director.

April 27: Atari ceased operations at its Fajardo (Manufacturing/Office) and Canovanas (Distribution Center/Sales & Marketing/Warehouse) plants in Puerto Rico, and Atari Caribe, Inc. was shut down.  Some of the manufacturing operations would be relocated to Atari's 300-worker factory at El Paso, Texas.

Spring: For the Atari home computers Atari shipped: CX75 Light Pen with AtariGraphics, Sky Writer, AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module

Spring?: Gary D. Weaver, previously Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. general manager of operations, was promoted to managing director for Atari Far East in Taiwan, replacing Raymond A. Kunavich who departed the company.  (Loren R. Wolter remained ATMC president.)

May 1: "Hearing on Computer Education" before the Subcommittee on Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education of the Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, included testimony by Atari Learning Systems VP product development Dorothy Deringer.

May 1: Brownsville Texas city commissioners approved a $100,000 federal grant application to potentially keep the local Atari Amplifone assembly plant from closing, potentially saving 80-90 jobs.  Atari had not announced any plans to close to plant.  Gil Gilbert was Amplifone manager. (Brownsville Herald 5/2/84)  (The city later dropped this grant application after finally determining it would not meet federal government qualifications.)

May 8: At the Lucasfilm Ranch in Marin County California, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Atari Inc. introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus!, both developed by the Lucasfilm Computer Division Games Group (Peter Langston was Games Group Leader, David Levine was Ballblazer project leader, David Fox was Rescue on Fractalus! project leader), to be published by Atari and marketed under the new Atari/Lucasfilm logo for the 5200 (June -VGU 5/84) and on cartridge for Atari home computers (summer) (PR), with versions for other computers (C-64, Apple II, IBM) to be available by Christmas. Joel S. Oberman was Atari director of games marketing; Fred Simon was Atari VP AtariSoft; David Ruckert was Atari EVP. (UPI)

May 9: Activision Electronic Distribution, Inc. was established by Activision, Inc. (Electronic Pipeline joint project between Atari (L.A. Lab) and Activision).

May 14: Inauguration of the new Atari (Consumer) manufacturing plant (136,000 square feet) in the Raheen Industrial Estate on Ennis Road, Limerick, Ireland. (L'Atarien #4 p21; )  Atari's nearby Ballysimon Road site, also in the Raheen Industrial Estate, would discontinue light manufacturing operations but would house an expanded European purchasing/traffic/accounts operation.

May 14-19: At the special SICOB show held at CNIT Paris La Défense in France, Atari featured the 600XL/800XL product line, as well as AtariSoft products for Apple II, VIC 20, Commodore 64, and TI 99/4A.  (L'Atarien #4 p21)

May: Atari Products Co. manager, Applications Software and Telecommunications Products Group Sherwin Gooch departed the company.

May: In the Netherlands, Atari International (Benelux) B.V. product manager Toine Stapelkamp departed the company.

May 17: Tramel Technology, Ltd. (TTL) was founded by Jack Tramiel and associates.  Tramiel had been approached by Lazard Frères & Co., investment banking firm for Warner Communications Inc., about a possible purchase of Atari.  Discussions between Tramiel and Warner Communications commenced.

May 17: At Atari Products Co.: Phillip Restaino was SVP; Kenneth Ashton was VP product engineering; Joel Oberman was Group Product Manager, Entertainment Software; Bryan Kerr was a group product manager. (source)

May 18: Atari announced that Atari Products Co. EVP sales Donald Kingsborough would depart the company (after an unspecified period; he would be assigned to a special project for Atari CEO James Morgan until his departure).  Atari said Kingsborough's duties would be assumed by SVP planning and distribution Conrad Jutson. (WSJ 5/18p47) 

May 21: Atari held a press event in New York City to introduce the 7800 ProSystem (GCC), ship in July (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986) with two Pro-Line Joystick controllers (CX24) for the package price of  $149, and announced 13 games for the 7800: 3-D Asteroids (later known as: Deluxe Asteroids; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986 as: Asteroids), Ballblazer (by Lucasfilm; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1988), Centipede (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Desert Falcon (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1987), Dig Dug (title by Namco; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Food Fight (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Galaga (title by Namco; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Joust (title by Williams Electronics; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Ms. Pac-Man (title by Namco; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Pole Position II (title by Namco; planned to be built-in to production systems beginning in Sept.; would be shipped with the 7800 (but not built-in) by Atari Corporation in 1986), Rescue on Fractalus! (by Lucasfilm; never released), Robotron: 2084 (title by Williams Electronics; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Xevious (title by Namco; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986).  Atari also announced the 7800 High Score Cartridge (never released) and the 7800 Computer Keyboard (4KiB of RAM, expandable to 20KiB; never released).  Atari additionally announced a 7800 ProSystem Adapter for the 5200 (never released).  Atari disclosed that the 5200 was no longer in production; more than 1 million 5200's had been sold to date.  Joel S. Oberman was Atari games-marketing director; David Ruckert was Atari EVP.  Atari Chairman James Morgan said a further reorganization of Atari would be announced in the next few weeks. (NYT 5/22; Washington Post, May 22, 1984, C3)

May 21: A Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation of Kee Games, Incorporated was executed by Kee Games VP Mark M. Weinstein and assistant secretary Joan Pincus, changing the name of the company to: Warner Entertainment Inc.

May 23: The name of Kee Games, Incorporated was changed to: Warner Entertainment Inc.

May 27-30: At CETEX 84 (Consumer Electronics Trade Exhibition) held at Earls Court, London, Atari introduced the 7800 (£99.99 with Pole Position II and pair of Super Controllers (CX24); to ship 9/84) and introduced the 2600jr (£74.99 with Centipede and pair of Super Controllers (CX24); to ship 9/84).  For the 7800 Atari introduced 12 cartridges to be sold separately; for the 2600 Atari introduced/promised 7 games: Millipede, Crystal Castles, Oscar's Trash Race, Track & Field (with Arcade Controller; title by Konami; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Jr. Pac-Man (title by Bally-Midway; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), and Midnight Magic (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986).  (Computer & Video Games Aug84 p49)  Millipede and Moon Patrol were introduced/promised for Atari home computers. 

A second wave of AtariSoft titles introduced or announced by Atari International (U.K.) Inc. included Pole Position (C-64, BBC Model B, ZX Spectrum (versions would be shipped by Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited); title by Namco), Robotron: 2084 (ZX Spectrum version never released, BBC/Electron (would be shipped by Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited in 1985); title by Williams Electronics), Ms. Pac-Man (BBC/Electron version never released; title by Namco), Dig Dug (BBC/Electron version never released; title by Namco), Donkey Kong Jr. (BBC/Electron, ZX Spectrum versions never released; title by Nintendo).  (Big K 7.84 page 5)   At Atari International (U.K.) Inc., Andrew Swanston, previously sales director, was now marketing director; Tony Adams, previously associate marketing director, had been promoted to sales director (replacing Swanston in the role).  (source; source)

May 30: Atari confirmed plans to withdraw from its joint venture with Wong's Electronics Co., Limited, and close the Atari-Wong Co. consumer products manufacturing plant in Hong Kong.  Production was to be moved to Atari's wholly owned plant in Taiwan.  Atari also confirmed a new round of layoffs without providing details.  Industry sources estimated that 800 to 1,000 workers would be affected (AP 5/31; NYT 6/1), nearly half of the company's 2,500 U.S. work force (WSJ 5/31).  Cuts would be primarily in sales and research and development (NYT 6/1), but would range from clerical workers to vice presidents (WSJ 5/31).  Both the plant closing and the layoffs were expected to be completed by July 1 (WSJ 5/31). "Company insiders say the layoffs are part of a plan to essentially create a new company in which those that survive the layoffs will participate." (InfoWorld 6/25/84; see also this class action lawsuit regarding, in part, the "New Atari Company" or "NATCO" reorganization plan)

May 31: The Learning Co. announced that former Atari (Coin-Op) EVP Fred M. Gerson had joined the company as vice president of finance and chief financial officer.

June 1: Dennis Groth, previously Atari EVP (AtariTel and Electronic Distribution) became president of Atari International, replacing Anton Bruehl who departed the company.  David Evans, previously product manager at Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH in West Germany, became head of marketing for Atari International (source), replacing Stephen Race who departed the company.

June 3-6: At the 18th Summer CES in Chicago the Atari slogan was "June 3, 1984--The Day The Future Began." 

Atari introduced the MindLink System (never shipped), to be available for the 2600, 7800, and Atari home computers; packages would include: headband, two infrared sensors, and a software package.  3 initial software packages for the unit were planned: an adventure game, Bionic Breakthrough (version of Breakout), and a relaxation biofeedback program.

For the 2600 Atari announced: Gremlins (would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Track & Field (with Arcade Controller; title by Konami; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), The Last Starfighter (never shipped), Jr. Pac-Man (title by Bally-Midway; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Midnight Magic (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Dr. Salk's "Peek-a-Boo" (never released), Elevator Action (title by Taito; never released), Garfield on the Run (Atari Advanced Games Group; never released), The A-Team (never shipped).  Again promised: Choplifter!, Stargate, Good Luck Charlie Brown.  Also featured: Mario Bros., Millipede, Taz, Oscar's Trash Race, Crystal Castles

For the (discontinued) 5200 Atari announced Gremlins (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1987) and Track & Field (with Arcade Controller; title by Konami; never shipped) as well as the 7800 ProSystem Adapter (never released), and again promised Choplifter!, Ballblazer (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Rescue on Fractalus! (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), and Millipede (never shipped).  Also featured: Mario Bros.

For the 7800 (not yet shipped; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986) Atari featured the 13 titles introduced on May 21: 3-D Asteroids (would shipped by Atari Corporation as: Asteroids), Ballblazer, Centipede, Desert Falcon, Dig Dug, Food Fight, Galaga, Joust, Ms. Pac-Man, Pole Position II, Rescue on Fractalus! (never released), Robotron: 2084, Xevious.  Peek-a-Boo was a planned future release for the 7800 (never released).  Atari also featured the 7800 High Score Cartridge (never released) and the 7800 Computer Keyboard (4KiB of RAM, expandable to 20KiB; never released).  For the 7800 Computer Keyboard Atari introduced: Atari Terminal, AtariLab, Typing Tutor, The Word Processor, BASIC

For the Atari home computers (800XL) Atari introduced/featured: Ballblazer, Rescue on Fractalus!, Mario Bros., Millipede, Jr. Pac-Man (title by Bally-Midway; never shipped), Crystal Castles, Donkey Kong Junior, Elevator Action (title by Taito; never shipped), Garfield on the Run (Atari Advanced Games Group; never shipped), Track & Field (with Arcade Controller; title by Konami; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Final Legacy (previously: Legacy), This Is Ground Control (Futuremakers series; never shipped), Through the Star Bridge (Futuremakers series; never shipped), Word Tutor (never shipped), Letter Tutor (never shipped), Sky Writer, SynCalc, SynFile+, SynTrend, AtariWriter, Proofreader (previously released via APX as: Atspeller for AtariWriter; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1986)Hardware featured: Touch Tablet with AtariArtist, Light Pen with AtariGraphics, 1050 disk drive with DOS 3.  Also announced/again promised: Captain Hook's Revenge, Pole Position II (title by Namco; never shipped), Moon Patrol, Hobgoblin (Atari Advanced Games Group; never shipped), Gremlins (never shipped), The Last Starfighter (never shipped)

Atari Learning Systems published a New Products Bulletin, and introduced: Find It! (Atari XL, C-64, Apple II, IBM PC; never shipped), Green Globs (Atari XL, Apple II; never shipped), Yaacov Agam's Interactive Painting (Atari XL, IBM PC; never shipped), First Aid... The ABC of CPR (Atari XL; never shipped), Simulated Computer II (Atari XL, C-64; never shipped), Telly Turtle (Atari XL, C-64, Apple II, IBM PC/PCjr; never shipped), Wheeler Dealer (Atari XL, C-64, Apple II, IBM PC/PCjr; never shipped), AtariLab Starter Set (versions for Apple II, C-64; never shipped), LabMate Home Edition Ages 9-13 (book for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate Home Edition Ages 14-15 (book for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate School Edition Elementary (books for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate School Edition Jr. High (books for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), LabMate School Edition High School (books for AtariLab Starter Set; never shipped), The Learning Phone (previously: Atari PLATO; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1986), Escape ("interpreting graphs the fun way"; platform(s) unspecified; never shipped).  Also featured: Atari Logo.

The 600XL computer (NTSC) had been officially discontinued. (VGU 7/84 p61)

Atari announced they had "begun developing ties with independent firms to create software for a new high-end computer for introduction in the second half of 1984." ("1650XLD" project; never shipped)  The new machine was to include "a built-in, double-sided, dual-density disk drive that stores 352 kilobytes of RAM....(that) operates fives times faster than a disk drive previously planned in a computer announced a year ago" (1450XLD).  It was to include a built-in telecommunications database called Grapevine in support of a built-in 300 bps modem; an enhanced speech synthesis chip, and 64K RAM.  The 1090 XL Expansion system, with 64K RAM built in and available 80 column card, RS232 serial card, and OS cards for CP/M, Apple, and IBM limited compatibility, was discussed as well.  Thea Cain, former 1450XLD product manager, had departed the company. (source)

Under the AtariSoft label, Atari introduced/announced: Gremlins (C-64, IBM PC, Apple II), Track & Field (with Arcade Controller; C-64, Apple II; IBM PC version never released; C-64/Apple II versions would be shipped by Atari, Corp.; title by Konami), Crystal Castles (IBM PC, Apple II, C-64, VIC-20 versions never released), Donkey Kong Jr. (IBM PC, Apple II, C-64 versions never released; title by Nintendo), Mario Bros. (IBM PC, Apple II, C-64 versions never released; title by Nintendo), Typo Attack (IBM PC, Apple II, IBM PCjr, C-64, VIC-20 versions never released).  And several of the earlier AtariSoft titles were newly announced for the IBM PCjr (PCjr versions never released): Moon Patrol (title by Williams Electronics), Pac-Man (title by Namco), Centipede, Donkey Kong (title by Nintendo)  (VGU 7/84)

June 5: Atari International president Dennis Groth settled with the U.S. SEC regarding the insider trading complaint filed against him on Sept. 26, 1983.

June 13-15: NECC 84, Sixth Annual National Educational Computing Conference, University of Dayton, Dayton OH.  Was Atari Learning Systems there?

June: Atari released I, Robot.

June?: For the 2600 Atari released Pengo

June: For Apple II Atari released AtariSoft Gremlins

June: For IBM PC Atari released AtariSoft Gremlins

June: For C-64 Atari released AtariSoft Gremlins

June: Atari (Coin-Op) consolidated its headquarters offices to the division's engineering building at 1501 McCarthy Blvd, Milpitas CA, vacating offices at 790 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas CA where manufacturing would remain (with plans to shift manufacturing to Atari's El Paso TX manufacturing facility over the next 6 months).  Division customer service remained at 735/737 Sycamore, Milpitas CA. 

June: Atari began to shut down its Cyan Engineering research & development unit.  Lawrence D. Emmons remained director of Cyan Engineering. (Fun p284), as he had been since its 1973 inception.

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port
AtariTel logo
AtariSoft logo
Atari Learning Systems logo

June: The Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory was shut down. (InfoWorld 6/25/84)  mc's speculation: All of the Atari Corporate Research division was shut down at this time, including the Atari Cambridge Research Laboratory and the Atari L.A. Lab.

June: Atari VP General Manager Semiconductor Division Gary Summers departed the company. 

June: Atari Products Co. programmer/game designer Jim Huether departed the company.

June: Atari International (U.K.) Inc. employed about 130 (Atari User #11, 2011)

Month?: Exidy released the Max-A-Flex coin-operated arcade conversion system, along with four games for the system, all by First Star Software: Astro Chase, Boulder Dash, Bristles, Flip and Flop.  The Exidy Max-A-Flex utilized an embedded Atari 600XL system.  See MyAtari article.

Months?: Atari opened more Atari Adventure locations: in the Olympic section at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas NV ("This 2,000 square foot area contained over 60 electronic and video games."); at The Riviera, Las Vegas NV; and at Gwinnett Place Mall, Duluth GA

June 28: Atari Ireland Ltd. managing director Kevin Hayes arrived at Atari headquarters in Sunnyvale, tasked to set up Coin-Op division manufacturing at Atari's El Paso TX facility to replace the plant at 790 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas CA over the next 6 months. (source)  

June 29: An agreement to sell most of Atari was formally approved at a Warner Communications board of directors meeting, final details pending. (WashPost 7/3)

June 29: Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB), Atari's video game advertising agency, was abruptly told by their client to shelve an Atari commercial shoot.  "They put a halt to everything," said a DDB spokesperson. (AdWeek July 9, 1984)

July 1-August 25: Third and final year of Atari Computer Camps.  Camps were scheduled and held at 2 locations: "Camp Atari--New England" at the Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield MA, and "Camp Atari--Poconos" at East Stroudsburg State College in PA. (source; source; for 1984: 46:50; 1:08:50)

July 1: Date of Assets Purchase Agreement between Tramel Technology, Ltd. and Atari, Inc. and certain subsidiaries and affiliates of Atari, Inc.; date of Agreement among Tramel Technology, Atari, and Jack Tramiel; and date of Intellectual Property Rights Heads of Agreement between Tramel Technology and Atari. 

July 2: Warner Communications Inc. (statement by Atari, Inc. VP corporate communications Bruce Entin) and Tramel Technology, Ltd. (statement by chairman Jack Tramiel) jointly announced the acquisition by Tramel Technology of the Atari home video game and computer businesses, in a deal finalized at 4 A.M. that morning in New York City. (UPI 7/3; NYT 7/3; WashPost 7/3)

Tramel Technology would gain intellectual properties including the "Atari" trademark itself as well as Atari games developed for coin-operated arcade environments, would acquire the leases to Atari offices including 1265 Borregas Ave. and 1196 Borregas Ave. in Sunnyvale CA as well as Atari House at Railway Terrace in Slough England.  Manufacturing plant locations included in the transaction: 31 Min-Chu Road, Chu-Wei, Tam-Shui, Taipei, Taiwan (Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC)); Ennis Road, Limerick, Ireland; 2/Fl., King Yip Bldg., 59 King Yip St., Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong (Atari-Wong Co. (AWC)).  The transaction included an inventory of 100,000 XL computers (Atari 600XL/800XL) (Current Notes Sept84p10) along with inventories of Atari XL computer peripherals and software, and Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and Atari 7800 game systems, peripherals, and games.

Tramiel and his partners agreed to invest $75 million in the new venture, to be called Atari, Corp.  Warner Communications received no cash, but received US$240 million in long-term notes and warrants for a 32 percent interest in Tramiel's new venture. Tramiel, in return, received warrants giving him the right to purchase one million shares of Warner Communications common stock at US$22 a share. (NYT 7/3)   See: A History of Tramel Technology / Atari

Warner Communications would retain two major parts of Atari, which made up about 20 percent of the company: the Coin-Operated Games division (including licensed rights to the "Atari" trademark and existing Atari games in coin-operated arcade environments) and AtariTel, the division working on telecommunications. (NYT 7/3)  Other Atari units retained by Warner Communications included: Amplifione Corporation, Atari Distributing, Inc., Atari Special Projects, Inc. (Atari Computer Camps and Atari Club Med projects), Atari Electronic Distribution, Inc. (the Atari ownership share of Electronic Publishing Systems, Inc. (EPS))

Warner Communications assumed the liability of all 1,400 domestic Atari, Inc. employment contracts, including 1,100 in the San Francisco Bay area in California and 200 in El Paso Texas. (WashPost 7/3; LA Times via WashPost 7/6)

July 3: In France, Guy Millant remained P.E.C.F. Atari président-directeur général (PDG), which had 65 employees (source) and remained a unit of Warner Communications.

July 4: Local radio in Texas reported that the Atari remanufacturing and software production facility in El Paso was not included in the Warner Communications sale of Atari assets to Tramel Technology, Ltd., and that the plant would be shut down. (source @10:10

July 5-6: Atari, Inc. completed two days of layoffs, eliminating positions associated with operations acquired by Tramel Technology, Ltd. and reducing the domestic workforce from 1,400 to about 250.  (Tramel Technology, Ltd. hired approximately 300 of those departing Atari, Inc.)  Most of the remaining positions at Atari, Inc. would be those associated with the Atari Coin-Op division.  (WashPost 7/3; LA Times via WashPost 7/6; AP 7/6 via NYT 7/7; Knight-Ridder 7/8)

July 6: Atari, Inc. president and COO John Farrand assumed the role of Atari, Inc. CEO, replacing chairman and CEO James J. Morgan who departed the company. (Businessweek 7/23/84 p90 for date)  Charles S. Paul (Skip Paul) would be Atari SVP and general counsel (previously: Coin-Op Division president).  Kevin Hayes, previously Atari Ireland Ltd. managing director, would become Atari chief financial officer (CFO) (Cash Box 9/29/84 p29), replacing Charles Vaughan who departed the company.  Mike Nevin, previously Atari Ireland Ltd. controller, would be promoted to Atari Ireland Ltd. Managing Director (replacing Hayes in the role).  Also continuing with the Atari Coin-Op division: VP creative development Lyle Rains, VP engineering Dan Van Elderen, VP sales Jerry Marcus, VP international sales Shane Breaks (based at Atari International (U.K.) Inc.), VP/CFO Steven Chiaramonte.  Dave Stubben, previously Atari Products Co. SVP engineering and Atari Fellow, would return to Atari (Coin-Op) as SVP engineering. 

Steve Wolfson, with Atari Adventure since 1983, would become director of Atari Adventure Corp. (replacing Barry Sullivan who would depart the company).

July 7: At Atari (Coin-Op) as of late June: Skip Paul was president, Jerry Marcus was VP sales, Bob Harvey was director of sales, Jim Newlander was sales manager, Mary Fujihara was director-market research, Ruth Evans was in marketing services.  Division headquarters: 1501 McCarthy Blvd, Milpitas CA.  (Cash Box 7/7/84 pt.iii p2)

July 11: Atari, Inc. filed a Certificate of Amendment with the Office of Secretary of State, State of Delaware, changing its corporate title to: Atari Games, Inc.  Joan T. Pincus was Assistant Secretary.

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari Games, Inc. logo
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port
AtariTel logo

July 13: Assignee Atari, Corp. gained assignor's interest in 3 patents (4,116,444; 4,112,422; 4,314,236) from assignor Atari Games, Inc.

July: Atari Games, Inc. moved its corporate headquarters from 1265 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale, CA (location sold to Tramel Technology) to 790 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas, CA (location of Coin-Op division manufacturing plant and former Coin-Op division offices).  Coin Games Division offices remained at 1501 McCarthy Blvd, Milpitas CA; customer service remained at 735/737 Sycamore, Milpitas CA.  The AtariTel division remained at 1272 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale CA. 

July 19: Klaus Ollmann, previously Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH (in West Germany) managing director, would become Warner Home Video VP International for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).  Warner Communications had appointed Atari, Corp. chairman Jack Tramiel as chairman of Atari Elektronik (replacing Ollmann in the role).  Jack Tramiel had appointed Atari, Corp. president Sam Tramiel and Atari, Corp. VP sales David Harris as Atari Elektronik interim directors (replacing Ollmann in the role).  Detlev Driemeier, previously Atari Elektronik head of sales, would additionally be head of marketing, replacing Hans-Ueli Hasler who departed the company.  A total of 42 of the 84 employees of Atari Elektronik departed the company.  (source; source; Soft & Micro #4 Jan85 p27; source; source; source)

July 20: The City of Brownsville Texas had recently allotted $100,000 from federal community development funds to back a proposal to buy out Amplifone Corporation from Atari, which was considering closing the plant at the Brownsville Compress.  The Atari Amplifone plant employed about 80 workers. (Brownsville Herald 7/20/84 p1B)

July 26/Aug 1: Steven Chiaramonte, previously Atari Games (Coin-Op) VP/CFO, had become Atari International (U.K.) Inc. VP finance, replacing controller Simon Westbrook who had departed the company (PopularComputingWeekly Jul26/Aug1) along with managing director Graham Clark and most of the 130 former employees, as Sellthings Limited (the Atari, Corp. UK subsidiary) had taken over the consumer products business of Atari International (U.K.) Inc.  About 30 of the 130 had been hired by Sellthings Limited, including Westbrook.  Others remaining at Atari International (U.K.) Inc. included VP international sales Shane Breaks and sales manager David Smith. New location: 24 Kingston Rd., Staines, Middlesex (source) 

July 27: The Small Business Administration had confirmed that it had agreed to guarantee 90% of a $300,000 loan Amplifone management, headed by G.N. Gilbert, was attempting to secure in order to buy the company from Atari.  (This in addition to a separate $100,000 loan from the city of Brownsville.)  (Brownsville Herald 7/27/84 p1B)

July 30: "Warner Communications' sale of the main assets of Atari Inc. to Jack Tramiel was a near death blow to AtariTel, the company's once high-flying telephone-products subsidiary. Although a product is expected to be available before Christmas after almost a year of delays, the marketing launch was expected to be low key." (AdWeek 7/30/84)

August 2-3: Significant round of layoffs at Atari Games (Coin-Op).  Departures included director of engineering John Ray and programmer / game designer / producer Owen Rubin (to Bally Sente). Overall, the division's workforce would be reduced by about 100, or 40%, from 250 to about 150. (TheTimes 8/22p15)

August 7: In Texas, Amplifone plant manager Gil Gilbert established the new corporate entity, Amplifone Corporation, for the purpose of acquiring the assets of the existing Amplifone Corporation, the wholly owned subsidiary of Atari Games, Inc.

August 14: Mark M. Weinstein was Atari International VP and Joan T. Pincus was Atari International assistant secretary.

August 18: Atari Games had shut down its Illinois distributor, Atari Distributing, Inc. (Cash Box 8/18/1984 p28) and VP and head of the unit Ed Pellegrini departed the company.

August 20: Steve Wolfson was director of Atari Adventure Corp.  (The Capital Times, Madison WI)

August 22: In the UK, the name of Sellthings Limited (the Atari, Corp. UK subsidiary subleasing its location from Atari International (U.K.) Inc.) was changed to: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited

August 25: Atari Games announced Return of the Jedi, to ship in September.  Jerry Marcus was Atari Games (Coin-Op) EVP (Cash Box 8/25/84 p30)

Summer/Fall?: The Atari Adventure at the Northwest Plaza in St. Ann MO was closed.

September 1: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari would reduce the 800XL by 1000 F to 2199 F. (source; source)  The product was now supplied by Atari, Corp.

September 5: In Ireland, Atari, Corp. established Atari Ireland Manufacturing Company Limited. (source).  Through the new unit, Atari, Corp. would acquire the Atari consumer products manufacturing plant at Raheen on Ennis Road, Limerick from Atari Ireland Ltd.

September 5: In Ireland, Atari, Corp. established Atari Ireland Distribution Company Limited. (source).  Through the new unit, Atari, Corp. would acquire the Atari consumer products purchasing/traffic/accounts facility located at Raheen on Ballysimon Road, Limerick from Atari Ireland Ltd.

September 10: Atari International (Benelux) B.V. shut down its office in Belgium. (source)  

September: Atari Games released Return of the Jedi.

September: In exchange for a cash payment to Atari, Corp., Warner Communications bought back $10.1 million (U.S.) in accounts receivable from Atari, Corp., for a former Atari unit currently in bankruptcy law proceedings. (what unit?????)  (The Globe and Mail (Canada), 12/11/84)

September 25: Atari International (Nippon) Inc. (Atari consumer products sales/marketing in Japan) would be shut down.  Atari Far East (Japan) Limited (Atari coin-op products sales/marketing) remained in operation.  Rivington F. Hight remained head of both units. (The Japan Economic Journal)

September 26: Warren A. Christie was Atari Games, Inc. VP and Joan T. Pincus was Atari Games, Inc. assistant secretary.  Principal office: 790 Sycamore Dr, Milpitas CA. (MA filing)

September 29: Atari Games (Coin-Op) had announced that Shane Breaks, previously VP international sales, would became VP sales (worldwide), assuming the role of Jerry Marcus who departed the company.  (Marcus with recently departed VP for Atari Distributing, Inc. Ed Pellegrini would establish Atlas Distributing, Inc. on 11/7/84.)  Kevin Hayes remained Atari Games, Inc. chief financial officer (CFO). (Cash Box 9/29/84 p29)

September 30: Warner Communications reduced its valuation of the notes owed it by Jack Tramiel for his Atari acquisition from $180 million to $150 million (originally: $240 million). (The Globe and Mail (Canada), 12/11/84; LATimes 2/15/85)

October 4: In the Netherlands, Atari International (Benelux) B.V. was being downsized from 30 to 15 people.  Peter Woodward remained director of the unit. (source)

October: Warner Communications would buy back the one million shares of Warner Communications common stock held by Atari in exchange for a $12.5-million 13 per cent senior note (loan) to Atari, repayment due Sept. 30, 1987.  Initially, Atari exercised its right to have Warner Communications buy back 640,000 of the shares, for a total of $8 million.  Atari would also exercise its right to have Warner Communications buy the remaining 360,000 shares, for a total of $4.5 million.  (The Globe and Mail (Canada), 12/11/84)

October 16: Emanuel Gerard, Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) director, member of the office of the president since October 1976, WCI co-COO since July 1981, and responsible for Atari, Inc./Atari Games, Inc. since WCI's 1976 acquisition of Atari, announced his departure from the company.  (source)

October 16: Golem Labs (later: S.C.A. Data Systems, Inc.) was established in Santa Monica CA as a continuation of the former Atari L.A. Lab by Peter Nortan (President), Steven Davis (Partner), Lawrence J. Karr (Partner), Ann Etheridge (Director), Eileen Norton (Vice President) (one source)

October 24-27: Atari Games previewed Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Marble Madness and Paperboy at AMOA Expo '84 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. (Cash Box 11/17/84 p28-29)  Barry Sullivan was Atari VP game operations. (Cash Box 12/1/84 p33)

October 31: In West Germany, Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH Public Relations Officer Renate Knüfer departed the company (to Apple). (source)

Fall: Atari Games released Crowns Golf by Sega (Europe only).  Atari Games, Inc. had established a sales office at: 24 Kingston Rd., Staines, Middlesex. (source)

Fall: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari shipped a new Péritel version of the new PAL 2600 (PAL console with permanent SCART cable connector with PAL composite video output) in one package, 2600 JR Péritel console with one Super Controller and no pack-in game, replacing the SECAM version of the 2600GP.  The products were supplied by Atari, Corp.

Fall: Warner Communications sold the AtariTel "Eagle" videophone project's engineering designs and prototypes to MEDAMA, Inc. ("Mitsubishi Electric Development And Marketing America."), a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Sales America, Inc. (MESA), itself the U.S. subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) of Japan.  AtariTel VP marketing Roy L. Elkins, key architect of the sale, would depart the company to join MEDAMA, which would also hire former Atari Cyan Engineering engineers Lawrence Emmons and Michael Cooper-Hart to continue their work on the project, leading to the December 20, 1985 establishment of Luma Telecom, Inc.  The AtariTel division of Atari Games was shut down.

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari Games, Inc. logo
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port

November 6: Walt Disney Productions filed a $68.8 million lawsuit in California state court against Atari, Corp., Atari Games, Inc., and Warner Communications Inc., alleging failure to live up to terms of a 1982 contract that licensed Atari to use Disney characters and stories in home video games, and that the license was not transferable.

November: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari shipped the 800XL SECAM version (2 499 F).  Also remaining available: 800XL PAL version (2 199 F), 600XL PAL version (1 599). (L'Atarien #5 p19; L'Atarien #7 p33 for date; another source)  The products were supplied by Atari, Corp.

November: In the Netherlands at Atari International (Benelux) B.V., product manager home computers Han Van Egdom departed the company, as would marketing director Ludo van Oyen.

November 20: In West Germany, Atari, Corp. took control of "Alter Pferdemarkt" Verwaltungsgesellschaft für Beteiligungen m.b.H., renaming it Atari Corp. (Deutschland) GmbH.  Atari Corp. (Deutschland) would manage the business of Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH (the Warner Communications subsidiary), which would continue to operate at Bebelallee 10, D-2000 Hamburg 60.  Massimo Ruosi would join Atari Elektronik as general manager (replacing Atari, Corp. president Sam Tramiel in the role); Irma Obersteiner would join the company as business manager (replacing Atari, Corp. VP sales David Harris in the role).  (Brian Richards remained Atari Elektronik head of finance.)  Depatures from Atari Elektronik included: sales and marketing director Detlev Driemeier (to Thomson Electronic GmbH), advertising director Wolfgang Blödorn (to Apple), product manager David Evans. (source; source; source)  

December 1?: In Italy, Atari, Corp established Atari Italia S.p.A. to take over the Atari consumer products business of Atari International (Italy) Inc.; Atari International (Italy) Inc. would be shut down. 

December 10: In West Germany, the July 19, 1984 departure of former managing director Klaus Ollmann from Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH was formally registered. (No replacement was registered.)

December 14: The name of Amplifone Corporation, the wholly owned subsidiary of Atari Games, Inc., was changed to: Amp Liquidating Corp.  G.N. "Gil" Gilbert was president and Robin Gilbert was VP of the new Amplifone Corporation, which hired the 85 employees previously employed at the Amplifone plant under Atari. (Brownsville Herald 12/16/84 p2D)

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari Games, Inc. logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port

December: Atari Games (Coin-Op) vacated its headquarters location at 1501 McCarthy Blvd, Milpitas CA, and moved its offices into 1272 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale, CA (previously the location of the AtariTel division).

December: Atari Games (Coin-Op) commenced manufacturing operations at 735 Sycamore Dr, Milpitas CA; manufacturing was shut down at 790 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas, CA.  Customer service remained at 737 Sycamore Dr. (same building as 735 Sycamore; 735/737 together comprised 46,000 square feet).

December: Atari Games released Marble Madness (System I hardware platform).

1985
January 1: In France at P.E.C.F. Atari, Peter Brookhouse Richards, previously financial controller (CFO), became interim general manager, replacing Guy Millant, who departed the company along with 14 others, including former P.E.C.F. Atari sales manager Antoine Gallozzi to establish Galaxie, a consumer and professional computer product distributor. (source; source; source)

January 2: Ray Kunavich, former Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. general manager, was president of Zenith Taiwan Corp. (UPI)

January 7: Warner Communications reportedly had paid off Alan Alda's $10-million spokescontract, which expired in 1988, for Atari, Corp. (AdWeek 1/7/85)

January 7-10: Atari Games exhibited at the Amusement Trades Exhibition (ATE) at Olympia in London.

January 10: Articles of Incorporation of AT Games Inc. executed by Namco Ltd. (of Japan) USA subsidiary Namco-America, Inc.  Incorporator: Victoria C. Phelps

January: Atari Games SVP and general counsel Charles S. Paul departed the company.

January 17: Atari Games exhibited at the IMA in Frankfurt (show opening date).

January 30: In the Netherlands, Atari, Corp. established Atari (Benelux) B.V. which would take over the business of Atari International (Benelux) B.V. (the Warner Communications Inc. subsidiary). (source Atari International (Benelux) B.V. would be shut down, and director Peter Woodward departed the company.

Winter: In France, for the 800/800XL, P.E.C.F. Atari released La Chasse aux Fautes et La Course aux Hapax, and released Calcul Algébrique.

February 1: The law firm of Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe announced that former Atari Games SVP and general counsel Charles S. Paul had joined the company. (TheSanFranciscoAttorney Feb/Mar1985p7)

February 4: Namco Ltd. (of Japan) announced that, through USA subsidiary Namco-America, Inc., it had purchased the tangible assets and the intangible property rights (patents, trademarks, and copyrights) associated with the Atari Coin-Operated Games ("Atari Games") division of Atari Games from Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) for a little over US$10 million.  The acquisition was made by the Namco-America subsidiary, AT Games Inc. (see also NYT 2/6)  As part of the transaction, WCI acquired 40% ownership in AT Games from Namco-America.  In Ireland, via Pedherton Investments Limited (instrument of Cawley Sheerin Wynne, solicitors), AT Games acquired the Coin-Op business of Atari Ireland Ltd.  See: A History of AT Games / Atari Games / Midway Games West

The agreement did not include Atari Games' Atari Adventure unit, which operated 47 games arcades in the U.S. (WSJ 2/6; NYT 2/6)

Warner Communications Inc. logo

Atari Games, Inc.
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port

Atari Games, Inc. CFO Kevin Hayes would depart the company to AT Games.

February 14: Warner Communications disclosed that it would no longer attach any balance-sheet value to the $240-million face value of long-term notes that Jack Tramiel issued in July 1984 to acquire the Atari home-computer and video-game business, and that it intended to recognize any interest and principal payments from Atari, Corp. as income when received. (LATimes 2/15)

March 1: Frederick W. Field and Boston Ventures Ltd. Partnership announced that a corporation jointly owned by them (Panavision I, Incorporated) had completed its previously announced purchase from Warner Communications of Panavision.

March 13: Atari International (U.K.) Inc. VP finance Steven Chiaramonte had departed the company.  WICAT Systems announced that Steven Chiaramonte, former Atari International VP finance, had joined the company as vice president of finance.

March 13: In West Germany regarding Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH, Jack Tramiel was formally registered as chairman (replacing the departed Klaus Ollmann), and Massimo Ruosi and Irma Obersteiner were formally registered as authorized signatories (replacing the departed Detlev Driemeier and David Evans).

March 15: Atari Games, Inc. filed a certificate of amendment with the office of Secretary of State, State of Delaware, changing its corporate title to Atari Holdings, Inc.

Warner Communications Inc. logo

Atari Holdings, Inc.
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port

Joan T. Pincus remained Atari Holdings assistant secretary.  The new Atari Holdings principal address would be: 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY (Warner Communications headquarters); CA address: 6430 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles (Warner Communications California headquarters)

Atari Holdings now consisted primarily of Atari Adventure Corp. and its 47 coin-operated video games rooms operating as "Space Port" or "Atari Adventure".  (NYT for #)  Steve Wolfson remained director of Atari Adventure Corp.

March: Atari Adventure Corp operated, throughout the U.S., 46 coin-operated video game rooms, which were expected to be sold in 1985. (WCI 10-K for 1984)

March 26: KCB Ventures, Inc. was established by investor Harvey G. Knell, for the purpose of investing in the assets of Atari Adventure Corp.

March 28: At Atari Special Projects, Inc., Warren A. Christie was president, Mark M. Weinstein was VP, Fred Anton was assistant treasurer, Marie N. White was assistant secretary.  Principal location: 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY (Warner Communications headquarters).  The Atari Special Projects board of directors consisted of: Warren A. Christie, Mark M. Weinstein, David R. Haas.  The corporation certified it was no longer doing business in Massachusetts.

March 31: In West Germany, as Atari was launching its new German headquarters the next day, operations at Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH (the Warner Communications subsidiary operated by Atari Corp. (Deutschland) GmbH) at Bebelallee 10, D-2000 Hamburg 60 were discontinued, and 33 of the approximately 47 that were employed there departed the company.  (source, source

April 6: Certificate of Limited Partnership for Adventure Properties, Ltd., a California Limited Partnership was executed by Robert Nahodil, president of Nahodil Management Associates, Inc.  Nahodil had been working for Warner Communications as a general management consultant.

April 10: Adventure Properties, Ltd., A California Limited Partnership was established by general partner Nahodil Management Associates and limited partner KCB Ventures, Inc., for the purpose of acquiring the assets of Atari Adventure Corp. from Atari Holdings.

April: As a major creditor in the bankruptcy proceeding of Pizza Time Theatre, Inc., Atari Holdings entered into a court approved settlement agreement with Pizza Time Theatre.

April?: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari (controlled by Warner Communications) was restructured with an 80% reduction in headcount, and the division was spun off into a new entity, majority-controlled by Atari, Corp., named Atari France S.A.; P.E.C.F. Atari Interim Country General Manager Peter Richards would depart the company.  (L'Atarien #7-#8 front-matter for timing; L'Atarien #10 p45)

April: Atari Holdings president and COO John Farrand departed the company (to Panavision as president and COO). (source for date)

May 13: Atari Holdings requested a reexamination (90/000,779) of US Patent 3,900,886, "Sonic Color System" by Jan R. Coyle and Robert W. Stevens, owned by the inventors, filed May 23, 1969, issued Aug. 19, 1975.

May 6: Showbiz Pizza Place, Inc. executed a Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation, changing the name of the company to: Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc.

May: Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc. purchased substantially all of the operating assets of Pizza Time Theatre, Inc., a debtor in possession under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.  Pursuant to the court approved Plan of Reorganization, Showbiz issued 4,000,000 shares of Showbiz Common Stock and 500,000 shares of Showbiz Preferred Stock to the creditors of Pizza Time. As a result, Atari Holdings, an unsecured creditor of Pizza Time Theatre, received 121,551 shares of Showbiz Pizza Time Common Stock and 16,011 shares of Showbiz Pizza Time Preferred Stock.

May: The Atari Holdings principal contact address was changed from the Warner Communcations New York headquarters to the Warner Communcations California offices at 6430 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles CA.  Joan T. Pincus remained Atari Holdings assistant secretary.

July 12: Adventure Properties Ltd., a group of New York and California investors, had bought the Space Port video-arcade chain, which included 44 video arcades, from Atari Holdings Inc., the division of Warner Communications Inc., for an undisclosed price. The arcade chain, which had its headquarters in Huntingdon Valley, was an independent company called Magna/Fun Corp. before its acquisition by Atari in 1983.  (The Philadelphia Inquirer p13-D)  See: A History of Adventure Properties

Warner Communications Inc. logo     Atari Holdings, Inc.

August 20: VLCO Investments was established by former Atari CFO Charles J. Vaughan.

August 21: In West Germany regarding Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH (which was operationally shut down as of March 31, 1985), Massimo Ruosi and Irma Obersteiner were formally registered to no longer be authorized signatories.

October 9: The Atari Adventure Corp. unit of Atari Holdings had been shut down by VP Mark M. Weinstein.

December 2: In West Germany regarding Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH (operationally shut down as of March 31, 1985), Manfred Zumkeller became chairman, replacing Jack Tramiel who formally departed the company.

December: Bill Carris, previously of Atari, passed away at 34.

December 17: Certificate issued by the USPTO for patent 3,900,886 as requested by Atari Holdings on May 13, 1985 confirmed the patent in its entirety.

December 20: In West Germany, Warner Communications executed a merger of WEA Musik GmbH into Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH (operationally shut down as of March 31, 1985), which would be renamed to: WEA Musik GmbH Neue Medien und Elektronikvertrieb

December 20: Luma Telecom, Inc. was established by Mitsubishi Electric Sales America, Inc., to market and further develop the AtariTel "Eagle" video phone technology acquired by Mitsubishi from Warner Communications Inc. in late 1984.

1986
March 13: In West Germany regarding Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH, operating as WEA Musik GmbH Neue Medien und Elektronikvertrieb as of December 20, 1985, Manfred Zumkeller was formally registered as chairman (as of December 2, 1985), replacing Jack Tramiel who had formally departed the company.

March 25: In West Germany, the merger of WEA Musik GmbH into Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH, executed on December 20, 1985 was formally registered, and Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH was formally registered with the new name (in use since December 20, 1985): WEA Musik GmbH Neue Medien und Elektronikvertrieb

April 3: The name of Atari International (U.K.) Inc. (country of origin: US), the Warner Communications Inc. subsidiary and co-owner of "Atari Games U.K.",  was officially changed to: Atari Games International (UK) Inc.

April 11: Kee Games International officers and directors: CEO Warren Christie, secretary Eli Bruno, CFO David Haas.  Address: 31st Floor--Tax Department, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY.  Type of business: "inactive"

April 30: Luma Telecom, Inc., the subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Sales America, Inc., introduced the Luma LU-1000, The Visual Telephone, which was the culmination of the AtariTel "Eagle" project technology acquired by Mitsubishi from Warner Communications Inc. in late 1984.  $1,500 list price.

May 22-26: Luma Telecom presented the Luma LU-1000 at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (ICA; 36th; Chicago IL).

June 3: A California Superior Court judge in Santa Clara County tentatively approved an out-of-court settlement of the class action suit brought by 537 former employees of Atari Inc. on August 15, 1983, after they were laid off Feb. 22, 1983.  The settlement had a potential value of $1 million, which would provide each plaintiff with about $1,100, or almost four times their average weekly pay. A full hearing to determine approval of the settlement was scheduled for July 9.

June 4: Certificate of Election to Wind Up and Dissolve Atari International was executed by Atari International assistant secretary Joan Pincus on behalf of Atari Holdings, Inc.

June 5: Certificate of Dissolution of Atari International was executed by CEO/director Warren A. Christie and CFO/director David R. Haas.

June 12: In Ireland (date effective), the name of Atari Ireland Ltd was changed AIL Ireland Limited and the name of Atari Holdings Ltd was changed to AIL Holdings Limited.

June 13: At Atari International, Warren A. Christie was CEO and a director, David Haas was CFO and a director, Joan Pincus was assistant secretary, and Fred S. Anton was assistant treasurer.  The type of business of Atari International was stated as "name holding".  Address: 75 Rockefeller Plaza, 31st floor, New York NY

Spring/Summer: Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc. consummated a restructuring plan that included the exchange of Showbiz Preferred Stock for new 8% Debentures of Showbiz (the "Showbiz Debentures"), to which more than 90% of the holders of Showbiz Preferred Stock responded.  Atari Holdings, with 16,011 such shares, would not respond.

July 21: In Ireland, the registered name of Atari Ireland Ltd was changed to: AIL Ireland Limited

August: Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc. notified all of its stockholders that holders of approximately 450,407 shares of Showbiz Preferred Stock (or 90% of such holders) had responded favorably to the recent exchange offer for Showbiz Debentures, substantially decreasing the number of outstanding shares of Showbiz Preferred Stock. As a result, the 16,011 shares of Showbiz Preferred Stock held by Atari Holdings that had previously constituted 3.6% of the outstanding Showbiz Preferred Stock represented 32.3% of the outstanding Showbiz Preferred Stock upon completion of the exchange offer.

August 22: In Ireland, the registered name of Atari Holdings Ltd was changed to: AIL Holdings Limited

August 29: Date of Memorandum of Agreement among Atari, Corp., Jack Tramiel, Atari Holdings, Inc., Productions et Editions Cinematographiques Francais S.A.R.L. (P.E.C.F.), Atari Games International (UK) Inc., Warner Communications Inc. and certain subsidiaries of Atari Holdings, Inc.  Atari, Corp. and Warner Communications (WCI) agreed that, in consideration for: the net assets Atari acquired in the July 2, 1984 transaction; accrued interest on the purchase obligation at 17%; and the repayment of WCI's $24.7 million advanced to Atari, including accrued interest thereon at 10.5%, Atari would issue to WCI 7,100,000 shares of Atari Common Stock, and would pay to WCI approximately $36.1 million, upon consummation of a public offering of Atari Common Stock. (The IPO would occur on November 7, 1986.)

October 16: In West Germany regarding WEA Musik GmbH Neue Medien und Elektronikvertrieb, Brian Richards was formally registered to no longer be an authorized signatory.

November 7: Initial public offering of shares of Atari Corporation common stock on the American Stock Exchange, under ticker symbol ATC.  Atari sold US$50.6 million worth of stock, or 4.5 million shares at US$11.25 each.  Jack Tramiel and his associates retained collective controlling ownership of about 52% of the company.  Under the agreement between Atari and Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) of Aug. 29, 1986, WCI beneficially (via AIL Holdings Limited, AIL Ireland Limited, Atari International Hong Kong Ltd. ("AIHK"), WEA Musik Neue Medien and Elektronik GmbH ("WEA Musik") and Atari Holdings, Inc.) acquired 7,100,000 shares of Atari Common Stock, or about 22% of the company, and WCI received approximately $36.1 million.

December 22: The Atari International unit of Atari Holdings, Inc. was dissolved.

1987
February 26: Kee Games International officers and directors: CEO Warren Christie, secretary Eli Bruno, CFO David Haas.  Address: 31st Floor--Tax Department, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY.  Type of business: "inactive"

June 19: A 2-for-1 split of Atari Corporation Common Stock was effected in the form of a 100% common stock dividend distributed to all Atari shareholders.  (As a result, significant minority shareholder Warner Communications Inc. now beneficially owned 14,200,000 shares of Atari Common Stock.)

October 15: Bryan Sheridan resigned as Alternate Director of AIL Ireland Limited.

December 31: AIL Holdings Limited directors: Martin David Payson Bert Wasserman, Robert Morgado

December 31: AIL Ireland Limited directors: Martin David Payson and alternates: James Cawley, Bert Wasserman, Robert Morgado

1988
January 27: Assignee Atari Corporation gained assignor's interest in U.S. patents Des. 255,565 and Des. 303,127 from assignor Atari Holdings, Inc.

May 3: Assignee Atari Corporation gained assignor's interest in U.S. patent 4,349,708 from assignor Atari Holdings, Inc.

September 20: Warner Entertainment Inc. officers and directors were: president and CEO Warren Christie, secretary Spencer B. Hays, and CFO David Haas.  Address: 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY.  Type of business: "inactive"

October 17: The Warner Communications Inc. subsidiaries AIL Holdings Limited, AIL Ireland Limited, Atari International (Hong Kong) Limited ("AIHK"), and WEA Musik GmbH Neue Medien und Elektronikvertrieb ("WEA Musik") transferred their collective 14,200,000 shares of Atari Corporation Common Stock to Atari Holdings, Inc.

October 18: Atari Holdings, Inc. declared a dividend of the 14,200,000 shares of Atari Corporation Common Stock (acquired the previous day) to its parent, Warner Communications Inc.

October 19: Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc. effected a one-for-ten reverse stock split of Showbiz Common Stock.  As a result, the 121,551 shares of Showbiz Pizza Time held by Atari Holdings became 12,551. 

December 13: Warner Communications Inc. contributed the 14,200,000 shares of Common Stock of Atari Corporation held by it to Warner Communications Investors, Inc.

December 31: AIL Holdings Limited directors: Martin David Payson Bert Wasserman, Robert Morgado

December 31: AIL Ireland Limited directors: Martin David Payson and alternates: James Cawley, Bert Wasserman, Robert Morgado

1989
February 3: Assignee Atari Games Corporation gained assignor's interest in 184 patents from assignor Atari Holdings, Inc.  

February 17: TW Sub Inc. was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Incorporated, for the purpose of acquiring Warner Communications Inc.

March 3: Date of Agreement and Plan of Merger among Warner Communications Inc. (WCI), Time Incorporated, and TW Sub Inc., the wholly-owned subsidiary of Time, providing for the merger of TW Sub with and into WCI.  Upon consummation of the merger, Time would be renamed Time Warner Inc. and WCI would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Time Warner.

March 4: Time Incorporated and Warner Communications Inc. announced plans to merge.

May 19: Date of Amended Merger Agreement among Warner Communcations Inc., Time Incorporated, and TW Sub Inc.

June 12: TPS Acquisition Inc. was incorporated.  (TPS = Turner Program Services)  This corporate entity would later be renamed TW Inc., then on 10/10/1996 it became Time Warner Inc., before it was finally renamed Historic TW Inc. on 10/16/2003.

June 16: Date of Amended Merger Agreement among Warner Communcations Inc., Time Incorporated, and TW Sub Inc.

June 16: Time Incorporated acquired 17.3 million shares of common stock of Warner Communications Inc. ("WCI") in exchange for issuing 7 million shares of Time Warner common stock to WCI.

July 24: Time Incorporated completed the acquisition of 100 million shares of Warner Communications  Inc. common stock at a price of $70 per share.  As a result, Time gained a controlling 59.3% interest (117.3 million shares) in WCI.  While this was only the first step in their two-step merger agreement, Time immediately executed a change of name of the company from Time Incorporated to: Time Warner Inc.

Time Warner Inc.     Warner Communications Inc. logo     Atari Holdings, Inc.

August 28: On the NYSE, Time Inc. stock (ticker TL) began trading under the name, TimeWarner. (WSJ)

September 20: Warner Entertainment Inc. officers and directors were: CEO Warren A. Christie, secretary Spencer B. Hays, and CFO David R. Haas.  Joan Pincus was assistant secretary.  Address: 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY.  Type of business: "Inactive"

October: Atari Holdings sold all 12,551 shares of Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc. Common Stock it held (as adjusted by the October 19, 1988 reverse stock split) for an aggregate sales price of $138,645 in open market transactions. (Atari Holdings still held 16,011 shares of Showbiz Pizza Time Preferred Stock.)

November 16: Date of Amended Merger Agreement among Warner Communcations Inc., Time Warner Inc., and TW Sub Inc.

November 30: A Certificate of Election to Wind Up and Dissolve was executed for the Warner Entertainment Inc. unit of Atari Holdings by assistant secretary Joan Pincus.

December 15: The Warner Entertainment Inc. (the former Kee Games, Incorporated) unit of Atari Holdings was shut down.

December 31: AIL Holdings Limited directors: Martin David Payson Bert Wasserman, Robert Morgado

December 31: AIL Ireland Limited directors: Martin David Payson and alternates: James Cawley, Bert Wasserman, Robert Morgado

1990
January 10:
TW Sub Inc., the wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., was merged with and into Warner Communications Inc. (WCI), which thereby became a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner.  The merger was the second and final step in the acquisition of WCI by Time Incorporated, since renamed Time Warner Inc., pursuant to the terms of the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of March 3, 1989, as amended and restated on May 19, 1989, June 16, 1989, and November 16, 1989, among WCI, TW Sub, and Time Incorporated/Time Warner.

Time Warner logo 1990        Warner Communications Inc.     Atari Holdings, Inc.

July 19: Atari Holdings, Inc. mailing address remained: 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY.  Officers: Robert J. Morgado, CEO; Joan T. Pincus, assistant secretary; David R. Haas, CFO.  Type of business: "Administration of Atari matters"

December 31: AIL Holdings Limited directors: Martin David Payson Bert Wasserman, Robert Morgado

December 31: AIL Ireland Limited directors: Martin David Payson and alternates: James Cawley, Bert Wasserman, Robert Morgado

1991
August 12: Atari Holdings, Inc. mailing address: c/o Marie White, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York NY.  Officers: Robert Morgado, VP and CEO; Joan T. Pincus, assistant secretary; David R. Haas, CFO.  Type of business: "Administration"

1992
June 26: Atari Holdings, Inc. was merged with and into its parent company, the Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) unit of Time Warner Inc. (source: ShowBiz Pizza Time, Inc. SEC filing SC 13D/A for 10/21/96)  (WCI gained direct ownership of 16,011 shares of Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc. Preferred Stock as a result of this merger.)


Selected Links/Sources


Last updated: 2018.05.30

other updates:
2013.03.18 St. Louis detail corrections, thanks mgabrys
2012.08.22 Quantum, Food Fight, & TX-1 developers, thanks Vernon Brooks