Atari History Timelines by Michael Current

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

https://mcurrent.name/atarihistory/wci_games.html
Compiled and Copyright (c) 2008-2021 by Michael D. Current

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.  Emanuel Gerard was WCI EVP; Steven J. Ross was WCI chairman, president, and CEO; Martin D. Payson was WCI Games Inc. VP and general counsel.

Warner Communications Inc. logo     WCI Games Inc.

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

Atari chairman Nolan K. Bushnell and president Joseph F. Keenan, as co-CEOs of Atari, would now report to WCI EVP Emanuel Gerard.  Atari VP finance Bill White would report to Bushnell and Keenan, with "dotted-line" indirect reporting to Warner Communications Inc. SVP finance Bert W. Wasserman. (source 4:45)

The Atari board of directors would include chairman Nolan Bushnell, Emanuel Gerard, and WCI SVP and chief technologist Jac Holzman.

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 15: Atari officially opened their new 60,000 ft2 corporate headquarters at 1265 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA, housing administrative, engineering (Coin-Op and Pinball (source 6:10)), marketing research, and manufacturing departments along with international marketing and domestic marketing (previous headquarters: 14600 Winchester Blvd, Los Gatos CA; previous additional engineering facilities: Division Street, Los Gatos CA).  (The Atari international marketing department worked closely with Atari-Europe, 12, rue de l'Helvétie, Baume-les-Dames, France, providing manufacturing, distribution and service support.) (CC v1n1; Fun p211 for date)  Atari now occupied six buildings with over 275,000 ft2 of total space in the Moffett Park industrial park (including Consumer Division headquarters at 1195 Borregas Ave., future Pinball Division manufacturing at 1173 Borregas Ave., and 3 warehouses).  (Cash Box 6/19/76 p46-47; Vending Times 7/76, 11/76 p58)  Coin-Op Division manufacturing and customer service remained at 2175 Martin Ave., Santa Clara CA (65,000 ft2); Consumer Division manufacturing and the Customer Service Division (home consumers) remained at 1280 Reamwood Ave., Sunnyvale CA (125,000 ft2).  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 (which had been contracted for managing Atari's international sales/marketing operations since 1973), as the first administrator of Atari's new International Division (sales/marketing, both consumer and coin operators), replacing Multi-National founder/president Ronald F. Gordon (Ron Gordon) in the role. (Gordon would establish Friends Amis, Inc. on 11-Jul-78.)  Elliot would report to Gene Lipkin who remained Atari VP marketing (and general manager, Coin-Operated Division (Atari/Kee Games)).  (Vending Times 10/76; Cash Box 10/30/76 p53; TVDigest 10/25/76 p13)    

October: Atari established Pinball Division (prototype) manufacturing at 1173 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA (50,000 ft2; located in the Moffett Park industrial park).  Edward J. Boasberg joined Atari (Coin-Op) as Pinball Marketing Coordinator. (Fun p416 for month)  Bob Russell, previously of Bally Manufacturing, would join the company as Pinball Manufacturing Operations Manager; John Petlansky would join the company as Plant Manager.  James F. Riordan, previously production line supervisor, would remain a Pinball mechanical engineer.  Allan E. Alcorn, previously Atari VP research and development and Pinball Division manager, would remain VP research and development.  Gilbert J. Williams (Gil Williams), previously Atari VP manufacturing (Coin-Op and Consumer), became Atari VP and Pinball Division Manager (replacing Alcorn in the role).  Curt Russell, previously of Ampex, would join Atari (Coin-Op) as director of operations, replacing Steve Pereira who deaprted the company. (source; source)  Roy Y. Kusumoto, previously consumer plant manager (1280 Reamwood Ave, Sunnyvale CA; reporting to Williams), became Atari (Consumer) director of international operations (essentially replacing Williams in the role).  Loren T. Schoof, previously of Coherent Radiation (and before that, director of manufacturing at Versatec), joined Atari (Consumer) as plant manager (replacing Kusumoto in the role; reporting to Kusumoto). (RetroVideogameMagazine #6, pp. 24-29) 

October: Engineer David R. Stubben, previously of Information Storage Systems, Inc. (and before that, Ford Aeronutronic), joined Atari (Coin-Op) in engineering as project manager, replacing Ronald G. Wayne (Ron Wayne) who departed the company.  Steve Calfee, previously Atari (Coin-Op) Sr. Microprocessor programmer, would become an engineering project team leader (one of three), replacing Rich Patak (Richard J. Patak) who departed the company.  (Lyle V. Rains and Tom Hogg remained team leaders as well; Bob Skyles (Robert W. Skyles) remained engineering manager.)  (Wayne and Patak would join LDF Semiconductors, Inc., which in 1978 would be renamed: Touch Activated Switch Arrays, Inc. (TASA)). 

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 continue report to Gerard (source 3:10) who would also remain a director of Atari.  Jac Holzman, previously WCI SVP and chief technologist, would be senior consultant to the Office of the President of WCI (WCI PR 8/19/81) and would remain a director of Atari.

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. Landrum would report directly to Atari chairman Nolan Bushnell. (Fun p326)  

Fall: Atari VP research and development Al Alcorn additionally became general manager for the Consumer Division, replacing Sheldon Ritter who departed the company. Engineer Murray John Ellis, previously of National Semiconductor, joined Atari (Consumer) as director of engineering.  Ellis would build a team of engineers that would include engineering manager Wade B. Tuma and engineer Niles E. Strohl who both previously worked with Ellis at National Semiconductor.  Tuma would, in turn, recruit analog engineer Frederick R. Holt (Rod Holt), previously head of engineering at The Hickok Electrical Instrument Co. (and former colleague of Tuma).  Engineering technician Ed Riddle, who previously worked with Holt at Hickok Electronic Instrument, would join Atari (Consumer) (reporting to Tuma). (source)  Atari Stella project development, previously overseen by Alcorn, was shifted from 471 Division St., Campbell CA to the Consumer Microelectronics and engineering facility at 155 Moffett Park Dr., Sunnyvale CA.  Synertek engineer/Atari consultant Jay G. Miner (Stella MOS/LSI design), Joseph C. Decuir (Stella logic design), and Larry Wagner (Stella software & systems architecture) would each now report to Atari (Consumer) director of microelectronics Dr. Robert J. Brown (Bob Brown).  Stella mechanical/design engineer Douglas A. Hardy would now report to Atari (Consumer) industrial design manager Frederick W. Thompson (Fred Thompson).  (Stella programmer Larry Kaplan would still report to Wagner.)  (source; source; source)  

November 12-14: At the MOA International Exposition of Music and Games at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago (booths 16-20, 29-33, Namco/Atari 97A-100A, 100B), Atari released F-1 by Nakamura Seisakusho Co., Ltd. ("Namco") (De Luxe or custom models), and Atari released Sprint 2 by Kee Games. (source Atari held a roundtable discussion on solid state pinball games that included 12 operators and Atari representatives Carol Kantor (Manager of Marketing Services), Al 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 Gil Williams (formerly VP manufacturing, now VP and general manager Pinball Division). (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 launched a new Electronic Board Game Division.  Steve Bristow, previously VP engineering (coin operated games), became Atari VP engineering, Electronic Board Game Division and Coin Operated Games.  Atari (Electronic Board Game) would eventually include: Dan Corona (engineering technician; previously of the Atari Pinball division), Joel Anderson (Graphics art and design), Dave Salmon, Dennis Koble (programmer), Mark Davis (hardware design), Randy Hall (mechanical design)  (Fun p257) 

November 19-21: Atari exhibited at the 58th International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) show at the Rivergate in New Orleans (booths 1322, 1324, 1326, 1328, 1421, 1423, 1425, 1427).  Atari featured F-1 (Vending Times 1/77; CC 3/77) and previewed Atari Shooting Arcade (never released) at the show. (source)

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?: Atari (Consumer) analog engineer Rod Holt departed the company (to Apple Computer Company; he would co-found the reorganized Apple Computer Corporation (renamed 11/21/77 as: Apple Computer, Inc.) as VP engineering on 1/3/77 with Mike Markkula, Mike Scott, former Atari engineering technician Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak)(source)

December 21: John Burton Anderson, previously Atari assistant treasurer, became Atari (corporate) VP Administration (personnel, facilities planning, data processing, office services and legal liaison). (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 Atari (Consumer) as a Stella project game designer.  He was hired by Atari (Consumer) director of microelectronics Bob Brown. (source Whitehead was Atari's second Stella programmer, after Larry Kaplan; Whitehead and Kaplan would both report to Stella software development director Larry Wagner (who reported to Brown).

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 distributors 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 was Manufacturing Operations Manager, John Petlansky was Plant Manager, Gil Williams was Atari Pinball Division Manager, Eddie Boasberg was Pinball Marketing Coordinator. (CC 2/77; Cash Box 3/19/77 p43; Vending Times 4/77p59; Fun p433)

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. (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 Atari (Consumer) 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 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 Atari (Consumer) as a Stella project game designer (source p18), completing Atari's original team of 5 Stella programmers (Wagner (manager), Kaplan, Whitehead, Palmer, Miller).

February/March?: Geoff Harrop (Geoffrey A. J. Harrop) joined Atari (Coin-Op) as Pinball engineering manager (replacement for Don Lang in the role).

February/March?: Colette A. Weil joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a marketing research analyst (source for date), hired by/reporting to marketing services manager Carol Kantor. 

March: Engineer Noah L. Anglin II, working as an independent consultant since fall 1976 for clients including Atari and Information Terminals Corporation (later known as: Verbatim), and before that, manager, research & development engineering at Memorex (source), would join Atari (Coin-Op) as engineering manager, replacing Bob Skyles who departed the company (Skyles would establish Skyles Electric Works on 10/16/78.).  Steve Calfee, previously Atari (Coin-Op) engineering project team leader (one of three), would become Chief Engineer, Software.  Dave Stubben, previously project manager, would become an engingeering project team leader (replacing Calfee in the role).  (Lyle Rains and Tom Hogg remained team leaders as well.)  Steve Bristow remained Atari (Coin-Op) VP Engineering. 

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)

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

Winter/Spring: Graphics designer James Kelly joined assistant manager Evelyn Lim and production artist Bob Flemate in the expanding Atari (Coin-Op) graphics design group, headed by graphics design manager George H. Opperman. (ArtOfAtari p248)

April 4: Engineer Rick Moncrief joined Atari (Coin-Op) (source) as special projects team leader (one of four team leaders; Lyle Rains, Dave Stubben and Tom Hogg remained team leaders as well; Noah Anglin remained engineering manager; Steve Bristow remained VP engineering.)

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

April: In Japan, the Nakamura Seisakusho Co., Ltd. ("Namco") Atari Japan unit released Night Driver by Atari. (GM 11/29/82)

April: Atari's 50,000 ft2 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 (Coin-Op) as Director of Marketing.  Gene Lipkin remained Atari VP marketing (CCMay77; Vending Times 5/77p54) (and general manager, Coin-Op Division).

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 9: World premiere party and press conference celebrating the Grand Opening (which would be May 16) of Atari's Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre, 370 S. Winchester Blvd, San Jose CA, from 6 PM to 9 PM. (Fun p351)  

May 15: Opening of new Atari (Consumer) final assembly plant at 1215 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA (100,000 ft2; Moffett Park industrial park). (Fun p316; TVDigest 4/18/77 p10)  1195 Borregas Ave., while remaining the Consumer division headquarters facility, would additionally serve as Consumer division sub assembly plant.  As part of a wind-down of operations at 1280 Reamwood Ave., Sunnyvale CA (Consumer manufacturing and Customer Service Division), the Customer Service Division (home consumers) was moved from there to 1340 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale CA.

May: Atari released Sprint 8 by Kee Games.

May: Brad Stewart joined Atari (Consumer) as a Rosemary project (product never introduced; game system based on the Signetics 2650 microprocessor) programmer. (source Also joining Atari for the project: engineer/programmer R. Scott Scheiman (source; source 5:20, 7:20); chip engineering technician Steve Smith ("Video Frog" project; same project?); Smith had been interviewed by Craig Hansen. (source 1:30; 5:35)  Bob Brown remained Atari (Consumer) director of microelectronics.

May: For the Atari Coin-Op and Pinball Divisions: Geoff Harrop was (Pinball) engineering manager, Don Osborne was (Coin-Op) Western sales manager, Eddie Boasberg was (Pinball) marketing coordinator, Marshall Caras was (Coin-Op) marketing director, Frank Ballouz was (Coin-Op) national sales manager, Gil Williams was Atari VP and Pinball division manager, and Bob Russell was (Pinball) manufacturing operations manager. (Atari Atarians ad, see WeLoveAtari v1p65)

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

May 16: Grand Opening of Atari's initial "prototype" Pizza Time Theatre in a 5,000 ft2 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).  (Mechanical animatronics by Cyan Engineering. -Fun p329)  Gene N. Landrum was Atari Restaurant Operating Division General Manager. (CC 6/77; source

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; $189.95; previously: Stella project; to ship with 2 Joystick Controller units, 1 pair of Paddle Controllers (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 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: In Japan, the name of Nakamura Seisakusho Co., Ltd. (the controlling parent company of Atari Japan Corporation) was changed to Namco Ltd. (GM 11/29/82)

June: In Japan, Namco's Atari Japan unit released Sprint 2 by Kee Games. (GM 11/29/82)

June: Atari (Coin-Op) 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) as an electronic engineer.

June?: Jerry Jessop joined Atari (Consumer) as a production line rework technician. (source)

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.

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 (unit of Namco Ltd.; 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 (and general manager, Coin-Op Division), 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 a graphics designer (reporting to graphics design manager George Opperman).

July 25: John D. Vurich, previously National Semiconductor product marketing manager (and prior to that, chief engineer at Mirco Games, Inc.), had joined Atari (Consumer) as new product manager (personal computer). (TVDigest 7/25/77 p11)

Summer?: Mechanical engineer Mike Hally joined the Atari Pinball Division. (source)

Summer: Industrial designer Mike Quiero, who had worked for Atari (Coin-Op) on a paid internship during fall 1976, joined Atari (Coin-Op).  He would report to industrial design manager Peter L. Takaichi. (source

Summer: The Atari Customer Service Division (home consumers) was moved (or expanded?) from 1340 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale CA to 1346 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale CA.

August 1: Atari had begun shipping the Video Computer System (TVDigest 8/1/77 p11; 10/17/77 p10) (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: Atari "Colleen" computer project broad specifications as proposed by Atari Cyan Engineering senior engineer Steve Mayer and Atari (Consumer) engineer Joe Decuir were accepted by Atari decision makers including Synertek engineer/Atari consultant Jay Miner, Atari (Consumer) director of microelectronics Bob Brown, Atari (Consumer) director of engineering M. John Ellis, Atari (Consumer) new product manager (personal computer) John Vurich, and Atari VP research and development Al Alcorn. (Decuir 1977 engineering notes p65-74)  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 (nearly the same as Atari Video Pinball C-380, but featuring the Sears exclusive Breakaway game in place of the Rebound 1 game of the Atari C-380), 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: In Japan, Atari Japan Corporation, operated by Namco Ltd. since their August 1974 purchase agreement with Atari, and majority owned by Namco since late 1975, became a wholly owned subsidiary of Namco, as Namco completed its purchase of the unit.  Hideyuki Nakajima remained Namco VP for Atari Japan (head of the unit). 

August 22: Atari had announced the commencement of video game production (final assembly) at the new Atari (Consumer) building at 1215 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA (100,000 ft2; Moffett Park industrial park), bringing Atari's total manufacturing area [actually all buildings, not just manufacturing] to 556,000 ft2 (TVDigest 8/22/77 p9)  Atari (Consumer) sub assembly was now located at the division's headquarters facility, 1195 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale CA.  Atari had abandonded the former Consumer division plant at 1280 Reamwood Ave., Sunnyvale CA.  Loren T. Schoof, previously Atari (Consumer) plant manager, had been promoted to director of international operations, replacing Roy Kusumoto who had departed the company (and would establish Solectron Corporation on 8/25/77).  James Heller, previously test supervisor, had been promoted to consumer manufacturing manager (replacing the promoted Schoof in the role; still reporting to Schoof).  (source; RetroVideogameMagazine #6, pp. 24-29)

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

Summer/Fall?: Ian Shepard joined Atari (Consumer) as game designer/programmer.

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 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 8: Six representatives from Atari were present for a regional Time 2000 hands-on introduction event for operators held in Seattle, including Fred McCord and Don Smith from the customer service department, Geoff Harrop and Bob Russell from Pinball engineering and manufacturing, VP and general manager of the Pinball division Gil Williams, and Don Osborne, Western regional sales manager. (CC 9/77)

September 11: Newspaper ad from Macy's offered the Atari VCS for $180 and Atari Video Pinball (C-380; original "beige" console version featuring the 7 games: Flipper Pinball 1, Paddle Pinball 1, Flipper Pinball 2, Paddle Pinball 2, Rebound 1, Rebound 2, Breakout) for $80.

September 14: Richard (Dicky) B. Derickson had joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a logic designer. (source)

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: 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 the 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 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)  

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), using the "Magic Show" theme, 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 Atari 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 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, previously of GTE-Sylvania, joined Atari (Consumer) as a game designer/programmer. (source)

Fall?: Engineer Richard Simone, previously LSI design manager at National Semiconductor, joined Atari (Consumer) as LSI Design Manager. (source)  (Bob Brown remained Atari (Consumer) director of microelectronics.)  Hires by Simone would include (all from National Semiconductor): Douglas G. Neubauer, Steve Stone, Mark Shieu, Delwin Pearson.  (source; source 1:40)  Also: Steve Wright, previously a technician at IBM (RetroGamer #35p84), 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 3-6: The $250,000 Tournament Soccer World Championship Foos Festival was held at the Gateway Convention Center in St. Louis MO.  Tournament Soccer, Schlitz, and Atari were the event sponsors.  Alongside the foosball (table football/table soccer) there was a free-play Atari arcade for attendees, Atari provided a Player Appreciation Buffet Dinner, and Atari sponsored a Breakout tournament: the first place winner of an Atari VCS was Bob Curtin from Lansing MI; second and third place winners of Atari Video Music Systems were Paul Wolack of Chicago and Jim Campbell of Davenport IA. (CC 11/77; WeLoveAtari v1p115; Tour ad)

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: Larry Nicholson, previously of Nicholson Electronics, joined Atari's Cyan Engineering unit as a software engineer.

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, using the "Magic Show" theme, Atari introduced Ultra Tank, introduced Wolf Pack (never released), and also featured: Sprint 4, Canyon Bomber, Destroyer, Airborne Avenger, The Atarians, Time 2000

November/December: Atari Pinball Division operations were consolidated into the Coin-Op Division.  Gil Williams, previously Atari VP and general manager, Pinball Division, would become Atari VP Coin-Operated Manufacturing.  Curt Russell would remain (Coin-Op) director of operations (now reporting to Williams), assuming pinball manufacturing operations from Bob Russell who would depart the company.  Gene Lipkin, previously Atari VP marketing and general manager Coin-Operated Division, would become VP marketing and general manager, Coin-Operated Group (assuming Pinball general management from Williams).  Steve Bristow, previously VP engineering, Electronic Board Game Division and Coin Operated Games, became (Coin-Op) VP engineering and Plant Manager Pinball Production, assuming Pinball plant management from Bob Kolbus who departed the company.  Atari (Consumer) director of engineering John Ellis would additionally assume responsibility for the Electronic Board Games division from Bristow, and the latter division would adopt the new name: Electronic Toys & Games.  Loren Schoof, previously Atari (Consumer) director of international operations, would be promoted to VP Consumer Division Operations.

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 introduced the cartridge games Super Pong, Video Pinball, Stunt Cycle, and Ultra Pong, plus the Video Music cartridge (each cartridge intended to replace existing Atari dedicated units of the same names).  For the VCS ($189) Atari introduced Starship II (would ship as: Space War), Concentration (would ship as: Hunt & Score), Codebreaker, Hangman and Outlaw, for a total library of 13 VCS cartridge titles available/soon available (not counting the pack-in game, Combat).  Concentration and Codebreaker were designed to be used with the new Keyboard Data Entry Controllers (CX50; prototype units labeled "universal keyboard"; would ship as: Keyboard Controllers; to be delivered in June).  Michael Shea was Atari (Consumer) marketing director; Joe Keenan was Atari president. (PR; TVDigest 1/2/78 p12; 1/9/78p9; TVDigest 1/16/78 p9; source)

January 11: Geoff Harrop remained Atari (Coin-Op) pinball engineering manager. (source)

January: Atari (Coin-Op) opened a 10,600 ft2 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)  Crosson would become general manager of Atari (Professional Products), which would be located at: 1183 Bordeaux Dr., Sunnyvale CA.  Atari (Professional Products) would also include: David Salmon, Alfie Gilbert (electronics engineer), Dan Kutsenda (mechanical design engineer), Tom Westberg (programmer). (Fun p498)

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: Programmer Dennis Koble, previously of Atari (Coin-Op), would transfer to Atari (Electronic Toys & Games).  Ed Logg (George E. Logg), previously of Control Data, joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a programmer (replacing Koble in the role; reporting to engineering project team leader (one of four) Dave Stubben). (source; Retro Gamer #117 p36; Retro Gramer #29 p76)  Also reporting to Stubben: programmer Mike Albaugh, engineer Dave Sherman, and technicians Joe Coddington and Steve Ehret. (source

February: Bill Bassett, previously in product development for the Atari Pinball Division, had been appointed International Field Service Manager at Atari (Coin-Op).  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). (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 Hide Nakajima from Namco/Atari Japan). (CC 4/78)  Presenters from Atari included: national sales manager Frank Ballouz, field service manager Don Smith, seminars manager Fred McCord, customer service representative Dave Tucker, engineering manager Noah Anglin, Eastern regional sales manager Howard Rubin, Western regional sales manager Don Osborne, marketing services manager Carol Kantor, marketing research analyst Colette Weil, VP marketing Gene Lipkin, president Joe Keenan, and chairman Nolan Bushnell. (CashBox 4/8/78 p39)

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 VP research and development Al Alcorn in the role).  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)  Alcorn would recruit Atari (Coin-Op) mechanical engineers Roger Hector and Harry H. Jenkins, Jr. to form a new Advanced Products Group. 

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: Peter N. Rosenthal, previously a molecular biologist and cancer researcher, joined Atari (Consumer) as a marketing research associate (personal computers). (for month 1:25; source for year)  (Michael C. Shea remained Atari (Consumer) director of marketing.)

March 27: Atari was seeking a video games marketing manager who would have "total responsibility for managing a product in the development & mktg. phases." (TVDigest 3/27/78 p11)  (details of this hire wanted!)

Winter/Spring: Atari (Consumer) established an Advanced Projects group (TCWv1 p478 for name) to investigate algorithms, artificial intelligence applications, robotics, and digital signal processing.  Bob Brown, previously director of microelectronics, would become director of research and head of the new unit.  Larry Wagner, previously director of software development (reporting to Brown), would be manager, advanced projects (still reporting to Brown).  Lab personnel would include Richard (Dicky) Derickson (previously of Atari (Coin-Op)).  John Ellis, previously Atari (Consumer) director of engineering, was promoted to VP engineering (assuming microelectronics from Brown).  Engineer George Simcock, previously of Lockheed, would join Atari (Consumer) as director of software development (replacing Wagner in the role). (source; TCWv1 p461) 

April: Atari released Avalanche.

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

April: Atari (Coin-Op) Pinball game designer Steve Ritchie departed the company (to Williams Electronics).

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 (Consumer) engineering manager 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: Dennis D. Groth, previously of Arthur Young & Co., joined Atari as VP finance, Consumer division. (by June 28; see also TheArthurYoungJournal Sum/Aut78 p53)  Groth was hired by Atari (Consumer) general manager Ray Kassar.  (source)

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. (Lon) Allan, who was also outside general counsel for Atari.

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

May: George Simcock was Atari (Consumer) director of software development. (source)

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 Limited and Atari Ireland Limited, as Atari moved to establish a new Coin-Op manufacturing site for Europe. 

June 8: Namco Ltd. (of Tokyo, Japan) established Namco-America, Inc.  Namco president Masaya Nakamura would be chairman of Namco-America.  Hideyuki Nakajima, previously Namco VP for Atari Japan (head of the unit), would additionally be Namco EVP international sales and president of Namco-America.  As of June 1, Nakajima had hired Satish Bhutani, previously VP marketing for Project Support Engineering (and formerly with Atari/Kee Games from 1973-1975), to establish and directly manage the new U.S. operations. (source; source)

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: In Japan, Namco's Atari Japan unit released Super Bug by Kee Games and Starship 1 by Atari. (GM 11/29/82)

June: Atari (Coin-Op) Graphics Design included: Jim Arita (production art), Roger Hector (production art; formerly Atari (Coin-Op) industrial designer), Steve Hendricks (graphics designer), George Opperman (manager, Graphics Design), Gjalt Van Der Wyk (production art), Bob Flemate (production art supervisor), Evelyn Lim (assistant group manager), James Kelly (graphics design) (CC v2n6 6/78; ArtOfAtari p22; source)

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

June: Alan S. Henricks, previously management consultant for Arthur Young & Co. (Atari had been one of his clients), would join Atari as controller of the Consumer Division. (TheArthurYoungJournal Sum/Aut78 p53)  Henricks was hired by Atari (Consumer) VP finance Dennis Groth. (source)  John Constantine, previously Warner Communications senior auditor (and who had recently performed an audit of Atari for Atari VP finance Bill White), would join Atari as general accounting manager, Consumer division.  He was hired by Atari (Consumer) VP finance Dennis Groth. (source 2:00)

June?: Peter Rosenthal, previously Atari (Consumer) marketing research associate (personal computers), became Atari (Consumer) Manager of Software Planning (personal computers). (source; Fun p475; source(John Vurich remained manager of product planning (personal computers); Michael C. Shea remained Atari (Consumer) director of marketing.)

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 Consumer division engineering (upper level) and Coin-Op division engineering (lower level) departments, at 1272 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA (77,000 ft2; Moffett Park industrial park). (source; source; source; Fun p317 for date)  (previously: 155 Moffett Park Dr. (Consumer engineering) and 1265 Borregas Ave. (Coin-Op engineering)). 

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 $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 game programmer.

Month?: Dave Theurer, previously of National Semiconductor, joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a programmer/game designer.

Month?: John Dunn joined Atari (Consumer) as a programmer/game designer. (source 28:30)

Month?: Atari released a revised Video Pinball (C-380; "dark woodgrain" version, featuring the same 7 games as the Sears Tele-Games Pinball Breakaway #99713: Flipper Pinball 1, Paddle Pinball 1, Flipper Pinball 2, Paddle Pinball 2, Rebound, Breakthru (Sears title: Breakaway), Breakout)

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

Month?: In Taiwan, Atari established an Atari Taipei Liaison Office ("Atari Far East (Taiwan)"), to facilitate contract manufacturing of the Atari VCS, at: 5th Floor, 2 Min Tsn East Road, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.  Richard Krieger (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?: Game developer Brian Johnston, previously of Extensys Corporation (consultants to: Bally, Atari), joined Atari (Electronic Toys & Games). (source)

Month?: Steven C. Chiaramonte joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a financial analyst. (Marquis)

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 (unit of Namco Ltd.; 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: Gene Lipkin was Atari VP marketing (and general manager, Coin-Op), and also at Atari (Coin-Op): 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 software manager Steve Calfee. (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?: Industrial designer John Hayashi (with previous experience as an Atari (Consumer) project engineer, joined Atari (Consumer) as director of Industrial Design and Graphics (reporting to VP Consumer engineering John Ellis), replacing industrial design manager Fred Thompson who departed the company. (ArtOfAtari p306)  Steve Hendricks, previously of the Atari (Coin-Op) Graphics Design group (where he had reported to graphics design manager George Opperman), would transfer to Atari (Consumer) as art director (reporting to Hayashi).

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 Limited commenced Coin-Op manufacturing operations at a new facility located in Knockanrawley, Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary, Ireland (modern address: Aherlow Ct, Gortavalla, 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, Ireland 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. (sourceEamonn Mcgrath would also join Atari Ireland (as European Field Service Manager, replacing Bill Bassett who departed from Atari?).  For cabinet production Atari Ireland would contract with, and become the exclusive customer of, nearby Murray Kitchens (Ardfinnan) Limited which had operated its 30,000 ft2 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.

August/September?: Mary Takatsuno and Linda Butcher joined Atari (Coin-Op) as marketing assistants, hired by/reporting to manager of marketing services Carol Kantor. (CashBox 9/22/79 p48(Colette Weil remained marketing research analyst, also reporting to Kantor.)

Summer/Fall?: Industrial designer Roy Nishi joined Atari (Consumer).  (Nishi would report to Industrial Design and Graphics director John Hayashi.)

September 1: Namco-America, Inc. opened a 10,000 ft2 facility at 343 Gibraltar Dr., Sunnyvale CA.  Satish Bhutani was VP operations; Namco Ltd. EVP international sales Hideyuki Nakajima, based in Japan, was president of Namco-America (and also remained Namco VP for Atari Japan). (Cash Box 9/23/78 p53-55)

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: Dennis Groth, previously Atari (Consumer) VP finance, would become Atari VP finance (CFO), replacing Bill White who departed the company.  (Groth would report to Atari co-CEOs Nolan Bushnell and Joe Keenan, with "dotted-line" indirect reporting to Warner Communications Inc. SVP finance Bert Wasserman.)  Alan Henricks, previously Atari (Consumer) controller, would be promoted to Atari (Consumer) VP finance (replacing the promoted Groth in the role).  

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

September: Bob Polaro, previously a software engineer for Commodore, joined Atari (Consumer) as a software engineer (hired to develop games and applications for the Colleen computer).

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).

September/October: John Ellis, previously Atari (Consumer) VP engineering, would remain VP engineering, Electronic Toys & Games.  Steve Bristow, previously Atari (Coin-Op) VP Engineering and Plant Manager Pinball Production, became Atari (Consumer) VP Engineering (consumer and home computer; replacing Ellis in the role).  Also at Atari (Coin-Op): Jim Riordan, previously Pinball manufacturing engineer, would be promoted to Pinball manufacturing engineering manager (replacing Bristow in the role).  Noah Anglin, previously engineering manager, would be promoted to director of engineering (replacing Bristow in the role).  Lyle Rains, previously an engineering project Team Leader (one of four), would become Manager of Electronics Engineering and Game Development (reporting to Anglin).  Dave Stubben, previously a project Team Leader (one of four), would become chief engineer, electronic design (reporting to Rains).  Tom Hogg, previously an engineering team leader (one of four), would become computer systems manager (reporting to chief engineer, software Steve Calfee).  Rick Moncrief, previously special projects team leader (one of four team leaders), would remain chief engineer, special projects.

September/October?: Paul J. Malloy, previously of Quantor Corporation, joined Atari (Consumer) as VP manufacturing (source), replacing Loren Schoof who departed the company. (source)  James Heller, previously manufacturing manager, would be promoted to operations manager (now reporting to Malloy.)

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)

November 10-12: At the AMOA show in Chicago (exhibits 13-36, West Room, Conrad Hilton), using the theme "StarWorld '78" Atari released Orbit, featured Atari Football, Super Breakout, and Space Riders, and previewed: Superman (pinball), Monza (pinball cocktail; never released), UFO (wall game; never released), Hercules (pinball), Subs. (WeLoveAtari v1p107; sourceAlso shown: Middle Earth, Sprint 2, Sit-Down Night Driver, Starship 1, Smokey Joe, FireTruck.  Also introduced for operators: CTF-1 Video Test Fixture, PBS-1 Pinball Simulator System, Automatic ROM/RAM Tester

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

November: In Japan, Namco's Atari Japan unit released Avalanche by Atari. (GM 11/29/82)

November 18-20: At the IAAPA show in Atlanta, using the theme "StarWorld '78" Atari featured Space Riders, also showed Middle Earth, and previewed the Hercules pinball games, featured Orbit, Atari Football, and Super Breakout, also showed Fire Truck, Starship 1, Sit-Down Night Driver, and the 2 Game Module, and previewed Subs. (CC Nov/Dec 78)

November 28: Warner Communications (WCI) announced that its Atari division was entering the personal-home computer industry with two personal computer systems, the Atari-400 Personal Computer (8KiB RAM), the general purpose system and the Atari-800 Personal Computer (8KiB RAM, expandable to 48KiB), a specialized system.  The 400 would have cassette recorder capability, while a floppy disk drive and a 40-column printer were planned for the 800, with more peripherals under development.  A library of software was to consist of applications such as: personal financial management, income tax preparation, household and office record keeping, and computer aided instruction in over 20 subject areas including math, English, history, literature, economics, psychology, and auto mechanics.  Software was also to include games for one to four players such as: basketball, chess, life, kingdom, lemonade stand, fur trader and stock market.  The computers were to be user-programmable using languages including BASIC.  Michael Shea was Atari marketing director; Emanuel Gerard was a member of the Office of the President, WCI. (PRReportedly the 400/800 would retail for $450/$900; the FORTRAN programming language was also planned. (TVDigest 12/4/78 p11)

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 (A$339, including 2 joysticks, paddles, and Combat).

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

December 14: Atari previewed the 400 ($500) and 800 ($1,000) personal computers at a New York news conference.  The computers were designed to pass FCC tests for use with home TV, and they were expected to ship August 1, 1979.  Atari said it was studying connecting the 400/800 with the Warner Amex QUBE two-way interactive cable television system in Columbus OH.  In addition to the already designed printer & floppy disk drive, future peripherals including chord music module and drawing pen were planned. (TVDigest 12/18/78 p11)

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), 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 Technology Corporation press release 7 Jan 1984; Merch 2/79 p46)  The Atari board of directors would now consist of Keenan, Gerard, and Jac Holzman (senior consultant to the Office of the President of WCI).

In 1978 Atari built 800,000 VCS machines, selling about 500,000 but leaving an inventory of about 300,000 unsold machines. (Decuir as quoted in "Design Case History: The Atari Video Computer System," IEEE Spectrum, March 1983 p51)

1979
January 8: Donald D. Kingsborough (of D.K. Associates, Inc., previously Atari (Consumer) sales representative for Northern California (TCWv1 p457)) had joined Atari (Consumer) as Director of Sales & Marketing, replacing Don Thompson (sales) and Michael Shea (marketing) who departed the company. (TVDigest 1/8/79p12; Fun p381)  (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 previewed the 400 Personal Computer (8KiB RAM; approximately $500) and the 800 Personal Computer (8KiB RAM expandable to 48KiB; approximately $1,000).  Peripherals previewed: custom tape cassette recorder (410), high speed floppy disc (810), 40-column printer (820).  Atari (Consumer) programmer 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/  (also: The Intelligent Machines Journal Issue 2, 79 Jan 17; Merch 1/79)

Atari publically launched the new Electronic Toys & Games Division by introducing 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) Advanced Projects group research lab was shut down, and departures from the company would include director of research Bob Brown, advanced projects manager Larry Wagner, and engineer Craig Nelson. (source (Wagner would co-found Votan on May 7, 1979.  Brown and Nelson would together join Hitachi Micro Systems, Inc. (HMSI); on 6/11/81 they would co-found Acorn Incorporated, renamed Arcadia Corporation 5/82, renamed Starpath Corporation 10/82. (one source "Phony" modem project technology would be sold to U.S. Robotics, who would proceed to introduce their first modem later in 1979. (source; source; source) )

January: Don Kingsborough, previously Atari (Consumer) director of sales & marketing, became VP sales & marketing.  Peter Rosenthal, previously Atari (Consumer) Manager of Software Planning (personal computers), became marketing manager of personal computers (CCv5n8 Aug79p58), replacing John Vurich who departed the company.  Rosenthal would report to Kingsborough. (source; source 2:35)  (Vurich and former Atari chairman and co-CEO Nolan Bushnell would together establish Axlon Incorporated on 3/26/1980).

January: Engineer Ed Rotberg, previously of Rockwell, joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a game designer/programmer. (source; TCWv1 p452)

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

January: In Japan, Namco's Atari Japan unit released Super Breakout by Atari. (GM 11/29/82)

January 19: Atari (Coin-Op) moved into their new 56,800 ft2 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: Nick Turner joined Atari (Consumer) as a video game designer.

February: Synertek engineer/Atari consultant Jay Miner departed the companies (Atari Inc.: Business is Fun, p. 386; source #2) (to Custom MOS, Inc., which would change its name to ZyMOS in November 1980).

February: Atari (Consumer) hired UC Berkeley doctoral student Ted M. Kahn, who had previously worked with the Learning Research Group at Xerox PARC (under Alan Kay), as a personal computers educational marketing consultant (essentially replacing consultant Liza Loop in the role).  Kahn would report to marketing manager Peter Rosenthal. (source 2:40)  

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 Division 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 (pinball) 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?: Atari (Coin-Op) pinball game programmer Eugene Jarvis departed the company. (He would join Williams Electronics within a few months.)

Winter/Spring: Carl J. Nielsen joined Atari (Consumer) as director of LSI chip design (reporting to VP engineering Steve Bristow), replacing Richard Simone who departed the company (to Maruman Integrated Circuits). (source)  

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 2: Atari had said it had an inventory of 200,000 unsold VCS units; others said the figure was closer to 400,000. (TVDigest 4/2/79p14)

April 9: In joining others including Apple Computer, 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 L. 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 CA, which Atari would abandon, to Atari's plant at 1215 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA (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.  1195 Borregas Ave., previously Consumer division headquarters and sub assembly, would remain Consumer division headquarters.  New Atari VCS units 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 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)

April 20: For the VCS Atari had shipped: Miniature Golf (Sears title: Arcade Golf), Football (never released in PAL format), Human Cannonball (Sears title: Cannon Man), Sky Diver (Sears title: Dare Diver), Slot Machine (Sears title: Slots), Canyon Bomber (never released in PAL format), Bowling, Casino (Sears title: Poker Plus)  (ad in WashPost)

Spring: The operations of the former Atari International Division (sales/marketing, both consumer and coin operators) were shited into the Atari Coin-Op and Consumer divisions.  Gene Lipkin, previously Atari VP marketing (including the former International Division) and general manager, Coin-Operated Group, would become president of Atari (Coin-Op).  Sue Elliot, previously head of international sales as International Division administrator (coin-op/consumer), would remain Atari (Coin-Op) head of international sales.  Anton Bruehl, previously a VP of one of the Burlington Industries' international divisions, would join Atari (Consumer) as VP international sales/marketing (assuming the role from Lipkin). (source) (source)

May 7: Votan was established by Ron Stephens (formerly an Arthur D. Little consultant), physicist Stephen Gill, former Atari engineer Larry Wagner, and financial backer Paul Baker. (source)

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)  Peripherals promised: program recorder (410), printer (820), disk drive (810), acoustic modem (830), Light Pen (CX70).  Business & household management software promised: income tax preparation guide, personal financial management, record keeping of books serial numbers and insurance policies, charge account management, personal capital investment management, mailing list/address book, computerized appointment calendar, inventory management, accounts payable, touch-typing trainer, payroll.  Educational software subjects promised: algebra, economics, auto mechanics, sociology, U.S. history, zoology, counseling procedures, vocabulary builder, basic psychology, spelling, Spanish, accounting, carpentry, great classics, statistics, basic electricity, world history.  Entertainment software promised: chess, backgammon, business simulations, stock market simulation, space adventure (would ship as: Star Raiders (source)), strategy games, four-player basketball, Super Bug driving game, Game of Life, 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: In Japan, Epoch released the TV Block, designed around the custom Atari chip found in the Atari C-380 Video Pinball (original "beige" version featuring the 7 games: Flipper Pinball 1, Paddle Pinball 1, Flipper Pinball 2, Paddle Pinball 2, Rebound 1, Rebound 2, Breakout). (for date)

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 Equipment Manufacturers Association (CBEMA) standards, Atari had filed a follow-up 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: Educational System Master Cartridge, Basketball, Life (earlier: Game of 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; 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 was 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)  (Decuir had established Standard Technologies Corporation on 7/7/78.)

June: Atari (Consumer) programmer Larry Kaplan departed the company. (Kaplan as citied in TCWv1 p483; note he has also said Aug 79) (He would help form Activision, which would be established on 10/1/79, and would join Activision in December 1979.)

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: Mike Lorenzen joined Atari (Consumer) as a game designer/programmer. (source)

June: Atari released Atari Baseball.

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

Month?: At Atari (Coin-Op) in engineering, Roger Hector transferred from the graphics design group to the mechanical engineering group as a mechanical designer.

Month?: Georgia A. Marszalek, previously of National Semiconductor, joined Atari (Consumer) as manager of marketing communications (personal computers) (reporting to marketing manager Peter Rosenthal).

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

Month?: J. David Remson, previously of Sun Electric Company, joined Atari (Consumer) as an engineering technician.

Month?: Steve Wright, previously Atari (Consumer) manager of quality control (printed circuit boards), became training manager.

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 (unit of Namco Ltd.; 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: Donald Winn, a lawyer, joined Atari as Consumer Division president (post last held by Atari president Raymond Kassar until December 1979). (TVDigest 7/30/79p11)  William F.X. 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 return to his sales representative business, D.K. Associates; he would establish D.K. Marketing, Inc. on 10/01/1980, and S.K.U., Inc. on 5/11/81). (source; Grubb in Billboard 4/23/83 p. VGM-6 said June, but here says July)  Craig A. Conway would join Atari (Consumer) as personal computers national sales manager (reporting to Hovee).  Peter Rosenthal, previously personal computers marketing manager, would be promoted to director of marketing for personal computers (reporting to Hovee).

July: Charles S. Paul (Skip Paul), previously of Cooley, Castro, Huddleson & Tatum, joined Atari as VP and general counsel (source), replacing outside general counsel Lionel M. (Lon) Allan in the role.  Paul would report to Atari CEO Ray Kassar, with "dotted-line" indirect reporting to Warner Communications Inc. VP and general counsel Martin D. Payson. (source 4:45)

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

Summer?: Programmer Rick Maurer, previously of Fairchild, 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/G; woodgrain; 6 switches).

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

August: John Eckstrom joined Atari (Consumer) as manager, systems software (operating systems) (reporting to director of software development George Simcock). 

August: Atari (Consumer) senior programmer / game designer Alan Miller departed the company. (TCWv1 p483) (He would co-found Activision on 10/1/79.)

 August: Atari (Consumer) senior programmer / game designer David Crane departed the company. (TCWv1 p483) (He would co-found Activision on 10/1/79.)

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 18: Carol Kantor remained Atari (Coin-Op) manager of marketing services. (Cash Box 8/18/79 p46)

August/September: Atari (Consumer) president Don Winn departed the company. (TCWv1 p464)

August/September: Atari (Coin-Op) 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 remained head of international sales as 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 Coin-Operated Games Division. (CC Aug/Sep79;  CashBox 9/22/79 p46

August/September: Atari (Coin-Op) manager of marketing services Carol Kantor departed the company (and established Business Builders). (CashBox 9/29/79 p42)

Summer/Fall: The Atari plant at 1173 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA, previously home of the Atari (Coin-Op) pinball production, was repurposed for 400/800 computer line manufacturing, and Pinball manufacturing engineering manager Jim Riordan departed the company (and focus on his consultancy, Overnight Engineering, which he would incorporate with Lynn Riordan as The James F. Riordan Company on 10/1/81).  The project was headed by Atari (Consumer) VP Engineering Steve Bristow.  Brad C. Saville would be manufacturing manager (personal computers).  Atari (Coin-Op) would maintain pinball design operations (for either a new manufacturing plant or outsourced manufacturing), and Geoff Harrop would remain manager of pinball design.

September 4: Chris C. 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.  (Crawford was recommended for hire by Atari (Consumer) programmer Rob Zdybel.) (source 15:00)

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: 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), became 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. (El Paso Times 4/5/81) (source) (source)  It was a 38,500 ft2 location. (sourceBill N. Medrano, previously Los Angeles County Dept of Personnel, personnel analyst, regional park superintendent, was personnel manager. (source)

September: Kevin Hayes, previously Atari Ireland Limited financial controller, was promoted to Atari Ireland managing director (replacing Atari VP manufacturing Gil Williams in the role). (sourceMike Nevin would join Atari Irelend as controller (replacing Hayes in the role).

September: Atari (Consumer) senior programmer / game designer Bob Whitehead departed the company. (TCWv1 p483) (He would co-found Activision on 10/1/79.)

September: In Japan, Namco's Atari Japan unit released Atari Football by Atari. (GM 11/29/82 Atari Football would be the last Atari game to be distributed in Japan by Namco under their August 1974 purchase agreement of Atari Japan Corporation. 

September: In Japan, Sega Enterprises released Atari Basketball by Atari. (GM 11/29/82 Sega Enterprises Ltd., the Japanese subsidiary of American conglomerate Gulf and Western Industries, Inc., would replace Namco's Atari Japan unit as Atari (Coin-Op) distributor in Japan.  Namco would sue Atari for violating terms of their August 1974 purchase agreement of Atari Japan Corporation.

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 22: At Atari (Coin-Op), Colette Weil, previously marketing research analyst, had been promoted to Manager of Marketing Research (replacing the departed Carol Kantor in the role), and Mary Takatsuno and Linda Butcher, previously marketing assistants, had been promoted to marketing analyst positions (both reporting to Weil).  Frank Ballouz remained director of marketing. (CC Oct/Nov79; CashBox 9/22/79 p48)

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 9/24/79 p10; Merch 10/79)

October 1: Activision, Inc. was established by former Atari (Consumer) programmers/game designers Alan Miller, David Crane, and Bob Whitehead and former GRT Corp. VP Music Tapes division Jim Levy.

October?: Dennis Koble, previously Atari (Electronic Toys & Games) programmer, would become Atari (Consumer) software manager (source 34:10) (new position, reporting to director of software development George Simcock).

October: In Japan, the Atari VCS was released by Atari distributor Epoch. (source; source)  Epoch would also release the TV Block MB, designed around the custom Atari chip found in the Atari C-380 Video Pinball ("dark woodgrain"/Sears Tele-Games version, featuring the 7 games: Flipper Pinball 1, Paddle Pinball 1, Flipper Pinball 2, Paddle Pinball 2, Rebound, Breakthru, Breakout)

October 19: For the VCS Atari had released: Superman  (ad in WashPost 10/19/79)

Fall: Atari shipped (U.S. market) the handheld Touch Me (BH-100), the first (would be the only) release in the Atari (Electronic Toys & Games) product line.

Fall: Carla Meninsky joined Atari (Consumer) as an animator.  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)

Fall?: Atari (Consumer) game designer/programmer John Dunn departed the company.

Fall?: The Atari (Coin-Op) New Jersey Customer Service Office moved from 44 Colonial Dr, Piscataway NJ to: Cottontail Ln, Somerset NJ (source)

Fall?: Stephen N. Davis and Carol Abbott joined Atari (Consumer) as product marketing managers (reporting to director of marketing (personal computers) Peter Rosenthal).

November 9: Dale Yocum, previously of Telesensory, had joined Atari (Consumer) to establish and manage a 400/800 programmers group as Applications Software Manager (personal computers). (source Yocum had been hired by software manager Dennis Koble. (source 9:00)  Reports to Yocum would include programmer Mike Lorenzen. (source 10:30)

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

November: Conrad C. Jutson, previously Texas Instruments marketing manager for personal computers, was hired by Atari (Consumer) as a consultant. (Compute's 1st Book p2)

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 17: At Atari (Coin-Op): Noah Anglin, previously director of engineering, had been promoted to VP of Engineering and Manufacturing, assuming the additional role from Gil Williams who departed the company.  (Curt Russell remained director of operations, now reporting to Anglin.)  Lyle Rains, previously Manager of Electronics Engineering and Game Development (reporting to Anglin), had been promoted to Director of Engineering (replacing Anglin in the role; still reporting to Anglin).  Dan Van Elderen (previously: mechanical engineering manager) had been promoted to Project Office manager (replacing Rains in the role).  Unit managers reporting to Rains (or to Van Elderen on game projects): Dave Stubben ((previously: chief engineer, electronic design) electrical engineering (replacing Rains in the role)), Geoff Harrop (pinball design), Peter Takaichi (industrial design), George Opperman (graphics design), Hugh Langhans (mechanical engineering; replacing Van Elderen in the role), Howard Slade (engineering services).  Reports to Stubben: Howard Delman (electronic engineers), Steve Calfee (software engineering), Bill White (components engineering), Rick Moncrief (special projects engineering), Dave Storie (technicians and assemblers).  Reports to Calfee: Ed Logg (programmers group B), Tom Hogg (computer systems). (source) (Cash Box 2/2/80 p41; TVDigest 6/2/80 p12) (CC Apr80) (Cash Box 5/3/80 p39)

November 25: For the VCS Atari had shipped: Backgammon (ad in WashPost: "just arrived")

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?: 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: Kathy Forte joined Atari (Consumer) as an applications programmer (personal computers). (source)  Forte would report to application programmers group manager Dale Yocum.

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. (The Learning Co. PR 5/31/84)

November/December?: For the 400/800 Atari shipped: Basketball, Video Easel (previously: Life), Super Breakout, and the Talk & 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 Atari (Consumer) training manager Steve Wright.

December: Steve Bristow, previously Atari (Consumer) VP Engineering (consumer and home computer), became Atari VP Engineering Consumer Game Division (Electronic Toys & Games), replacing John Ellis who departed the company.  Ronald L. Budworth would join Atari (Consumer) as director of engineering (consumer and home computer; replacing Bristow in the role).  Atari (Consumer) engineer Niles Strohl would be promoted to engineering manager, replacing Wade Tuma who departed the company.  (Ellis and Tuma would together establish Compower Corp. on 5/19/80).

December: In Japan, Sega Enterprises released Lunar Lander by Atari. (GM 11/29/82)

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

Atari sold roughly 600,000 VCS systems in 1979, bringing the installed base to a little over 1.3 million. (TCWv1 p458)

1980
January 2:
For the VCS Atari had released: Video Chess  (newspaper ad 1/2/80; see also PersonalComputing 11/79 p75 which anticipated a 11/79 release for Video Chess)

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), under the banner "Touch the future" Atari introduced the 825 printer (summer), 830 modem (summer), and 850 interface (summer).  Software introduced, announced, or again promised: Computer Chess, Backgammon (never shipped), Checkers (never shipped), Business Simulations (never shipped), Stock Market Simulation (never shipped), Star Raiders, Hangman, Biorhythm, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Music Composer (March), Mugwump (never shipped), Baseball (never shipped); Assembler Editor (previously: Assembler Debug; April), Atari PILOT; Invitation to Programming series; Personal Finance (previously: Home Finance; July 1980; never shipped), Record Keeping (never shipped), Mailing List/Address Book (would ship as: Mailing List), Touch-typing Trainer (would ship as: Touch Typing), 132 Function Programmable Printing Calculator (would ship as: Calculator). (C015700 Rev.1; Touch the Future flyers; 12/79 400/800 flyers)  Personal Capital Investment Management software: Atari announced a license agreement to market 8 investment-application programs designed by Control Data Corporation 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) (would ship as the four titles: Mortgage & Loan Analysis, Bond Analysis, Stock Analysis, Stock Charting).

Atari introduced and announced the impending release of the 33rd cartridge in the Game Program library for the VCS ($179), Space Invaders (title by Taito; original arcade release in Japan 6/78 -source), and introduced an additional 5 new cartridges scheduled for spring release: Night Driver, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, 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. (PR, see WeLoveAtari v1p122)

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

January: Conrad C. Jutson, formerly Texas Instruments marketing manager for personal computers, and consultant to Atari since November 1979, joined Atari (Consumer) as VP Sales & Marketing, Personal Computers, replacing Robert Hovee who departed the company. (TVDigest 1/21/80p14; source)

January: Chris Crawford, previously an Atari (Consumer) game designer (reporting to software manager Dennis Koble), 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 Corporation (CDC) announced an agreement for the repair of Atari personal computers through the nationwide network of Control Data Service Centers.  Under terms of the agreement, CDC would furnish a variety of repair services to owners and distributors of the Atari 400 and 800 personal computer systems, including warranty repair, safety and engineering changes, equipment upgrades and annual service contracts. Repair centers for Atari computers were being established in CDC’s existing nationwide network of field service locations. Approximately 20 centers were open in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Washington, with more scheduled. (Dr. Dobb's Journal; source for date; source)

January 24: Atari announced the hand-held electronic consumer 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 400/800 Atari shipped the 810 disk drive with Master Diskette (DOS I developed by SMI), and shipped the 820 printer.

Winter: Bob Smith joined Atari (Consumer) as a programmer.  He was hired by, and would report to, software manager Dennis Koble. (source 1:08; source; source 8:25)

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

February 10: Atari introduced the hand-held electronic consumer 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 The Atari (corporate) Advanced Products Group would establish the Atari Holoptics Lab.  Holography consultants to Atari would eventually include: Kenneth Haines (founder of Eidetic Images, Inc.), Stephen P. McGrew (Steve McGrew) (previously of Holotron Corporation), and McGrew's assistant, Steven D. Provence (Steve Provence).

February 17-20: Atari featured the hand-held electronic consumer 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.

February/March: For the VCS Atari released: Space Invaders  (ad in Capital Times 2/28/80 p6; source)

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, the subsidiary of IBM) 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; InfoWorld 3/31/80p2)

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: In Japan, Taito released T.T. Asteroids by Atari. (GM 11/29/82)  Taito Corporation would join Sega Enterprises as Atari's second distributor in Japan.

March: At Atari: Raymond E. Kassar was chairman and CEO; Eugene J. Lipkin was president, Coin-Operated Games Division; Michael J. Moone was president, Consumer Division; Dennis D. Groth was EVP. (WCI 1979 Annual Report)

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

March/April: Tandy Trower, previously of WICAT (World Institute for Computer-Assisted Teaching), joined Atari (Consumer) as an evaluator of 3rd party software titles (personal computers).  He was hired by Atari (Consumer) director of marketing (personal computers) Peter Rosenthal. (source, including 18:00 for timing; source)

April 1: Atari increased the suggested retail price for the VCS to $199 (previously: $179)  (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: In Japan, Sega Enterprises released Asteroids by Atari. (GM 11/29/82)

April: For the VCS Atari released: Adventure, BASIC Programming  (source; source)

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

April 23: George Simcock remained Atari (Consumer) director of software development. (source)

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?: James Kelly, previously Atari (Coin-Op) graphics designer (where he had reported to graphics design manager George Opperman), transferred to the Atari (Consumer) industrial design and graphics group as an artist, reporting to art director Steve Hendricks.

Spring: For the 400/800 Atari had shipped: An Invitation to Programming 1 (Program Design, Inc. (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 managing director.

May 12: Atari (Consumer) senior layout engineer Steve Stone had departed the company and established Macro Dienamics, Inc. (MDI)

May: David W. Burling, previously an associate at Collier, Shannon, Rill & Scott, joined Atari as VP and counsel.  Skip Paul, previously Atari VP and general counsel, would be SVP and general counsel. (source for date 3:40)

May?: Dennis Koble, previously Atari (Consumer) software manager, was promoted to director of software development, replacing George Simcock who departed the company (retired). (sourceProgrammer Bob Smith would be promoted to software manager (replacing Koble in the role).  John Eckstrom, previously manager, systems software (operating systems), would become manager, compilers (Pascal).  Brian Johnston, previously Atari Consumer Game Division (Electronic Toys & Games) game developer, would become Atari (Consumer) systems software manager (replacing Eckstrom in the role). (source 7:45)  (Dale Yocum remained application programmers group manager (personal computers.)

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 II version had shipped Oct. 1979.)

May 22: Warner Communications Inc. named Bert W. Wasserman EVP and CFO (previously: SVP finance).  

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: Atari announced that Joseph Robbins (Joe Robbins), most recently president of Empire Distributing Company, a division of Bally, Inc., had joined the company as co-president, Coin-Op Division, with responsibility for marketing and sales/distribution.  Gene Lipkin remained Coin-Op Division president. (TVDigest 6/16/80 p16; CC 6/80)  (Frank Ballouz remained director of marketing; Don Osborne remained national sales manager.)

June: Atari (Coin-Op) announced the appointment of Shane Breaks (Patrick Shane Gough Breaks), previously of R.H. Belam Export, Inc., as International Marketing Director (new position).  Breaks would be headquartered at Atari's facility in Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, with responsibility for all overseas sales.  Sue Elliot remained International Sales Manager, based at Atari headquarters in California, and would now report to Breaks. (CC 6/80; CashBox 6/28/80)

June: Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP engineering Consumer Game Division (Electronic Toys & Games), became VP advanced technology (new consumer electronics product development, located at 1349 Moffett Park Dr., Sunnyvale, CA; initially to be based on a chipset designed by the departed Doug Neubauer; would ultimately lead instead to the 5200; group would include: LSI chipset designer Francois Michel, senior engineer Charles Pete Gerrard, programmer Rob Zdybel). (source; source; Stella at 20 t14 4:05; Bristow resume for date, but see also Bristow deposition 1982-08-05 p3 where he gave this date as January 1981; source

June: Dona Bailey, previously of General Motors, joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a programmer. (source)

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: In Japan, Sega Enterprises released Missile Command by Atari (up, table, and cockpit versions). (GM 11/29/82)

June: Namco-America, Inc. VP operations Satish Bhutani departed the company (to Data East). (source)  Hideyuki Nakajima, previously based in Japan as Namco EVP international sales, VP for Atari Japan, and president of Namco-America, would now be based in California as Namco international marketing director while continuing as president of Namco-America. (Cash Box 8/29/81 p34; Cash Box 10/17/81 p33; GM 2/15/82 p29)

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 Corporation (CDC)), Bond Analysis (CDC), Stock Analysis (CDC), Stock Charting (CDC), An Invitation to Programming 2: Writing Programs One and Two (Program Design, Inc. (PDI)), An Invitation to Programming 3: Introduction to Sound and Graphics (PDI), Astrology (never shipped), Conversational French (EMI / Longman), Conversational German (EMI / Longman), Conversational Spanish (EMI / Longman), 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 System; each package in the series would require the 815 dual disk drive; 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?: Rick Moncrief was Atari (Coin-Op) Chief Engineer, Special Projects. (WeLoveAtari p170)

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

Months?: John W. Shields, Jr., previously of General Electric, joined Atari (Consumer) as national sales manager for video games, and Mark Bradlee, previously of Black & Decker, joined Atari (Consumer) as national account manager for video games.  (Bill Grubb remained Atari (Consumer) VP marketing and sales for video games.)

Months?: Jeff Burton joined Atari (Consumer) as International Market Manager, and Nancy Garrison, previously of Revlon, joined Atari (Consumer) as international marketing manager for computer software.  (Anton Bruehl remained Atari (Consumer) VP international sales/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: Atari (Consumer) applications programmer (personal computers) Mike Lorenzen departed the company. (source)

July: Date of Atari Lease Agreement for 1196 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale CA (source) (future home of the future Atari Computer Division).

July: In Japan, Taito released T.T. Missile Command by Atari. (GM 11/29/82)

July 22: In Hong Kong, Atari established Atari Far East Limited.  Initial purpose: to hold the assets of a new joint manufacturing venture in Hong Kong.  Atari (Consumer) general accounting manager John Constantine was setting up the new unit (while remaining based in California).  (source 5:20)   

July 25: In Hong Kong, Atari (via Atari Far East Limited) 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: King Yip Industrial Building-2nd Floor, 59 King Yip St., Kwun Tong, Kowloon

July 29: Warner Amex Cable Communications announced a fall 1980 project in collaboration with Atari, Inc. and CompuServe that would provide a minimum of 100 subscribers to the Warner Amex two-way interactive QUBE service in Columbus, Ohio, with access to data from CompuServe through the use of provided Atari computers. (Warner Amex Cable Communications PR)

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 (to Tandem Computers).

Summer?: Marilyn Theurer, previously an illustrator for Pioneer Girls (publisher of children's books and magazines), joined Atari (Consumer) as the division's first computer graphics artist (computer animation).  (She had interviewed with industrial design and graphics department head John Hayashi and Jim Kelly from the art department, but would report to the director of software development, Dennis Koble.)  (source)  

Summer: Atari (Consumer) donated 18 Atari 800 computers and 810 disk drives to the Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley CA, for their Math and Computer Project. The donation was arranged by Atari educational marketing consultant Ted Kahn. (AtConn Fal81 p12-15)

August 4: 15-year-old Adam Clayton wrote to Atari, explaining he had found the message "created by Warren Robinett" in the Atari VCS game, Adventure. (source)

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: Joe Robbins, previously Atari (Coin-Op) co-president (marketing and sales/distribution), became Atari (Coin-Op) president, replacing Gene Lipkin who departed the company (Fun p388; TCWv1 p452).  

August: Dan H. Kramer, previously of Aertech Industries, joined Atari (Consumer) in engineering (reporting to technicians manager Dan Corona). (source; source; source

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. (source)

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/"small box" release), States & Capitals, European Countries & Capitals, Mortgage & Loan Analysis, Energy Czar

Summer/Fall?: Atari (Coin-Op) game designer/programmer Rick Maurer departed the company. (Fun p524)

Summer/Fall?: Alan Murphy, previously of InfoWorld, joined Atari (Consumer) as a computer graphics designer/animation artist, hired by/reporting to manager Marilyn Theurer. (source)

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

September 9: In Hong Kong, Atari took over Denovo Company Limited (investment vehicle established 1/4/1980), renaming it Atari Hong Kong Company Limited.  Atari (Consumer) general accounting manager John Constantine executed this step as part of an Atari intention to eventually build a Hong Kong research and development center.  (Atari would not follow through on this plan.) (source 13:30)  (speculation: Perhaps this plan was abandoned with the establishment of Atari International (Hong Kong) Limited on 9/24/82.)

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

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

September: Roger H. Badertscher joined Atari to be president of the new Personal Computer Division, which would be spun off from the Consumer Division.  Badertscher was previously VP and general manager of the microprocessor division of Signetics, an electronics semiconductor manufacturer, and he had developed the business plan for the new division. (source; InfoWorld 7/26/82p29 for date)  Bruce W. Irvine, previously of Control Data Corporation (CDC), would join Atari (Personal Computer) as VP software (essentially replacing Atari (Consumer) director of software development Dennis Koble in the role).  Bill Kaiser, previously of Atari (Consumer), would be Atari (Personal Computer) director of finance. 

September: David Staugas, previously of Exidy, joined Atari (Personal Computer) as a systems software programmer (source), reporting to manager of systems software Brian Johnston.

September: The Atari Customer Service Department (formerly: Customer Service Division; 1346 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale CA) began offering 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 16-18: Wescon/80, Anaheim CA, featured speakers including Peter N. Rosenthal, Atari (Personal Computer) director of marketing. (source; source; source)

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 15: Namco Ltd. and Atari, which were in litigation over exclusive sales rights in Japan, had settled their differences as the result of a meeting in Japan between Namco president Masaya Nakamura and Atari (Coin-Op) president Joe Robbins. (source; GM 10/15/80p5

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: Jose A. Valdes joined Atari as development engineer.

October: Atari shipped (Europe) the handheld Touch Me (BH-100). (Fun p259)

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: Mimi Doggett joined Atari (Consumer) as a computer graphics designer/animation artist, hired by/reporting to graphics & animation group manager Marilyn Theurer. (source)

Fall: Gene B. Rosen would join Atari (Personal Computer) as VP engineering (ComputerWorld 3/16/81p74), with unit operations on the second floor at 1272 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale CA (which also remained home of Consumer engineering). (OnceUponAtari p25)  Kevin McKinsey, previously Atari (Consumer) industrial designer, would be Atari (Personal Computer) manager of industrial design and graphics.  Brad Saville, previously Atari (Consumer) manufacturing manager (personal computers), would be Atari (Personal Computer) operations manager.

Fall: John R. Powers, III, previously of The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI; co-founded by Powers and Joe Miller; developers of software for the CyberVision home computer), joined Atari (Personal Computer) as manager, applications & development systems (reporting to VP software Bruce Irvine).  Reports to Powers would include applications supervisor Dale Yocum.

Fall: At Atari (Personal Computer): Christopher P. Bowman, previously director of media services at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, joined the company as national manager of educational marketing. (source)  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 the company as manager, educational software products.  Brenda K. Laurel, previously Manager, Educational Product Design at The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI), joined the company as a software specialist for educational applications.  Tandy Trower, previously Atari (Consumer) evaluator of 3rd party software titles (personal computers), became a software product manager.  Georgia Marszalek, previously Atari (Personal Computer) manager of marketing communications, became a product marketing manager.  Sally Bowman, previously a school psychologist for the Scottsdale Unified School District (Arizona), joined the company as manager of marketing communications (replacing Marszalek in the role).  Peter Rosenthal was director of marketing.

Fall: Craig Conway, previously Atari (Consumer) national sales manager for personal computers, would be Atari (Personal Computer) national account manager.  Keith E. Schaefer joined Atari (Personal Computer) as National Sales Manager (replacing Conway in the role).  Conrad Jutson, previously Atari (Consumer) VP Sales & Marketing, Personal Computers, remained Atari (Personal Computer) VP Sales & Marketing. 

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, 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).  The distributor for the Atari Consumer Division of WEA Records in Belgium and Luxembourg would be Confirmex p.v.b.a.

Fall: The Atari VCS (2600P for PAL B/G) became available in Italy through Atari distributor Melchioni (L. 385.000). (source)

Fall: Jan Soderstrom, previously Senior Director of Sales/Marketing at Hughes Airwest (the airline, which had just been acquired by Republic), joined Atari (in the new position of corporate director of advertising?). (source)

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; Fun p536)

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 17, of Whittier CA, won a full-size Atari Asteroids arcade unit (but then asked for and received a Missile Command cocktail unit instead). (PR; CC Mar81p44; sourceWilliam F. Grubb was Atari (Consumer) vice president of marketing and sales; Mark Bradlee was national account manager.

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 (P.E.C.F.), and would be known as P.E.C.F. Atari. (source Location: 9-11 rue Georges Enesco, Créteil (near Paris).

November/December?: For the VCS Atari released: Pelé's Championship Soccer  (newspaper ads; source; source)

November/December?: Atari (Personal Computer) applications programmer Kathy Forte departed the company. (source)

December 8: Atari (Consumer) VP Marketing & Sales Bill Grubb established New West Marketing Company, a manufacturer's representative consultancy.

December 10: Atari Ireland Limited 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: Ken (Charles) Balthaser, previously designer and programmer at The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI), joined the Atari Advanced Technology Group. (source)

December: Atari (Personal Computer) established a Software Development Support Group, which would eventually include: Chris Crawford (group supervisor; reporting to manager, applications & development systems John Powers (source); previously: an Applications group programmer reporting to Dale Yocum; having completed Energy Czar and SCRAM), Lane Winner, Jim Cox, Mike Ekberg, John Eckstrom, Kathleen Armstrong/Kathleen Pitta, Gus Makreas, Amy Chen (Amy Liu), Bob Fraser, Jim Dunion  (source; source; source)

December: Atari released Battlezone Cabaret.

December: John Constantine, previously Atari (Consumer) general accounting manager, became managing director of Atari Far East Limited (and moved from California to Hong Kong). (source 12:50)  Atari Far East purchasing/ finance/ distribution would be located at: 10 Shing Yip Street-6th Floor, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong.  A separate marketing office, to be headed by Roddy Chan, would be established at: 605 Wing on Plaza-6th Floor, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong.  (The Atari-Wong Limited manufacturing plant remained at: King Yip Industrial Building-2nd Floor, 59 King Yip St., Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong.)

December 19: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Caribe, Inc., for consumer electronics distribution, sales, marketing, and 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?)

The 1980 Play Meter Award for video game excellence would be awarded to Atari, Inc. for Asteroids, voted by U.S. Amusement Operators as the highest earning video game in 1980. (source)

Atari had sold over 1 million VCS units in 1980, nearly doubling the installed base to over 2 million.  Also, 1.25 million VCS Space Invaders cartridges had been sold in 1980. (TCWv1 p466)

1981
January 1:
Atari (Consumer) sales representatives included: John W. Smuda (Eastern Regional Manager, 200 5th Ave Ste 1357, New York NY), James R. Croke (Jim Croke) (Mid-Western Regional Manager, 2805 Butterfield Rd Ste 150, Oak Brook IL), Darryl Baygents (James D Baygents) (Southeastern Regional Manager, Peachtree City GA), Phil Quigley (Western Regional Manager, 1265 Borregas Ave, Sunnycale CA) (price list)

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 cartridge games: Superman, Football, Basketball, Outlaw, Sea Battle (later: Destroyer), Space Invaders (title by Taito), Road Runner, and included with the system: Asteroids. (PR, see Analog #1p4)  In their ad appearing in the January 1981 issue of Merchandising Atari had announced these plus a ninth game no longer planned, Dodge 'Em. (source)

January 5: Atari announced the Remote Control Video Computer System (2700; never shipped; see Atarimuseum's 2700 page). (PR, see Analog #1p4)

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 8: Atari (Consumer) VP Marketing & Sales Bill Grubb had departed the company (TCWv1 p528) (to launch his manufacturer's representative consultancy, New West Marketing Company, which he had established on 12/8/80; Grubb would co-found Imagic on 6/1/81.).  Atari (Consumer) national account manager Mark Bradlee would also depart the company (and would join Imagic shortly after its founding.)  

January 8-11: At the 1981 International Winter CES, held at Las Vegas Convention Center/Hilton Hotel/Jockey Club, Atari introduced the Remote Control Video Computer System (2700; never shipped) and introduced the Cosmos Programmable Game System (EG500; never shipped).  8 cartridges were currently planned for Cosmos, as announced on January 5, 1981.

Atari also introduced four new games for the VCS ($199.95): Othello (February), Video Pinball (March), Warlords (May), Asteroids (July) (Space War and Miniature Golf were dropped, bringing the total number of VCS titles available to 42).

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

January 10: Atari had announced the departure of Coin-Op division president Gene Lipkin.  Joe Robbins was now the sole president of the division. (Cash Box 1/10/81 p38)  Former VP engineering and manufacturing Noah Anglin had also departed the company (to Exidy, where he would be president). (timing: CC 3/81; Marquis; Esquire 2/81)  Also at Atari (Coin-Op): Curtis Russell (Curt Russell) had been promoted to VP operations (previously: director of operations; replacing Anglin in the role), Lyle Rains had been promoted to VP engineering (previously: director of engineering; replacing Anglin in the role), Fred Gerson was VP finance, Frank Ballouz was director of marketing, Don Osborne was national sales manager, and Shane Breaks was international director of marketing. (Cash Box 1/10/81 p38

January 11: Howard Scott Warshaw, previously of Hewlett-Packard, joined Atari (Consumer) as a video game engineer. (Fun p586; source) (He was hired by director of software development Dennis Koble, and would report to software manager Bob Smith.)

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

January: Tom Thompson, previously plant manager at Ethan Allen furniture, joined Atari (Coin-Op) as plant manager of the wood shop which Atari expcted to open summer 1981 in Milpitas CA. (CC 3/81)  

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: Michael Shiu, previously senior auditor for Coopers & Lybrand Consulting, joined Atari Far East Limited (in Hong Kong) as controller.  (John Constantine remained managing director of Atari Far East.)

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.

January 25: In El Paso Texas, in support of their nearby manufacturing plant at 5645 Beacon, Atari had established a separate administrative office at 5654 Brown St. (source)

Winter: Atari (Computer) established division headquarters operations (including engineering, previously on the second floor at 1272 Borregas Ave.) in a new building at 1196 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA (46,000 ft2; located in the Moffett Park industrial park). (AtariExplorer v1n1 Spr81; source(The upper level of 1272 Borregas Ave. remained the home of Consumer engineering.)

Winter: Atari Customer Service VCS support would remain at 1346 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale CA, while 400/800 support was expanded to 1340 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale CA. (sourceJerry Jessop, previously Atari (Computer) manufacturing technician, would be Customer Service supervisor (400/800). (source)

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

Winter: The Atari (Coin-Op) California Customer Service Office moved from 1344 Bordeaux Dr., Sunnyvale CA to: 1105 N Fair Oaks Ave, Sunnyvale CA.  Atari also established a European Customer Service Office at Atari Ireland Limited, Tipperary Town. (source)

February 2: Atari had announced that Conrad Jutson, previously Atari (Computer) VP Sales & Marketing, was promoted to VP market planning (consumer and computer products). (TVDigest)  Peter Rosenthal, previously Atari (Computer) director of marketing (reporting to Jutson), would be Atari (Computer) VP business planning (new position). (source, sourceAtari announced that Rigdon Currie, previously of Xerox subsidiary Diablo, had joined the company as VP marketing for the Computer Division (Compute!#11p166; TVDigest) (replacing Jutson in the role).  Mark A. Lutvak, previously product program general manager at Memorex, would join Atari (Computer) as director of product marketing (replacing Rosenthal in the role; reporting to Currie).  Product marketing manager Stephen Davis would depart the company (to Corvus Systems Inc.), and product manager Carol Abbott would depart the company. (source 15:30)  Brenda Laurel, previously software specialist for educational applications, would remain a software product manager.  Mark O. McCrackin would join the company as a product manager for educational marketing (replacing Laurel in the role). (source)  (Robert Kahn remained Manager, Educational Software Products; Tandy Trower remained a software product manager.)

Atari also announced that Ron Stringari, previously of Sears (corporate marketing and merchandising of products including the Sears Video Arcade by Atari), had joined Atari (Consumer) as VP Marketing, replacing the departed William Grubb. (TVDigest)  Robert K. Faught, previously of Colgate-Palmolive, would join Atari (Consumer) as director of sales (reporting to Stringari), replacing national sales manager John Shields who would depart the company (to U.S. Repeating Arms Company. Inc. (USRAC)).  John Hayashi, previously director of Atari (Consumer) Industrial Design and Graphics, would remain director of Consumer Graphics (reporting to VP marketing Ron Stringari).  Industrial designer Roy Nishi would be promoted to manager of the industrial design group (replacing Hayashi in the role).

February 9: Atari (again) announced Cosmos - The Third Dimension, to retail for $99.95 with Asteroids and expected to ship August 1981 (never shipped).  Initially 8 game cartridges were to be available: Space Invaders, Superman, Outlaw, Destroyer (previously: Sea Battle), Asteroids, Road Runner, Football, Basketball. (PR (which announced there would be 8 games but failed to list Basketball); WeLoveAtari v1p152-153)

February 15-17: Atari featured the Cosmos (never shipped) at the 78th annual American Toy Fair in New York.  8 games were planned for the system, as announced on February 9, 1981.

February: In Japan, Sega Enterprises released Battlezone by Atari. (GM 11/29/82)

February?: For the VCS Atari shipped: Othello (source)

February: J. Fred Thorlin joined Atari (Computer) as director of software product acquisition (reporting to VP software Bruce Irvine). (source; source)  One charge for Thorlin would be to direct the transformation of an internal software development tools exchange program that had been established by applications software supervisor Dale Yocum into a public-facing program (Atari Program Exchange). (source)

February: Andrew Soderberg, previously a partner at a computer retailer called Computer Connection, joined Atari (Computer) as an assistant product manager (reporting to product manager Tandy Trower). (source 5:30) 

February: Atari (Computer) systems software programmer Dave Staugas departed the company (and returned to Exidy). (source

February 28: Colette Weil, previously Atari (Coin-Op) manager of market research, had become Atari (corporate) Director, Corporate Market and Consumer Research (reporting to VP market planning Conrad Jutson).  Atari (Coin-Op) had announced the appointment of Mariann Layne as marketing services supervisor (replacing the departed Carol Kantor in the role).  Laura Burgess, previously assistant to director of marketing Frank Ballouz, would be assistant to Layne.  Addtionally, Mary Takatsuno had been promoted to market research supervisor (replacing Weil in the role), Linda Butcher would continue as market research analyst, and Leslie McFarland had joined the company as junior research assistant. (CashBox 2/28/81 p36-37; CC 3/81)

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; source)

March: Atari released Video Pinball for the VCS.

March?: Atari VP research and development Al Alcorn departed the company. (Alcorn would establish Cumma Research, Inc. on 2/2/83.)  The Advanced Products Group's Holoptics Lab would be shut down.  Advanced Products Group industrial/graphics/mechanical designer Roger Hector was promoted to Manager - Advanced Products, replacing Alcorn as head of the unit, and Hector would now report directly to Atari CEO Ray Kassar. (source)

March: Douglas A. Chorey, previously a senior analyst at Control Data Corporation (CDC), joined Atari (Advanced Technology group?) as system project leader. (source)  

March: Bill Bartlett, previously of Electronic Data Systems (EDS), joined Atari (Computer) in marketing as a product manager (The Atari Accountant). (source 1:25)

March: Richard Bailey, previously manufacturing operations manager at NCR, joined Atari as plant manager, El Paso Texas operations.

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: Curt Russell was Atari (Coin-Op) VP manufacturing. (CC 3/81) (actually: VP operations?)

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; PR; PRAtari had shipped more than 70,000 units of the original coin-op Asteroids game (cocktail, Cabaret, and standard upright) throughout the world since its fall 1979 release, and it was still in production. (PR)  The addition of Missile Command 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)

March 31-April 1: The Bradley Trainer (or: Army Battlezone), developed by request of the Army by the Atari (Coin-Op) Special Projects group (Rick Moncrief, chief engineer), was demonstrated during the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Commanders' Conference, which was conducted as a satellite videoteleconference originating live from Fort Eustis.  (Conference theme: "Technology in Army Training")  Subsequently, a study group at the Army Training Support Center (ATSC) in Ft. Eustis would be directed to evaluate the effectiveness of the trainer. (source; source; All Volunteer Feb82 p 10-11; source) 

March/April: Atari Customer Service (home consumers) established a Regional Service Center at 43 Belmont Dr., Somerset NJ.  1346 Bordeaux Dr., Sunnyvale CA, the existing home of Customer Service, would also serve as a Regional Service Center.

April 1: Rivington F. Hight, Jr. (Riv Hight), previously head of Taito Australia, joined Atari (Coin-Op) as manager of marketing and sales (through local distributors) in Japan, Australia, and the Far East for the new "Atari Far East" with an office at: Fukide Building 2 Floor, 4-1-13 Toranomon Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan. (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/Summer Edition due for publication June 1).  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. (see Compute! #12 5/81 p150; ComputerBusinessNews 5/18/81p22)  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

Fred Thorlin remained Atari (Computer) director of software product acquisition (reporting to Irvine).  Dale Yocum, previously Atari (Computer) applications software supervisor, would be APX manager (reporting to Thorlin).  Ken Balthaser, previously of the Atari Advanced Technology Group (and prior to that, programmer at The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI)), would become Atari (Computer) manager of applications software development (replacing Yocum in the role).

April 5: Atari employed nearly 350 at its El Paso manufacturing operation, where Dick Bailey remained general manager and Bill Medrano remained personnel manager.  Construction had just begun on a 128,000 ft2 manufacturing-warehouse-office building in the Vista Del Sol Industrial Center on the East Side of El Paso.  The $2.15 million building was scheduled to be finished in August 1981.  Atari also maintained plants in Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Ireland. (El Paso Times 4/5/81)

April 6: Through Atari Caribe, Inc., Atari had opened a new 50,000 (46,000) ft2 manufacturing facility at Road 195 K.M. 1.5, Puerto Real Wausi Park, Fajardo Puerto Rico.  It was 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.  The general manager for the plant was William Planas, formerly production manager for Storage Technology Corp.  The site would manufacture VCS cartridges.  Initially 35-40 would be employed at the new location, projected to increase to 150. (source; source Atari Caribe would establish a four-building plant for distribution, sales, marketing, and warehouse operations in Canóvanas Puerto Rico.

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 (Consumer) (in Sunnyvale CA) as assistant product manager (2600 VCS), international sales & marketing. (Jeff Burton remained International Market Manager; Anton Bruehl remained VP international sales/marketing.)

April: Atari acquired an exclusive sublicense to manufacture and sell versions of Namco's Pac-Man (originally released 8/80 in Japan by Namco as: Puck Man -source) for use on both home video game systems and personal computers from Namco-America. (InfoWorld 12/21/81The agreement also covered Galaxian (originally released 10/79 in Japan by Namco -source). (Merch Jan/Feb82)

April: Opening of Future Center at the Capital Children's Museum, featuring "tomorrow's classroom" of 20 Atari 800 computer systems donated by Atari.  With further support from Atari, the project would additionally include the "Communications" hands-on exhibit (November 1981), the SuperBoots educational software development effort, and computer enhancements of other exhibits. (AtConn v1n4 p9-10; AtConn v2n1 p7-8; sourceThe project was facilitated by Atari educational marketing consultant Ted Kahn.

April 23-24: An Atari Seminar for developers. The Atari Software Development Support Group included: Chris Crawford (graphics), Lane Winner (BASIC, cassette), Mike Ekberg (OS, DOS), Kathleen Armstrong (Kathleen Pitta) (Forth), Jim Cox (graphics & utilities), Gus Makreas (assembly language), John Eckstrom (Pascal)  (source)

April 25-28: At Greenfield Community College (MA), the year-long TEME (Totally Enclosed Modular Environment) project in human ecology culminated in an elaborate 72-hour simulated space flight mission.  Led by instructors Gregg Vouros and Dan LaRose, the team of students had built a full-size flight deck mock-up, habitation module, and observation lab, incorporating an Atari 800 computer system that was donated by Atari, running software designed by student Mike Tepper who had received 3 days of free training at Atari in California. (AtariConnection Summer81 p8-9; Florida Today (Cocoa FL) 4/25/81 p10A)

April/May?: Michel A. Ebertin, previously consumer product development director at National Semiconductor, joined Atari (Consumer) as VP Engineering, replacing Ron Budworth who departed the company (to Transpacific Computer Company). (source for date)  Niles Strohl, previously Atari (Consumer) engineering manager, would become director of electrical engineering.

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."

Spring: Fred Thorlin, previously Atari (Computer) director of software product acquisition (ASAP/APX), became director of product review and research (new position, remaining responsible for APX; still reporting to VP software Bruce Irvine).  Paul V. Cubbage, previously of The Wollongong Group, would join Atari (Computer) as product review manager (reporting to Thorlin).  T.J. Gracon (Tom Gracon) joined Atari (Computer) as director of software product acquisition (ASAP) (replacing Thorlin in the role; reporting to Irvine).

Spring: 6-week pilot of the IEC-Atari Mobile Computer Van Project, a collaboration between the Industry-Education Council of Santa Clara County (CA) and new IEC member Atari, serving one community college and 14 schools in 6 school districts.  Atari had supplied 18 complete Atari 800 computer systems (van capacity: 15 systems), and the Atari Advanced Products group had designed and produced portable carrying cases for the systems, and also handled the interior and exterior design of the van.  Curriculum was developed by Computer-Using Educators (CUE).  During fall 1981 the van would serve 49 separate schools, 165 separate classes, and 4,950 students.  The project was facilitated by Atari educational marketing consultant Ted Kahn. (AtConn v2n1 p14-16; source; source)

May 1: Atari's suggested retail price for the 400 with 16KiB RAM, now to be marketed as The Basic Computer, was reduced to $399 (previously: $630).  The 8KiB RAM version of the 400 would no longer be offered.  (The 800 Personal Computer System (with 16KiB RAM) retail price remained $1,080.)

May 1-August 31: Atari offered a free CX853 16K RAM Module ($99.95) with purchase of an Atari 800 personal computer; offered the 825 printer at $800 instead of $1000; and offered the 850 interface at $170 instead of $220

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 $399 (was $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 introduced: The Entertainer ($89.95; June 1981; Joystick Controllers (pair), Star Raiders, Computer Chess (until August 1981) or Missile Command (starting August 1981), The Educator ($144.95; June 1981; 410, BASIC, States & Capitals), The Programmer ($69.95; June 1981; BASIC, BASIC Reference Manual, Atari BASIC (Wiley Self-Teaching Guide)), The Communicator ($399.95; July 1981; 850, 830, TeleLink I), Atari 810 Master Diskette II, Personal Financial Management System (PFMS), Conversational Italian (EMI / Longman), Dow Jones Investment Evaluator (never shipped), Atari Microsoft BASIC.  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).  Again promised: 815 Dual Disk Drive ($1,500), An Invitation to Programming 2, An Invitation to Programming 3, Conversational French, Conversational German, Asteroids, Missile Command, Calculator, Atari Accountant: General Accounting System, Atari Accountant: Accounts Receivable System, Atari Accountant: Inventory Control System, Atari Word Processor (810 or 815 versions; 815 version never shipped), Atari PILOT.  Previewed: 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). 

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

May: At Atari (Coin-Op): Dave Stubben was promoted from electrical engineering manager to director, electrical engineering (Stubben resume) (still reporting to VP engineering Lyle Rains, or to project office manager Dan Van Elderen on game projects). 

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

May: Stephanie Mott joined Atari (Coin-Op) Special Projects (Rick Moncrief, chief engineer) as a programmer.

May?: Atari (Computer) Manager, Compilers (Pascal) John Eckstrom departed the company.

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

May: At Atari (Consumer), Steve Wright, previously training manager, would become director of software development, replacing Dennis Koble who departed the company. (source) (Koble would co-found Imagic on 6/1/81.)  

May: William Carris (Bill Carris), previously Director of Atari Technical Services (customer service), became Atari (Computer) national sales training manager. (source; source; source Jon D. Ebbs joined Atari as director of Customer Service (source(replacing Carris in the role; reporting to Atari EVP Dennis Groth?).  Atari would phase out its partnership with Control Data Corporation (CDC) for 400/800 service at Control Data Service Centers and launched a new nationwide network of Authorized Atari Computer Service Centers and Independent Service Centers (VCS service). (AtariConnection v1n3p21; Analog #4p9; source(supported by the existing Regional Service Centers at 1346 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale CA and at 43 Belmont Dr, Somerset NJ).  James W. Prather would join Atari Customer Service as manager of field service.  David S. Wilson would join Atari Customer Service as manager of Customer Support.  John H. Hahn would join Atari Customer Service as manager of Technical Support.  Jerry Jessop, previously supervisor, Customer Service home computers group, would join Atari (Consumer) engineering as a Senior Technical Associate. (source

May 31-June 3: At the Summer CES in Chicago, for the VCS ($199.95; 6-switch units displayed) Atari featured Asteroids (not yet released) and Video Pinball. (source)

June 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Software Catalog Summer Edition 1981, introducing 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 (also known as "Coin-Op Forth" or "Colleen Forth"; 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

June 1: Imagic was established by William Grubb (former Atari (Consumer) VP Marketing & Sales), Dennis Koble (former Atari (Consumer) director of software development), Jim Goldberger (formerly of Mattel), and Brian Dougherty (formerly of Mattel). (source)

June: Atari (corporate) established the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research, which would award 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.  Ted M. Kahn, previously Atari educational marketing consultant, who had written the business plan for the Institute at the request of Atari EVP Dennis Groth, joined Atari as the Institute's executive director; Groth would serve as the Institute's chairman.  The Executive Committee would eventually include Groth, Atari chairman and CEO Raymond E. Kassar, Atari VP and chief scientist Alan Kay, Atari (Home Computer) president Roger Badertscher, Atari (Home Computer) VP research and development Steve Mayer, Atari (Home Computer) VP business planning Peter Rosenthal, and Warner Communications VP corporate affairs Roger Smith.  The Board of Advisors would include: Dean Brown, Judy Collins, Hugh Downs, Marian Wright Edelman, Roger C. Faxon, W. Tim Gallwey, Sam Gibbon (consultant, Children's Television Workshop and Bank Street College of Education), Herbert Kohl, Paul Trachtman, Heinz von Foerster, William (Sandy) Wagner (founder of Computer-Using Educators), Karl Zinn  (Atari Action v1n1 Fall82; source

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 showing 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. (source)

June?: Atari (Coin-Op) president Joe Robbins departed the company (to lead the recently-established Amusement Device Manufacturers Association (ADMA)). (TCWv1 p453)

June: Atari Advanced Products Group engineer Harry Jenkins was promoted to Manager - Advanced Products (head of the unit, reporting directly to Atari CEO Ray Kassar (Zap! p105)), replacing Roger Hector who departed the company. (source)  

June: Engineer Jess Jessop, previously of Commodore, joined Atari (Computer) to head a new test & repair group (diagnostics and repair strategies).

June: Leslie Wolf joined Atari (Computer) in marketing as a data processing specialist. (source; source 3:25)

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 21: Atari was establishing an Advanced Development Laboratory in New York City, to pursue "advanced consumer products for the education, entertainment and professional markets."  Projects were anticipated in areas including computer graphics, system architecture, telecommunications, and computer languages. (NYT 6/21/81 pF41) 

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

June 30: In Japan, Epoch released the Cassette Vision. (source)   Epoch would no longer serve as distributor of the Atari VCS in Japan, and Atari would abandon the Japanese consumer electronics market..

June/July: Atari (Consumer) game designer Rob Fulop and software manager Bob Smith departed the company (both to Imagic).  (Steve Wright remained director of software development.)

Month?: Dennis Harper joined Atari (Coin-Op) as a Designer / Programmer.

Month?: Robert Stewart (Bob Stewart) joined Atari (Coin-Op) in manufacturing.

Month?: The Atari (Consumer) programmers group moved from the upper level of 1272 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA, which would remain the home of Consumer engineering, to a new building at 275 Gibraltar Dr., Sunnyvale CA (34,500 ft2). 

Month?: John Seghers, previously of Litton Mellonics, joined Atari (Consumer) as a game designer/programmer.

Month?: In West Germany, Steve Molyneux, previously of American Express Military Banking, joined Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH as (computer) software development manager.  He was recruited by Atari (Consumer) international marketing manager for computer software Nancy Garrison.

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

Month?: Dave Menconi joined Atari Customer Service as a technical support specialist (source 4:40 and 7:50; AtariExplorer Fall81p21 for title) (reporting to manager of technical support John Hahn).

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 (Rexdale, 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: In Japan, Sega Enterprises released Warlords by Atari (game stand). (GM 11/29/82)

July: Larry Plummer, previously General Manager, Heathkit Computer Products at Heath Company (division of Zenith Data Systems), joined Atari (Computer) as director of engineering (timing; source), replacing Gene Rosen who departed the company.  Also making the move from Heath to Atari (Computer) under Plummer: electrical engineer Jim Tittsler (source 2:40) and mechanical engineer Carl Goy (previously Heath's chief design engineer (source)).  Tittsler/Goy would form a Special Projects Group within Atari (Computer). (source 3:30The group would engage in projects eventually including a combination Atari 800/SUN workstation (source), then a combination Atari 800/IBM PC compatible computer (project Shakti/25601, later planned as the Atari 1600, a joint venture with Toshiba).

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

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 17: Imagic, which had been established on 6/1/81, commenced operations with nine employees, including former Atari (Consumer) employees Bill Grubb, Dennis Koble, Rob Fulop, Bob Smith; former Mattel employees Jim Goldberger, Dave Durran, Brian Dougherty; former Intel employee Pat Ransil; former Versatec employee Gary Kato. (source; source)  Former Atari (Consumer) employee Mark Bradlee would join the company within weeks. (source)

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 27: Steve Wright was director of software development at Atari (Consumer), and Ed Rotberg was a software engineering supervisor at Atari (Coin-Op). (InfoWorld 7/27/81 p42-43)

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

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

Summer?: Stanford MBA student Kenneth R. Wirt began working for Atari (Computer) in sales/marketing. (Marquis)

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 Atari Club and a new Atari Age magazine would return in spring 1982.)

Summer: For the 400/800 Atari shipped: Atari 810 Master Diskette II (DOS II version 2.0S developed by SMI/Atari), 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

July/August: Atari released Asteroids for the VCS.  (source)

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 12: Atari announced the appointment of Young & Rubican, New York, to handle advertising for the company's corporate communications projects and personal computer products.  Doyle, Dane, Bernbach, New York would continue to handle advertising for the company's home video game products through the Atari Consumer Electronics Division.  SSC&B, a division of Interpublic, had previously handled advertising for Atari's Computer Division. (PR)

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.)

August: James Alan Cook (Jamie Cook) joined Atari (Computer) as VP and Counsel. (date)  David Burling, previously Atari VP and counsel, would be Atari (Consumer) VP and counsel. (source 15:30)  (Skip Paul remained Atari SVP and general counsel (including the Coin-Op division.)

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)

August: During corporate planning meetings in Sonoma CA, the Atari Consumer Electronics Division proposed further investigation of a new business in advanced consumer telecommunications products and services. (source)  (would lead to: Project Falcon)

August: Suki Lee joined Atari (Consumer) as a video game designer/programmer.

August 17: Michael L. Sherrard, previously associate patent counsel at National Semiconductor, had joined Atari as patent counsel. (WashPost 8/17/81 pA18)  (Skip Paul remained Atari SVP and general counsel.)

August 19: Warner Communications Inc. announced that Jac Holzman, senior consultant to the Office of the President (and a director of Atari), had renewed and expanded his involvement with WCI, with increased responsibilities primarily in high technology areas applicable to WCI's businesses, such as Atari, Warner/Amex Cable, Warner Home Video and Panavision, while continuing his supervision of WCI long-range planning as it related to new technologies, with particular emphasis on the application of those technologies to video, computers and the recorded music areas of WCI. (WCI PR)

Summer/Fall: Atari (Consumer) international sales and marketing operations were spun off into a new division of Atari, Atari International.  Anton Bruehl, previously Atari (Consumer) VP international sales/marketing, would be president of Atari International.  Gerd Stoecker joined Atari International (as director of international finance?), and Claude Nahum joined Atari International as manager of financial planning & analysis (reporting to Stoecker).  Jeff Burton remained Market Manager; William Lord remained assistant product manager (2600 VCS); Nancy Garrison remained marketing manager for computer software.

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)

Summer/Fall: Designer Christopher B. Wright, previously of Gillette, joined Atari (Advanced Technology group?).

September 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Software Catalog Fall Edition 1981, introducing for the 400/800: 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).

September 3-7: Atari computer distributor Adveico launched the Atari 400/800 (new PAL versions for PAL B/G; L. 985.000 / L. 1.990.000) in Italy at SIM-Hi.Fi in Milan. (MCmicrocomputer #1 back page; #2 p19-20 for prices)

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 opened their Advanced Development Laboratory at: 300 E. 42nd St., New York NY.  Steven T. Mayer, previously Atari Cyan Engineering senior engineer, became Atari VP research and development (replacement for the departed Al Alcorn), and had transferred from Cyan Engineering to establish and head the new Atari NY Lab. (WCI PR 7/13/84 except year)  (Lawrence D. Emmons remained director of Cyan Engineering.)  Advanced Development Group personnel would eventually include: Gregg Squires (manager of hardware engineering; previously of Racal Vikonics), Robert (Bob) Card (hardware engineer; previously of Racal Vikonics), Steven Ray (previously of Racal Vikonics), Steve Radosh (manager of software engineering), John R. Zeno, Sanford A. Driskin (source), Joel Moskowitz, Philippe des Rioux, Glenn Boles, Risa Rosenberg.  A VCS software development group would eventually include: James E. Korenthal (manager), Mitchell Balsam, Mark R. Hahn  (source)

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

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

September 18-23: At SMAU in Milan, Atari computer distributor Adveico continued the launch of the Atari 400/800 in Italy. (MCmicrocomputer #1 back page)

September 25: There were 16 video game programmers working for Atari in the Consumer Division's engineering software department. (Savadelis article in Career Development)

September 25: The (new?) position of Hardware Product Manager at Atari (Consumer), which would report to VP marketing Ron Stringari, remained vacant. (Savadelis article in Career Development, p354)

September/October: Steve Wright, previously Atari (Consumer) director of software development (reporting to VP engineering Michel Ebertin), became director of Special Projects, a new development group which would be chartered to develop a video game simulator for rapid game prototyping (still reporting to Ebertin).  The Special Projects group would hire consultant Paul Hughett of Hughett Research to engineer the project, and would establish operations at 292 Gibraltar, Sunnyvale CA.  Atari (Consumer) video software product manager Jewel Savadelis (who reported to VP marketing Ron Stringari) additionally became acting director of software development (reporting to Ebertin in the interim added role).

September/October?: At Atari (Computer): Brian Johnston, previously manager of systems software, became a product coordinator.  Lou R. Tarnay, previously of GTE Sylvania, joined the company as systems development manager (new position responsible for operating systems and telecommunications).  Paul Laughton, previously Shepardson Microsystems, Inc. (SMI) staff engineer, joined the company as operating systems supervisor (hired by Johnston; replacing Johnston in the role; reporting to Tarnay). (source 8:10; source

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 as VP/Chief Scientist. (InfoWorld 5/21/84 for date)  The Atari Advanced Products Group would become the Design Research Group, and Harry Jenkins would remain group manager (now reporting to Kay). (Zap! p105)  The Design Research Group would eventually include: Michael Barry, John Bell, Rich Caselli, Randy Horton, Sherman Kennedy, Joe McArtle, Dave McDonald, Michael T. MacKay, Brad Nemeth, Dave Willis, freelance software engineer Stan Osborne, consultant Ed Tannenbaum. (source)  

October: Atari (Coin-Op) electronic engineer John Ray would be promoted to electronic engineers supervisor (reporting to director, electrical engineering Dave Stubben), replacing Howard Delman who departed the company (source), and Atari (Coin-Op) programmer Ed Rotberg departed the company. (source) (Rotberg, Delman, and former Advanced Products Group manager Roger Hector would establish Videa, Inc. on 1/18/82.) 

October: Atari (Coin-Op) Marketing Services included manager Mariann Layne, coordinator Laura Burgess, and assistant Linda Summer.  Market Research included manager Mary Takatsuno, Linda Butcher, and assistant Mike Friedman. (CC 10/81)  

October: Atari (Coin-Op) international distributors included: Canada: Dale Distributing Ltd. (Richmond, B.C. (Vancouver)), Laniel Automatic (Mt. Royal, Quebec), New Way Sales (Rexdale, 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); Finland: Raha Automattiyhdistys (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: T. Stigum & Company (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).  "Atari/East" (New Jersey Customer Service Office) had recently moved to: 12 A World's Fair Dr., Somerset NJ (previously: Cottontail Ln, Somerset NJ).  (source)

October: Atari (Computer) product manager Tandy Trower departed the company (to Microsoft). (source)

October: Engineer Mark Filipak, previously a system programmer at ATC Medical Technology, joined Atari. (source)

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).  (Skip Paul remained Atari SVP and general 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, Atari (Coin-Op) (via Atari Holdings Limited (Ireland)) established the new wholly owned subsidiary, Atari Far East Japan K.K. (The Japan Economic Journal, 12/29/81-1/5/82)

October 15-18: The third annual 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.  "The Future of Personal Computers" forum on Oct. 15, sponsored by the Boston Computer Society, featured panelists including Atari (Computer) VP business planning Peter Rosenthal (standing in for Atari (Computer) president Roger Badertscher), Microsoft president William H. Gates (Bill 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. (Infoworld 11/9/81p1,6; BCS PR 10/6, 10/13)

October 19: InfoWorld reported that a new home accounting system for the Atari 800 would replace the Atari Accountant.  The new system (would ship as: The Bookkeeper) would be designed expressly for the home market, would work with the 810 disk drive, and was to be ready for delivery in the first quarter of 1982. (p37)  (The 815 dual disk drive, along with the Atari Accountant series that would have required the 815, and the Atari Word Processor version for the 815, had all been canceled, never shipped.)

October 20: At Atari (Computer), direct reports to VP software Bruce Irvine included: T.J. Gracon (software product acquisition (ASAP)), Paul E. Liniak (product coordination), Fred Thorlin (product review and research (APX)), J.P. Romanos (Jim Romanos) (product test), John Powers (applications & development systems), Tarnay (systems development), vacant (international).  (Also: Leslie Wolf, word processing specialist.)  Reports to Thorlin included product review manager Paul Cubbage and APX manager Dale Yocum.  Reports to Powers included Ken Balthaser (applications) and Chris Crawford (development support).  Reports to Tarnay included Paul Laughton (acting manager, operating systems).  (source

October 26: As part of the Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP), Atari had opened its first Regional Software Acquisition Center. (InfoWorld 10/26/81 p1; ComputerBusinessNews 10/19/81p8)  The center was managed by Steven H. Gerber, and was located in the 4,000 ft2 location that also housed the Atari Program Exchange (APX): 155 Moffett Park Dr., Sunnyvale CA.  Bruce Irvine was Atari (Computer) VP software.

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: At Atari (Computer), Keith Schaefer was promoted from National Sales Manager to sales VP (TVDigest 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?: Brenda Laurel, previously an Atari (Computer) software product manager, was promoted to manager, software strategy and marketing (new position).

Fall: Gary Furr, previously of GTE Sylvania, joined Atari (Computer) as a software product manager. (source 4:40)

Fall: Mark Cator joined Atari (Computer) as a marketing specialist, users' group support.  (Earl Rice remained Manager, Users' Group Support.) (source; source p4

Fall: In West Germany, Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH shipped the Atari 400/800 (PAL versions for PAL B/G).

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:? Doug Chorey, previously Atari (Advanced Technology Group?) system project leader, became (Coin-Op) Executive Assistant to the manager of software engineering (Steve Calfee). (source)  

Fall?: Gary Blondefield, formerly marketing manager for National Semiconductor's game components, joined Atari (Consumer) as marketing director (reporting to VP marketing Ron Stringari). (source; source)

Fall: In Taiwan, Atari established Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC) and acquired the 180,000 ft2 (16,700 m2) manufacturing facility at 31 Min-Chu Road, Chu-Wei, Tamsui District, Taipei County, 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)  Richard Krieger, previously materials manager, Atari Taipei Liaison Office (Atari Far East (Taiwan)), would be promoted to the title of VP and general manager, Atari Far East (Taiwan).  Raymond A. Kunavich (veteran manager at the plant since 1977?) would be (remain?) general manager in charge of operations, ATMC (reporting to Krieger).

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 12: Namco, Ltd. of Tokyo announced that it had granted Atari the exclusive rights to manufacture and sell Namco's newest video game (not yet introduced as: Dig Dug) in the U.S. and Canada, among other territories.  Additionally, Namco announced that it had granted Atari the rights to produce the home video versions of Galaxian and Pac-Man.  (GM 12/15/81Namco would also (again) become a distributor for Atari (Coin-Op) products in Japan (joining Sega Enterprises and Taito Corporation in the role).

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: Jerome Domurat joined Atari (Consumer) as a computer graphics designer/animation artist, hired by/reporting to graphics & animation group manager Marilyn Theurer.

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 18: Atari, Inc. and Midway Mfg. Co. filed a Federal lawsuit against North American Philips Consumer Electronics Corp. and Park Television, d/b/a/ Park Magnavox Home Entertainment Center, alleging that the "K.C. Munchkin" game for the Magnavox Odyssey2 infringed the copyright in the "Pac-Man" video arcade game. (NAP PR 12/2)

November/December: 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 ("large box" version).

December 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Software Catalog Winter Edition 1981, introducing 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, 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.

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

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, filed on November 18, 1981, 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 and Midway for Namco's Pac-Man.  (Atari and Midway would appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.)

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

December 14: Bill Carris was Atari (Computer) national sales training manager. (InfoWorld)

December?: Steve Gerber, previously manager of the Regional Software Acquisition Center (APX headquarters, Sunnyvale CA) was promoted to Atari (Computer) director of software product acquisition (ASAP) (reporting to VP software Bruce Irvine), replacing T.C. Gracon who departed the company (to co-manage the entertainment and learning center, Computer Capers, with Helen Gracon).

December: Atari Corporate Research (headed by Atari VP/Chief Scientist Alan Kay) established a Games Design Research Group.  Chris Crawford, previously Atari (Computer) Software Development Support Group supervisor, became Manager, Games Design Research Group.  The Software Development Support Group would be renamed, Atari I/O Seminar Services.  (AtariConn v2n2p2,4)  

December?: Linda S. Gordon, previously of Hellman, Jordan Management Company, joined Atari (corporate) as VP special projects (assistant to the president; reporting to Atari chairman/CEO Kassar). (source)

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

December: Steven T. Mayer was VP of research and development at Atari. (NYT 12/24/81 pD2; NYT 12/31/81 pD2)

December 15: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Sales Co. (MA filing for name)  Purpose: Service contracts with consumers.

December 23: Atari Clubs, Inc. (Atari Age magazine) was established as a joint venture between Atari and The Franklin Mint (the fellow Warner Communications subsidiary). (source)  The Atari Club would replace the earlier Atari Game Club (Atari Age newsletter).

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 $899 from $1,080.

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

Atari sold an estimated 3.1 million VCS units in 1981. (TCWv1 p518)

Atari (Atari International) sold 800,000 VCS units 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 (HCD), and it adopted the advertising slogan, "We've brought the computer age home."  The Atari Consumer Division would now be known as the Atari Consumer Electronics Division (CED). 

January 5: In advance of the opening of the Winter CES on January 7, for the 400/800 Atari (Home Computer) announced: Pac-Man (title by Namco; 2nd quarter 1982), Centipede (2nd quarter 1982), Caverns of Mars (originally developed for APX; 1st quarter 1982), The Bookkeeper, The Home Filing ManagerJ. Peter Nelson was Atari (Home Computer) spokesperson. (PR)

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

January 6: In advance of the opening of the Winter CES on January 7, Atari introduced their new "Supergame System" (Video System X; "PAM" project; $349.95; due in the second half of 1982; would ship as: 5200). 

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

January 7-10: At the 1982 International Winter CES (25th) in Las Vegas (booth #610), using the major theme of "Have You Played a Game From Atari Today?" for the VCS ($199.95) 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 the 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. (PR; PR; Video Take-Out) 

Atari and DC Comics (fellow subsidiary of Warner Communications Inc.) announced a series of comic books featuring characters from the video game world of Atari and created by DC Comics.  Initially three comic books were planned, to ship with Defender in June, with Berserk in August, and with Star Raiders in September. (PR)

Atari previewed their new "Supergame System" (Video System X; "PAM" project; $349.95; due in the second half of 1982; would ship as: 5200).  At least 10 games were to be immediately available with the launch of the system, including: Super Breakout, Space Invaders (title by Taito), Missile Command, Asteroids (never shipped), Pac-Man (title by Namco), Galaxian (title by Namco). Star Raiders, Baseball (would ship as: RealSports Baseball), Football, Soccer, Skiing (never shipped). (PR; Analog #5 p9; Fun p665; Merch Jan82; Merch Apr82 p99)  Ron Stringari remained Atari (Consumer) VP marketing; Michael Moone was president of Atari's Consumer Electronics Division.

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 December 1981; 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 (replacement for Steve Wright in the role; reporting to VP engineering Michel Ebertin).  Jewel Savadelis, video software product manager and acting director of software development, would remain video software product manager. (Savadelis B for date; another timing clue

January: Atari released Super Breakout for the VCS.

January: Atari opened their new two-building, 185,000 ft2 home video game manufacturing plant at 11460 Pellicano Dr., El Paso Texas. (source Atari's original El Paso factory at 5645 Beacon (38,500 ft2), which had employed 350, had been shut down. (source Richard Bailey remained Atari plant manager, El Paso Texas. 

January?: Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS; previously: Customer Service; still headed by Jon Ebbs) had opened two new Regional Service Centers at 5400 Newport Dr Ste 1, Rolling Meadows IL and at 2109 E Division St, Arlington TX.  Operations at 1346 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale CA (home of Customer Support and Regional Service Center) and 1340 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale CA (400/800 support) were both folded into a new location and Regional Service Center at 1312 Crossman Ave, Sunnyvale CA.  (A fourth Regional Service Center remained at 43 Belmont Dr, Somerset NJ.) (sourceDave Wilson (previously: manager of Customer Support) would be manager of Customer Relations (representatives and specialists; still reporting to Ebbs).  Bill Bartlett, previously an Atari (Home Computer) product marketing manager, would be supervisor of customer relations specialists (reporting to Wilson). (source; source; sourceDave Menconi, previously a Customer Service technical support specialist (reporting to manager of technical support John Hahn) became a software analyst, Atari (Home Computer) Users' Group Support (reporting to group manager Earl Rice). (source

January: The Atari Coin-Operated Games Division marketing, sales, finance, personnel, final assembly, and silkscreen facilities, previously located at 1215 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA, and the division's woodshop, previously located in Milpitas CA, were consolidated to a new 58,162 ft2 new facility at 790 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas, CA, USA.  Construction of the new Atari (Coin-Op) engineering building across the street (1501 McCarthy, Milpitas) was underway. (CC v6n2Mar82) 

January 16: The Atari Software Acquisition Program (ASAP) held its first annual Star Award ceremony at San Francisco's Maxwell's Plum restaurant in Ghiradelli Square.  The Star Award and $25,000 grand prize went to Fernando Herrera for his APX title, My First Alphabet.  Star Award of Merit winners: Ronald Marcuse & Lynn Marcuse, Sheldon Leemon, Greg Christensen (AC Spr82p12)

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: Charles S. Paul (Skip Paul) was Atari SVP legal and general counsel.

Winter: Franz Lanzinger, previously of Advanced Decision Systems, 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?: 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).

Winter?: Engineer Ajay Chopra, previously of Burroughs Corporation, joined Atari (Computer) in engineering.

Winter: Ted Richards' name first appeared as editor of The Atari Connection magazine (replacing Atari (Home Computer) marketing communications manager Sally Bowman in the role).

Winter?: Chris Jeffers, formerly of Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), joined Atari as manager of Administration for Corporate Research (Update 4/2/84; source) (reporting to VP/chief scientist Alan Kay).

February: Atari VP/chief scientist Alan Kay, with manager of Administration for Corporate Research Chris Jeffers, founded the Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory (ASRL) (one source for date), which would serve as the primary home of Atari Corporate Research.  Location: 1196 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA (initially to remain the Home Computer division headquarters as well).  ASRL administrative director: Michael Liebhold (1982-83); administrative manager: Jan D. Dekema (1983-84).  The Systems Research Group (2nd floor -source 23:00) would eventually include: Philip E. Agre, Susan E. Brennan, William M. Bricken, Donald Dixon, Jim Dunion, Scott S. Fisher, Steve Gano, Eric Gullichsen, Robert W. Hon, Kristina Hooper (director of ASRL, 1984), Eric A. Hulteen, Brenda K. Laurel (previously: Atari (Home Computer) Manager, Software Strategy and Marketing), Michael Naimark, Jeffrey Sarnoff, Ted Selker, Bob Stein, Rachel Strickland, Craig Taylor, Randal Walser, Stephen Weyer, Kathleen S. Wilson.  The recently-established Games Design Research Group would be housed in the new lab, and would eventually include: Chris Crawford (group manager), Valerie Atkinson, Douglas Crockford, Bob Fraser, Randall Smith, Larry Summers, Kim Whitmore, Aric Wilmunder.  The Interactive Animation Group would include Ann Marion (Principal Investigator / Program Manager), Valerie Atkinson, Kurt Fleischer, Wayne Harvey (source), Mark Vickers.  The Research Engineering Group (1st floor -source 23:00; home of the Sierra and GUMP (Fun p753) experimental computer projects, including Rainbow (Silver + Gold + Amy) chipset and Snowcap GUI) would eventually include: Bob Alkire, Douglas Crockford, Scott H. Foster (source), Joel Gluck, Jess Jessop, Jim Leiterman, Tim McGuinness, Sam Nicolino, John Howard Palevich (Jack Palevich), Gary C. Phipps, David Sampson, Steve Saunders (group manager, spring 1984), Gary Sikorski (group manager/director, 1983-84), Dale Yocum (Group Manager 1982-83; previously: APX Manager), Thomas G. Zimmerman

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 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 product categories, with the exception of coin-operated video games.  Atari's initial plans were to release for the VCS: Phoenix, Vanguard, Challenger. (WCI PR)

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 was being set up by Atari Far East Limited managing director, John Constantine (source). 

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 (chairman), Emanuel Gerard (WCI office of the president and co-COO), Jac Holzman (senior consultant to the Office of the President of WCI). (MA filing)

March 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Software Catalog Spring Edition 1982, introducing for the 400/800: 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 (by MT MicroSYSTEMS for Atari), 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.

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. (WCI PR 3/4)  (Philips would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

March 9: Atari announced the March 12-15 dedications of two newly-upgraded manufacturing facilities with a combined employment of 1400 people.  In Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Atari Caribe, Inc. was inaugurating a second building comprising a 71,000 ft2 expansion of its 46,000 ft2 plant. (source)  Although designed to manufacture both the VCS and game cartridges, the two-building plant (110,000 ft2) would initially be dedicated totally to the production of game cartridges.  William Planas remained general manager, Atari Caribe.  In El Paso, Atari was inaugurating a $7 million home video game cartridge manufacturing plant at 11460 Pellicano Dr. (replacement for the previous plant at 5645 Beacon Ave.).  Employing more than 700, the two-building (185,000 ft2) facility would also serve as a "proving ground" for new assembly and manufacturing techniques; Richard Bailey remained plant manager.  Paul Malloy remained Atari (Consumer) SVP of manufacturing and operations. (source; source) (PR 3/9)

March 12: At Atari (Home Computer) in software, Lou Tarnay remained systems development manager.  Reports to Tarnay included telecommunication supervisor (acting) John Curran, operating systems supervisor Paul Laughton, and a vacant software architecture supervisor position.  The telecommunication group included Joseph B. Miller III (Joe Miller; formerly of The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI)), Vincent Wu, and Gin Pao Lu.  (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 southern California (University of San Diego).  Each session would last four weeks.  While Atari would provide the computer expertise and have ultimate oversight over the camps, day-to-day operation would be handled for Atari by Specialty Camps, Inc., an organization which had run both theme (Weight Watchers) and traditional camps for 25 years.  Linda Gordon was Atari (corporate) 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; Peter Nelson was manager of public relations for Atari's home computer division.  (AtariAge My/Jn82p6; DrDobbsMy82p14; InfoWorld 3/15/82p43; Interface Age 6/82 p26; source)

March: Atari launched Project Falcon (as proposed in August 1981).  Steve Bristow, previously Atari VP Advanced Technology (new consumer electronics product development: 5200), became VP engineering, Project Falcon (reporting to Atari EVP finance (CFO) Dennis Groth).  (Bristow resume for date)  Niles Strohl, previously Atari (Consumer) director of electrical engineering, would be engineering manager, Project Falcon.  Chris Wright would be product designer, Project Falcon.  Project Falcon operations: 1349 Moffett Park Dr., Sunnyvale CA.  Steve Mayer, previously Atari VP research and development, became VP research and product development (including new computer development; assuming new consumer electronics development from Bristow).  Atari (Consumer) engineering technician Dave Remson was promoted to director of electrical engineering (replacing Strohl in the role; reporting to VP engineering Michel Ebertin). 

March: Atari released Pac-Man for the VCS.

March: Engineer Eric Hoh joined Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC).

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 16: 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, as directed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on March 2, 1982, Federal judge George N. Leighton, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, reversed the December 4, 1981 stay of the injunction against North American Phillips, manufacturer of the home video game "K.C. Munchkin."  The ruling enjoined North American Phillips from selling, advertising or offering for sale in any manner the "K.C. Munchkin" home video game cartridge for Odyssey2 because it was too similar to Namco's Pac-Man, the U.S. home market rights to which were exclusively held by Atari. (Atari PR 3/17; UPI 3/18)  (Philips would appeal the March 2 appeals court judgement to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

March 19: Date of initial release version of the "PAM OS" operating system, programmed by Rob Zdybel, for the Atari  "PAM" project (Video System X; would ship as: 5200).

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; Bonnie Umphreys was Pascal's product manager.  (AtariConnection v2n2p1)

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

March 26: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Special Projects, Inc. (joint ventures with Club Méditerranée SA and/or with Specialty Camps Corp.), with offices at 1196 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale CA (also home to the Home Computer division and Corporate Research).  Atari (corporate) VP special projects Linda Gordon would additionally be president of Atari Special Projects, Inc.

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

March/April: Perry D. Odak, previously general manager at Jovan, Inc., the fragrance and cosmetics company (and before that, SVP of Worldwide Operations at Armour-Dial, Inc.) joined Atari in the new position of president of the Consumer Products Group.  Reports to Odak would include Atari (Consumer) president Michael Moone and Atari International president Anton Bruehl. (source for March date; source for April date)  Garry Sellers, previously of Resource Planning (and before that, Armour-Dial) would join Atari as VP of HR, Consumer Products Group. (sourceAlan Henricks, previously Atari (Consumer) SVP finance, would become Atari Consumer Products Group EVP finance.  Jean M. Hackenburg would be promoted to VP finance Consumer division. (source(Gerd Stoecker remained director of Atari International finance.)  Angelo M. Pezzani, previously VP-Law, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of Chromalloy American Corp., joined Atari as Consumer Products Group VP and general counsel. (source; source(Skip Paul remained Atari SVP and general counsel.)

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., which remained at: Fukide Building 2 Floor, 4-1-13 Toranomon Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan.  Rivington Hight, who had provisionally established the office in April 1981, was Atari Far East Japan 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.  Atari Far East Japan would be responsible for Atari (Coin-Op) sales (through local distributors) in Japan, Australia, and the Far East, as well as liaison with video game developers primarily in Japan.  The office was also slated to conduct a research study of the market for home video games in Japan. (CC 7/82) 

April: Atari released Dig Dug by Namco (original Upright version and European upright versions; had been released 3/82 by Namco in Japan -source), 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: W.Sean Hennessy, previously of Gremlin, joined Atari (Consumer) as a video game software engineer.

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

April: Bob Fournier (Robert J. 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).

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 Steven Mayer, Atari VP research and product development.

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.  Pelé (the celebrity soccer player) participated in the ceremony. (source; Byte v7n11 p192-14 ad; source(For Atari Far East (Taiwan), Richard Krieger remained VP and general manager; Ray Kunavich remained general manager in charge of operations, ATMC (reporting to Krieger).)

April 24: At the Hotel Okura in Tokyo Japan, Atari and Sun Electronics Inc. announced a coin-operated and consumer products licensing agreement for Kangaroo, a new video game developed by Sun Electronics.  Atari, in both California and Ireland, would manufacture the coin-operated version for markets except for Japan and West Germany, and would produce consumer product versions of the game.  (The agreement had been brokered by Joe Robbins, chairman of the Amusement Device Manufacturers Association (ADMA) and former president of the Atari (Coin-Op) division.)  (GM 5/15/82)

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)

Spring?: Dale Yocum, previously APX Manager (reporting to Fred Thorlin), became Research Engineering Group manager, Atari Corporate Research (new position at the Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory).  Atari (Home Computer) director of product review and research (including APX) Fred Thorlin would additionally become APX general manager (replacing Yocum in the role).

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) 

May 3: Jan Soderstrom was Atari (corporate) VP advertising. (Broadcasting 5/3/82)

May 12-13: Initial meetings between Atari chairman Ray Kassar and Rick Trow of Rick Trow Productions (RTP). (source 19:00)  Would lead to "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" traveling multimedia assembly program for schools, under a contract covering the 1982-83 (including fall 1982 focus group / touring unit and winter 1983 national launch) and 83-84 school years, with an option for the 84-85 school year. (source)

May 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 (where he had headed the 400/800 marketing group since its inception), was the founding Atari International (U.K.) Inc. Managing Director.  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: For the 400/800 Atari shipped Pac-Man (Roklan). (multiple sources; but note also Video Take-Out 4/82 explicitly indicated a June arrival)

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?: 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 Atari (corporate) 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 educational software products (replacing Kahn in the role). (link; source

May: Ken Wirt (Kenneth R. Wirt),  previously of PBS (and more recently working full time for Atari on an internship while a second-year Stanford MBA student), joined Atari (Home Computer) as VP marketing (reporting to SVP of sales and marketing Thomas M. McDonough). (source; Sales&Marketing Management 12/03 p56)

May: Engineer Rich Pasco, previously a researcher at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), joined Atari (Home Computer) as Manager of VLSI Development.

May: 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, Breda.  Ruud Van Nispen would join the company in sales.  (source; source; CashBox 7/3/82 p39; source)

May: Atari (Coin-Op) international distributors included: Canada: Dale Distributing Ltd. (Richmond, B.C. (Vancouver)), Laniel Automatic (Mt. Royal, Quebec), New Way Sales (Rexdale, Ontario), J.E. Weatherhead Dist. Ltd. (Edmonton, Alberta), J.E. Weatherhead Dist. Ltd. (Burnaby, B.C.); Central & South America: R.H. Belam Company (Lake Success, NY); Argentina: Florencia SA (Sarminento); Australia: Leisure & Allied Industries (Perth); Belgium: Brabo Corporation (Antwerp); Chile: Entretenimientos Electronicos Ltda. (Santiago); Finland: Raha Automattiyhdistys (Helsinki); France: Amiro France (Geneuille), C.C.F.E.A. (Begles), Sovada (Chenove); Germany: Löwen Automaten (Binger/Rhein), Nova Apparate Gmbh & Co. (Hamburg); Holland: Hommerson Amusements (Scheveningen); Israel: Colombus (Tel Aviv); Italy: Fratelli Bertolino (Torino); Japan: Namco, Ltd. (Tokyo), Sega Enterprises (Tokyo), Taito Corporation (Tokyo); Lebanon: Hashim's Est. (Antelias); Malaysia & Singapore: Rosan Sdn. Bhd. (Penang); Mexico: Operadora Nacional de Espectaculos (Mexico, D.F.); Norway/Denmark: Compu-Game (Esbjerg, Denmark), T. Stigum & Company (Trondheim, Norway); Northern Ireland: Joyland Amusements (Antrim); Republic of Ireland: Coin-Operated Amusements, Ltd. (Kildare), Quintin Flynn Ltd. (Dublin); South Africa: Austrojoy (Pty.) Ltd.  (Johannesburg), F.B.O. Import & Export (Johannesburg), 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). (source)

May 17: Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS) would fold Atari's nationwide network of Authorized Atari Computer Service Centers, Independent Service Centers (VCS service), and four Regional Service Centers together under the new Atari Service Factory Authorized Network branding. (source; source)

Atari Service

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. (ATMC) (source)

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

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

May/June?: Brenda Laurel, previously Atari (Home Computer) Manager, Software Strategy and Marketing, joined the Systems Research Group, Atari Corporate Research (at the Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory).  Bill Carris, previously Atari (Home Computer) director of sales training, would become Atari (Home Computer) director of software marketing (replacing Laurel in the role).

June 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Product Catalog Summer Edition 1982, introducing 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.

June 5: Bill Sobieski was Atari (Consumer) VP Sales (Billboard), having recently replaced director of sales Bob Faught who had departed the company (to Activision). (source)

June 6-9: At the Summer CES in Chicago, for the VCS ($199.95) 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 (title by Otto & Kamm), 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 The Communicator II kit only) and introduced 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; Personal Financial Management System + The Home Filing Manager).  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), one of several models of point of purchase merchandising displayers for retailers.  Keith Schaefer was VP of sales for Atari's Home Computer division.

June 6: Atari and Lucasfilm Ltd. announced that the two companies had joined creative forces for the purpose of developing and marketing video games for coin-operated games, home video games and home computers. (PR 6/7)  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: "PAM" or "Supergame System" or Video System X), 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): Asteroids (never released), Missile Command, Space Invaders (title by Taito), Star Raiders, Galaxian (title by Namco), Football, Pac-Man (title by Namco), Baseball (would ship as: RealSports Baseball), Soccer.  Another 4 games were to ship later in the fall (for a total library of 14 games by Christmas): Tank (would ship as: Countermeasure), Qix (title by Taito), Centipede, 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. (source(Atari Far East (Taiwan), responsible for Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC))

June: (early month): Kaneko Seisakusho Co., Ltd. of Tokyo granted manufacturing rights on its video game Fly-Boy to Atari concerning overseas markets.  Atari would manufacture and sell the game, as Fast Freddie, in Europe, and would authorize Universe Affiliated International (UAI) to sell it exclusively in the U.S. market. (GM 11/15/82)

June: James Heller, previously Atari (Consumer) operations manager, became remanufacturing operations manager (at Atari headquarters in Sunnyvale CA).  Tim Chodera, previously Section Head - Corporate PC Materials/Capacity Planning at Signetics (Philips Semiconductor), joined Atari (Consumer) as operations manager (replacing Heller in the role).

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: Atari and the Children's Computer Workshop (CCW) began collaborating to bring educational software based on Sesame Street to the Atari VCS. (AtariAge v1n5p11At Atari, the project would be assigned to the Atari (Consumer) Special Projects group (Steve Wright, director), which would be renamed: Special Programs.

June: Jac Holzman, previously senior consultant to the Office of the President of WCI and a director of Atari, became chairman of Panavision, Inc., the wholly-owned subsidiary of Warner Communications. (source)  Norman Smothers would join Atari as Manager of Corporate Strategic Planning (source) (essentially replacing Holzman in the role). 

June: Atari president Home Computer Division Roger Badertscher resigned from company. (NYT 8/25/82)  Steve Mayer, Atari VP research and product development, would additionally serve as Atari (Home Computer) VP research and development (acting head of the division). (sourceJohn Hagel III, previously of The Sequoia Group (founder and CEO), would join Atari (Home Computer) as VP strategic planning.

June: Dave Stubben, previously Atari (Coin-Op) director, electrical engineering, became Atari (Home Computer) VP engineering. (Stubben resume; see also: source; source)  Steve Calfee, previously Atari (Coin-Op) Manager of Software Engineering, would be promoted to (Coin-Op) director, electrical engineering and software (assuming electrical engineering from Stubben).  Larry Plummer, previously Atari (Home Computer) director of engineering, would remain director of electrical engineering (now reporting to Stubben).  Peter Whyte would join Atari (Coin-Op) as VP New Product Development.  Rick Moncrief, previously Atari (Coin-Op) chief engineer, Special Projects (reporting to Stubben), would remain chief engineer, new product development (reporting to Whyte).

June?: At Atari (Home Computer), Kevin McKinsey, previously manager of Industrial Design and Graphics, would remain manager of industrial design (reporting to VP engineering Dave Stubben).  John Fox Haag would become manager of publications and packaging design (assuming the role from McKinsey), reporting to SVP of sales and marketing Thomas M. McDonough. (source)

June: Dennis Groth, previously Atari EVP and CFO, would remain Atari EVP.  James A. Heisch, previously an audit partner with Arthur Young & Co., joined Atari as SVP finance and CFO (replacing Groth in the role). (source)  (Heisch would report to Atari CEO Ray Kassar, with "dotted-line" indirect reporting to Warner Communications Inc. office of the president and CFO Bert Wasserman.)

June: David Burling, previously Atari (Consumer) VP and counsel, would be Atari International VP and counsel. (source 26:40)  Paul Jakab joined Atari (Consumer) as VP and counsel (replacing Burling in the role).  (Angelo Pezzani remained Consumer Products Group VP and general counsel; Skip Paul remained Atari SVP and general counsel.)

June: Stephen M. Race (Stephen Race), previously a consultant for Arthur D. Little Inc., would join Atari International as director of marketing (source; source), replacing Jeff Burton who departed the company (to Electronic Arts).  Bennet R. Goldberg joined Atari International as product manager (video game consoles and accessories). (source)

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 product engineering (manufacturing). (source)

Month?: At Atari (Coin-Op), Peter L. Takaichi was promoted from industrial design manager to director of industrial design (RePlay 7/97 pA61) (remaining head of the unit).

Month?: Atari (Coin-Op) programmer Dona Bailey departed the company (to Videa). (source)

Month?: Keithen Hayenga joined Atari (Consumer) as a game developer.

Month?: Software engineers David Staugas and Jim Eisenstein, previously of Exidy (Staugas had an earlier stint with Atari (Computer)), joined Atari (Consumer) as game programmers. (source; source; clue for year

Month?: Steve Woita, previously an electronic engineering technician at Apple Computer, joined Atari (Consumer) in software development. (source)

Month?: Steve A. Baker joined Atari (Consumer) as a software designer/programmer.

Month?: Frank Hausman, previously of Intel, joined Atari (Consumer) as a software designer/programmer.

Month?: Eric Knopp and Alan R. Merrell, previously of Gebelli Software (and before that, Sirius Software), joined Atari (Consumer) as a software designer/programmers.

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 group VP at Polaroid, arrived at Atari as (corporate) SVP marketing and advertising (NYT 7/19/82; source), a new position reporting to Atari CEO Ray Kassar.  (Jan Soderstrom remained (corporate) VP advertising, now reporting to Voss.)

July 14: In what was believed to be the largest single order for home computers by a school system, Dade County (Florida) 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. (PR)

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: Atari Corporate Research 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, Jaron Lanier (source; source)

July: Chris J. Horseman, previously of Thorn EMI (and independent developer as Centaursoft), joined Atari (Home Computer) as VP software engineering, replacing Bruce Irvine who departed the company.  (Irvine and former Atari Home Computer Division president 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 (reporting to Horseman).

July: Centuri, Inc. released Tunnel Hunt by Atari.  (GM 11/29/82)

July: Through Atari Ireland Limited, Atari established European Operations (consumer products) in Limerick.  Temporary facilities on Ballysimon Road (41,000 ft2; previously: temporary facility for Wang Laboratories (source)) would be used to house Manufacturing, Materials and Administration while a new plant on Ennis Road in the Raheen Industrial Estate, also in Limerick, would be constructed. (source; source; source)  Atari (Consumer) Industrial engineer Michael Baughman was Project Manager (for both sites); Norman A. Newton would be Atari Managing Director of European Operations (consumer products). (source)

July: Richard O'Keefe joined Atari (Consumer) as a programmer (not a game 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 Design Research Group, Atari Corporate Research. (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?: Industrial designer Regan L. Cheng transferred from Atari (Consumer) (where he reported to manager Roy Nishi) to the Home Computer division (where he would report to manager Kevin McKinsey). (source)

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

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: Jewel Savadelis, previously Atari (Consumer) video software product manager, was promoted to director of software marketing (source) (still reporting to VP marketing Ron Stringari).  Joel S. Oberman would join Atari (Consumer) as a software product manager (reporting to Savadelis). (source)

Summer?: Gary Stark joined Atari (Consumer) Special Programs (Steve Wright, director) as a programmer.

Summer: At Atari (Home Computer): Jeff Schwamberger (formerly of The Authorship Resource, Inc. (ARI)) was Manager of the Software Standards Group.  (Atari Connection Summer82 p13) 

Summer: Jim Paige was Atari (Home Computer) national education sales manager (Atari Connection Summer82 p23) as Atari had taken the sale of Atari personal computers and services to the educational community in-house (previously: outsourced to Science Research Associates (SRA)).  (Keith Schaefer remained Atari (Home Computer) VP sales.)

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 Consumer Product Service (CPS) Technical Support operations (John Hahn, manager) were moved from 1312 Crossman Ave, Sunnyvale CA (which would remain home to Customer Relations and a Regional Service Center) to: 845 W Maude Ave, Sunnyvale CA

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

August: Atari released Berzerk for the VCS.

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

August: Donald S. Teiser, previously VP acquisitions and administration at Trans Union Financial Corp., would join Atari (Consumer) as a software development manager (5200/Disney lines). (source; source; AtariLife v2n2)  Condon Freeman Brown would join Atari (Consumer) as a software development manager (2600 line). Richard C. Frick, previously VP data products at United States Leasing, joined Atari (Consumer) as a software development manager (2600 line).  Brown, Teiser and Frick would each report to director of software development George Kiss.

August: Atari commenced commercial production of the 5200 (source) at the Atari (Consumer) plant (formerly, division headquarters) at 1195 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA. (AtariAge v1n6)

August: Namco Ltd. granted exclusive manufacturing/sales rights for its video game, Pole Position (released 8/82 in Japan -source), for the territories of North and South America and Europe. (GM 12/15/82)

August: Richard Bailey, previously Atari plant manager, El Paso Texas, became Atari Caribe, Inc. general manager (manufacturing at Fajardo and distribution/sales/marketing at Canóvanas), replacing William Planas who departed the company.  Gary D. Weaver would join Atari as El Paso plant manager (replacing Bailey in the role).

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

August: Ted Toal, previously of Speech Plus, joined Atari's Cyan Engineering unit as a software developer.

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, Inc. and Merchandising Corp. of America announced an agreement under which Atari was granted worldwide exclusive rights to market coin-operated and home video games based on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the film directed by Steven Speilberg. (PR)

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.  The new Home Computer Division headquarters would be located at 30 E. Plumeria Dr. (69,000 ft2).  (The previous division headquarters, 1196 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA, would remain the expanded home of the Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory (ASRL), Corporate Research.)

August 27: Children's Computer Workshop, a for-profit subsidiary of Children's Television Workshop, and Atari, Inc. announced they had agreed to jointly produce home video game cartridges to be made for play on Atari home video game systems for release in mid-1983.  Some of the games were to feature versions of Jim Henson's popular Sesame Street characters.  Michael Moone was president of Atari's Consumer Electronics Division. (PR)  (The collaboration had commenced in June 1983 (AtariAge v1n5p11), with product development assigned to the Consumer Division Special Programs group (Steve Wright, director).)

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.

August 30: Atari had announced their Advanced Development Laboratory in New York City.  Dedicated to the exploration of microprocessor-based products in electronic publishing and transactional services for home computers, the 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.  Opened in September 1981, the Atari NY Lab, home of the Atari Advanced Development Group, had been established and was headed by Steven T. Mayer, Atari VP research and product development.  Atari employed 30 at the site. (source; source; InfoWorld 9/13/82 p9)

Summer/Fall?: The Warner Communications L.A. Lab R&D unit (QUBE cable television system development), located at 3701 Oak St., Burbank, CA ("Fantasy Trailer" on the Warner Bros. Ranch), was shifted to Atari Corporate Research.  Engineer Steven J. Davis would remain director of the Atari L.A. Lab, now as Atari director of advanced research (reporting to VP/chief scientist Alan Kay).  Others at the L.A. Lab would eventually include: Todor Fay, H. Robert Newman (Rob Newman), Jim Wiefel

Summer/Fall: For the 400/800 Atari shipped The Bookkeeper Kit and My First Alphabet.

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

August/September: The Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS) Regional Service Center previously at 43 Belmont Dr, Somerset NJ was moved to: 12 B World's Fair Dr., Somerset NJ (source; source) (co-located with the Atari (Coin-Op) New Jersey Customer Service Office at 12 A World's Fair Dr., Somerset NJ).

September 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Software Catalog Fall Edition 1982, introducing 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.

September 2: For the VCS Atari (Consumer) had completed Pepsi Invaders, a modified version of Space Invaders commissioned for private use by executives of The Coca-Cola Company.

September 3-5: Atari exhibited in the Technology Fair at the Us Festival held at Glen Helen Regional Park, San Bernardino County, CA. (SoftSide #36p14-16; Unuson PR 8/10, 8/17, 8/23, 8/31)

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: Atari (Consumer) engineering was moved from the upper level of 1272 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA, to 30 E. Plumeria Dr., San Jose CA (which would also remain the new headquarters for the Home Computer Division, including engineering). (source for dateInternally, Atari's Project Falcon was formalized into a new division, AtariTel (Communications Daily 4/30/86 for date), with division headquarters at 1349 Moffett Park Dr., Sunnyvale CA and engineering operations (headed by Steve Bristow, VP Engineering, AtariTel Division) to move/expand into 1272 Borregas Ave.  Atari EVP Dennis Groth would serve as interim head of the division.

September: Malcolm Lewis joined Atari Ireland Limited at Atari's European Operations (consumer products) temporary site on Ballysimon Road in Limerick. (source)

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 18: Atari International (U.K.) had established a Coin-Op sales office (David Smith, European sales manager) at 121 Parkway, London, NW1 7PS England. (Cash Box 9/18/82 bc)

September 22-October 1: At the SICOB (Salon international d'Informatique, télématique, Communication, Organisation du bureau et Bureautique) show (stand 162-163) at the CNIT in Paris/La Défense, P.E.C.F. Atari launched the 800 (6 500 F/16KiB; 7 500 F/48KiB; PAL version modified for Péritel) and introduced the 400 (3 800 F) in France. (L'OrdinateurIndividuel #40p6, #42p80, #46 for prices)

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, and would now be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atari Far East Limited.  Atari-Wong Co. (AWC) would be established as a (non wholly-owned) subsidiary of Atari International (Hong Kong) to continue the Atari-Wong consumer product sales/manufacturing operations at: King Yip Industrial Building-2nd Floor, 59 King Yip St., Kwun Tong, Kowloon (Benedict C.M. Wong and Edward Tsui, managers).  A new, separate Atari-Wong Liaison Office would be established at: 42 Hungto Road-3rd Floor, Kwuntong, Kowloon.  Atari Far East Limited international purchasing/ finance/ distribution/ LSI test/ product engineering/ quality liaison office operations would continue under Atari International (Hong Kong) at: 10 Shing Yip Street-4th Floor, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, where managers would include: Jim Chang (previously: financial controller at Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC)), Ted Leno, Joseph Tilmant.  The Atari Far East Limited marketing operations would continue under Atari International (Hong Kong), headed by marketing manager Roddy Chan, at 605 Wing on Plaza-6th Floor, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon.  John Constantine remained managing director of Atari Far East Limited.  Michael Shiu would become financial controller at ATMC (previously: financial controller at Atari Far East Limited; swapping roles with Jim Chang).

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 semiconductor development and General Manager ASG.  Carl Nielsen, previously Atari (Consumer) director of LSI design and test (Zap! p162), would be ASG VP (reporting to Summers).  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 Inter City House, Railway Terrace, Slough, Berkshire (32,000 ft2).  While the owner of the newly-constructed facility, Sardan Limited, had named it Inter City House, the building would soon be officially renamed Atari House, as Atari was leasing the entire site.

October 1: Florida National Banks of Florida, Inc. announced that it would test Pronto, the in-home banking and information system, licensed from Chemical Bank of New York, in selected markets beginning in the first quarter of 1983.  Atari home computers had been utilized for initial Pronto testing, though eventually the software would be adaptable to most of the personal computers on the market. (PR)

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 announced 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 11: Atari filed a suit in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York against Commodore Business Machines, contending that the Commodore joystick (VIC-1311) infringed on its patents (CX40). (NYT 11/9/82)

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: Larry Kaplan, most recently with Hi-Toro (which he had co-founded in June 1982), re-joined Atari as Consumer division VP product development (new position, reporting to division president Michael Moone). (source for date; source; for title: Stella at 20 t25 9:20)  Director of software development George Kiss would now report to Kaplan (previously: to Consumer division VP engineering Michel Ebertin).

October: Lee Henderson joined Atari (Consumer) as VP sales, replacing Bill Sobieski who departed the company. (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); known as Fly-Boy in Japan).

October: For the 2600 Atari released: RealSports Baseball, RealSports Volleyball

October: For the 2600 Atari released SwordQuest: EarthWorld (earlier: Adventure I), announced SwordQuest: FireWorld (earlier: Adventure II; now to ship early 1983), SwordQuest: WaterWorld (to ship later in 1983) and SwordQuest: AirWorld (to ship late 1983 or in 1984; never shipped), and announced the $150,000 SwordQuest Challenge.  See the SwordQuest Revisited site by Scott Stilphen at Atari Compendium.

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, headed by director John Peeke-Vout who would be supported by development manager Jon Norledge and the group's administrator, Frances Conolly. (I/O #4 p4) 

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

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

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 Software Exchange Program logo
Atari Program Exchange (APX) logo 1981-
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo

Fall: Atari (Consumer) Special Programs (Steve Wright, director) was assigned to produce a computer graphics animation sequence for the upcoming Warner Bros. feature film, Superman III Patricia H. Cole (Pat Cole), previously of Lucasfilm, would join Atari (Consumer) as software manager, Special Programs.

November 4: Dry Dock Savings Bank of New York and Atari jointly announced that Dry Dock would offer depositors the opportunity to receive Atari 800 computer systems in place of cash interest or to purchase the Computer systems at specially reduced prices.  The offer would begin Nov. 8th and run through the end of the year. (PR)

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 9: Regarding the suit filed by Atari on October 11, 1982, Atari had said it had won a temporary injunction against Commodore Business Machines that prevented Commodore from making and selling joystick controllers for video games and home computers (VIC-1311) that were imitations of the one made by Atari (CX40).  A preliminary injunction had been granted by Judge Richard Owen in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York.  (NYT 11/9)  (Commodore would withdraw their infringing joystick from the market and release a different one (1311).)

November 10: Date of the internal Atari (Home Computer) document, "Atari Logo: A Proposed Plan" by Bonnie A. Umphreys, software product manager. (source)

November 10: Norm Smothers was Atari Manager of Corporate Strategic Planning; Peter Whyte was Atari (Coin-Op) VP new product development. (source; source)

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 Design Research Group, Atari Corporate Research. (source)

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; NYT 7/11/82 pF44 job ad)

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

November?: Ron Grubman joined Atari as director of patents, replacing Michael Sherrard who departed the company (to Apple Computer). (source)  (Skip Paul remained Atari SVP and general counsel.)

November: Lyle Rains, previously Atari (Coin-Op) VP engineering, was promoted to the newly-created position of (Coin-Op) VP of creative development (reportedly: video game technology research and development; was to be credited as the official designer of all games).  Dan Van Elderen, previously project office manager, was promoted to VP engineering (replacing Rains in the role). (RePlay 12/82p103; sourceEngineer Roy J. Machamer would join Atari (Coin-Op) as director of research & development (reporting to Rains), replacing VP new product development Peter Whyte who departed the company (to Wells Fargo Bank). 

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.  John Cavalier remained president of the Atari Home Computer Division; Keith Schaefer remained Home Computer Division VP sales; Helen Gray remained Atari VP corporate communications. (PR)

November 15: The Youth Activities Department of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (LAOOC) announced the Atari Olympic Youth Volleyball Program sponsored by Atari.  Southern California youths between the ages of 12 and 17 would attend a series of instructional clinics beginning November 13 until the middle of January.  Separate boys' and girls' leagues would then be formed in three age groups: 12-13, 14-15 and 16-17.  League play would lead to an Atari Olympic Youth Volleyball Tournament Feb. 26 and 27 at Long Beach City College. (PR)

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 (GCC).  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 (corporate) 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: Atari Ireland Limited commenced manufacturing (2600 units for Europe) at the Atari European Operations (consumer products) temporary facility on Ballysimon Road, Limerick. (source; source)  

December 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Product Catalog Winter Edition 1982-83, introducing for the 400/800: 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.  Product review: Paul Cubbage.  Fred Thorlin, previously Atari (Home Computer) director of product review and research, was now APX Director (previously: APX General Manager).  APX operations had been moved from 155 Moffett Park Dr., Sunnyvale CA to 3281 Scott Blvd, Santa Clara CA.  John Peeke-Vout of Atari International (U.K.) Inc. and Steve Gerber of Atari (Home Computer) would essentially swap positions.  Gerber, previously Atari (Home Computer) director of software acquisition (ASAP), became director of the Software Development Group of the Software Development Centre at Atari International (U.K.) Inc. (replacing Peeke-Vout in the role).  Peeke-Vout, previously director of the Software Development Group of the Software Development Centre at Atari International (U.K.) Inc., became Atari (Home Computer) director of external software development (replacing Gerber in the role).  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) would be shut down.

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

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 6: Atari announced that Parisian, Inc., a chain of nine stores in Alabama with headquarters in Birmingham, was substituting an "electronic catalog" for its Christmas catalog to promote its holiday selection as well as to help make the public more familiar with home computers.  Approximately 1,700 gift suggestions had been programmed into Atari 800 computers.  Store employees would help customers key in responses to four questions asked by the electronic catalog about the person the customer is shopping for, and the catalog would suggest three Christman gifts and a stocking stuffer, each tailored to suit the tastes of the gift recipient.  Two to four of the systems had been installed in each of Parisian's nine stores. (PR)

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: Atari announced that Perry Odak had been relieved of all his responsibilities as president of Atari's Consumer Products Group.  (Odak would be a partner at Catalyst Technologies where he would start and launch ETAK, Inc.)  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.) (PR)  Within weeks, Atari EVP Dennis Groth would additionally become president of the Consumer Products Group, replacing Odak in the role.

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. (PR)  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) (VP and general manager, Atari Far East (Taiwan), responsible for Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC))

December 13: At the Plaza Hotel in New York City Atari introduced the 1200XL home computer ("well under $1,000"; to eventually replace the 800), 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 Home Filing Manager + Family Finances).  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), Galaxian (title by Namco), and Defender (title by Williams Electronics), again promised Atari Speed Reading (to ship imminently), Juggles' House (January), Juggles' Rainbow (January), and TeleLink II (again promised apart from The Communicator II kit), 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; PR)

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. (PR)  (would ship as: CX42)

December 14: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari International (Italy) Inc. for international consumer products operations in Italy and to replace Atari 2600 distributor Melchioni and Atari computer distributor Adveico.  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.  The new subsidiary, being set up by director of international finance Claude Nahum, would replace former distributor Epoch (until summer 1981) for sales/marketing of Atari consumer electronics 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, Defender, Atari Speed Reading (Learning Multi-Systems, Inc.)

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: Atari (Home Computer) established an internal software support group.  Doug Chorey, previously Atari (Coin-Op) Executive Assistant to the Director of Software, became Atari (Home Computer) software support group supervisor (reporting to software development director Lou Tarnay).  Brad Fuller joined Atari (Home Computer) as a sound engineer (reporting to Chorey).

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: In support of both VCS and 400/800 products, Atari International (U.K.) Inc. had established a network of Independent Service Centres, supported by the Atari Service Centre at company headquarters in Slough, using the Atari Service Factory Authorised Network branding. (source; source; source; source)

Atari Service (UK)

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

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

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.  (Product development in the Peanuts line would be assigned to the Consumer Division Special Programs group (Steve Wright, director). (AtariLife v2n2))

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), Dig Dug (title by Namco; summer 83), Jungle Hunt (title by Taito; summer 83), Kangaroo (title by Sun Electronics; summer 83), Pole Position (title by Namco; spring 83), Basketball (fall 83; never released), Tennis (would ship as: RealSports Tennis), Space Dungeon (title by Taito), and Vanguard (title by Centuri; spring 83), and again promised Countermeasure (previously: Tank), Centipede, Qix, and Baseball (spring 83) (for a total library of 21 titles, including Super Breakout).  The VCS Cartridge Adaptor (CX55) was again promised.

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: $199.95), 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 by Walt 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, Juggles' House (to ship imminently), Juggles' Rainbow (to ship imminently), AtariMusic I, AtariWriter, Family Finances, Timewise, VisiCalc, Dig Dug, Eastern Front (1941) (cartridge), E.T. Phone Home!, Qix, Star Trux (never shipped), Superman III (never shipped), Microsoft BASIC II, The Home Manager kit, The 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 (licensed to Atari for manufacture/sales in North and South America and Europe), introduced Popeye by Nintendo (licensed to Atari for manufacture/sales outside of the U.S., Canada, and Japan), introduced Time Pilot by Konami (licensed to Atari for sales in Europe and the Middle East), 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 Japan, Nathalie Favre-Gilly was Sales Administrator for France. (CC 1/83) (GM 2/15/83; GM 1/1/83)

January 15: At the 2nd annual Atari Star Award banquet, held at San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel, Atari awarded the Atari Star Award and $25,000 Grand Prize to David Buehler for his APX title, Typo Attack.  Star Special Award of Merit winners: Douglas Crockford, Harry Koons & Art Prag, Lee Actor.  Paul Cubbage, head of the APX Software Review team, represented APX, and Atari (Home Computer) SVP sales Keith Schaefer made the announcement and presented the award. (AC Spr83p10)

January: Norm Smothers, previously Atari Manager of Corporate Strategic Planning, became Atari (Coin-Op) director of business development.  John Hagel, previously Atari (Home Computer) VP strategic planning, became Atari (Corporate) VP strategic planning (replacing Smothers in the role). (source; source)

January: Jeffrey A. Heimbuck, previously SVP marketing for wine operations at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, joined Atari (Home Computer) as SVP marketing (replacing departed SVP sales and marketing Thomas M. McDonough). (LATimes 10/11/83 for date)  Peter Rosenthal, previously Atari (Home Computer) VP business planning, would become Atari (Home Computer) VP product development and business planning (source), (re-)assuming the additional role from Mark Lutvak who would depart the company (to Durango Systems).  Product manager Andrew Soderberg (now reporting to Rosenthal) would become product manager for Atari XL computer models.

January: Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS) management included: Jon D. Ebbs (Atari VP for CPS), James W. Prather (manager, field service operations), David S. Wilson (manager, customer relations), Ronald R. Elliot (manager, materials & parts distribution), Julie B. Naughton (controller, CPS), John H. Hahn (manager, technical support & publications), William B. McPhetridge (manager, international & special markets services), Janis H. Pepper (manager, service marketing). (source)  

January: Through Atari Sales Corp., Atari began offering U.S. consumers Atari Service Contracts on all Atari hardware (video game and home computer systems). (source) 

January: Atari published the Atari Computer Educational Software Directory (first edition). (p48 for dateThe back page of the catalog announced Atari Logo, being developed by Logo Computer Systems, Inc. of Montreal, Canada, to be exclusively manufactured for and distributed by Atari and to be available fall 1983.

January: In France, P.E.C.F. Atari shipped the 400 (PAL version modified for Péritel). (L'Ordinateur Individuel #51 9/83p160)

January?: In West Germany, David Evans joined Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH as product director. (source (Software development manager Steve Molyneux would now report to Evans.)

January: For the 400/800/1200XL Atari shipped Juggles' House and Juggles' Rainbow.

January: Atari commenced production of the 1200XL at its plant at 1215 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA.  Additionally, 400 (and 800?) production commenced at Atari-Wong Co. in Hong Kong, while 400/800 production would continue at 1173 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA.  (Brad Saville remained Atari (Home Computer) operations 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)  Maslana had replaced Curt Russell who had departed the company.

January?: At Atari (Coin-Op): engineering and graphics completed a move from the lower level of 1272 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA to the new 133,000 ft2 Coin-Op engineering building at 1501 McCarthy Blvd, Milpitas, CA. (source; modern real estate listings)  Some Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS) operations (headquarters, materials & parts distribution) would move into 1272 Borregas Ave. (which was also the home of AtariTel division engineering).

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) (CC 2/83), assuming the role of field service manager Fred McCord who had departed the company.

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

January: Atari commenced production of the 5200 at its 11460 Pellicano Dr, El Paso TX plant.  Nearby, Atari had established a Distribution facility at 11500 Rojas Dr, El Paso TX.  (5200 production also continued at the 1195 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA plant.) (source)

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.

January 25-26: Atari Soccer 6, a 6-a-side indoor football championship organized by The Football League, held at the Birmingham International Arena, National Exhibition Centre, England.  Birmingham City won the event.  Graham Clark was Atari International (U.K.) Inc. managing director.

January 31: 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, a newly created position to lead research efforts for Atari's three divisions: home computers, home video games and coin-operated video games.  Hoff would report directly to Atari's chairman, Raymond E. Kassar. (NYT 2/1/83; WSJ 2/1/83)  Reports to Hoff would also include: Gary Summers (VP semiconductor development and General Manager, Atari Semiconductor Group) and Dale Yocum (Research Engineering Group manager; previously: to VP/chief scientist Alan Kay).  Steve Mayer, previously Atari VP research and product development, would be SVP for research and development (remaining head of the Atari NY Lab; still reporting to Kassar). (source; source; source

Winter: Atari Clubs, Inc. (Atari Age magazine) oversight would be shifted from Atari (corporate) special projects (Linda Gordon, VP special projects) to Atari (Consumer) marketing. (sourceHarv Johnson became the new director of The Atari Club (replacing Parker Jerrell). (source)  

Winter?: John T. Thompson, previously of The Williams Companies, joined Atari as (corporate) director of organization development. (source)  

Winter: Skip Paul remained Atari SVP and general counsel. (source)

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 the Atari Sunnyvale Research Lab, Jan Dekema became administrative manager, replacing Michael Liebhold who departed the company (to ByVideo). (source)

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 VP Atari Semiconductor Group (ASG).  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: Atari had announced that they were now shipping VisiCalc for the 800/1200XL. (source)

February 7-16: At the 80th annual 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; PR; source)

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: Atari launched the "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" traveling multimedia assembly program, produced by Rick Trow Productions (RTP), offered free of charge to junior and senior high schools in the U.S.  Using two 16-millimeter screens (J. Charles Sterin (Chuck Sterin), filmmaker) and a live actor, the program featured an exploration of the past, present and future of computers in society.  The show would be presented to 1.2 million students at nearly 1400 public and private schools through June 1983, with plans to reach 4000 schools and 3.8 million students by December 1984.  RTP had dedicated 9 of its 15-20 touring units to the Atari program. (source 29:20)  Chris Bowman was Atari (Home Computer) national manager of educational marketing. (VGU 1/83p4; AtariConnection v3n1p11; AtariAge v2n1p9; PersonalComputing 9/83p32-34; source; source; Review: A Catalog of Atari Learning Systems p3; InfoWorld 6/13/83p22)

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 (Steve Wright, director) delivered 60 seconds of computer animation for the upcoming Warner Bros. film, Superman III.

February 15: Dick Maslana was Atari (Coin-Op) VP manufacturing. (CCv7n3)  (acutally: VP operations)

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 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 ft2, 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 Ave., 1195 Borregas Ave., 1215 Borregas Ave) 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.

February 26: James P. (Jim) Newlander, previously of D.Gottlieb & Co., had joined Atari (Coin-Op) as Eastern regional sales manager (based at Atari's Somerset, N.J. facility), reporting to national sales director Alan Van Campen.  Jerry Marcus remained Atari (Coin-Op) EVP sales.  (Cash Box 2/26/83 p33)

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

March 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Product Catalog Spring Edition 1983, introducing 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.

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

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), Doug 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), Paul 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 11: Date of REV A (second release) of the "PAM OS" operating system, programmed by Rob Zdybel, for the Atari 5200.

March 15: Richard Glosman, previously director of media and programming at Bristol-Myers Co., had joined Atari (NYT), where he would be (corporate) director of media (see PR 10/10/83 for title), essentially replacing Jan Soderstrom who departed the company (to The Gap).  Glosman would establish and head an advertising office for Atari at: 3 E. 54th St. Fl 11, New York NY. 

March: Donald Teiser, previously an Atari (Consumer) software development manager (5200/Disney lines), would be promoted to director of product development, replacing Larry Kaplan who departed the company. (source; source; source Condon Brown, previously a software development manager (2600 line), would be promoted to director of software development, replacing George Kiss who would depart the company (to Coleco).  (Richard Frick would remain software development manager, now reporting to Brown.)

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

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

March?: For the 400/800/1200XL Atari shipped: Timewise

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

March: Atari released Food Fight (GCC).

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 that it would enter the home telecommunications market with a line of microprocessor-based systems.  Plans called for marketing to begin in the United States early in 1984, with sales and distribution through telephone operating companies as well as traditional consumer electronics channels.  Peter Wensberg was president of the newly-formed AtariTel Division. (PR; source)

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, Maria Smith, 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; source)  

March 23: In the Netherlands, Atari International (Benelux) B.V. expanded to a new headquarters at: Atoomweg 480, Utrecht.  Sales/Distribution/Atari Service Centrum would remain at Franse Akker 9, Breda (location shared with Record Service Benelux B.V.). (source; source)

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)

March/April: Atari established an Advanced Games Group (game development for coin arcades, home computers, and home video game systems), to be directed by Chris Horseman (previously: Home Computer Division VP software engineering).  Horseman would report to Atari (Coin-Op) VP creative development Lyle Rains. (source)  The unit would eventually include: Jim Morris, Robert Weatherby, Michael Gurganus, Jack C. Ritter, Dave Menconi, Steve Englehart, Aric Wilmunder, Dan Oliver, Rita Pless. (source) (source)  Jeffrey Heimbuck, previously Atari (Home Computer) SVP marketing, would become SVP marketing and software engineering (assuming the additional role from Horseman).

March/April?: The Atari Special Programs group (Steve Wright, Director) was shifted from the Consumer division to the Coin-Op division, and Wright would now report to Atari (Coin-Op) VP creative development Lyle Rains.

Winter/Spring?: The software development group for the Atari My First Computer add-on for the 2600 was spun-off from the Atari Advanced Development Laboratory (Atari NY Lab) to a separate location in the city: One Madison Avenue 14th Floor, New York NY.  The group would include: James E. Korenthal (manager), Mitchell Balsam, Mark Hahn (source 28:10 with corrections)

Winter/Spring?: Peter R. Ateshian, previously of Reticon, joined Atari (Home Computer) in engineering (digital circuit design). (source)

Winter/Spring: Atari software consultant (Atari Computer Camps) Wayne Harvey formally joined Atari Special Projects. (source)

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 9: In Singapore, Atari-PCI Enterprises Pte. Ltd. was established.  The joint venture between Atari (via Atari Far East Limited?) and PCI would manufacture products for Atari at the established PCI plant at: 73, Ayer Rajah Crescent, Ayer Rajah Industrial Estate

April 11: Bill Carris was Atari (Home Computer) director of software marketing. (source)

April 12: In Japan, Atari International (Nippon) 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). (GM 6/15/83)

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 RealSports Tennis (previously: Tennis) for the 5200 (VGU 5/83).  Also for the 5200, Football would be re-released as RealSports Football, Soccer would be re-released as RealSports Soccer, and the promised Baseball would now be promised as RealSports Baseball.

April: Alan Van Campen remained National Sales Director at the Atari Coin Video Games Division.

April: "3,000 of Atari's 10,000 employees work on assembly lines in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Ireland and Puerto Rico." (Multinational Monitor Apr83)

April: Atari discontinued 5200 production at its manufacturing plant at 1195 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA, and commenced both 5200 and 1200XL production by Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC).  5200 production would also continue at Atari's El Paso TX plant, and 1200XL production would also continue at the 1215 Borregas Ave. plant in Sunnyvale.

April: Atari (Home Computer) software product manager (including AtariWriter) Gary Furr departed the company (to Datasoft, developers of AtariWriter). (source 14:30)

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 17: In Brazil, Atari announced that Polyvox from IGB Group (Industrias Gradiente Brasileira) would launch Atari videogames in Brazil in August, 1983. (source; see also ArcExp 6/19/83)

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.  (2600 Voice Commander never shipped)  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 had announced that Michael J. Moone would leave his post as president of its Consumer Electronics Division to head a newly-created products development unit. (Washington Post 4/26)  The unannounced new division would be known as Electronic Distribution.  The unit would include Steven W. Bengston (marketing; previously: Atari (Consumer) Manager of Marketing Administration) and Emory V. Anderson, III (director of finance).  Location: 1346 Bordeaux, Sunnyvale CA.  (Early R&D in electronic publishing had been conduducted at the Atari NY Lab; ongoing R&D for the initiative would now be conducted at the Atari L.A. Lab.)  Donald Kingsborough (of D.K. Associates, D.K. Marketing, and S.K.U., Inc., and previously with Atari in 1979) had rejoined Atari as EVP Consumer Division (replacing Moone in the role). (WSJ 5/18/84p47 for month) 

Spring: For the 400/800/1200XL Atari shipped: The Home Manager kit, Mickey in the Great Outdoors (Walt Disney Telecommunication & Non-Theatrical Company), Eastern Front (1941) (cartridge), Paint, Microsoft BASIC II, Family Finances, AtariWriter (Datasoft)

Spring: There were now eight Atari computer classrooms in Club Med villages: Eleuthera in the Bahamas; La Caravelle in French Guadeloupe; Ixtapa in Mexico; Copper Mountain in the Colorado Rockies near Denver; Dom Miguel in Marbella, Spain; Chateau Royal in Noumea, New Caledonia; Les Almadies, Senegal; and Cherating, Malaysia.  Linda Gordon was Atari (corporate) VP Special Projects. (Atari Connection Spr83 p40-41

Spring: Atari (Coin-Op) engineering formed a team, including Bill Galcher, Tom Hogg (project leader), Bruce Merritt, and Paul Resch, to design and prototype a new computer / graphics workstation which would be known as the Gaza project (never introduced). 

Spring: The Atari (Coin-Op) research & development group (Roy Machamer, director) launched a LaserDisc-based coin-op game project (would ship as: Firefox).  Engineer Mike Hally would be project leader. (source)   

Winter/Spring/Summer: Loren R. Wolter (L.R. Wolter), previously RCA Taiwan Ltd. president and general manager, joined Atari as VP and general manager of Atari Far East (Taiwan) (responsible for Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC)), replacing Richard Krieger who departed the company.  The Atari Taipei Liaison Office (Atari Far East (Taiwan)) would be moved to: 2nd Floor, 217 Chang-Kuo North Road (previously: 5th Floor, 2 Min Tsn East Road).

Spring: Philip G. Baker (Phil Baker), previously with engineering and management positions at Polaroid, joined AtariTel as director of product management. (source p34)

May 2: Seven finalists participated in the SwordQuest Challenge: EarthWorld Segment contest finals, held at Atari headquarters, 1265 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA.  Winner of the EarthWorld Talisman (a gold pendant/medallion decorated with 12 diamonds and 12 other precious stones, valued at $25,000): Steven Bell

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 Atari Advanced Development Laboratory (Atari NY Lab) at 300 E. 42nd St. Fl 6/10, New York NY, home of the Atari Advanced Development Group, would become the facility of WCI Labs, which would serve both Atari and WCI.  Steve Mayer, remaining Atari SVP for research and development (still reporting to Atari chairman/CEO Ray Kassar), would additionally be president of WCI Labs and senior executive consultant to the office of the president of WCI.

WCI Labs logo

May 8: Dr. Alfred L. Moyé, formerly the U.S. Dept. of Higher Education's Deputy Assistant Secretary during the Carter administration, would join Atari (Home Computer) as national educational sales manager, responsible for sales programs targeted at elementary, high school and college educators (ArcadeExpress v1n20), replacing Jim Paige who departed the company.  Educational sales would adopt the branding: AtariEd.  (Keith Schaefer remained Atari (Home Computer) SVP sales.) 

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?: At Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS): Dave Wilson, previously manager of customer relations, was promoted to director of customer relations (still reporting to VP for CPS Jon Ebbs).  Bill Bartlett, previously supervisor of customer relations specialists, was promoted to manager of product support for customer relations (still reporting to Wilson).  Users' Group Support Manager Earl Rice, previously of the Atari Home Computer division in marketing, would now report to Bartlett in CPS. (source 13:40)  Robert H. Levrini would be promoted to Supervisor, product specialist group (replacing Bartlett in the role; reporting to Bartlett). (source)

May?: Atari (corporate) VP special projects Linda Gordon assumed responsibility for educational marketing of Atari computers (InfoWorld 2/27/84 p105), which would adopt the branding: Atari Instructional Material Service (AIMS).  Michael T. Knoblauh would join Atari (corporate) as manager, AIMS (head of educational software acquisition and development) (AtariConnection Wint84 p29; source) (reporting to Gordon), replacing both Atari (Home Computer) manager of educational software products Sueann Ambron who departed the company (to Human Engineered Software (HesWare) as well as Atari (Home Computer) national manager of educational marketing Chris Bowman who departed the company (to Apple Computer)

May: Internally, Atari (Home Computer) launched a semi-independent computer games division, AtariSoft. (PC Mag 3/20/84p49; source)  (AtariSoft public launch event would be October 26, 1983.)  Stephen D. Arnold (Steve Arnold) (already at Atari?) would be director, marketing (and product design), AtariSoft.  Bryan Kerr, previously of Atari (Consumer) manufacturing engineering (source), would be group product manager.  Richard Frick, previously Atari (Consumer) software development manager, would be software development manager.  John Skruch, previously Atari (Home Computer) Senior Engineer, Software Product Engineering (manufacturing), would be Operations Manager.  Ken Wirt, previously Atari (Home Computer) VP marketing, would be VP sales (reporting to Atari (Home Computer) SVP sales Keith Schaefer). (source)  Atari research analyst Bob Fournier (previously: Atari (Home Computer) entertainment product manager) had developed the original business plan and formed the unit. (source)  Russ Haft, previously of Mattel, would establish and manage a research & development office at 122 Lincoln Blvd Ste 203, Venice CA (suburban Los Angeles) which would develop games for Intellivision. (Haft would report to Arnold.)

May: Gary Blondefield, previously Atari (Consumer) marketing director (reporting to VP marketing David Ruckert), would become director of business development (games).  Philip C. Restaino, previously of Bristol-Myers Co., joined Atari (Consumer) as marketing director (replacing Blondefield in the role; reporting to SVP marketing and software engineering Jeffrey Heimbuck). (PR 10/10/83 for date) 

May?: Don Thorson (previously with Atari (Consumer) in marketing from 1977-1980 (source)) would return to the company as Atari (Home Computer) director of product development (source) (reporting to SVP marketing and software engineering Jeffrey Heimbuck), and Robert D. Cory, previously of the Boston Consulting Group (and before that, the Standard Research Institute), would be Atari (Home Computer) director of business development, together replacing VP product development and business planning Peter Rosenthal who departed the company (to DesignWare, Inc.). 

May: Jewel Savadelis, previously Atari (Consumer) director of software marketing, would remain director of 2600 software marketing (still reporting to VP marketing David Ruckert).  West Shell III, previously a product director at Johnson & Johnson, joined Atari (Consumer) as director of 5200 software marketing (replacing Savadelis in the role; also reporting to Ruckert). (ArtofAtari p313; for date)  

May: Atari (Consumer) video game designer Nick Turner departed the company.

May: Atari discontinued production of the 400 (both at 1173 Borregas Ave., 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 Ave. would be repurposed.  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 Ave., Sunnyvale CA would now serve as headquarters for the new Atari Manufacturing Co. division.  1200XL production would continue by Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC). 

May?: Production of the Atari 1050 disk drive commenced in Singapore by Atari-PCI Enterprises 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 and 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 for computer software 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.  Futuretronics remained the distributor for Atari International in Australia.  (SydneyMorningHerald 5/30/83)

May 18: In the U.S., Atari established the subsidiary, Atari International (Belgium) Inc.  The new unit would replace Confirmex as the distributor for Atari International (Benelux) B.V. in Belgium.  While Confirmex had handled the 2600 product line only, Atari International (Belgium) would handle Atari computers as well, and would establish an Atari Service Centre at: Van der Sweepstraat 7, Antwerp

May 18-September 12: In Paris, at the Forum of the Pompidou Centre, the Au temps de l'espace (In Space Time) exhibit by the Centre de création industrielle (CCI; Industrial Creation Center) included components (including Atari 800 and software) from the ongoing TEME (Totally Enclosed Modular Environment) project in human ecology at Greenfield Community College (MA), with financial support from Atari via the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research.  485,270 would visit the exhibit over 85 days. (Antic v2n6; source)

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. (ATMC), Hong Kong (Atari-Wong Co.) and El Paso, Tex.  (AP 5/21/83)

May 20: Atari launched Atari International (Italy) Inc. with a press conference held at the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan.  The new subsidiary was Atari's fifth in Europe (France, West Germany, the United Kingdom, and Holland), and would replace Italian Atari 2600 distributor Melchioni and computer distributor Adveico.  Representing Atari at the event: Anton Bruehl (president of Atari International), Alan Kay (Atari VP/chief scientist), Manlio Allegra (assistant to Bruehl), and Massimo Ruosi (Direttore Generale (general manager) for Italy; previously of Proctor & Gamble in Italy).  Atari International (Italy) Inc. location: Via Cherubini 6, 20145 Milano.  Also for Atari International (Italy) Inc.: Vittorio Vitaletti would be sales director, and Ernesto Zanzi would be Direttore amministrativo (controller). (source; MCmicrocomputer #21 p14-16; source; source)  

May 22-24: "Video games and human development : a research agenda for the 80's" symposium, sponsored by Atari, held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge MA.

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)

June 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Product Catalog Summer Edition 1983, introducing for the 400/800/1200XL: 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.

June 1: Atari announced the consolidation of its Consumer and Home Computer divisions into three new divisions: Atari Products Co. (domestic and international marketing and engineering, assuming international marketing from the Atari International division), Atari Sales & Distribution Co., and Atari Manufacturing Co. (NYT 6/2pD5, WSJ 6/2p20)  (Atari would no longer manage its Consumer and Atari International divisions as the Consumer Products Group.)  John Cavalier, previously Atari president Home Computer Division, would be president of Atari Products Co.; 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 other Atari divisions: Atari (Coin-Op), Atari International (international sales/distribution), and AtariTel. (timing clueDennis Groth, previously Atari EVP and president of the former Consumer Products Group, would remain Atari EVP.   Former Consumer Products Group VP of sales, merchandising and administration Ron Stringari would depart the company. 

Alan Henricks, previously EVP finance for the former Consumer Products Group, would be EVP finance for the three new divisions.  Gerd Stoecker, previously Atari International director of finance, would be promoted to VP international finance.  Claude Nahum, previously Atari International manager of financial planning & analysis, would be promoted to director of international finance (still reporting to Stoecker).  (James Heisch remained Atari SVP finance and CFO.)

Jean Hackenburg, previously Atari VP finance Consumer division, would be (corporate) VP business planning.  Bill Carris, previously Atari (Home Computer) director of software marketing, would be director of corporate market planning (replacing Conrad Jutson in the role).  (John Hagel remained corporate VP strategic planning.) 

James Alan Cook, previously Atari (Home Computer) VP and counsel, would be VP and counsel for Atari Products Co. and Atari Sales Co.  David Burling, previously Atari International VP and counsel, would be AtariTel VP and counsel.  Angelo Pezzani, previously Consumer Products Group VP and general counsel, would be Atari International VP and counsel (replacing Burling in the role).  Deborah Lee would join Atari International as assistant counsel.  Paul Jakab, previously Atari (Consumer) VP and counsel, would be Atari VP and corporate counsel.  (Skip Paul remained Atari SVP and general counsel.)  

Within the new Atari Products Co.:

Jeffrey Heimbuck, previously Atari (Home Computer) SVP marketing and software engineering, would be SVP domestic and international marketing and engineering.  Reports to Heimbuck would include director of game (hardware) marketing Philip Restaino and director of computer (hardware) marketing Don Thorson.  Stephen Race, previously Atari International director of marketing, would remain director of international marketing (now reporting to Heimbuck).  Barry Ofstedal would be director of advertising.

Dave Stubben, previously Atari (Home Computer) VP engineering, would be VP Engineering (reporting to Heimbuck).  Reports to Stubben would include: John De Santis (director of electrical engineering), Thomas Kennedy (director of mechanical engineering), Donald Teiser (director of Advanced Engineering, a new quick turn engineering unit (source); previously: Atari (Consumer) director of product development).  Stubben would directly oversee the ongoing Shakti/25601 (later: Atari 1600) project, which would include Ajay Chopra and Jim Tittsler.  Advanced Engineering group projects would include new game machines, new computers (Omni project, including Penny + Vivian + Heather chipset), interactive video disks, and optical products, and the group would eventually include managers Paul J. Wehrenberg (optical R&D) and Mark D. Davis, plus: Eric Breeze, Mark Filipak, Richard O'Keefe, Horace Arlen Olive, Gilbert Chan, Glen C. Hoag, Der-Chang Hsieh, Wai-Hon Lee.  Atari (Home Computer) director of electrical engineering Larry Plummer departed the company (to Convergent Technologies). (source; source)  Atari (Consumer) director of electrical engineering Dave Remson departed the company. (source/clue)

Steve Calfee, previously Atari (Coin-Op) Director, Electrical Engineering and Software, would be Atari Vice President, Game design (both Coin-Op and Consumer (2600, 5200, Atari home computers)). (source; source).  John Ray, previously Coin-Op electronic engineers supervisor, would be promoted to (Coin-Op) electrical engineering manager (replacing Calfee in the role; reporting to VP engineering Dan Van Elderen).  Condon Brown, previously Atari (Consumer) director of software development, would be director of consumer game development (reporting to Calfee).

David Ruckert, previously Atari (Consumer) VP marketing, would be SVP entertainment software marketing (PR 10/10/83 for title).  Reports to Ruckert would include director of 5200/Atari home computer entertainment software marketing West Shell (previously: director of 5200 software marketing) and director of 2600 entertainment software marketing Jewel Savadelis. 

Fred Simon, previously of Walt Disney Productions (PR 10/10/83) (VP of the software division of Walt Disney Telecommunications and Non-Theatrical Company), had joined the company in May to be VP software (home applications, children's software, AtariSoft; replacing Heimbuck in the role). (PR 10/10/83 for date)  Colette Weil, previously Director, Corporate Market and Consumer Research (reporting to VP market planning Conrad Jutson), would be Director, Marketing (and product design), Home Applications and Children's Software (essentially replacing Carris in the role; reporting to Simon).  Steve Arnold, director, marketing (and product design), AtariSoft, would also report to Simon.

Within the new Atari Sales & Distribution Co.: Keith Schaefer, previously Atari (Home Computer) SVP sales, would be EVP.  Win Weber, previously Atari (Consumer) SVP sales, would be SVP sales.  Conrad Jutson, previously (corporate) VP market planning, would be VP market planning.  Alfred Moyé remained National Educational Sales Manager (head of AtariEd).  Craig Conway, previously Atari (Home Computer) national account manager, departed the company (to Digital Research).

Departures from Atari (Consumer) would include: VP engineering Michel Ebertin (who would co-found Argonne Systems, Inc. as VP engineering on 7/12/83) (source), graphics director John Hayashi, art director James Kelly, industrial design group manager Roy Nishi

June 2: Atari had named W. Thomas Bayha (William T. Bayha), previously of Sterling Drug International, as managing director of its Hong Kong subsidiary (Atari Far East Limited, including Atari International (Hong Kong) Limited), replacing John Constantine who was to join Atari's international marketing staff in Sunnyvale CA (WSJ 6/2p20)  (Constantine would actually become Atari International director of sales administration and distribution, based in New York.)

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), the 1400XL home computer (price to be announced; to ship in September; to replace the 1200XL; 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) with DOS III (later: DOS 3).  Again promised: 1010 program recorder, 1020 printer/plotter, 1025 printer.  Introduced: 1050 disk drive with DOS III, 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).  Three computer expansion devices were introduced (each due fall 1983): CP/M Module with CP/M 2.2 (never shipped), Atari Expansion Box (later: 1090 XL Expansion System; never shipped), 64K Memory Module (for the 600XL; would ship as: 1064 Memory Module). (PR Previewed: Light Pen (CX75), Super Controller (home computer and international name for CX60 Pro-Line Joystick; would ship as CX24).  Atari introduced the Writing System (would ship as: AtariWriter System) and announced the Programming System (never shipped) and Entertainment System (never shipped) All-In-One-Pak kits.  Add-A-Pak kit again promised: The Communicator II (July); introduced/previewed: Atari Accountant (formerly The Bookkeeper kit; never shipped under the new name), 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 Enterprises), Robotron: 2084 (title by Williams Electronics), AtariMusic II: Major Scales and Keys.  Announced/previewed:  The Mysteries of Wonderland (Disney; never shipped), Peter Pan's Daring Escape (Roklan for Walt Disney Productions; never shipped).  Announced/simulated: Battlezone (title would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1988), Tempest (never shipped), Xevious (title by Namco; never shipped).  Again promised: AtariMusic I, TeleLink II (again promised apart from The Communicator II kit), Superman III, Atari Logo.  (No longer promised: Star Trux.)  Atari also introduced Alan Alda as spokesperson for Atari computers, in an arrangement to extend for the next 5 years.

Also for Atari home computers, Atari Instructional Material Service (AIMS) courseware titles to be released fourth quarter 1983 included: Math Arcademics (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), Atari Sentences, and a multi-program Trigonometry and Algebra course from CONDUIT (University of Iowa).  Previewed at the show: AtariLab (previously: ScienceLab) series (by Dickinson College), including AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module (September); future modules: Timekeeper, Light, Biofeedback, Mechanics, Lie Detector (Analog #13 p36; see also InfoWorld 7/4/83 p13)

Atari announced plans to release, by September 1, software such as Pac-Man, Centipede, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong and Defender for non-Atari systems including Apple II, IBM PC, TI-99/4A, VIC-20, Commodore 64 (C-64), and (tentatively) Radio Shack Color Computer.  Plus, for the TI-99/4A, Atari planned to release the Synapse titles: Shamus, Protector, Slime, and Picnic Paranoia. (ComputerEntertainer Jul83p59; ArcExpress 6/19/83; SoftLine JulAug83 p46; Globe&Mail 6/10; WSJ 6/6)  (AtariSoft public launch event would be October 26, 1983.)  

Atari again promised The Graduate (previously: My First Computer; earlier: 2600 Computer; never shipped), with built-in Microsoft BASIC, showing a working prototype (source 26:20), 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. (PR)  (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 demonstrated the Voice Controller voice synthesis and recognition device (Milton Bradley; earlier: 2600 Voice Commander; due October 1983; never released), with 2600 RealSports Baseball. (PR)

Atari announced the introduction of 28 new games for the 2600 VCS and the 5200 SuperSystem (including 9 games for both platforms, 10 2600 exclusives, and 9 5200 exclusives). (PR)  David Ruckert was Atari SVP marketing. (ArcadeExpress 7/3)

For the 2600 Atari introduced or again promised 17 games: Pole Position (title by Namco; due Sept.), Jungle Hunt (July), Kangaroo (title by Sun Electronics; Aug.), Dig Dug (Oct.), Joust (title by Williams Electronics; Oct.), Moon Patrol (title by Williams Electronics; Oct.), Battlezone (Sept.), Cookie Monster Munch (Oct.), Alpha Beam with Ernie (Oct.), Big Bird's Egg Catch (Oct.), Dumbo's Flying Circus (previously: Dumbo Flies Home; Oct.; never released), Donald Duck's Speedboat (Sept.; never released), Sorcerer's Apprentice (Nov.), Snoopy and the Red Baron (July), Miss Piggy's Wedding (Nov.; never released), Pigs In Space (Nov.), Krull (Sept.). (one source 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 Pro-Line Remote Control Wireless Joysticks (CX42; by Cynex), and the Pro-Line Space Age Joystick (CX43).  

Atari announced a price reduction on the 5200 Supersystem (previously: 5200 Advanced Video Entertainment System) to $199.00, and that Pac-Man would now be included with the system (previously: Super Breakout).  Also, the joystick had been enhanced with self-centering and a more durable boot (VGU 7/83 p60) (CX52L; never shipped).  New production 5200 units would feature 2 controller ports (previously: 4 ports).  For the 5200 Atari introduced the VCS Cartridge Adaptor (CX55), and introduced or again promised 18 games: Pole Position (due Aug.), Jungle Hunt (Sept.), Kangaroo (Aug.), Ms. Pac-Man (title by Namco; Sept.), Dig Dug (Oct.), Joust (title by Williams Electronics; Oct.), Moon Patrol (title by Williams Electronics; Nov.), Battlezone (Nov.; never shipped), Vanguard (Oct.), Space Dungeon (July), Pengo (title by Sega Enterprises; Sept.), Road Runner (Nov.; never shipped), Sport Goofy (Nov.; never shipped), Tempest (Nov.; never released), Robotron: 2084 (title by Williams Electronics; Dec.), Xevious (title by Namco; fall; never released); "first games with self-contained voice synthesis": RealSports Baseball (Oct.), Berzerk (title by Stern; fall).

Finally, Atari promoted the new AtariTel division at the show ("The Wraps Are About to Come Off.").  Product introductions were promised for late 1983, with products to ship in early 1984.  Dick Mier was VP marketing, AtariTel. (source; source)

June 6-8: Atari demonstrated the AtariLab series at NECC/5, the National Educational Computing Conference 1983, held at Towson State University, Baltimore MD. (InfoWorld 10/10/83 p28

June 9-14: At the 17th International Exhibition of Music, High Fidelity, Video and Consumer Electronics (SIM-HI.FI-IVES '83) in Milan, Atari International (Italy) Inc. introduced the 600XL, 800XL, and 1450XLD to Italy.  Estimated pricing: L. 500.000, L. 750.000 - 1 million, and L. 2.9 - 3 million, respectively.  Also featured: 1010, 1050, 1020, 1027, CP/M Module, Touch Tablet, Light Pen, Remote Control Wireless Joysticks, Track-Ball, Expansion Box (see the picture), and much software. (MCmicrocomputer #21 p14-16)

June 11-Sept 10: Expanding upon the Atari computer classroom concept already offered in at least eight other Club Med locations, "Club Med-Atari Village" was featured at Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. (Les Villages 4/83 v3n1)  (The Atari Village included custom hardware and software developed at 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: 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. (The Learning Co. PR 5/31/84)

June: George Opperman remained Atari (Coin-Op) director of visual communications (graphics design); Bob Flemate remained visual communications supervisor (production art; reporting to Opperman). (VideoGames v1n9 6/83 p30)

June 16-19: At the Tokyo Toy Show, held at the Fair Grounds, Harumi, Tokyo, Atari International (Nippon) featured the Atari 2800 and 25 games for the 2800.  About 100,000 attended the show. (GM 8/1/83)

June 17: Debut of the Warner Bros. feature film Superman III, which included 26 seconds of computer animation developed for the project by the Atari Special Programs group, and completed in February 1983. (IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 9/83 p7-10)  Film credit: "Video Game Computer Animation by Atari Inc." (source Full credits: Steve Wright (director, Special Programs), Pat Cole (software manager), Vicki Parish (programmer/scripting language), Mike Marshall (programmer/paint program), Larry Wright (art director (and brother of Steve)), Richard Sachs (graphic artist), Paul Hughett (system architect)

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)

June/July?: Atari shipped the 1010 program recorder, 1020 printer/plotter, and 1025 printer.

Months?: 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, research engineer Gary Sikorski was promoted to Research Engineering group manager (reporting to VP research and development Ted Hoff), replacing Dale Yocum who departed the company.

Month?: Bill Aspromonte, previously of Fox Video Games, joined Atari Products Co. as a game designer (2600).

Month?: Engineer Charles S. Meyer (Chuck Meyer) joined the Atari Cyan Engineering unit as a staff engineer. (Marquis)

Month?: Atari industrial designer Regan Cheng departed the company.

Month?: In France, Jean Richen joined P.E.C.F. Atari as director of marketing, replacing Christian Paternot who departed the company. (one source for date)

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 (previously: Mary Takatsuno) 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?: Atari (corporate) director of organization development John T. Thompson departed the company (to David Powell, Inc.).

July: Production of the Atari 1200XL computer ended (later units made by Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC)).

July: Peter H. Friedman joined Atari Products Co. as product marketing manager for the Shakti/25601 project.  The new computer would be planned for introduction as the Atari 1600 (never introduced).

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 Design Research Group, Atari Corporate Research. (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 and released as: Rubik's Cube)

July 20: Linda Gordon remained Atari VP special projects. (WSJ)

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.

July 25-29: At ACM/SIGGRAPH '83, the evening computer-generated film and video shows included a presentation of "Superman III: Let the Games Begin" (2 minutes) produced by Atari Special Programs, credited to: Paul Hughett, Vicki Parish, Steve Wright, Pat Cole, Mike Marshall. (source/source, source)  

Summer?: Atari planned to release 11 new peripherals for Atari XL home computers by the end of the year (including the Expansion Box). (source)

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; Cyndi Heller, computer director; Steve Mandl, assistant 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; Laurie D. Edwards, computer 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. (source; source; source

Summer: At Atari Clubs, Inc. (Atari Age magazine), 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: Atari consolidated the AtariTel division headquarters from 1349 Moffett Park Dr., Sunnyvale CA with the division's engineering operations at 1272 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA

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.)

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 12: Philip Morris Inc. EVP marketing for U.S. cigarette operations James J. Morgan departed that company in advance of joining Atari. (source

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), and shipped Atari Logo. (LCSI PR 12/12/83)

August: Atari Products Co. entertainment software product manager Joel Oberman would be promoted to director of 2600 entertainment software marketing (reporting to SVP of entertainment software marketing David Ruckert), replacing Jewel Savadelis who departed the company.

August: Atari Products Co. product marketing manager for XL computers Andrew Soderberg departed the company (to ViMart).  (Don Thorson remained director of computer marketing.)

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: Erwin N. Lenowitz would be promoted to Atari (corporate) VP finance (interim?), replacing James Heisch who departed the company (to Businessland).

August: Bennet Goldberg, previously Atari International product manager (video game consoles and accessories), became Atari International (Italy) Inc. marketing manager. (sourceManlio Allegra, previously assistant to Atari International president Anton Bruehl, became Atari International product manager (video game consoles and accessories; replacing Goldberg in the role).

August 15: A class-action suit against Atari, seeking lost wages of $3.6 million, $10 million in punitive damages and unspecified compensatory damages, was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court by attorney Linda Krieger on behalf of Maria Carson, Rudolfo Villanueva, and the other 600 workers who lost their jobs and claimed they weren't given advance notice of the layoffs announced on Feb. 22, when they had been assured their jobs were safe.

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. (speculation: new corporate parent for Atari International (Benelux) B.V. in the Netherlands, Atari International (Belgium) Inc., and any future Atari subsidiary in Luxembourg)

August 31: In the U.S., Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Germany Holding, Inc. (speculation: new corporate parent for Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH in West Germany and any future Atari subsidiaries in Austria and/or Switzerland)

August/September?: Atari released an updated Atari Computer Educational Software Directory (reprint of the 1/83 edition with updated cover pages).  New titles available through AtariEd (Atari educational sales) were to include: Alien Addition (Arcademic Skill Builders by DLM), AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module, AtariLab Curriculum Modules (never shipped), AtariLab Light Module (would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), 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?).

September 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Product Catalog Fall Edition 1983, introducing for 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.

September 6: James Morgan arrived at Atari as chairman and CEO (replacing the departed Ray Kassar). (InfoWorld 8/1/83 p3)  The Atari Products Co. division, previously comprised of consumer/computer international marketing and engineering, would remain the domestic marketing arm for home computers and video games, and would now be known as the Atari Products Management division.  John Cavalier would remain president of Atari Products Management, and SVP Jeffrey Heimbuck, previously responsible for domestic and international marketing and engineering, would remain responsible for hardware marketing.  Atari Products VP Engineering Dave Stubben would now report to Atari (Coin-Op) president John Farrand (previously: to Heimbuck). (InfoWorld 8/6/84 p52 for date; InfoWorld 2/27/84 p104 for Farrand new title/role)  The Atari International division would reassume responsibility for international marketing from the former Atari Products Co. division.

September 6: Andy Sekel (A.J. Sekel) was manager of press relations for Atari Products Management. (Syracuse Post-Standard)

September 7: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) and Atari announced plans to consolidate most of Atari's Silicon Valley facilities to a new office and research complex on 65 acres of land owned by WCI at River Oaks Park in San Jose CA.  WCI had named Wolff-Comstock as joint venture partner and lead developer of the property.  Development and construction costs were expected to total approximately $60 million.  Atari was to occupy approximately 400,000 ft2 of office space for research and development, marketing and administration purposes at the new site by 1985.  Atari now employed 3,400 people at its 52 sites in Santa Clara County. Atari's plant in Milpitas, with 1,000 employees, would not be moved into the new facilities. (UPI 9/8; Fun p750)

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 Gary Weaver was Atari plant manager in El Paso. (source (Atari's remanufacturing operations, previously located in Sunnyvale CA and headed by James Heller, were being moved to the El Paso plant.)  Atari's El Paso administrative office at 5654 Brown St. would be closed.  (Amplifone Corporation, Atari's division in Brownsville TX, where Gil Gilbert was plant 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, based in London (see RCA/Columbia PR 4/5/85)) as VP marketing (Marketing and Product Management (source for title)) (replacing former Atari Products Co. SVP international marketing and engineering Jeffrey Heimbuck in the role); John C. Beuttell (Jack 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 as VP new business development (previously: VP strategic planning (source)). (WSJ p48)  Nancy Garrison, previously Atari International marketing manager for computer software, would become International Marketing Manager, AtariSoft.  Also at Atari International: Stephen Race remained director of international marketing, now reporting to Deering; John Constantine was director of sales administration and distribution; and Richard D. Arroyo (Dick Arroyo) was director of advertising.  (Anton "Tony" Bruehl remained president of Atari International.)

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: Linda Gordon, previously Atari (corporate) VP special projects, would be (corporate) SVP education (Education Group), remaining responsible for educational software acquisition and development (Atari Instructional Material Service, AIMS), Atari Computer Camps, and the Atari Club Med project, while additionally assuming responsibility for educational sales (AtariEd) and the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research.  AIMS and AtariEd would be combined as Atari Learning Systems, with operations at 1399 Moffett Park Dr, Sunnyvale CA.  Alfred Moyé, previously National Educational Sales Manager, would become director of the Atari Institute for Education Research, replacing Ted Kahn who departed the company (to Picodyne). (source; source Robert D. Hall (Bob Hall) would become director of Educational Division sales (replacing Moyé in the role). (ScientificAmerican Jan84pC6)  Mike Knoblauh, previously manager of AIMS, would be director of Educational Division marketing.

September: Atari had cancelled The Graduate for the 2600. (VGU 9/83; WSJ 9/12/83p1/21)  Atari's Research & Development location dedicated to software development for The Graduate, One Madison Avenue, 14th Floor, New York NY, would be shut down, and departures from Atari would include group manager Jim Korenthal. (source 29:00)

September: Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS) shut down the Regional Service Centers at 2109 E Division, Arlington TX and at 5400 Newport Dr Ste 1, Rolling Meadows IL, leaving two remaining: 1312 Crossman Ave, Sunnyvale CA (also home to Customer Relations) and 12 B World's Fair Dr, Somerset NJ (source; source)  

September: For the 5200 Atari released: Pole Position (GCC), Jung Hunt (title by Taito), Space Dungeon (with controller holder), Ms. Pac-Man (GCC) (VGA 10/83)

September: At Atari (Coin), Frank Becker had become the national Field Service Manager (previously: regional field service manager), reporting to director of technical services Darl Davidson. (CC 9/83)

September: Atari Manufacturing Co. industrial engineer Michael Baughman departed the company (to Apple Computer).

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 International (U.K.) Inc. launched the XL home computer product line (600XL, 800XL, 1010, 1050, 1025, 1020, 1027, Touch Tablet, Trak-Ball, Super Controller, Memory Module (1064); previewed: CP/M Module, Expansion Box) and software line in the UK, and introduced The Lone Raider, at the Great Home Entertainment Spectacular, Olympia, London.

September 22: Atari, Inc. and General Foods announced a multi-million dollar promotion called Catch-On-To-Computers.  Computer tutorials would run in 10 cities nationwide during October, November and December, starting in Washington D.C. and San Francisco on Oct. 5th with a 10-day Catch-On-To-Computers Learning Festival.  On subsequent days similar programs would be conducted in Los Angeles; Denver; Chicago; Houston; New Orleans; Atlanta; St. Louis; and Newark, N.J.  At each stop on the tour computer training experts would present 80 hours of free tutorials especially designed for Catch-On-To-Computers by the People's Computer Co., a non-profit company.  In addition, weekend open houses were scheduled to provide family members and any interested individuals the opportunity to operate the computers under supervision.  Aside from the classes, Atari and Post Cereals would offer schools and other membership organizations the opportunity to exchange a specified number of Post Cereals proof-of-purchase box tops for a wide range of Atari equipment, expansion devices and a wide selection of educational software.  The year-long national program would kick off Sept. 30th with a mailing of catalogs to more than 91,000 schools.  A simultaneous direct mailing to 41 million homes -- approximately half of all U.S. households -- would announce the promotion to consumers and identify the participating Post brands and Atari products.  Linda Gordon was SVP of the Atari education group. (PR; source)

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 computers (600XL/800XL) and products, including the new Touch Tablet and Light Pen, at the Sixth Personal Computer World Show (PCW), Barbican Centre, London.

September 30: Atari manufacturing operations manager James Heller departed the company. (RetroVideogameMagazine #6, p29) 

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).

October 3-7: In France, at the first ever VidCom-MIJID (Marché international des jeux vidéo et de l'informatique individuelle et domestique) held at the Palais de la Croisette in Cannes, P.E.C.F. Atari previewed the 600XL.  Guy Millant remained P.E.C.F. Atari PDG. (L'Atarien #1)

October 6: Atari Products Management president John Cavalier departed the company (to Apple Computer).

October 10: Atari announced the appointment of David Ruckert, previously SVP of entertainment software marketing, as SVP of Atari Products Management, the marketing arm for home computers and video games, replacing division president John Cavalier who had just departed the companyJeffrey Heimbuck, SVP for the marketing of hardware for video games and computers, had also departed the company (to Koala Technologies Corp.).  Ruckert would report directly to Atari chairman and CEO James J. Morgan.  Fred Simon (previously: VP software (home applications, children's software, AtariSoft) was named SVP of computer marketing, responsible for the marketing of computer hardware and software.  Philip Restaino (previously: director of game (hardware) marketing) was appointed VP of games marketing, in charge of marketing game hardware and game software used on Atari hardware.  Simon, Restaino, and Linda Gordon, who remained SVP of education, would each report to Ruckert. (PR) 

In addition, Rick Glosman, formerly (corporate) director of media, was named (corporate) VP of media with overall responsibility for planning and execution of advertising for Atari.  Glosman (remaining head of Atari's office at 3 E. 54th St. Fl 11, New York NY) would report to Ted Voss, SVP (corporate marketing and advertising), who reported to Morgan. (PR)  Also in New York, Bob Hanley (Robert T. Hanley) would become (corporate) director of media (replacing the promoted Glosman in the role).  Martin H. Hummel III, previously of Doyle Dane Bernbach, would join Atari Products Management as director of advertising, replacing Barry Ofstedal who departed the company.

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 naming the unannounced computer the Sierra.  (Sierra was actually the name of a different new computer project at Atari, specifically the Research Engineering group, Atari Corporate Research.)  The new computer nearing introduction would be both IBM PC and Atari XL compatible, was known inside Atari as Shakti or 25601, and was expected to be introduced as the Atari 1600 (never introduced). 

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: Atari published Review: A Catalog of Atari Learning Systems.  New titles 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.

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 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 p128)

October: The Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS) Regional Service Center at 12 B World's Fair Dr, Somerset NJ would transition to using the new address: 22B World's Fair Dr, Somerset NJ; The Atari (Coin-Op) New Jersey Customer Service Office at 12 A World's Fair Dr, Somerset NJ would transition to using the new address: 22A World's Fair Dr, Somerset NJ

October: Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS) Technical Support (John Hahn, director) operations were moved from 845 W Maude Ave, Sunnyvale CA to 1272 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA (which would also remain home to CPS headquarters and CPS materials & parts distribution). (source; source)

October: In Brazil, Polyvox shipped the Atari 2600 (licensed 2600GP for PAL-M version). (source)

October: Atari (Coin-Op) VP operations Richard Maslana had departed the company (and joined SyQuest as VP operations). (source: "SyQuest Technology Background Information November 1983")

October: Atari (Coin-Op) Customer Service had moved to 735A Sycamore Dr, Milpitas CA (previously: 1105 N Fair Oaks Ave, Sunnyvale CA.) (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: 1300 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 launch the new AtariSoft product line, introducing: Pac-Man (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A, Intellivision; title by Namco), Centipede (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A, ColecoVision, Intellivision), Defender (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A, ColecoVision, Intellivision; 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 (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64, VIC-20, TI-99/4A (version never released); title by Williams Electronics), Stargate (Apple II, IBM PC, C-64 (version never released), VIC-20 (version never released, TI-99/4A (version never released); title by Williams Electronics), Super Storm (TI-99/4A; previously: Slime; 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).  For 1984: Galaxian (ColecoVision; title by Namco).  The games would ship on disk for Apple II and IBM PC, and on cartridge for  TI-99/4A, C-64, VIC-20, ColecoVision, and Intellivision.  Bruce Entin was Atari VP for corporate communications; Fred Simon was Atari SVP of computer hardware and software marketing. (source; VGU 10/83; PR)

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 Learning Systems logo
AtariSoft logo

October 28-30: Atari introduced TX-1 (by Tazmi Electronics via Namco, licensed to Atari for North and South America), Pole Position II Enhancement Kit by Namco (for Pole Position Cockpit or Upright units), Major Havoc, and Firefox ("LaserVideo" using Philips LaserDisc player - nonworking units displayed) at the 35th Annual AMOA International Exposition of Games and Music at The Rivergate 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). (GM 12/1/83)

October/November: Atari shipped the 600XL NTSC version for North America ($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).

October/November: At Atari Products Management: Steve Arnold, previously director, marketing (and product design), AtariSoft, would become VP software marketing (marketing and product design of home applications, children's software, and AtariSoft), assuming the role of Colette Weil who departed the company (to CompuFill Corporation, the subsidiary of McKesson Corporation).  (Arnold would still report to SVP computer marketing Fred Simon.)

November 1: In Ireland, Atari had acquired its consumer electronics distributor in the country, Omnitech, from Thor.  Location: 45 Cookstown Estate, Tallaght Co., Dublin.  Managers were Gaye Bryne and Frank O'Mahoney. (source)

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: Premiere of the Warner Bros. feature film, 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 (L.A. Lab, Atari Corporate Research).

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 15: For the 2600 Atari announced the release of Atari's first three educational games aimed at preschoolers, each played with a specially designed Kid's Controller (CX23) (sold separately): Alpha Beam with Ernie (Atari/CCW), Big Bird's Egg Catch (Atari/CCW), Cookie Monster Munch (Atari/CCW).  A fourth game in the series, Oscar's Trash Race, was due for release in January.  David N. Ruckert was SVP for Atari products management. (PR)

November: For the 2600 Atari released: Pigs in Space, Snoopy and the Red Baron, Krull  (VGU 12/83)

November: The Atari (Coin-Op) Special Programs group would be renamed Advanced Graphics (3-D computer animation), and move from 292 Gibraltar, Sunnyvale CA into the Atari (Coin-Op) engineering building at 1501 McCarthy Blvd, Milpitas CA.  Pat Cole, previously Special Programs software manager, would be promoted to director of Advanced Graphics, replacing Steve Wright who departed the company (to Sega/Paramount). (source; IEEE CG&A 9/83p8)  (Atari (Coin-Op) VP Creative Development Lyle Rains would remain responsible for the Advanced Graphics group.)

November: Atari Engineering Manager of VLSI Development Rich Pasco departed the company (to IBM Research - Almaden).

November: In the Netherlands, Atari International (Benelux) B.V. shut down the Atari Service Centrum operation at Franse Akker 9, Breda (location shared with Record Service Benelux B.V.).  Sales/Distribution would remain at the Breda location. (source)

November 19: Atari (Coin-Op) announced the opening of the first Atari Adventure family entertainment center (and the third Atari "Adventure" location overall) at the Northwest Plaza shopping center located in St. Ann MO (suburban St. Louis MO).  The 8,000 ft2 location was planned as the 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 (Kent Wilke).  Barry Sullivan was VP of Atari Adventure (having replaced the departed Jim Ginsberg). (report1; report2; report3; report4; report5; CCv7n11; PR via Fun p757)

November 21: Date of Agreement Regarding Confidentiality of Information between Atari, Inc. and Amiga Corporation, establishing a legal framework for the two companies to engage in discussions in contemplation of a business relationship regarding the Amiga Lorraine computer project). (source)

November 22: John J. Cardozo had become Acting Manager, Product Review, APX, replacing Jack Perron who departed the company.

November/December?: Atari (Coin-Op) director of business development Norm Smothers departed the company.

November/December: Atari Products Management director of business development (computers) Robert Cory departed the company (to Apple Computer), and director of business development (games) Gary Blondefield departed the company.  Steve Bristow, previously VP Engineering, AtariTel Division, would be Atari Products VP Engineering Computer Division (reporting to VP engineering Dave Stubben).  Ken Wirt, previously VP sales for AtariSoft, would become VP computer marketing (product management) (source), and Bill Carris, previously director of corporate market planning, would become director of computer project management, together replacing director of computer marketing Don Thorson who departed the company (to Apple Computer). (source; source John Hahn, previously director of technical support & publications, Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS) (source), would become 600XL/800XL product marketing manager (replacing the departed Andrew Soderberg; reporting to Wirt).  Alexander P. Cilento, previously General Manager of the Anova Electronics Division of Dart & Kraft, would join AtariTel as VP engineering (replacing Bristow in the role). (source

November/December: John Peeke-Vout, previously Atari Products Management director of external software development, became VP software marketing (marketing and product design for: home applications, children's software, AtariSoft; reporting to SVP computer marketing Fred Simon), replacing Steve Arnold who departed the company.  (Arnold would join the Lucasfilm Computer Division Games Group as general manager in January 1984). (source; source; source; source; IHS PR 7/18/91)  

November/December?: Joe Miller became Atari Products Management manager, operating systems software, replacing Scott Scheiman who departed the company (to The Braegen Corporation).

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 1?: Atari released the Atari Program Exchange (APX) Product Catalog Winter Edition 1983-84, introducing for 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

December 12: Atari Logo, developed in Quebec by Logo Computer Systems, Inc. (LCSI), had been awarded the Best Microcomputer Software of the Year Award by the Learning Periodicals Group. (LCSI PR)

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.  (The Atari Electronic Distribution Division had been established in April 1983; Michael Moone was president.)  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. The venture planned to test the new service in the first half of 1984, and introduce it commercially in the second half of 1984.  Atari said there was an installed base of some 14 million Atari 2600 players alone in U.S. households. (AP)

December: Atari shipped initial small quantities of the 800XL NTSC version for North America ($299) (see newspaper ads and Current Notes Jan84p6 for timing).  (800XL production would ramp up dramatically in Winter 1984.)

December?: Dorothy K. Deringer, previously a program officer at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), joined Atari Learning Systems as VP product development (assuming the role from Mike Knoblauh, who would remain director of marketing).  Vincent Wu, previously in software development, would be in education software development (reporting to Deringer).  Leslie Wolf, previously in software development, would become an educational software product marketing manager (reporting to Knoblauh).  (Mark McCrackin remained an educational softare product marketing manager, reporting to Knoblauh as well.)  (Linda Gordon remained Atari Products Management SVP Education.)

December: For the 2600 Atari shipped 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: For Atari home computers Atari shipped: Jungle Hunt, Robotron: 2084 (original "large box" version with dual cartridge holder) (VGU; 1/1/84 price list)  

December: Atari said it would raise the prices of its home computer and videogame consoles between 17% and 29%, effective January 1. (Merch)

December?: In El Paso Texas, Atari consolidated Distribution operations from 11500 Rojas Dr., which Atari would abandon, to the manufacturing (refurbishing or "remanufacturing") plant at 11460 Pellicano Dr.  Gary Weaver remained Atari plant manager in El Paso.

December: The new Atari Ireland Limited plant on Ennis Road in the Raheen Industrial Estate in Limerick, Ireland was completed and occupied.  The 135,000 ft2 facility was located on a sixteen-acre site with ample room for anticipated expansion.  The Atari European Operations (consumer products) headquarters would include manufacturing of Atari products for international markets, material purchasing on a worldwide basis, distribution of all Atari products to international marketplaces, European headquarters for warranty repairs, and spares supplies for international markets. (sourceNorm Newton was Atari Managing Director of European Operations (consumer products).

December?: In the UK, through Domestic & General Insurance Co. Ltd., Atari International (U.K.) Inc., began offering consumers Atari Service Contracts. (source; source)

December: Curt Russell, former Atari (Coin-Op) VP operations (manufacturing), had joined Pizza Time Theatre as SVP manufacturing. (source)

December 20: While the unreleased 1400XL and 1450XLD and the unannounced 1600 computers were canceled, Atari's plans now called for three new computers for 1984-1985 introductions: an 800XLD (800XL + 1050 in 1450XLD case, target release late 1984; never introduced), a 1650XLD ("68000 based graphics machine" target release 1985; Omni project?; never introduced), and an 1850XL (later: Mickey project, clones of Amiga game player; never introduced). (source; 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 $539 million on sales of $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 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 Enterprises; March; would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Choplifter! (title by Brøderbund; April; never shipped), Stargate (title by Williams Electronics; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Millipede (March), Taz (February), Crystal Castles, Donkey Kong Jr. (title by Nintendo; previously released by Coleco in 1983; would be shipped as Donkey Kong Junior by Atari Corporation in 1987), Sea Sentinel (later: Aquaventure; never shipped), Xevious (title by Namco; never released) and again promised Oscar's Trash Race (February).  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; March; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Stargate (title by Williams Electronics; never shipped), Crystal Castles (never shipped), Donkey Kong Jr. (title by Nintendo; never shipped), and Millipede (March; 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)

For the 600XL ($249), 800XL ($399), and 1450XLD (unshipped but again shown), Atari introduced the Light Pen (CX75) with AtariGraphics and the 1064 Memory Module for the 600XL.  Again promised: Touch Tablet (CX77), Remote Control Wireless Joysticks (CX42), the AtariWriter System kit (previously: Writing System), the Programming System kit, The BASIC Tutor I kit.  Atari announced that DOS 3 (previously: DOS III) would be made available for free via Atari Customer Relations, and would also ship with new production 1050 disk drives.  Software introduced: The Atari Translator (to ship via APX or Atari Customer Service), Captain Hook's Revenge (previously: Peter Pan's Daring Escape; never shipped), Typo Attack (previously released by APX),  Mario Bros. (title by Nintendo; April; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1988), Moon Patrol (title by Williams Electronics; February; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Jungle Hunt (title by Taito; shipped Dec. 83), Millipede (March; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985); again promised: Joust, Ms. Pac-Man, Pole Position, Tennis, RealSports Football, Pengo (February), Donkey Kong Junior, AtariMusic I, AtariMusic II, The Mysteries of Wonderland, TeleLink II (again promised apart from Communicator II kit); announced: Pop'R Spell (previously released by Milliken; never shipped by Atari), Sky Writer (previously released by Milliken; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), SynCalc by Synapse, SynFile+ by Synapse, SynTrend by Synapse (consisting of SynGraph and SynStat); previewed: Crystal Castle (box mock-up; Crystal Castles would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1989), 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 (never shipped under the new name).  Finally, Atari Learning Systems promoted: AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module ("ready to ship now"), AtariLab Light Module, Atari Pascal (Version 2.0), Atari Super PILOT, Player Maker, Screen Maker  (1/1/84 price list; Analog #17 p13; source; source; picture; picture)

The AtariTel division promoted no specific products or services, but planned to introduce consumer telephones in about 4 months, or by the International Communications Association (ICA) show in May.  Equipped with microprocessors, Atari products were to supply a range of services, including ability to designate which phones can make long-distance calls.  Bill Ray was an AtariTel spokesperson. (Communications Daily, 1/19/84 p5)

January 14: At the Annual Atari Star Awards Banquet held at 12:30pm at The Westin St. Francis Hotel, Union Square, San Francisco CA, in the City Club located on the 12th floor on the main building, Atari awarded the third annual Atari Star Award and $25,000 to Mark Reid for his APX title, Getaway!. Other Finalists: James Burton, R. Stanley Kistler, Gregor Novak.  Atari Products Management SVP Fred Simon announced the winner and APX director Fred Thorlin presented the award. (source; AC Spr84p14)

January: Atari released Firefox Upright (original version).

January: At Atari (Coin-Op): Fred Gerson, previously SVP finance, became division EVP (new position). (The Learning Co. PR 5/31/84)   Steven Chiaramonte, previously director of finance, was promoted to VP finance and division CFO (replacing Gerson in the role; still reporting to Gerson).

January: The Atari (Coin-Op) New Jersey Customer Service Office at 22A World's Fair Dr, Somerset NJ was shut down, and manager Pete Ruh departed the company. (source(Atari Consumer Product Service (CPS) continued to operate a Regional Service Center at 22B World's Fair Dr, Somerset NJ.)  (source; source)

January: Steve Calfee, previously Atari VP Game design (both coin-op and consumer), became Atari Products Co. Sr. Vice President, Entertainment Software, assuming the role of director of consumer game development Condon Brown who departed the company.  (Brown would establish The Software Machine, Inc. on 3/12/84.)  John Ray, previously Atari (Coin-Op) electrical engineering manager, would become director of electrical engineering and software (assuming coin-op game design from Calfee; still reporting to VP engineering Dan Van Elderen).

January?: The Design Research Group (Harry Jenkins, manager) was shifted from Atari Corporate Research to Atari (Coin-Op).  The Atari Electronic Distribution Division (Michael Moone, president) had moved from 1346 Bordeaux, Sunnyvale CA to 1171 Borregas Sunnyvale CA (previously: facility of the Design Research Group).

January: For the 5200 Atari released Berzerk, Mario Bros. (VGU 2/84)

January: For Atari home computers Atari shipped: Tennis, Ms. Pac-Man, Pole Position, Joust (VGU; 1/1/84 price list)  

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: Atari Sales & Distribution Co. EVP Keith Schaefer departed the company (to NEC Home Electronics (USA)).

January?: Atari Products director of electical engineering John De Santis departed the company.

January?: Atari Products mechanical engineer Kenneth Ashton was promoted to VP product engineering, replacing Thomas Kennedy who departed the company.

January: Atari Products Engineering Computer Division engineer Ajay Chopra departed the company (to Mindset).

January: Atari Cyan Engineering Product Concept Manager Michael Cooper-Hart departed the company (to Grass Valley Group).

January: Atari Sr industrial designer (consumer products) Barney H. Huang departed the company (to Asyst Technologies).

January?: Production of "remanufactured" 2600 units commenced at Atari's El Paso TX manufacturing plant. (source; direct source)

January 16: Atari Products engineering had formed a portable computer hardware group, which would include: Carl Goy (project manager), David Sovey, Greg Roberts, Steven C. Miller, Rashid N. Kahn, Jim Tittsler.  The Notebook project would also be known as Eskimo. (source; source)  

January 19: Atari named Charles J. Vaughan (Chuck Vaughan), previously chief financial executive of General Electric Co.'s consumer product sector, as SVP/CFO.  Vaughan was expected to join Atari by early February. (PR) 

January 23: James J. Morgan, chairman and CEO Atari, Inc., announced an organizational realignment of the company.  John Farrand was named president of Atari, Inc. and president and COO of Atari Products Co. (both newly created positions; reporting to Morgan).  Atari Products Co. was a new operating division of Atari, comprised of sales and marketing, research and development, software development, product engineering and manufacturing, plus the coin-operated games unit.  Donald Kingsborough and David Ruckert were named Atari Products Co. EVPs of sales and marketing, respectively (each now reporting to Farrand).  Charles "Skip" Paul, formerly general counsel at Atari, was named president of the coin-operated games unit (replacing Farrand in the role; still reporting to Farrand).  Paul Malloy and Marcian E. "Ted" Hoff Jr. were named Atari Products Co. EVPs of operations/product engineering and R&D/product development, respectively (each now reporting to Farrand).  Steve Calfee was named Atari Products Co. SVP for entertainment software (still reporting to Farrand). 

In addition to Farrand, reports to Morgan would also include: Dennis Groth (Atari EVP; also to oversee the development of AtariTel home telecommunications products as well as electronic distribution of software to homes), Charles J. Vaughan (Atari CFO), and Anton "Tony" Bruehl (president of Atari International), plus a general counsel to be named later.

Several executives were also named officers of Atari, Inc., including: Farrand, Kingsborough, Ruckert, Paul, Malloy, Hoff, Groth, Vaughan, and Bruehl.  Other officers would include: Theodore Voss (SVP advertising), Arthur Gemmell (SVP administration), Richard Mier (VP and general manager of AtariTel), John Hagel (VP of strategic planning) and Sol Kershner (VP chief accounting officer).  Once filled, the vacant general counsel position also was expected to be named an officer.  (Bruce Entin remained Atari VP corporate communications.) (PR)  (Martin D. Payson remained VP and general counsel for Warner Communications Inc., with oversight of Atari legal matters.) 

Three scientists were named to a newly created position, "Atari Fellow," the highest ranking technical position in the company: Alan Kay (Atari VP/chief scientist), Lyle Rains (Atari (Coin-Op) VP creative development), Steve Bristow (Atari Products VP engineering Computer Division). (PR; Bristow resume; source)

Reports to Malloy would include Kenneth Ashton (VP product engineering).  Reports to Hoff would include: Gary Summers (VP semiconductor development and General Manager, Atari Semiconductor Group), Donald Teiser (director of Advanced Engineering, Gary Sikorski (director of Research Engineering), Chris Jeffers (manager of administration for Corporate Research)

Alan Henricks, EVP finance for the three former divisions, Atari Products Management, Atari Sales & Distribution Co., and Atari Manufacturing Co., would depart the company (to Maxim Integrated Products).  James Alan Cook, previously VP and counsel for Atari Products Management and Atari Sales & Distribution Co., would remain SVP and counsel, Atari Products Co.

January: (January 25?) 50 finalists participated in the SwordQuest Challenge: FireWorld Segment contest finals, held by Atari at the Holiday Inn San Francisco-Fishermans Wharf.  Winner of the FireWorld Chalice (a goblet of platinum and gold, decorated with rubies, sapphires, diamonds, and pearls, valued at $25,000): Michael S. Rideout (source; source)

Winter: For the Atari home computers, Atari shipped the Touch Tablet (CX77; with AtariArtist), AtariMusic I, AtariMusic II (see 1/1/84 price list)

Winter: Atari's advertising operations in New York (headed by VP of media Rick Glosman and director of media Bob Hanley) were relocated from 3 E. 54th St. Fl 11 into the Warner Communications Building at 75 Rockefeller Plaza.

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 International (Italy) Inc. moved from Via Cherubini 6, 20145 Milano, to: Viale Della Liberazione, 18 - 20124 Milano

Winter?: Internationally, Atari International (U.K.) Inc. employed 137, Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH 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 Far East Japan Ltd. employed 17. (source)

January/February: At Atari Products Co., John Hahn, previously 600XL/800XL product marketing manager, was promoted to director of computer marketing (reporting to SVP computer marketing Fred Simon), replacing Ken Wirt who departed the company (to Cognitive Systems).  Sherri L. Horowitz was promoted to 600XL/800XL product marketing manager (source) (replacing the promoted Hahn in the role), and Thea Cain was promoted to 1450XLD product marketing manager. (source)

January/February: New address for Atari (Coin-Op) Customer Service: 737 Sycamore Dr, Milpitas CA (previously: 735A Sycamore Dr, Milpitas CA)

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 7: Atari Products VP engineering computer division and Atari Fellow Steve Bristow had departed the company (to Technicom Advanced Design Center).  Atari Products VP engineering Dave Stubben would be named an Atari Fellow. (WCI 1983 Annual Report; Stubben resume)  Atari's unannounced plans for introducing an 800XLD later in 1984 had been dropped, while development of the previously-canceled 1450XLD had been resumed.  Phil Suen was 1450XLD project manager. (source)

February 13-22: 81st annual American International Toy Fair in New York.  Was Atari there??

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: As announced on January 19, Charles Vaughan arrived at Atari as SVP/CFO.  (Vaughan would report to Atari CEO James Morgan, with "dotted-line" indirect reporting to Warner Communications Inc. office of the president and CFO Bert Wasserman.)  Erwin Lenowitz, previously VP finance (interim?), would become VP business planning, replacing Jean Hackenburg who departed the company (to Mad Computer Inc.). (for titles: Telco System PR 9/12/85 and source)

February?: Condrad Jutson, previously Atari Products Co. VP market planning, became SVP planning and distribution (still reporting to EVP sales Donald Kingsborough), assuming the role of SVP sales Win Weber who departed the company (to Schering-Plough).

February?: Chris Jeffers, previously manager of administration, Atari Corporate Research, would become VP Product Development (reporting to Atari Products Co. EVP R&D/product development Ted Hoff), replacing director of Advanced Engineering Donald Teiser who departed the company (to Cadtrak).  Jan Dekema, previously administrative manager for the Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory, would retain that role while becoming manager, Research Administration (assistant to Hoff in the administration of the entire Atari R&D and Product Development organization; replacing Jeffers in the role). (Update 4/2) 

February?: Atari Learning Systems product marketing manager Mark McCrackin departed the company.

February: James R. Evans, previously of Atari operations/product engineering, would become Atari VP Consumer Product Service (CPS), replacing Jon Ebbs who departed the company (to Apple Computer). (BusinessMarketing 3/84 p111)  The CPS Customer Relations unit would transition to being known (again) as Customer Service.

February: Atari 5200 production, now exclusively by Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC), ended. (InfoWorld 6/25/84)

February: Atari Products Co. manager, operating systems software Joe Miller departed the company (to Koala Technologies).

February: Atari Products Co. software support supervisor Doug Chorey departed the company (to Tandem Computers).

February: Ray Kunavich, previously Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC) general manager in charge of operations, became head of the Atari Taipei Liaison Office (assuming the role from VP and general manager of Atari Far East (Taiwan) Loren R. Wolter (L.R. Wolter)), and the Liaison Office moved to: 2 Min-Tsu E. Rd. (previously: 2nd Floor, 217 Chang-Kuo North Road).  Gary Weaver, previously plant manager at Atari's El Paso Texas location, became ATMC managing director (replacing Kunavich in the role). (Update 4/2)  Brad Saville, previously operations manager for computer products, would become El Paso plant manager (replacing Weaver in the role).  (Tim Chodera, previously operations manager for consumer products, would remain operations manager.)

February 15: Joseph Lacayo would be Atari International director of sales (source) for Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe, replacing John C. Beuttell (Jack Beuttell) who had departed the company.  Mindscape named John C. Beuttell, previously an Atari International VP, as VP sales and marketing. (PR)  (John Constantine remained Atari International director of sales administration and distribution.)

February 16: Phil Suen was Atari Products Co. 1450XLD project manager; Thea Cain (marketing) was product manager. (source)

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 Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.  Atari featured their latest AtariSoft titles, including: Joust, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Jungle Hunt.  Fred Simon was head of Atari software and hardware marketing. (InfoWorld 3/26/84p60)

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 Billboard's second Computer Software/Video Game Conference, held at The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, Atari Products Co. EVP (marketing) Dave Ruckert gave the opening keynote address, and took part in a panel entitled "Keying In the Future: Hardware & Software Trends" with Bruce Davis of Imagic, David Gordon of Datamost, James H. Levy of Activision, Michael Tomczyk of Commodore, and Alex Weiss of Spectravideo; Nancy Garrison, International Marketing Manager, AtariSoft, took part in a panel entitled "Getting Over Seas: International Marketing"; and Atari's Ted Voss (SVP advertising) took part in a panel entitled "Madison Avenue: Understanding The Advertising Game." (source; source)

March 9-11: Amusement Operators Expo, Hyatt Regency O'Hare, O'Hare Expo Center, Chicago.

March 11-18: At the Festival International du Son et de l'Image, held at the CNIT (Centre des Nouvelles Industries et Technologies), Paris La Défense, 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: Atari shipped the 800XL UK version (£249.99) and 800XL PAL version for Europe. (source)

March: Atari released: TX-1 (by Tatsumi (f/k/a 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: Football, Donkey Kong Junior, Pengo (VGU 3/84, 4/84)

March: Atari Products Co. applications software and telecommunications products group manager Sherwin Gooch was 1450XLD project manager (CreativeComputing Jul84 p206)  (having recently replaced engineer Phil Suen in the role).

March: Atari Products Co. manager of project control, software development (2600/5200/7800) William Lord departed the company (to The Software Machine).

March: Atari Products Co. video game software engineer Sean Hennessy departed the company (to The Software Machine).

March: Simon P. Westbrook, previously of Graham Poulter Advertising, joined Atari International (U.K.) Inc. as financial controller.

March: At Atari Ireland Limited, Malcolm Lewis was promoted to Managing Director of European Operations (consumer product operations in Limerick), replacing Norm Newton who departed the company. (source)

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 (Atari International).

March 22: Martin Hummel, previously Atari Products Co. director of advertising, would become (corporate) director of advertising & marketing, replacing Ted Voss who had departed the company. (Ad Day) (Voss would establish Creative Marketing, Inc. on 6/15/1984.) (Richard Glosman remained Atari (corporate) VP media.)

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, and APX director Fred Thorlin would depart the company.  A new, final production run of 15,000 850 interfaces had just been manufactured.  At Atari: Thea Cain was 1450XLD product manager; Dave Wilson was director of Customer Service; Earl Rice remained Manager, Users' Group Support; Bill Bartlett remained manager of Product Support. (source; source)

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Cyan Engineering logo 
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port
AtariTel logo
Atari Learning Systems logo
AtariSoft 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."  (On 7/6/84 the WSJ would report this as 260 layoffs.)  Many of the departures were from Atari Corporate Research, including the Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory, including the Systems Research Group and the Games Design Research Group.  Departures would include Games Design Research Group manager Chris Crawford.

March 26: Atari established the subsidiary, Atari Electronic Distribution, Inc., so that Atari's Electronic Distribution division (established April 1983) would now operate as a legal subsidiary of the company.  (Michael Moone remained president, Atari Electronic Distribution.) 

March 26: Date of the internal document, "The Atari Explorer Concept Paper: Where Do We Go From Here, and What Do We Do When We Get There?" by engineer Jim Tittsler, Advanced Computer Technologies Design Center, Atari. (source)  (An evolution of the Eskimo/Notebook project.)

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 1: Articles of Incorporation of Applied Design Laboratories (ADL) were executed by F. Kinsey Haffner on behalf of Ronald Milner, who also remained senior engineer at Atari's Cyan Engineering unit. 

April 1: Rivington F. Hight remained managing director of Atari Far East Japan Ltd. (GM 4/1/84 p39)

April 2: Electronic Publishing Systems, Inc. (EPS) was established by Atari Electronic Distribution, Inc., in partnership with Activision, Inc. and the Pittsburgh-based venture capitalist Hillman Co.  Michael Moone, president of Atari Electronic Distribution, would be president of EPS.  Location: 1171 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA.  (Electronic Pipeline service)

April 2: Programmer Michael Barall (QDOS developer) joined Atari, where he would direct advanced operating systems development. (see Antic 1/86 pAC14; source for date)

April 5: John Peeke-Vout was Atari Products Co. VP software marketing. (source)

April 5: The former Atari (Coin-Op) Gaza project team (Tom Hogg, team leader) was assigned to engineer the 1850XL (game console/computer based on the Amiga Lorraine); the project would gain the internal name, Mickey (never introduced). (Fun p737)  

April 5: Atari VP/chief scientist and Atari Fellow Alan Kay departed the company (to Apple Computer) in the wake of widespread layoffs in the company’s research department and the closing of the Atari Cambridge Research Laboratory (where Cynthia Solomon had been director, reporting to Kay). (WashPost 4/6/84; NYT 5/3/84; InfoWorld 6/11/84)  Systems researcher Kristina Hooper would be promoted to director of the Atari Sunnyvale Research Lab (ASRL) (replacing Kay in the role).

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 -BillBoard 4/7p70) 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 "remanufactured," 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)  Meanwhile, Atari (Coin-Op) had paid $1.5 million for a one-inch videotape editing system to create live-action images for video games using LaserDisc technology.  Harry Jenkins, previously Atari (Coin-Op) Design Research Group manager, would be promoted to Director of Research & Development, replacing Roy Machamer who departed the company. (BillBoard 4/7p70) 

April 10: In West Germany, Detlev Driemeier, David Evans, and Brian Richards became registered prokurists for Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH.

April: Stephen Race, previously Atari International director of marketing, would be promoted to Atari International VP marketing and communications (source, source), and Steve Gerber, previously director of the Software Development Group of the Software Development Centre at Atari International (U.K.) Inc., would be promoted to VP International New Product Development, together replacing VP Marketing and Product Management Chris Deering who departed the company (to Spinnaker Software). (for date: RCA/Columbia PR 4/5/1985)

April: Philip Restaino, previously Atari Products Co. VP games marketing, would be promoted to SVP games marketing (still reporting to EVP marketing Dave Ruckert).  VP software marketing (home applications, children's software, AtariSoft) John Peeke-Vout departed the company (to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)). (month Fred Simon, previously SVP of computer marketing, would remain VP computer hardware and software (still reporting to Ruckert). (ElectronicNews 6/4/84)  West Shell, previously director of 5200/Atari home computer entertainment software marketing (reporting to Restaino), would become director of software marketing (home applications and AtariSoft; reporting to Simon).  Joel Oberman, previously director of 2600 entertainment software marketing (reporting to Restaino), would be promoted to director of games marketing (assuming 5200/home computer games marketing from Shell; still reporting to Restaino).  Atari Learning Systems (Linda Gordon, SVP education), remaining responsible for software development and marketing/sales for the educational community, additionally assumed responsibility for children's software marketing and product design for the home consumer market. (source; source

April: Director of the Atari Institute for Education Research Alfred Moyé had departed the company (to Hewlett-Packard). (source(Linda Gordon remained Atari Products Co. SVP education (head of the Atari Learning Systems Group).)

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, headed by general manager Richard Bailey, at its Fajardo (Manufacturing/Office) and Canóvanas (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, AtariLab Starter Set with Temperature Module, SynCalc, SynFile+, SynTrend, Typo Attack

Spring: Atari released DOS 3, offered through Atari Customer Service (free to those who had purchased Atari 1050 disk drives with DOS 2.0S). (AtariConnection Spr84 p9,73)

Spring: Atari shut down the "Computers: Expressway to Tomorrow" traveling multimedia assembly program. (source 23:40; 26:40; 28:20)

Spring: John Hagel, previously Atari (corporate) VP strategic planning, was promoted to (corporate) SVP strategic planning.

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 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 6-11: AtariTel did not exhibit at the International Communications Association (ICA) national convention, Las Vegas NV

May 8: At the Lucasfilm Ranch in Marin County California, as Atari/Lucasfilm, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Atari Inc. introduced Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus!, both developed by the Games Group at Lucasfilm's Computer Division and to be marketed by Atari, to be available 3rd quarter (summer) 1984 on cartridge in versions for Atari home computers and 5200. (Atari PR; Lucasfilm PR; source; source; sourceVersions for Commodore 64, IBM PC, and Apple IIe/IIc computers were due 4th quarter (fall) 1984, to be released under the AtariSoft label.  For Atari: Joel Oberman was director of games marketing; Fred Simon was VP (computer hardware and software); David Ruckert was EVP (marketing). (InfoWorld 6/4/84 p12; UPI 5/8 and 5/9; WSJ 5/9)  (The Atari home computer, C-64, and Apple II versions of both titles would be released in 1985 (Atari versions on disk) by Epyx (North America) and Activision (Europe); the 5200 versions of both titles would be released in 1986 by Atari Corporation; IBM PC versions of both titles never released.)

Atari-Lucasfilm logo

May 9: Activision Electronic Distribution, Inc. was established by Activision, Inc. for the purpose of joint-ownership in Electronic Publishing Systems, Inc. (EPS) with Atari Electronic Distribution, Inc.

May 14: Inauguration of the new Atari Ireland Limited manufacturing plant (136,000 ft2) on Ennis Road in the Raheen Industrial Estate, Limerick. (L'Atarien #4 p21)  (The plant had been completed and occupied as of December 1983. (source))  Malcolm Lewis was Atari Managing Director of European Operations (consumer products).

May 14-19: At the special SICOB show held at the CNIT (Centre des Nouvelles Industries et Technologies), Paris La Défense, France, Atari featured the 600XL/800XL product line, as well as AtariSoft products for Apple II, VIC-20, C-64, and TI 99/4A.  (L'Atarien #4 p21)

May 15: While the Atari general counsel position remained vacant, Atari corporate counsel still included Kenneth J. Nussbacher and Paul Jakab, and James A. Cook remained Atari Products Co. SVP and counsel. (source(Martin D. Payson remained VP and general counsel for Warner Communications Inc.) 

May: Atari Products Co. Applications Software and Telecommunications Products Group manager Sherwin Gooch departed the company.  Earl Rice, previously Manager, Users' Group Support, Consumer Product Service (CPS), became 1450XLD project manager (replacing Gooch in the role).  Mark Cator was promoted to Manager, Users' Group Support (replacing Rice in the role; reporting to manager of Product Support Bill Bartlett).

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: According to correspondence from Wico, at Atari Products Co.: Phillip Restaino was SVP (games marketing); Kenneth Ashton was VP product engineering; Joel Oberman was Group Product Manager, Entertainment Software (actually: director of games marketing); Bryan Kerr was also a group product manager (AtariSoft).

May 18: Atari announced that Atari Products Co. EVP sales and distribution 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) who would be acting head of sales. (EN 6/4)

May 21: Atari held a press event in New York City to introduce the 7800 ProSystem (GCC), to 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; to be packed with the system from July to September; to be built-in to the console from September), 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 (source); David Ruckert was Atari EVP (marketing).  Atari Chairman James Morgan said a further reorganization of Atari would be announced in the next few weeks. (PR; 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 22: Publication date of the Atari Learning Systems New Products Bulletin, introducing: 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 (Edunetics; 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 (by Decision Development Corporation; 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).

May 22: Dennis Groth, previously Atari EVP (including AtariTel and Electronic Distribution) would become president of Atari International Marketing (source), replacing Atari International president Anthony Bruehl (Anton Bruehl) who had departed the company. (WSJ 5/22)  Also in the Atari International division: Stephen Race, previously VP marketing and communications, would be promoted to executive director, marketing (source; source); John Constantine would be promoted to executive director, sales administration and distribution (source; source); Richard Arroyo would be promoted to executive director, advertising and communications (assuming communications from Race). (source; source)  Steven Chiaramonte, previously Atari (Coin-Op) VP finance and division CFO, would become Atari International VP finance, replacing Gerd Stoecker who departed the company (to Tandem Computers).  Atari SVP/CFO Charles Vaughan would assume direct responsibility for Coin-Op division finance (replacing Chiaramonte in the role).  Also for Atari International, Claude Nahum, previously director of international finance (reporting to Stoecker), would be director of international business development (India, Turkey, and Brazil; reporting to VP new business development Dumas Simeus). 

May 23: The name of Kee Games, Incorporated was changed to: Warner Entertainment Inc.

May 24-25: At MIDISoft '84, the first annual event sponsored by IMA (the International MIDI Association) held at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, Hybrid Arts introduced MIDIMate for the Atari 800 or 800XL computer. (source)

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 (previously: Pinball Wizard; to replace Video Pinball; 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, having replaced Eric Salaman who had departed the company; Tony Adams, previously associate marketing director, had been promoted to sales director (replacing Swanston in the role).  (source; source)

May 28: Media report that Atari was shuttering its Atari-Wong manufacturing plant in Hong Kong and terminating a purchasing accord there with its primary supplier of home computers, Chelco Sound. (ElectronicNews 5/28 as referenced in EN 6/4)  Atari-Wong had been the producer of almost all Atari video games and home computers sold in the international market over the last year.  Production of the 600XL was currently suspended.  800XL production would continue exclusively at Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC) (which also manufactured the 2600).  The dealer price for the 800XL had been cut to $217 (previous dealer price: $280, corresponding with the previous retail price of $399).  2600 production (but no computer production as previously planned) also continued at Limerick Ireland, and 7800 pilot production was ongoing at El Paso Texas. (EN 6/4)

May 29: Communications Daily reported that another hold had been put on AtariTel, the Atari unit developing sophisticated home telephone equipment.  Reportedly Atari chairman James Morgan believed that Atari lacked the financial resources needed to develop an appropriate distribution & marketing effort for the planned AtariTel product line.

May 30: Atari 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).  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: Atari (Coin-Op) EVP Fred Gerson had departed the company.  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: David Evans, previously product director at Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH in West Germany, became head of marketing (product management director) for Atari International (source), in part replacing departed VP Marketing and Product Management Chris Deering.  (Evans would report to executive director for marketing Stephen Race.)

June 3-6: At the 18th Summer CES in Chicago the Atari slogan was "June 3, 1984--The Day The Future Began."  (source)

Atari introduced the MindLink System, comprised of: infra-red transmitter, receiver, head band, and one software cartridge (2600/7800 or Atari home computers versions), and for the 2600/7800 with MindLink introduced Bionic Breakthrough (never shipped).

For the 2600 ($79) Atari introduced or again promised (due summer/fall 1984): Choplifter! (never shipped), Gremlins (would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Jr. Pac-Man (title by Bally-Midway; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), The Last Starfighter (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986 as: Solaris), Stargate (would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), The A-Team (never shipped), Track & Field (with Arcade Controller; title by Konami; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Elevator Action (title by Taito; never released), "Peek-a-Boo" (never released). (VGU 7/84 p64)  Also announced/previewed/again promised (due in 1985): Garfield on the Run (Atari Advanced Games Group; never released), Midnight Magic (previously: Pinball Wizard; to replace Video Pinball; would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986); Good Luck, Charlie Brown (never shipped) (source)

For the 5200 Atari introduced or again promised (due summer/fall 1984): Choplifter! (would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Final Legacy (never shipped), Millipede (never shipped), Ballblazer (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Gremlins (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1987), Rescue on Fractalus! (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1986), Tempest (never shipped), Track & Field (with Arcade Controller; title by Konami; never shipped), 7800 ProSystem Adapter (never released). (VGU 7/84 p63)  

For the 7800 (previously promised to ship in July; 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 (to be packed with the system from July-Sept.; to be built into the system from September), 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 Atari home computers Atari introduced or again promised (due summer/fall 1984): Ballblazer (would be shipped by Epyx in 1985), Crime Lab (never shipped -VGU 7/84 p64 sole source), Crystal Castles (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1989), Final Legacy (previously: The Legacy; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Hobgoblin (Atari Advanced Games Group; later: Habitats; never shipped), Jr. Pac-Man (title by Bally-Midway; never shipped), The Last Starfighter (would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1986 as: Star Raiders II), Millipede (would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Moon Patrol (would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Rescue on Fractalus! (would be shipped by Epyx in 1985), This Is Ground Control (Futuremakers series; due Sept. 1984; never shipped), Through the Star Bridge (Futuremakers series; due Sept. 1984; never shipped), Track & Field (with Arcade Controller; title by Konami; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Elevator Action (title by Taito; never shipped), Stargate (title by Williams Electronics; never shipped). (VGU 7/84 p64).  Also announced/previewed/again promised (due in 1985): Sky Writer (would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Proofreader (previously released via APX as: Atspeller for AtariWriter; would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1986), Letter Tutor (never shipped), Word Tutor (never shipped), Captain Hook's Revenge (never shipped), Pole Position II (title by Namco; never shipped), Mario Bros. (would be shipped by Atari Corporation in 1988). (source Also announced/previewed: Garfield on the Run (Atari Advanced Games Group; never shipped). (source Atari Learning Systems introduced or again promised (due summer/fall 1984): AtariLab Light Module (would be shipped by Atari, Corp. in 1985), Green Globs (never shipped), Escape (never shipped). (VGU 7/84 p64)  Atari Learning Systems also previewed (due in 1985): Find It! (never shipped), First Aid... The ABC of CPR (Edunetics; never shipped), Wheeler Dealer (never shipped), Simulated Computer II (never shipped), Telly Turtle (never shipped). (Analog #22 p49)

Privately previewed: the (revised) 1090 XL Expansion System (previously: Expansion Box; to ship with one XL 64K RAM Card).  Atari also 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."  The new machine (unnamed; previously: 1450XLD), previewed privately to software developers, was to include "a built-in, double-sided, dual density disk drive that stores 352 kilobytes of RAM....(that) operates five times faster than a disk drive previously planned in a computer announced a year ago (the old 1400 series)."  Also to be built-in: a 300 baud modem, telecommunications software and a mini-database called The Grapevine, an enhanced speech synthesis chip (upgrade from the old 1400 series), and 64K RAM. (source; source)  (While the larger-capacity built-in disk drive would not be supported by DOS 3, it would be supported by the new "QDOS".)

Under the AtariSoft label, Atari introduced/announced: Gremlins (C-64, IBM PC, Apple II; each version would be shipped by Atari, Corp.), Track & Field (with Arcade Controller; C-64, Apple II versions would be shipped by Atari, Corp.; IBM PC version never released; 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)

At Atari Products Co., Dave Ruckert remained head of marketing (EVP marketing) (WSJ 6/4); Philip C. Restaino was SVP (games and computer marketing). (NYT 6/4; SanFranChron 4/16/86)  Atari had just laid off 700 to 800 of the employees at its headquarters, with another 200 to 300 expected to be let go soon.  Restaino had additionally assumed computer marketing from VP computer hardware and software Fred Simon who had departed the company.  West Shell, previously director of software marketing (home applications and AtariSoft; reporting to Simon), had become director of computer marketing (reporting to Restaino), replacing John Hahn who had departed the company.  VP of semiconductor development (founder/head of ASG, the Atari Semiconductor Group) Gary Summers had departed the company. (ElectronicNews 6/4; AdWeek 7/9/84) 

Atari Learning Systems (Linda Gordon, SVP education), remaining responsible for educational and children's software development and marketing/sales for the educational community and for the home consumer market, had additionally assumed responsibility for marketing and product design for home applications for Atari home computers. (source

David Wilson and Bill Bartlett of Customer Service, Consumer Product Service (CPS) had departed the company.  As previously planned, Don Kingsborough, most recently on special assignment to Atari chairman James Morgan, had departed the company (to Coleco). (SLCC 6/84

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: Atari shut down its Cyan Engineering research & development unit, which consisted of 18 employees with a facility on the second floor at Litton Building at 1300 E. Main St., Grass Valley CA.  Departures included director Lawrence D. Emmons and senior engineer Ron Milner(Milner would launch his new company, Applied Design Laboratories, in a portion of the same facility.) (Fun p284-285)  (Engineer Michael Cooper-Hart, formerly of Cyan Engineering, would join ADL in August 1984.)

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari logo 1973-1984
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port
AtariTel logo
Atari Learning Systems logo
AtariSoft logo

June: The Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory was shut down. (InfoWorld 6/25/84 p9)  mc's speculation: All of Atari Corporate Research was shut down at this time, including the Atari L.A. Lab.

June: Atari 1450XLD product manager (marketing) Thea Cain had departed the company. (SLCC 7/84

June: Atari released the Atari BASIC Rev. C cartridge, offered through Atari Customer Service (free to 600XL/800XL owners still within warranty). (SLCC 7/84 p3; source)

June: Atari Products Co. programmer/game designer Jim Huether departed the company. (source)

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 ft2 area contained over 60 electronic and video games."); at The Riviera, Las Vegas NV; and at Gwinnett Place Mall, Duluth GA

June 21: The 800- number for Atari customer service was shut down, replaced with a non- toll-free number. (SLCC 7/84

June 27: MEDAMA, Inc. ("Mitsubishi Electric Development And Marketing America") was established by Mitsubishi Electric Sales America, Inc. ("MESA"), the U.S. subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation ("MELCO") of Japan.  Stan T. Zawadowicz, previously of Datalab Inc., would join the company as director of MEDAMA.

June 28: Atari Ireland Limited 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 ownership or exclusive use of many Atari intellectual properties including the "Atari" trademark itself.  Atari Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. (ATMC) was included in its entirety, including the 330,000 ft2 land parcel with manufacturing plant located at 31 Min-Chu Road, Chu-Wei, Tamsui District, Taipei County, Taiwan.  The 16 acre land parcel with manufacturing plant at Raheen Industrial Estate on Ennis Road, Limerick Ireland would be included.  Leases to several domestic Atari facilities were included, including 1265 Borregas Ave., 1196 Borregas Ave., 360 Caribbean Ave., and 390 Caribbean Ave. in Sunnyvale CA, and 601 Vista Way in Milpitas CA.  The transaction also included an inventory of 100,000 XL computers (Atari 600XL/800XL) (Current Notes Sept84p10), inventories of Atari XL computer peripherals and software, and Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and Atari 7800 game systems, peripherals, and games, as well as incomplete production runs of various products that had been due to ship summer/fall 1984. 

In addition to the Atari assets and liabilities (including $300 million in receivables -WSJ 9/4), Tramel Technology would acquire warrants/options (with 5-year life) for the right to purchase one million WCI shares (at $22/share).  Tramel Technology would also receive $140 million in senior debt to WCI at 13% interest (due in installments from 1986-1994) and another $100 million in subordinated debt to WCI carrying 9% interest (due 1996), for a total valuation of $240 million in notes/loans from WCI in the form of debentures issued to WCI.  In addition, WCI would receive warrants enabling it to purchase as much as a 32% stake (14,300,00 shares) in Tramel Technology at $2.08/share.  Tramiel and his partners financed the transaction with $75 million.  According to an analysis reported by the WSJ, Tramiel was effectively paying about $150 million for about $325 million of net assets. (WCI Annual Report; NYT, WashPost, WSJ)  

Jack Tramiel and/or his associates gained administrative control over the home video game and home computer businesses of Atari International division subsidiaries (remaining under the owernship of Warner Communications) including Atari International (U.K.) Inc., Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH (in West Germany), Atari International (Benelux) B.V. (in the Netherlands), the Atari division of Productions et Editions Cinématographiques Françaises SARL (P.E.C.F. Atari, in France), Atari International (Italy) Inc., and Atari Ireland Limited (European Operations plant at Limerick).  Tramiel also gained access to the Atari-Wong Co. (AWC) joint manufacturing venture in Hong Kong and the Atari-PCI Enterprises Pte. Ltd. joint manufacturing venture in Singapore.

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)  Also retained by Warner Communications: Atari Far East Japan Ltd., WCI Labs Inc., Atari Sales Corp., Amplifione Corporation, Atari Distributing, Inc., Atari Clubs, 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)), and Atari International, include the Atari ownership shares (via Atari Far East Limited) of the joint manufacturing ventures, Atari-Wong Co. (AWC) (in Hong Kong) and Atari-PCI Enterprises Pte. Ltd. (in Singapore).

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 at P.E.C.F. Atari (Productions et Editions Cinématographiques Françaises SARL, the Warner Communications subsidiary), Guy Millant remained président-directeur général (PDG), and there were 65 employees. (source)

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).  (Paul would report to Atari CEO John Farrand, with "dotted-line" indirect reporting to Warner Communications Inc. VP and general counsel Martin D. Payson.)  Kevin Hayes, previously Atari Ireland Limited managing director, would become Atari chief financial officer (CFO) (Cash Box 9/29/84 p29), replacing Charles Vaughan who departed the company. (Hayes would report to Atari CEO John Farrand, with "dotted-line" indirect reporting to Warner Communications Inc. office of the president and CFO Bert Wasserman.)  Mike Nevin, previously Atari Ireland Limited controller, would be promoted to Atari Ireland Limited Managing Director (replacing Hayes in the role).  Dave Stubben would return to the Coin-Op division as SVP engineering (product development from concept through production).  Bob Stewart would be promoted to manager of manufacturing (reporting to Stubben). (source)  Also continuing with the Atari Coin-Op division: VP engineering Lyle Rains (game design team leader, one of two) (previously: VP creative development), VP engineering Dan Van Elderen (game design team leader, one of two), VP sales Jerry Marcus, VP international sales Shane Breaks (based at Atari International (U.K.) Inc.), VP advanced games Chris Horseman, director of research & development Harry Jenkins.

Steve Wolfson, with Atari Adventure since 1983, would be director of Atari Adventure Corp., replacing Barry Sullivan who departed the company. 

AtariTel VP marketing Roy Elkins would assume general management responsibility for the division, replacing Richard Mier who departed the company.

Atari, Inc. corporate headquarters would be moved from 1265 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale, CA (location sold to Tramel Technology) to 790 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas, CA (where Coin-Op division manufacturing would remain as well).  Additional buildings that Atari would continue to utilize would include 1501 McCarthy Blvd, Milpitas CA (Coin-Op engineering, graphics, and now division headquarters as well), 735 Sycamore Dr, Milpitas CA (Coin-Op field services, shipping), 737 Sycamore Dr, Milpitas CA (Coin-Op customer service), 1272 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale CA (Coin-Op documentation; AtariTel division).

July 7: At Atari (Coin-Op): 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: Warner Communications Inc. announced that the management of WCI Labs Inc. had purchased a majority interest in the company from WCI.  As a result of the transaction, retroactive to June 1, 1984, a new privately held company, the Take One Company, had been formed under the direction of Chairman and CEO Steven T. Mayer.  WCI would own 22% of the new entity. (WCI PR)  (In May/June 1986 Take One would move to California and adopt the name, Digital F/X Inc.)

July 13: Atari Games, Inc. transferred ownership of the three U.S. patents 4,112,422, 4,116,444, and 4,314,236 to Atari, Corp.

July: Atari Games, Inc. SVP and counsel James Alan Cook departed the company.  (Skip Paul remained SVP and general counsel.)

July 19: Klaus Ollmann, previously Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH managing director in West Germany, would become Warner Home Video VP International for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).  Atari, Corp. president Sam Tramiel and Atari, Corp. VP sales David Harris had been appointed Atari Elektronik interim managing directors (together 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 23-27: The Computer Supported Design Exhibition at the 1984 SIGGRAPH conference in Minneapolis MN included two contributions from the Atari Sunnyvale Research Laboratory in the Visual Communications category: Caricature Generator (Susan Brennan with Gary Phipps, Eric Hulteen, Phil Agre, Jim Davis) and TV Fishtank (Ann Marion, Valerie Atkinson).  Atari Sunnyvale Research Lab director Kristina Hooper served on the Advisory Board for the event.

July 26/Aug 1: At Atari International (U.K.) Inc. (the Warner Communications Inc. subsidiary), Simon P. Westbrook, previously financial controller, had become managing director, replacing Graham Clark who departed the company along with a total of about 100 people in sales and management; about 30 would remain. (Atari User #11, 2011; source #2)  Atari Coin-Op division international sales operations, headed by VP international sales Shane Breaks and European sales manager David Smith, had been shifted to a 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 electrical engineering and software John Ray, programmer / game designer / producer Owen Rubin (to Bally Sente), and VP advanced games Chris Horseman. (source)  Probably departed at this time: director of research & development Harry Jenkins (to SGI).  Rick Moncrief, previously R&D chief engineer (reporting to Jenkins), would remain head of Applied Research. (source)  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 13: AdWeek reported: "Warner Communications reportedly will announce the sale of AtariTel, its telephone technology subsidiary, this
week."

August 14: Mark M. Weinstein was Atari International VP and Joan T. Pincus was Atari International assistant secretary.

August: Warner Communications (Manny Gerard, WCI office of the president) sold the AtariTel "Eagle" videophone project's engineering designs and prototypes to MEDAMA, Inc. ("Mitsubishi Electric Development And Marketing America").  Depatures from AtariTel would include VP marketing and division head Roy L. Elkins (to MEDAMA) and designer Chris Wright (to MEDAMA), and the AtariTel division of Atari Games was shut down. (for date MEDAMA would pull together the original engineering team (including Michael A. Cooper-Hart, Lawrence D. Emmons, James S. Mackley, and David H. Stokes, each formerly of Atari's Cyan Engineering unit) to complete the development work. The project would lead to the establishment of another subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Sales America, Inc., named Luma Telecom, Inc., on December 13, 1985.

Warner Communications Inc. logo Atari Games, Inc. logo
Amplifone logo
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port

August?: Atari, Corp. established (by taking control of investment vehicles each established 5/9/1984) Atari Ireland Manufacturing Company Limited, Atari Ireland Distribution Company Limited, and Atari Corp. (Ireland) Limited.  The new Atari, Corp. units in Ireland would collectively take over and acquire the European Operations (consumer products) plant in the Raheen Industrial Estate on Ennis Road, Limerick from Atari Ireland Limited (the Warner Communications Inc. unit).

August: In Italy, Atari, Corp. established Atari Italia S.p.A.  Atari Italia would manage the business of Atari International (Italy) Inc. (the unit of Warner Communications Inc.), which would continue to operate at: Viale Della Liberazione, 18 - 20124 Milano. (source for date

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, Atari, Corp. took control of Sellthings Limited, renaming it Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited.  Atari Corp. (U.K.) would manage the home video game and home computer business of Atari International (U.K.) Inc. (the Warner Communications subsidiary). 

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)

August 31?: Atari Games, Inc. corporate counsel David Burling departed the company. (source 35:00)  (Skip Paul remained SVP and general counsel.)

Summer/Fall?: The Atari Adventure at the Northwest Plaza in St. Ann MO was closed.

September 3: AdWeek reported: "Warner Communications of New York will sell off the assets of AtariTel, its once-promising telephone products subsidiary, and will dissolve the company in the next few weeks."

September 10: Atari Benelux Holding, Inc. and Atari International (Belgium) Inc. were both dissolved.  (Atari International (Benelux) B.V. (in the Netherlands) remained a subsidiary of Warner Communications Inc.)

September 10: Atari Germany Holding, Inc. was dissolved.  (Atari Elektronikvertriebs GmbH (in West Germany) remained a subsidiary of Warner Communications Inc.)

September: Atari Games released Return of the Jedi.

September: Under an agreement dated August 24, 1984, through subsidiary Atari Games, Warner Communications repurchased certain accounts receivable from Atari, Corp. for $10.1 million in cash. (WCI Annal Rpt p33)  The receivables were associated with a bankruptcy, but according to Warner Communications 'The bankruptcy court had indicated that "most, if not all" of the receivables would be paid by 1985.' (The Globe and Mail (Canada) 12/11/84)  Specifically, the receivables transferred from Atari, Corp. to Atari Games, Inc. were owed by Lionel Leisure Inc., Arkin-Medo, Inc., and HRT Industries, Inc. (source)

September: Warner Communications issued 1 million WCI warrants/share options to Atari, Corp. in exchange for a $12.5 million Atari, Corp. 13% senior note (loan) due 9/30/87.  Atari, Corp. had the right to cause WCI to repurchase the warrants for cash at a price of $12.50 per warrant. (WCI Annual Report)

September 25: Atari International (Nippon) (Atari consumer products sales/marketing in Japan) would be shut down.  Atari Far East Japan Ltd. (Atari coin-op products sales/marketing/liaison for Japan, Australia and the Far East) remained in operation.  Rivington F. Hight remained head of Atari Far East Japan. (The Japan Economic Journal)

September 29: Atari Games (Coin-Op) had announced that Shane Breaks, previously VP international sales (and located at Atari International (U.K.) Inc.), would become VP sales (worldwide; based at Atari headquarters in the US), additionally 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 p29David Smith would remain at Atari International (U.K.) Inc. (located at 24 Kingston Rd., Staines, Middlesex) as Atari Games (Coin-Op) European sales manager.

September 30: Warner Communications valued its combined $252.5 million in loans to Atari, Corp. ($240 million in July and $12.5 million in September) at $150 million. (The Globe and Mail (Canada), 12/11/84; LATimes 2/15/85)

October 4: In the Netherlands, Atari International (Benelux) B.V. (the Warner Communications subsidiary) was to be downsized from 30 to 15 people (source), as the unit was preparing for its business to be taken over by Atari, Corp.  Peter Woodward remained managing director.

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.  He was to remain a consultant to the company through the end of the year. (source; source 26:50)

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 17: Atari, Corp. exercised its right to require WCI to repurchase 640,000 of the 1 million warrants issued to Atari in 9/84, at $12.50 per warrant, for $8 million in cash from WCI.  Atari also agreed to exercise its right to require WCI to repurchase the balance of the 9/84 warrants. (WCI Annual Report; source; The Globe and Mail (Canada), 12/11/84) 

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 Computer). (source)

Fall: Atari Games released Crowns Golf by Sega Enterprises (Europe only).

Fall: Atari Games, Inc. consolidated its corporate headquarters (previously: 790 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas CA) and Coin-Op division engineering (previously: 1501 McCarthy Blvd, Milpitas CA; location to be abandoned) to: 1272 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale, CA (previously: Coin-Op division documentation and AtariTel division).  Coin-Op division manufacturing (also previously at 790 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas CA; location to be abandoned) was moved to 735 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas CA.  (Coin-Op division customer service remained at 737 Sycamore Dr., Milpitas CA.)

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 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), including the headquarters location at Atoomweg 480, Utrecht. (source 15 of the 30 former employees of Atari International (Benelux) B.V. would be hired by the new Atari (Benelux).  Atari International (Benelux) B.V. would be operationally shut down; departures would include managing director Peter Woodward, marketing director Ludo van Oyen, product manager home computers Han Van Egdom, chief accountant Jan Henk den Adel

November: In France, Peter Brookhouse Richards, previously P.E.C.F. Atari financial controller (CFO), became interim general manager, replacing Guy Millant who departed the company, along with sales director Antoine Gallozzi; in total, about 25 departed the company, as the number of employees was reduced from 60 to 35. (Science & Vie Micro #14 Feb85 p14)  Millant and Gallozzi would establish Galaxie, a consumer and professional computer product distributor planning to do half of its business with Atari; a total of 14 former P.E.C.F. Atari employees would join Galaxie. (Tilt #19 Mar85 p16)  P.E.C.F. Atari would discontinue its direct sales/distribution activities, replying on distributors such as Galaxie instead. (Jean Richen remained P.E.C.F. Atari director of marketing.)

November: Atari Games, Inc. VP and counsel Paul Jakab departed the company.  (Skip Paul remained SVP and general counsel.)

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.  Depatures from Atari Elektronik included: sales and marketing director Detlev Driemeier (to Thomson Electronic GmbH), advertising director Wolfgang Blödorn (to Apple Computer), product director David Evans. (source; source; source)  

November/December: Ongoing production of the Atari 1050 disk drive was shifted from Atari-PCI Enterprises Pte. Ltd. in Singapore to Atari-Wong Co. (AWC) in Hong Kong.  (AWC had been inactive since June 1984.)

December 3: Mitsubishi Electric Sales America Inc. announced the formation of the new division, Medama ("Mitsubishi Electric Development And Marketing America").  Its early objectives would be to evaluate existing high-tech products produced by the parent company in Japan and to determine if they could be successfully marketed in the U.S. In its initial stages, Medama was to undertake marketing research and establish channels of distribution for a widely diversified range of advanced products. Future plans for Medama included the establishment of design and manufacturing capabilities in the United States.

December 10: In West Germany, the July 19, 1984 departure of 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 released Marble Madness (System I hardware platform).

1985
January 2: Ray Kunavich, former general manager in charge of operations for Atari in Taiwan, 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. were executed by incorporator Victoria C. Phelps (of Latham & Watkins?) for Namco Ltd. (of Japan) and Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) for the purpose of taking over the business of the Coin-Operated Games division of the Atari Games, Inc. subsidiary of WCI.

January 11: AT Games Inc. was established by Namco Ltd. (of Japan) and Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) for the purpose of taking over the business of the Coin-Operated Games division of the Atari Games, Inc. subsidiary of WCI.

January: Atari Games SVP and general counsel Charles S. Paul departed the company.  (Martin D. Payson remained VP and general counsel for Warner Communications Inc., including oversight of Atari Games, Inc. legal matters)

January 17: Atari Games exhibited at the IMA in Frankfurt (show opening date).

January 31: Atari Far East Japan Ltd. (Atari coin-op products sales/marketing/liaison for Japan, Australia and the Far East) was shut down, and president/managing director Rivington F. Hight departed the company.  (GM 3/1/85 p12)

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: Eight former Atari, Inc. employees who say they were fired without just cause filed a $50 million class-action lawsuit against the company, accusing its officials of "corporate callousness."  John Collins, an attorney representing the former employees, alleged that employees who had survived earlier layoffs were promised hefty bonuses and secure jobs if they could help turn around the troubled company.  The suit was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court on behalf of former Atari employees Richard Arroyo, Steve Gerber, Marty Hummel, Steve Kahn, Robert Lindsey, West Shell, James Walsh and Brian Webb. (source)

February 4: Date of agreement between Namco Ltd. (of Japan) and Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) under which Namco would acquire majority ownership and take over the management of the Coin-Operated Games Division of Atari Games Inc. from WCI. (GM 3/1/85)

February 5: Steven J. Ross, chairman of Warner Communications Inc. (WCI), and Masaya Nakamura, president of Namco Ltd. (of Japan) (at the press event, WCI representatives included Emanuel Gerard and Martin D. Payson, EVP and general counsel) announced that they had signed a definitive agreement (dated Feburary 4, 1985) under which Namco had acquired controlling interest of the Coin-Operated Games Division of Atari Games, Inc. (the subsidiary of WCI).  Internationally, the businesses of Atari Ireland Limited (manufacturing plant at Tipperary) and Atari International (U.K.) Inc. (sales office) were included in the transaction.  Terms were not announced (reportedly a little over $10 million).  (WSJ 2/6; NYT 2/6; GM 3/1/85See: A History of AT Games / Atari Games / Midway Games West

The agreement did not include the Atari Adventure Division of Atari Games Inc., which operated 47 arcades throughout the United States. 

Warner Communications Inc. logo

Atari Games, Inc.
Atari Adventure logo
Space Port

February 11: Indesys, Inc. was established by president and CEO Michael J. Moone and director of finance Emory V. Anderson as a continuation of Electronic Publishing Systems, Inc. (EPS).

February 14: Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) disclosed that it would no longer attach any balance-sheet value to the notes received from Atari, Corp. for $252.5 million in loans from WCI to Atari in 7/84 and 9/84 (previously collectively valued by WCI at $150 million as of 9/30/84).  Rather, WCI now intended to recognize any interest and principal payments from Atari, Corp. as income when received. (LATimes 2/15; WSJ 2/15)

February?: With the conclusion of a production run of the Atari 1050 disk drive, the Atari-Wong Co. (AWC) joint manufacturing venture with Wong's Electronics Co., Limited in Hong Kong was discontinued.

February: In France, Atari, Corp. established Atari France S.A.  Atari France would manage the business of P.E.C.F. Atari (the unit of Warner Communications Inc.), which would continue to operate at 9-11 rue Georges Enesco, Créteil (near Paris).  (for date/timing: Hebdogiciel #124 Feb86; L'Atarien #7-#8 front-matter)  (Peter Richards remained P.E.C.F. Atari Interim General Manager.)

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?: In Italy, Atari Italia S.p.A. launched operations at its new headquarters: Via dei Lavoratori, 19, 20092 Cinisello Balsamo (MI). (source Atari operations were discontinued at Viale Della Liberazione, 18 - 20124 Milano MI, and Atari International (Italy) Inc. (the unit of Warner Communications Inc.) was operationally shut down. 

March 13: Atari International 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 the U.K., Atari Games Corporation established Atari Limited.  Atari Limited would take over the Coin-Op division sales business of Atari International (U.K.) Inc. (the Warner Communications Inc. subsidiary).   

March 13: In West Germany regarding Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH, Atari, Corp. chairman Jack Tramiel was registered as managing director (replacing the departed Klaus Ollmann), Detlev Driemeier and David Evans were registered to no longer be prokurists, and Massimo Ruosi and Irma Obersteiner were registered as prokurists.

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.  (MA filing)

March 31: In West Germany, as Atari Corp. (Deutschland) GmbH was launching its new German headquarters the next day, operations at Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH (the Warner Communications subsidiary) 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 4: Warner Communications had paid $17.2 million to settle 18 class action lawsuits filed in December 1982 after the company's stock plunged following heavy losses from its Atari , Inc. unit. (WSJ 4/4)

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: Atari Holdings president and CEO John Farrand departed the company (to Panavision as president and COO). (source for date(Bert Wasserman remained Warner Communications Inc. (WCI) office of the president and CFO, including responsibility for Atari Holdings financial matters; Martin D. Payson remained EVP and general counsel for WCI, including responsibility for Atari Holdings legal matters.)

April 16: Warner Communications Inc. agreed to pay $17.5 million to settle a suit by stockholders who suffered heavy losses when problems in the company's Atari unit became known. The suit said Warner waited too long to make public the fact that Atari's earnings went into a steep decline in 1982, in large part due to the collapse of the video game market. The division was further hurt by heavy price cutting in the home computer market. The settlement covered all investors who bought Warner stock, warrants and options between March 1982, when the company's annual report was issued, and Dec. 8, 1982, when the company made Atari's problems public. The settlement was reported to U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan, who had been supervising pre-trial activity in the case. (AP)

April 19: Atari Holdings, Inc. transferred ownership of the four U.S. Patents 4,296,476, 4,435,779, 4,471,463, 4,471,464 (collectively, the Atari 400/800 hardware platform) to Atari, Corp.

May 5: John Constantine had been appointed president and Joseph Lacayo had been named vice president-sales of Spectravideo. (LATimes 5/5; source)

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.

June: Atari Corp. (U.K.) Limited launched direct operations at Atari House, Railway Terrace, Slough, Berkshire, England.  The name of Atari International (U.K.) Inc., the Warner Communications subsidiary, would be changed to: Atari Games International (UK) Inc., and become a wholly owned subsidiary of Atari Games Corporation.

June 27: Mark M. Weinstein was VP of Atari Sales Corp. on behalf of Atari Holdings, Inc. (CA filing)

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: An $18.6 million settlement of a class action suit (representing 18 (or 19?) shareholder lawsuits) filed against Warner Communications over a huge drop in its stock price in 1982, agreed-to by Warner on April 16, 1985, was approved in U.S. District Court. The suit, approved by Judge John Keenan, covered people who bought Warner common stock, common stock purchase warrants, call options on Warner shares or who sold put options covering Warner shares between March 3, 1982 and Dec. 8, 1982. (UPI, AP)

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 registered to no longer be prokurists.

October 9: The Atari Adventure Corp. unit of Atari Holdings had been shut down by VP Mark M. Weinstein.

October?: A new production run of the Atari 1050 disk drive commenced in Singapore by Atari-PCI Enterprises Pte. Ltd.

December 2: In West Germany regarding Atari Elektronik Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH (operationally shut down as of March 31, 1985), Manfred Zumkeller became managing director, replacing Atari, Corp. chairman Jack Tramiel who departed the company.

December 13: Luma Telecom, Inc. was established by Mitsubishi Electric Sales America, Inc. as a spin-off from existing subsidiary MEDAMA, Inc. to market and further develop the former AtariTel "Eagle" video phone technology acquired for MEDAMA by Mitsubishi Electric from Warner Communications Inc. in 1984. 

December: Bill Carris, previously of Atari, passed away at 34.

December?: Production of the Atari 1050 disk drive ended, and the Atari-PCI Enterprises Pte. Ltd. joint manufacturing venture in Singapore was discontinued.

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/January: Atari France S.A. launched operations at 9, rue Sentou, Suresnes.  Atari-related operations at 9-11 rue Georges Enesco, Créteil were discontinued, and the P.E.C.F. Atari division (the unit of Warner Communications Inc.) was shut down.  P.E.C.F. Atari Interim Country General Manager Peter Richards would depart the company (to Metrologie International/Metroservice). (L'Atarien #10 p45; Hebdogiciel #124 Feb86)

1986
February 19: Tandon Corp. had filed suit against Atari Holdings, Inc. in Santa Clara County Superior Court alleging being owed $645,000 for design work performed for Atari's never-released 1450XLD computer. (source)

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 registered as managing director (as of December 2, 1985), replacing Atari, Corp. chairman Jack Tramiel who had departed the company (as of December 2, 1985).

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 1: Marie N. White was Atari Special Projects, Inc. assistant secretary. (CA filing)

April 3: In the UK, the name of Atari International (U.K.) Inc. (country of origin: US), was registered 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 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 representing 537 former employees of Atari Inc. after they were among 1,700 layoffs announced by Atari on Feb. 22, 1983.  The settlement, worth at least $635,228 with a potential value of $1 million, provide each plaintiff with $1,182.92 or roughly the equivalent of four weeks’ back pay.  The suit had been filed on August 15, 1983 by two of the former workers, Maria Carson and Rodolfo Villanueva.  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 Limited was changed AIL Ireland Limited and the name of Atari Holdings Limited 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 Limited 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 Limited 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 registered to no longer be a prokurist.

November 7: Initial public offering of shares of Atari Corporation common stock on the American Stock Exchange, under ticker symbol ATC.  Atari sold $50.6 million worth of stock, or 4.5 million shares at $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: Atari Holdings, Inc. transferred ownership of U.S. patent D303,127 (2600 "jr" ornamental design) to Atari Corporation.

January 27: Atari Holdings, Inc. transferred ownership of U.S. patent D255,565 (CX40 joystick ornamental design) to Atari Corporation.

May 3: Atari Holdings, Inc. transferred ownership of U.S. patent 4,349,708 (CX40 joystick) to Atari Corporation.

May 24: Atari Electronic Distribution, Inc. officers were: CEO Warren Christie, secretary Joan T. Pincus, CFO David R. Haas.  Address: 75 Rockefeller Plaza 31st Flr, New York NY.  Type of business: "inactive" (CA filing)

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 13: Atari Holdings, Inc. transferred ownership of 184 U.S. Patents to Atari Games Corporation.  Notably included: 3,793,483, 4,445,114

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.

May 30: Atari Electronic Distribution, Inc. officers were: CEO Warren Christie, secretary Joan T. Pincus, CFO David R. Haas.  Address: 75 Rockefeller Plaza 31st Flr, New York NY.  Type of business: "sale and electronic distribution of video game and computer software" (CA filing)

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 12: Joan Pincus was Atari Electronic Distribution, Inc. assistant secretary. (CA filing)

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: 2021.08.26

other updates:
2020.11.25 Remanufactured 2600s from El Paso, thanks Marcelo Sávio
2013.03.18 St. Louis detail corrections, thanks mgabrys
2012.08.22 Quantum, Food Fight, & TX-1 developers, thanks Vernon Brooks