Nicely right here we’re, the top of one other 12 months. I ought to apologize for the slowdown in posts in latest weeks – actual life has been consuming one factor and one other, so work on the weblog has needed to take a again seat for a time. However the excellent news is that there are loads of issues within the queue able to go up, so anticipate an improved output degree on Arcade Blogger subsequent 12 months!
That stated, I believed I would depart 2019 by sharing a number of uncommon movies and small items from the Atari archives regarding coin-operated machines.
The featured picture you see on this weblog submit, comes from an unique picture shoot by Atari in 1982. Captured is Frank Ballouz – one of many executives of 39 Atari liable for gross sales and advertising and marketing of the corporate throughout his early life of the 70s and 80s. The conclusion right here is that Atari had the power to tug backwards and forwards from a hat high hat – in true magician model. How did they do it?
Certain, Atari's secret sauce was one among innovation, however there was some extent when even the coin division needed to promote its product in video kind.
The primary is a video that I had not seen in its entirety earlier than having despatched it by a reader a month in the past. This promotional sketch was created to be distributed in B2B kind. It was not meant to be seen by customers or players. I might date it again to the late 1980s. It outlines the standard management processes in place within the enterprise on the time. Designed to reassure operators and distributors that Atari was "on the job", the video was clearly broadcast to ensure their clients trusted that every thing was completed by the corporate to keep up their market main place within the business. The message right here was that Atari was critical about what he was doing, and every thing was centered on releasing high quality, dependable merchandise that wouldn't break down (cough!).
It lasts 17 minutes and is stuffed with excellent photographs of the manufacturing unit flooring, interviews with senior executives corresponding to Frank Ballouz, Don Osborne, George Opperman and Ed Rotberg (Battlezone). It’s an excellent discover and provides us a singular perception into what made an arcade online game from the Atari period within the early 80s. You’ll like it:
And talking of the manufacturing unit flooring of Atari, I already shared this video, however I believed it was price connecting it once more – that is the design of the vertical cupboard Star Wars arcade sport from Atari constructed on the sacred Atari manufacturing line in California.
Additionally be aware that the Star Wars construct date coincided with Crystal Castles, as you may see rows of cabinets within the background on some photographs. Right here is one other tremendous fascinating overview of the processes concerned right here:
Dig Dug was after all one of many first licensed video video games from Atari in collaboration with Namco of Japan. Launched in 1982, a complete of 22,000 cupboards have been offered, producing gross income for Atari of $ 46 million. Oddly sufficient, it is without doubt one of the few pay as you go titles to which the media price range is spent.
Atari really employed a manufacturing home, Younger & Kubican Promoting, to create a full two and a half minute featurette to advertise the sport's launch. Right here is the moderately weird announcement they supplied :
The movie Dig Dug was directed by the well-known tv director Manny Perez, and the staff offering the particular results additionally labored on the movie Poltergeist. Clearly, this was not a low-budget enterprise. The punchline asks the viewers to "ask the place you play coin-operated video video games." The quick movie was launched in cinemas in the US, which can clarify the moderately extravagant manufacturing values used.
There are extra particulars to share right here. First, a "behind the scenes" video displaying what occurred within the making of the advert:
After which there: you’ll discover within the announcement, a soundtrack was written particularly for her. Surprisingly, the tune was initially recorded by somebody aside from Chubby Checker. This discovery got here by probability. The son of the late Don Osborne found an outdated cassette at dwelling:
My father, Don Osborne, was then vice-president of ATARI and he introduced this home again sooner or later in order that we might take heed to it. I don't know the way I ended up with this, however he might have lent me and I by no means returned it or he by no means requested for it to be returned. The one data I’ve about it was that ATARI had envisioned a considerably stylized 1950s model of the tune, impressed partly by the success of Chubby Checker "The Twist". By the point I heard the tune and proudly owning the tape, it was totally anticipated that the Chubby tune could be used within the remaining industrial. It's been over 30 years, and I used to be about 13 on the time, so the small print are unclear, however I bear in mind my father was very excited that Chubby was concerned within the challenge and had nice issues to say about assembly her. After that, I don't bear in mind why her tune was lastly dropped within the final reduce of the advert. The one factor that is sensible is that Chubby might have appealed to a a lot older viewers and to not whom the advert was aimed, so that they ultimately selected a youthful efficiency for the group singing the tune. Nonetheless, strive going surfing and unearthing any story, or perhaps a point out of Chubby's involvement, and you will see only a few of them.
Extremely Matt Osborne shared the unique recording. So right here it’s, the unique model of the Dig Dug theme tune, sung by Chubby Checker!
Missile Command then. I got here throughout story boards for a tv industrial searching for my subsequent sport e book:
The story is about a military common "Going out to examine the troops" in an arcade and enjoying Missile Command. The corporate behind the promoting proposal was Doyle Dane Bernbach Inc., which continues to be round right now
. promotes the selfmade model of Missile Command playable on the Atari 2600 console. A video of the ultimate commercial is right here:
It’s fascinating to notice that Atari hyperlinks the coin-operated arcade model of Missile Command and means that the viewer can play Missile Command within the privateness of their very own dwelling. This theme has been repeated time and again with different video games which have undergone a makeover for dwelling codecs – in truth, solely a handful of arcade video games have obtained their very own devoted TV promoting marketing campaign for customers. As we see above, Dig Dug was one, however Xevious was one other. The video from the Xevious advert by no means surfaced, however somebody recorded the audio on tape the identical day and uploaded it to YouTube a number of years in the past:
"Are you sneaky sufficient to beat Xevious?". What I discover fascinating right here is that Dig Dug and Xevious have been each licenses of Namco. I’m wondering if this costly media assist for the 2 video games in the US was a part of the industrial settlement between Atari and Namco? Or possibly simply Atari who needs to maintain Namco candy for future collaborations? I assume we’ll by no means know.
Later in 1985, an animated commercial moderately with out curiosity for the arcade sport Gauntlet of Atari was printed and subtle on Saturday morning between two applications for youngsters:
“Essentially the most enjoyable 1 / 4 can purchase!”
Different firms have additionally efficiently broadcast particular tv commercials. Right here, Sega sells Zaxxon to most of the people:
Though it isn’t an commercial in itself, I discovered it fascinating sufficient to share right here. The Bond movie By no means Say By no means Once more had a transparent Atari product placement on this on line casino scene with Kim Basinger and naturally Sean Connery. That includes Atari Gravitar, Dig Dug and Centipede cupboards in-built Eire, this inside scene was filmed at Elstree studios in Hertfordshire, England – the arcade cupboards used would have been obtained from the manufacturing unit European of Atari in Eire. The Gravitar cupboards pictured listed below are notably fascinating – the Irish design is nearly the scale of a cabaret, with the marquee and the bezel of the monitor produced in a single piece of plexiglass. Solely a handful survive right now.
So there you go. Some cool movies to finish the 12 months!
Thanks as at all times on your continued assist of the weblog. By 2020 – maintain your eyes open – a lot in reserve for running a blog, and information quickly on my e book which is nearly completed.
See you subsequent time.
In reminiscence of Bob Temple 1932-2019.