Properly 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 plenty of issues within the queue able to go up, so anticipate an improved output degree on Arcade Blogger subsequent 12 months!
That mentioned, I assumed I would depart 2019 by sharing a couple of uncommon movies and small items from the Atari archives regarding coin-operated machines.
The featured picture you see on this weblog put up, comes from an unique picture shoot by Atari in 1982. Captured is Frank Ballouz – one of many executives of 39 Atari accountable for gross sales and advertising of the corporate throughout his childhood of the 70s and 80s. The conclusion right here is that Atari had the flexibility to drag forwards and backwards from a hat prime hat – in true magician type. How did they do it?
Certain, Atari's secret sauce was one in all innovation, however there was some extent when even the coin division needed to promote its product in video type.
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 type. It was not meant to be seen by shoppers or avid gamers. 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 prospects trusted that all the pieces was carried out by the corporate to keep up their market main place within the trade. The message right here was that Atari was critical about what he was doing, and all the pieces was centered on releasing high quality, dependable merchandise that wouldn't break down (cough!).
It lasts 17 minutes and is stuffed with excellent pictures of the manufacturing facility flooring, interviews with senior executives reminiscent of Frank Ballouz, Don Osborne, George Opperman and Ed Rotberg (Battlezone). It’s an awesome discover and provides us a novel 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 facility flooring of Atari, I already shared this video, however I assumed 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 notice that the Star Wars construct date coincided with Crystal Castles, as you may see rows of cabinets within the background on some pictures. Right here is one other tremendous attention-grabbing 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 among the few pay as you go titles to which the media price range is spent.
Atari truly 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 provided :
The movie Dig Dug was directed by the well-known tv director Manny Perez, and the workforce 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 further particulars to share right here. First, a "behind the scenes" video exhibiting 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 music was initially recorded by somebody apart from Chubby Checker. This discovery got here by probability. The son of the late Don Osborne found an previous 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 may hearken 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 info I’ve about it was that ATARI had envisioned a considerably stylized 1950s model of the music, impressed partly by the success of Chubby Checker "The Twist". By the point I heard the music and proudly owning the tape, it was completely anticipated that the Chubby music could be used within the closing industrial. It's been over 30 years, and I used to be about 13 on the time, so the main points 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 music was lastly dropped within the final lower of the advert. The one factor that is smart is that Chubby might have appealed to a a lot older viewers and to not whom the advert was aimed, so that they finally selected a youthful efficiency for the group singing the music. Nonetheless, strive going surfing and unearthing any story, or perhaps a point out of Chubby's involvement, and one can find 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 music, sung by Chubby Checker!
Missile Command then. I got here throughout story boards for a tv industrial searching for my subsequent sport ebook:
The story is about a military basic "Going out to examine the troops" in an arcade and taking part in 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 attention-grabbing 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 again and again with different video games which have undergone a makeover for dwelling codecs – actually, solely a handful of arcade video games have acquired their very own devoted TV promoting marketing campaign for shoppers. 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 couple of years in the past:
"Are you sneaky sufficient to beat Xevious?". What I discover attention-grabbing 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 desires to maintain Namco candy for future collaborations? I suppose we’ll by no means know.
Later in 1985, an animated commercial moderately with out curiosity for the arcade sport Gauntlet of Atari was revealed and subtle on Saturday morning between two packages for kids:
“Probably the most enjoyable 1 / 4 can purchase!”
Different corporations have additionally efficiently broadcast particular tv commercials. Right here, Sega sells Zaxxon to most people:
Though it isn’t an commercial in itself, I discovered it attention-grabbing 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 inbuilt Eire, this inside scene was filmed at Elstree studios in Hertfordshire, England – the arcade cupboards used would have been obtained from the manufacturing facility European of Atari in Eire. The Gravitar cupboards pictured listed below are significantly attention-grabbing – the Irish design is sort of 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 all the time on your continued assist of the weblog. By 2020 – preserve your eyes open – a lot in reserve for running a blog, and information quickly on my ebook which is sort of completed.
See you subsequent time.
In reminiscence of Bob Temple 1932-2019.