Retro Atari console designer quits, says he hasn't been paid

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at this point appears to comprise of three lawyers and a licensing agreement taped to a photocopier

I think this may be literally true except they don’t have a photocopier. And they’re probably not all be lawyers. (And it may be more like six people, like the zombie remains of Interplay.) I kid not.

This isn’t surprising given the whole endeavor was obviously pretty scammy and the product they were promising was nonsensically silly, consisting of nothing beyond a nostalgic retro design for the case. We’ll see more of this, as video game companies of note increasingly end up paper entities being sold and bought by those trying to cash in on nothing but the name.


No surprises to be honest. I really wish some rich nerd who loves games preservation would just buy out the IP and release everything to


Still a finer game company than EA Sports.


Game over: Atari VCS architect quits project, claims he hasn’t been paid for six months


I didn’t back it, but I did sign up for email updates. I JUST got an email this morning that said “Pre-production is underway!” They link to several photos via a blog update.

They’re telling folks to complete their Backerkit surveys.


Note to “Atari”: You guys could have literally just produced the awesome, sexy woodgrain-covered console shell with nothing inside it, made to slip over a PS4 or Xbox or whatever, and folks would have paid cash money for the nostalgia and saved you years of engineering the pointless hardware inside.


Or make it a raspberry pi kit. That STILL would have been cheaper too!


Exactly! Make it a kit, give people some old Atari downloads or MAME software, and let them play some retro games on it. Nobody wants to pay multiple hundreds of dollars for yet another proprietary, web-enabled pay-to-play console for old Atari games. Even if it looks sexy.


That wasn’t the first IndieGoGo campaign to be based on nothing but hot air, it it’s probably not the last. It’s hard to feel sorry for the backers, since they are clearly lacking in scam detection skills.

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Remember the fine tale of the Coleco Chameleon?

The reborn VCS looked like a thoroughbred among a field of retro nags

There were people who had any expectations for this thing…?

Isn’t pretty much all the IP of note already on due to some sort of copyright exemption?


Guessing a cricket-related idiom?

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You’re describing the dark inverse of this

Blaming victims seldom makes you look like a hero.


And they’ll actually learn somethin’ by putting it together!


Gee thanks. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess. I backed this thing ages ago before I realized 100% of projects on indiegogo and kickstarter are a scam. I doubt I’ll ever see the hardware or my money, c’est la vie.


So according to that article @beschizza posted, Atari currently has three employees, has lost $5.5 million over the past two years, yet its CEO makes over a million bucks a year. You can’t make this shit up.


I’m sure you’re being hyperbolic. Either I don’t back projects often, or I’ve been really lucky, but every project I’ve back on Kickstarter has come through. But I also tend to back “easy” things like books and movies, and not so much tech things.

And I’ve never backed anything on indiegogo, so I have no opinion on how they operate.


I’d say about 75% of the projects I’ve backed have come through, though not always in their original form and never, ever on time. Heck, I backed a new John Kricfaluci short (which still hasn’t come out) before he was outed as a horrible creeper. I’m still a bit bitter about the Anova sous-vide machine flat-out lying about their deliverables.

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And the rental company wants the copier back.


I’m not sure that I am. I think the way most of us view these backing things is that it’s some kind of pre-order service. With the usual assumptions under the Uniform Commercial Code where if I pay for a good or service as a commercial transaction that I should expect that good or service or a refund.

These funding systems aren’t really that. They bait and switch. They fail to deliver. The project creators may have the best possible intentions. But I don’t believe those intentions are realistic. We’re not used to purchasing goods and services where the purchasers assumes the bulk of the risk. It’s gambling without any benefit to the player.

Other systems like Patreon I respect. There is a set contribution, and there is no firm expectation of delivery. It’s not easily interpreted by either party as a commercial exchange.

I’ve backed about 60 or so things. Almost everything came through or I got a refund. Almost every project was late. Most under delivered on original promises. There are about 8 projects on my list that are in limbo. And a few that explicitly absconded with the money and Kickstarter is still sorting out what to do about it. For IndieGoGo I’ve back a dozen things and half of them have had serious problems. Ranging from 2 years late on to never delivered and creator left the country. I feel they IGG is less particular about the proposals than KS, just given the small sample of disasters I’ve backed.

I back books, hardware, board games, films, and video games. I think books are the most reliable. I’m 0 for 3 on films. And games usually deliver some subset of what they promise with a few exceptions such as Broforce delivering way beyond the initial concept.