This is an update & re-write of an original article that was published on ArcadeHeroes.com on June 27th, 2012 entitled ‘40 Years Of Arcade Games’. You can still read that post here: http://arcadeheroes.com/2012/06/27/ 40-years-of-arcade-games/
In last issue’s article, we went over a time that was both magical but tumultuous for the video game & arcade industry – the height of the Golden Age of 1980-83. There were more important releases to cover for an overview article like this than we could fit into print, so the rest of the 80s were left for now.
That brings us to 1984. That was popular as a political book but also was a paragrim shifting year for video games as Japanese companies began to truly make their mark on every aspect of the industry. The crash that had taken place in 1983 badly damaged the reputations & sales of American companies, who had bled out millions of dollars instead of making them. This resulted in many individu- als & companies leaving the game business to pursue other opportunities. For the 800lb gorillas that had been dominating for the past decade, massive changes would also take place.
In June, Warner Communications would end up selling most of Atari Inc. to Jack Tramiel, former CEO of Commodore. Warner maintained control over the arcade division, now named Atari Games while the home division would begin a strong focus on 16-bit computing with the Atari ST line (the Atari 7800, designed by Ms. Pac-Man creators GCC, was ready for a release but would end up being delayed for two years thanks to this sale).
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