They are the creators of fake Atari labels. Surprisingly, there are several web sites dedicated to labels for games that were never made. But you couldn’t tell from the labels posted. These fake labels look factory fresh and straight from the Atari art department – ready to be slapped on the newest cart.
The fake label that most classic game collectors seem to be familiar with is the infamous “Atari 2600 Doom Hoax” perpetuated by James Catalano of Chicago. James created the box art, screen shot, and label for the non-existent id Software game as a project for a 2-D imaging class he was taking in college. His assignment was to create an ad for any product – real or imaginary. James said he remembered the fun he had with his Atari and decided to do an ad campaign based on a “new” game release for the system.
“I was into Doom big time back then, being hooked on the Sega 32X version before I ever played the PC version,” he said.
James said he simply used a PC with Photoshop to create his world-renowned hoax. The fake game was well-received in class and he put the images up on the Internet. And that’s when the speculation and rumors took on a life of its own.
Thinking it was real, collectors and game players flooded the newsgroups and message boards asking about the availability of the game. Eventually, word got out that the images were nothing more than mock-ups of a fond video game wish.
The flurry of activity got so bad, several people began to claim to either own a prototype of the phantom ROM or take credit for the 2600 Doom art.
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