Welcome to the Atari Archive homepage! Some of you may know me from my YouTube channel, Atari Archive, which since 2017 has been looking at the history of the early video game industry through the lens of each Atari Video Computer System (or 2600) release in chronological order. I really enjoy producing these videos, and am really pleased that they’ve found an audience. The problem with video, of course, is that once it’s done, it’s incredibly bothersome to go back and update… and certainly since I’ve started this project I’ve come across a variety of sources that I either couldn’t fit into the video for whatever reason, or discovered them after the fact. This website will serve as a repository for me to publish my findings, update items where applicable, and source my research for those who may want to do their own digging. Consider it a companion to the video series, if you will!
Despite the name of the website and the video series, I’m not *just* interested in Atari’s history. My research has involved numerous other players in the early game industry, from home game companies like Astrocade, RCA, Fairchild and Mattel to arcade developers such as Ramtek and Exidy… and even further back to the early days of computer gaming. These get mentioned in the relevant Atari pieces, but expect the periodic article specific to a non-Atari topic or company.
For a little bit of background on me, I’ve been interested in the early history of video games since I was a kid and came across a copy of the Winners’ Book of Video Games, by Craig Kubey, in my local library. At this point it had been out of date by about a decade, but it provided a tantalizing glimpse into an era of game history I’d known little about and discussed games I’d never heard of. I became pretty tuned in to early video game history and collecting websites as the internet matured, and a few years ago decided to start doing my own research, tracking down and interviewing former game-related folks, visiting archives to check out their periodicals, sifting through old newspaper ads and magazine reporting to try and formulate a list of when games actually came out. As a journalist by trade, these were all skills I’d already honed, and I decided to challenge myself to learn about video production with the Atari Archive YouTube series. As I see it, all of the games we know now as titles in a pile of cartridges or in a list of computer binaries came out in specific contexts and points of history, with their own legacies and development stories – my goal here is to try and tease out as much of that as I can to make the experience of actually checking out these games a richer one.
If you enjoy this page or my videos, please consider backing the Atari Archive Patreon. But either way, I hope you enjoy your time here and learn a thing or two you didn’t know before!
1 thought on “Welcome to the Archive!”
Scott Stilphen says:
In your recent Combat article, you have a link to my interview with Joe Decuir to Digital Press. All of my interviews are on my website, Atari Compendium:
Please reference that, as DP hasn’t been actively updated since I left there (nearly 10 years ago), plus I’ve since updated most of my interviews since then, and the most current versions are only available on my site.
I’m sure you’re already aware of site’s magazine and newsletter sections. Most of the material available was scanned by myself, which is a project that started nearly 20 years ago. Another section that will slowly becoming online is the ads section. I recently put up a page that might interest you as it includes Atari ads from a local newspaper that cover 5 years, from 1980-84:
No doubt this will be helpful in your efforts to compile a more accurate list of release dates.