Why “Nolan Bushnell” is considered as “Father of Video Games” who founded “Atari”?

If you aren’t aware about the history of  American Business giants you might haven’t come across this name “Nolan Bushnell” but if you had a little idea about “Atari video games” and the relation this man shares with the former will surprise you.

The man “Nolan Bushnell” is touted as the fathers of video gaming industry after he established Atari Incorporation in 1970.Credits: The Founder Hour

He is credited for discovering “Bushnell’s Law” which is related to facets of the game based on the concept of “easy to learn and difficult to master” being rewarding.

Bushnell’s name have been inducted into Video Gaming Hall of Fame and he was also named in the Electronic Associations Hall of Fame.

In 1972, Bushnell and Dabney established Atari Incorporation and the name Atari was kept by taking reference from check-like position in the game Go(which was one of his favourite games)

Bushnell initially wanted to develop a game like Chicago coin’s speedway which in those days was the highest selling electro-mechanical game in arcade.

However the start was not smooth for Bushnell and Atari as they were still discovering the ways to tap into arcade based games market and he took output from his neighbour Joe Keenan who established Kee Games in 1973 to manufacture more copies of Atari games.

But the output from Keenan didn’t helped Atari to meet the demand of arcade based market and in 1974, Atari went into financial crisis and then Bushnell opted to merge Atari with Kee Games in September 1974 ahead of the release of Tank, which was original arcade based games developed by Kee.

Tank was extremely successful in the market and it immensely helped Atari to come out of their financial crisis and later Keenan became the president of Tank while Bushnell worked as the CEO of the organisation.

In 1975, Atari entered into electronic consoles market with their home pong consoles released in the same year.

Atari created different version of Arcade based games for dedicated home based consoles until 1977.

You would be surprise with the next fact that I am going to share with you about ex Atari Employee- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak who approached Bushnell on different occasion so that later can invest in Apple incorporation.

To drive his dream of Atari Video games further, Bushnell established the first Pizza Time Theatre in San Jose in 1977 as a means for Atari to have a place to stock their arcade based games.

From 1975 onwards, Atari started facing stiff competition from arcade and home based console market which prompted Bushnell to direct Atari Engineers at Cyan Engineering towards a programmable home based console.

The console which was eventually released in the year 1977 was called as “Atari 2600”.

Atari brought a buyer in the form of Warner Communications and the purpose of acquiring the buyer was to sought the falling media properties of the former and the later acquired Atari for $28 million.

Initially after the collaboration of these two giants saw a modest number in Sales but later it started declining and by 1983 it became more abstract and difficult to promote.

Bushnell and Warner both came at conclusion after mutual discussion that the former was not a perfect choice to lead the company as CEO and was later offered the job of creative director in 1979 which he refused straightway.

In January 2017, Bushnell was announced the joint board of directors of Perrone Electronics who are a robotics software platforms used mainly for mobile robots.

Bushnell ignited the spark of video gaming in America with his company “Atari” and it was followed by other developers or gamers to walk in the footstep of Bushnell.


Also Read: Things about Atari Video gaming company and architect behind creating this company “Nolan Bushnell” you must know as Esports fans