Questions for Howie 'Atari/Gottlieb/Jaleco' Rubin

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DRS
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Questions for Howie 'Atari/Gottlieb/Jaleco' Rubin

Post by DRS » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:22 am

Hello all - my next In the Chair interviewee was right in the thick of it in the Golden Age of Arcades (TM), working at Atari, setting up the videogame division at Gottlieb and becoming President of Jaleco, which meant close links with Nintendo. Below is a mini bio (in Howie's own words) and some of his best selling games (again in his own words) included Q*bert, Mach3, Bases Loaded, Maniac Mansion, Hoops, In Your Face, Goal, Barbie Fashion Designer, Young Indy, Tetris Plus, Gradius, Track and Field, City Connection... quite a range there and some crackers!

As always ask whatever you like and I'll get your name in the mag. I'm phoning him up in the States on March 11th so post stuff before then and many thanks as always.

Cheers
Paul

Howie's edited bio:

Atari - Sales Mgr. - responsible for half of the country with a service center to support sales - became director of special markets for Atari and crossed over to the consumer side with a very unique job of evangelizing Atari and technology to the world

Gottlieb - was hired by Columbia pictures to form Gottlieb video - wrote the business plan - hired the VP of engineering and together hired and managed the company which in the year of Q*bert and Mach3 became the most profitable division of Columbia

Kiticorp - formed a company to buy game boards from Japanese companies and packaged them as coin op kits in the USA - games included City Connection, Bomb Jack and Tank. As a 5 person company we built and sold 1500 Crown Golf cocktail tables for the US market - Company was successful but our Japanese suppliers started their own operations in the USA

Started HAR management - designed and built 2 redemption game - became a consultant for Konami and Taito helping both companies set up sales organizations and come to market with their first Nintendo games Gradius, Track and Field and Arkanoid

Jaleco - became President of Jaleco USA and ran coin op and Nintendo 8 bit business Some huge hits included The Bases Loaded series , Maniac Mansion, Goal, Hoops, City Connection During my tenure Jaleco was a top 5 Nintendo developer and I traveled the world...lots of time in England looking for games to license.

NorthWay
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Re: Questions for Howie 'Atari/Gottlieb/Jaleco' Rubin

Post by NorthWay » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:31 pm

One thing I have always wondered: Were coin-ops in Europe fitted with NTSC monitors and 110V converters? 220V PSUs? Wasn't it kind of a nuisance to sell them outside the US? Then the local distributors would have to have parts for it etc.
How was it to sell through to various parts of the world? Did somewhere have better traction for coin-ops than elsewhere?

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merman
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Re: Questions for Howie 'Atari/Gottlieb/Jaleco' Rubin

Post by merman » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:11 pm

Were there any games or companies you regret turning down?

Did you feel restricted by Nintendo's policies?

Did you ever suggest changes/ideas that made it into the final game?

Did you sneak in any Easter Eggs/hidden stuff that has not been found?
merman1974 on Steam, Xbox Live, Twitter and YouTube

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