Commercial suicide!!

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ShadowMan
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Post by ShadowMan » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:29 am

gmintyfresh wrote:Sega's American and European support of the Saturn, also the announcement of the Dreamcast that effectively killed the saturn off before it's time!
Sega supported it?! It still confuses the hell out of me why X-men Vs SF was pulled at the last minute despite rave reviews and such.

Yet Sega of America didn't do the Dreamcast any favors either, Rez, Headhunter and Shenmue 2 all didn't get released in the USA for whatever reason, way to support your fans Sega...
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Post by sleeper77 » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:37 am

Snk Neo Geo. Why would they think that anyone would buy a game at £100 to £150 is beyond me. You could play the same title at the arcades & complete them at a fraction of the cost.
I wonder if anyone has done an excavation yet in the Nevada Desert for those ET cartridges dumped ages ago.

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Post by will2097 » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:46 am

sleeper77 wrote:Snk Neo Geo. Why would they think that anyone would buy a game at £100 to £150 is beyond me. You could play the same title at the arcades & complete them at a fraction of the cost.
I wonder if anyone has done an excavation yet in the Nevada Desert for those ET cartridges dumped ages ago.
Wasn't this whole thing exposed as myth? I remember reading in a magazine* an interview with the E.T. game creator, I vaguely recall him saying that burying them wouldn't have made a lot of sense as they could have been re-used. And no site has ever been found. Has it? It's not hard to imagine some loony Atari fans, en-mass, scampering off into the desert, bucket and spade in hand, in a quest for glory! (ebay, preloaded on their laptops!)


* May have been Retro Gamer magazine. Or Edge. Or Games(tm) (May not have been of cause) Old age is playing havoc with my memory. :wink:

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sleeper77
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Post by sleeper77 » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:56 am

You know you may well be right about the myth thing, because I now remember about another game licence or even machine that failed miserably and was said to be dumped in the desert according to something I read or heard, forgotten where. Was it another Atari failure been mentioned, maybe but maybe not, put it this way.
Yes...dumped in the desert as the cartridges could not be reused and there was a whole lot of packaging & instruction manuals that needed disposing of. Recycling wasn't on everyone's minds back then.
No...the cartridges were flashed and reused, so the desert thing may have been a joke then taken seriously just to exaggerate the failure altogether.

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ShadowMan
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Post by ShadowMan » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:03 am

sleeper77 wrote:Snk Neo Geo. Why would they think that anyone would buy a game at £100 to £150 is beyond me. You could play the same title at the arcades & complete them at a fraction of the cost.
SNK's pricing plan was indeed the steepest for any console, but it was also one of the longest lasting consoles with official games still being produced for it until well into 2004 with Samurai Showdown 5 Special, quite an achievement for any console let alone one with its expensive pricing structure.
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Post by TMR » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:04 am

sleeper77 wrote:Yes...dumped in the desert as the cartridges could not be reused and there was a whole lot of packaging & instruction manuals that needed disposing of. Recycling wasn't on everyone's minds back then.
No...the cartridges were flashed and reused, so the desert thing may have been a joke then taken seriously just to exaggerate the failure altogether.
Y'couldn't just reflash 2600 cartridges as such, at least not the ones that Atari were making; the shells and perhaps boards could be recycled in the same way homebrewers do sometimes, but they'd have to have sticky labels and ROMs replaced respectively (and that'd probably be a manual job since nobody has production plants to do it) so i suspect that it'd be cheaper and easier to just skip 'em and make replacements... if they actually buried the "dead" stock in the desert... your guess is as good as mine but i wouldn't be surprised either way. =-)

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Post by sleeper77 » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:12 am

ShadowMan wrote:
sleeper77 wrote:Snk Neo Geo. Why would they think that anyone would buy a game at £100 to £150 is beyond me. You could play the same title at the arcades & complete them at a fraction of the cost.
SNK's pricing plan was indeed the steepest for any console, but it was also one of the longest lasting consoles with official games still being produced for it until well into 2004 with Samurai Showdown 5 Special, quite an achievement for any console let alone one with its expensive pricing structure.
Hopefully the games are a lot cheaper now. If the pricing policy remains the same as originally intended, then you could say it is 100% a retro machine right till the end.

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Post by Muteki » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:52 am

will2097 wrote:
sleeper77 wrote:I wonder if anyone has done an excavation yet in the Nevada Desert for those ET cartridges dumped ages ago.
Wasn't this whole thing exposed as myth?
According to Snopes.com, it's true: http://www.snopes.com/business/market/atari.asp
Snopes wrote:When distributor returns were added to the 5 million unsold Pacman cartridges and another 5 million useless E.T. cartridges, Atari found itself with tons of unsellable merchandise to dispose of, which led to the rumor that Atari buried millions of E.T. cartridges in a landfill in the New Mexico desert.

In this case the rumor was accurate, although it wasn't the first time Atari had destroyed cartridges, nor was E.T. the only game dumped in New Mexico. (Rumor had it that Atari's Borregas Street warehouse sat atop crushed and buried game cartridges as well.) Some other video game manufacturers attempted to rid themselves of excess inventory by selling it at sharply reduced prices, but Atari, stuck with millions of games and consoles that were largely unsellable at any price, sent fourteen truckloads of merchandise from their plant in El Paso, Texas, to be dumped in a city landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico in late September 1983. In order to keep the site from being looted, steamrollers crushed and flattened the games, and a concrete slab was poured over the remains.

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ShadowMan
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Post by ShadowMan » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:03 am

sleeper77 wrote:
ShadowMan wrote:
sleeper77 wrote:Snk Neo Geo. Why would they think that anyone would buy a game at £100 to £150 is beyond me. You could play the same title at the arcades & complete them at a fraction of the cost.
SNK's pricing plan was indeed the steepest for any console, but it was also one of the longest lasting consoles with official games still being produced for it until well into 2004 with Samurai Showdown 5 Special, quite an achievement for any console let alone one with its expensive pricing structure.
Hopefully the games are a lot cheaper now. If the pricing policy remains the same as originally intended, then you could say it is 100% a retro machine right till the end.
For older games and easier to find games the prices have crashed. I have seen copies of the KOF games right up to 2001 for under £100 which is great, its only for the rare fighting and Shmup games that the high prices still apply. One day I plan to own all 6 Metal Slug games for the Neo Geo, one day.....
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Post by Elgin_McQueen » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:26 am

Muteki wrote:
will2097 wrote:
sleeper77 wrote:I wonder if anyone has done an excavation yet in the Nevada Desert for those ET cartridges dumped ages ago.
Wasn't this whole thing exposed as myth?
According to Snopes.com, it's true: http://www.snopes.com/business/market/atari.asp
Snopes wrote:When distributor returns were added to the 5 million unsold Pacman cartridges and another 5 million useless E.T. cartridges, Atari found itself with tons of unsellable merchandise to dispose of, which led to the rumor that Atari buried millions of E.T. cartridges in a landfill in the New Mexico desert.

In this case the rumor was accurate, although it wasn't the first time Atari had destroyed cartridges, nor was E.T. the only game dumped in New Mexico. (Rumor had it that Atari's Borregas Street warehouse sat atop crushed and buried game cartridges as well.) Some other video game manufacturers attempted to rid themselves of excess inventory by selling it at sharply reduced prices, but Atari, stuck with millions of games and consoles that were largely unsellable at any price, sent fourteen truckloads of merchandise from their plant in El Paso, Texas, to be dumped in a city landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico in late September 1983. In order to keep the site from being looted, steamrollers crushed and flattened the games, and a concrete slab was poured over the remains.
Why would they care if looters stole the stuff they threw away?
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Re: Commercial suicide!!

Post by Elgin_McQueen » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:28 am

will2097 wrote:
sscott wrote:Having just recently re-read the Ultimate History of Video Games it is surprising just how many company executives got it wrong. For example:
- Atart releasing the mammoth 5200 (non compatible with 2600) and weighing 2.5 tonnes
- Sega's megadrive add-ons
- Atari Lynx's astonishingly low battery life
- Virtual Boy
- Universal suing Nintendo over Donkey Kong for infringement when they didn't own the rights to King Kong anyway
- Atari producing 12 million copies of ET for only 10 million worldwide VCS's
- Trip Hawkins in general
- Magnavox odyssey marketing suggesting only their TVs could be used to play the console
Etc etc...

Any thoughts :)
Yeah what loser eh? Founded EA from college. Sold 3DO technology for $100 Million. Was selling casual games and party games in 1995. Pfft. What a censored. :?
I agree, that stood out of the list for me too. The guy practically revolutionised third party developing and ran EA when people thought they made great stuff.

As for the Lynx battery life, if you read the article this month you'll see although it always had a short battery life, it wasn't always as bad until Atari hijacked it!!
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Muteki
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Post by Muteki » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:40 am

Elgin_McQueen wrote:Why would they care if looters stole the stuff they threw away?
Hmm. My guess would be:

1) The owners of the landfill wouldn't want people crawling all over it with shovels

2) It all may have been crushed for the sake of waste compaction anyway

3) Bad publicity if people started running around with Atari carts and products fished out of the ground. Would have probably devalued the brand a bit!

An afternoon's steamroller hire would be a small price to pay...

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Post by oswald » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:59 am


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Re: Commercial suicide!!

Post by witchfinder » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:51 am

sscott wrote: - Universal suing Nintendo over Donkey Kong for infringement when they didn't own the rights to King Kong anyway
This is one of my favourite stories from the history of videogames book!

Universal just thought they could bully Nintendo of America (who were at that point small-time and cash-strapped) into a settlement but NoA had a really canny lawyer (I forget his name) who in the end probably did as much with his handling of that case to keep Nintendo in business as the Donkey Kong game itself did!

The history of gaming could have been very different had Universal got the settlement and effectively shut down Nintendo...

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Post by Celebaglar » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:05 pm

GarryG wrote:The LENS LOCK protection system.
Now why did you have to go and remind me of that? <shudder>

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