Jump to content

How Alternative "Budget" Packaging Helped Keep Atari Developers In Business


Video 61

712 views

:nintendo_professor_hector:  Hi and welcome to Lance’s Laboratory! This is the second entry of what will be my personal blog, sharing small slices of life with you from within my Lab.

For those of you who are just getting to know me for the first time, my name is Lance Ringquist, I’m from Minnesota, and for nearly 40 years I’ve been in the Atari business operating Video 61, one of the last surviving original retail Atari distributors. We started in the video business as a local chain of video rental stores serving the Twin Cities area with locations along U.S. Highway 61, the road that musician Bob Dylan referred to in the album and song Highway 61 Revisited. I also love classic "Drive-In" movies and spending time with my family and friends at my cabin up north.

For decades I’ve gotten to know you guys as my customers and friends, buying, selling and remanufacturing Atari systems, games, software, and computers, and developing my own line of Atari-compatible Video 61 games and controllers. I’m still in my Lab working away dreaming up new creations and shipping off new original Atari products, and I thought after all these years of being in the Atari community it was time to start sharing tidbits of Atari memories and Minnesota life with you here on my blog. To old friends and new, WELCOME!

This is my first BIG Blog post, and I wanted to talk about an interesting bit of Atari history that still applies today and can be helpful to homebrewers and independent developers like me:

To remain profitable if you don’t have the buying power that Atari did themselves you have to look at alternative ways of packing your products.

 

large.IMG_0939.JPG.3601944649088f3b61b920ca63d1206f.JPG

 

large.IMG_0940.JPG.ca1fb1f46036a4d9d18681611be139bd.JPG

 

Having been in the Atari business for decades and running Video 61 as an independent company for nearly 40 years, I began selling Atari products in my video store when Warner still ran Atari. Once Atari got back on their feet during the Tramiel era, I became an officially authorized Atari distributor and service provider. In that time I’ve seen things in the World of Atari that you couldn’t begin to imagine. I’ve had good conversations with Jack Tramiel, I’ve had inside information on the development of games and products which Atari never released, I’ve talked with other 3rd party publishers, I’ve seen absolutely insane things happen in the world of Atari - I’ve even received death threats over this stuff. I’ve survived it all and lived to tell the story.

All through Atari’s history, smaller 3rd party game publishers came up with alternative methods for packing their products. Did you know it was common at the time for many 3rd Party Atari developers to release game cartridges, floppies, and other accessories in simple “budget” packaging such as clear inexpensive clamshell cases and plastic baggies? Some publishers even just shrink-wrapped the floppy disk and documents! (Examples are shown below, and in my Atari I/O photo gallery). Unique, alternative packaging kept costs low for the buyer, while keeping the games profitable enough for the small developers to stay in business and continue publishing Atari games and software.

 

large.IMG_0915.JPG.06af1a1ddb911d6c365b9da50bae51e5.JPG

 

The way to get the costs down is to make things in quantity. It's the same idea as shopping at Sam's Club or Costco: the more you buy the less it cost per item. Retail boxes, glossy cartridge labels and colorful instruction manuals cost much less per game when you’re manufacturing 100,000 of them at a time, as Jack Tramiel's Atari did. BUT - when you’re making 10 to 20 games at a time as an independent developer, glossy packaging drives the price up significantly. The developer pays more and you pay more. This is one reason why you see the new Atari charging upwards of $99 per Atari XP 2600 cartridge, and why many new homebrew and independently released cartridges cost so much to buy while the developer makes such little profit on their work.

When Atari was still in business, during the Tramiel era, Atari would regularly provide me with inside information and Atari’s sales history. Beginning in 1985, Atari would fax me their sales history numbers for video game hardware and software and continued to do so until around 1990. These faxes were HUGE. I still have them after all these years, although the faxes are now yellowed and almost impossible to read.

 

 

large.profiles_circle_lance.gif

"Like Jack Tramiel, independent Atari game developers and homebrewers have to weigh costs and pricing, and understand that some games sell well, some so so, and some hardly at all."

- Lance

 

 

The sales figures provided in the fax covered the product lines for Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari XEGS, and I think the Atari Lynx. For each Atari game, I was able to clearly see how many were manufactured and how many were sold. This gave me a big picture understanding of what things looked like at Atari, and just how big of a slice of the video game market Atari still had going into the 1990s. 

People have no idea just how big a piece of the video game industry Atari still had in the late 1980s, in the midst of Nintendo dominating the market and Sega making moves. It was still a big slice of the pie, and certainly enough to make money. Between the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari XE and everything else, Atari often had a bigger chuck of the video game market than Sega did with the Sega Master System.

 

Jack Tramiel discussing "Business is War" at Commodore and Atari

 

What I learned from the insider info on Atari sales figures, and through my conversations with Jack Tramiel, was that Atari had a very lean business model that “spread risk” over many games, and to publish a game with a fancy box, slick labels and docs, Atari had to order 100,000 units of a game to get good enough pricing to make a profit on a title.

But there was a problem. Not all titles sold well! Jack Tramiel wanted to get pricing down low enough for each game, so that in case one game did not sell very well, the risk would be spread around different games, so that the successful games would more than make up for any financial loss from games that did not sell.

Like Jack Tramiel, independent Atari game developers and homebrewers (both then and now) have to weigh costs and pricing, and understand that some games sell well, some so so, and some hardly at all. So you need to spread the risks out to make a profit. Do you grasp that concept? Your winners cover your losses.

 

large.IMG_0949.JPG.7740c075fa5f58dfc7033406a16e0659.JPG

 

So for Atari to be profitable with the XEGS, which used very good packaging in the iconic “blue tile” boxes, and to cover the cost of materials and the cartridge itself, Atari put out around 30-35 new titles for the XE. That meant to get good pricing, spread risk, and make a profit, Atari had to order over 3 million+ units of video game cartridges for the XEGS.

Take for example Necromancer, a video game for the Atari XEGS. Atari manufactured a standard order of 100,000 units of Necromancer, and ended up with around 50,000 units left because the game didn’t sell very well. On the other hand, Atari XE games like Crystal Castles, Airball and others were almost completely sold out.

The idea was to spread risk - to create different games for different genres. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, instead spread them around! If you create too much of the same thing - the same world, the same ideas, the same game - it may sell out or it may flop. Infinite diversity in games leads to infinite success.

This is one reason why you see some independent developers and homebrewers struggling. Some of them focus all of their time and attention,  years even, developing a single game, a passion project. Often it will come in an expensive box with glossy label and colorful instructions, all put together by hand. Other developers work on multiple games at once, and work hard to keep manufacturing costs down, and passing those savings on to both the customer and to themselves.

 

large.IMG_0935.JPG.6846d4622c4579b6d6940b310035ceda.JPG

 

large.IMG_0921.JPG.d0e5f7506fc58e7793fec4b79b4a4885.JPG

 

Say what you will about Jack Tramiel, but he understood this simple concept. Atari would release a few games at a time, each in a batch of 100,000, and the successful games would cover any shortfall of the less successful games. Atari would order 100,000 games at a time - enough to keep the manufacturing cost low on slick docs, a nice box with that beautiful Atari XE blue box artwork, and a glossy label, which was something the Atari 7800 didn’t always benefit from. If the game sold well, another order of 100,000 games could be manufactured, should Atari believe there was enough excitement about the game to sell out a second batch.

A similar story was unfolding at Activision in the late 1980s. After the video game crash Activision was a much different company than it had been during the Atari 2600 boom, when Activision saw incredible success with games like Pitfall! and River Raid. Yet they survived the crash and lived to fight another day. Now Microsoft is buying them. By the time Jack Tramiel was running Atari, Activision (and their sister company Absolute) was a much leaner operation. I used to speak with the Activision guys often, and developed a pretty clear understanding of their sales history numbers for Atari systems, and how they ran their business.

 

large.IMG_0941.JPG.3f818957630afe4280642c5da6784d3b.JPG

 

Activision was smaller, and did their ordering 10,000 games at a time. To make a good enough profit, Activision and Absolute needed to sell all 10,000 units to justify a reorder of the game. The first order of 10,000 games sold would break even, and Activision/Absolute would recoup all of their money put into the development and manufacturing of the game. Then, if the game was successful, Activision would order another 10,000 units and suddenly that game would become pretty profitable! However, they told me that only one of their Atari games was able to surpass 10,000 units, which was Title Match Pro Wrestling, and that was a reason why they pulled out of the Atari market. Yet Jack Tramiel was able to sell out quite a few of their video game titles at 100,000. Even with games at the end like Alien Brigade for the Atari 7800, they were able to sell all 100,000 out, and this was with Jack not only not supporting the system properly, but competing against himself with the Atari XE.

There was a reason why so many 3rd party Atari developers released games in alternative “budget” packaging like clamshells, zip lock baggies, and even just shrink wrapped the disk and docs without a box. Because if you cannot attain the high number of sales per unit as Atari still could, you could not get the price per cartridge down low enough to be profitable. This meant finding creative ways to cut back on packaging, and just about every 3rd party company did just that. Broderbund, Adventure International, Epyx, Sierra Online, Datasoft, S.S.I., as well as many others sold games with limited “budget” packaging.

Those 3rd parties made up sales volume with budget packaging, cartridge labels and instructions, because they did not have the customer base Atari still did at that point.

 

large.IMG_0917.JPG.3c92662fd249f75dfbed10a531d0a956.JPG

 

The new Atari charges a lot for their line of limited run "Atari XP" games for the 2600, many of them are priced at $99. I’m betting its because they use fancy boxes, instructions and "labels". But they do not have the same Atari market that Jack had in the 1980s-1990s, thus much smaller sales volumes and the inability to order a large enough quantity to bring the price down. The Atari XP program harkens back to APX: The Atari Program Exchange and is meant as a gift to the Atari community, and not focused solely on being a profitable, but it's not likely that Atari wants to lose money either.

So when it comes to passion projects like the “Atari XP” games, the new Atari has to cover their costs and hope for a profit. To do this they have to charge a lot more for their games due to much smaller sales volumes. That’s a pretty big risk for the new Atari, and a pretty big expense that gets passed onto you, the customer.

In the 1990s, some classic video game collectors called me a liar for pointing this out, and insisted that game companies like S.S.I., Epyx, Sierra Online, Datasoft, and many other well known (and not so well known) companies never offered their games in clamshells, zip lock baggies, and other forms of budget packaging to be able to offer their software at prices people could afford.

In this blog post you will see lots of pictures I recently took of my own inventory, showing  just that: actual software releases from said companies and more, in alternative budget packaging. I’ve never received an apology from those who were so quick to berate me and call me a liar for being so kind as to explain the truth. Today is their chance.

- Lance  :nintendo_professor_hector:

 

SEE MORE PHOTOS IN MY PHOTO ALBUM:

 

 

17 Comments


Recommended Comments

@Video 61 This is really good advice for indie developers and the entire homebrew market - especially right now as we move toward an unknown future. I hope everyone developing new games for retro platforms will give your Blog a read. Including the most loved homebrew guys, and new Atari themselves.

"Those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

Lance, I said in your status update that this is an epic win for the entire Atari community - worldwide - to have you Blogging. I've known a number of people who worked at Atari, both under Warner and under Tramiel - programmers, execs, MBA types, designers - but none of them in that building were ever on the ground selling Atari games and systems at a retail level, let alone still doing it today after almost 40 years. You have such a unique story and experience - so much knowledge and stories and legends - that all needs to be shared.

I'm so grateful you're here posting and interacting with the community. Atari users worldwide will benefit from this, and I will make sure that these Blogs and your knowledge stays online and gets passed on long after we're all gone. We're all so glad you're here doing this :mac_bomb:

Link to comment

Thanks for sharing these fantastic insights! I wonder if the 100k rule held true for Atari under Sam during the Jaguar's run? With such a limited installed user base, that's nearly a 70 percent attach rate for each sold out title based on 150,000 Jaguars sold during its commercial life. I've read AVP was the best seller at 85K.

Link to comment
19 hours ago, Sabertooth said:

I wonder if the 100k rule held true for Atari under Sam during the Jaguar's run?

@Sabertooth I was just about to ask @Video 61 a similar question. Lance has told me before that he saw sales figures for Jaguar games, and I think it was Fight for Life or Ultra Vortek had only manufactured, or only sold somewhere around 6,000 cartridges. I see in his Blog post Lance is talking about faxes from 1985-1990, mainly 2600/7800 and 8-Bit computers, with the Lynx towards the end. I think we all have a sense that the Jaguar was likely a different story with numbers closer to what Lance was talking about with Activision. Makes me wonder if Atari made any money on the Jaguar at all. :atari_jaguar:

Link to comment

Same here, this blog post is awesome.  I remember riding my bike to a computer store as a kid.  I was a VIC-20 owner at the time, not yet Atari.  And I was astounded at all the games available on tape in a ziploc baggie!  I think I bought a few that looked like fun, but was pretty disappointed with them when I got home and tried them.  Well, the good news was that my disappointment turned into "I could do this better".  And the best thing about tape games was you could actually see the source code.  So I ended up learning a ton. 

Link to comment
On 8/17/2023 at 11:02 AM, RickR said:

Same here, this blog post is awesome.  I remember riding my bike to a computer store as a kid.  I was a VIC-20 owner at the time, not yet Atari.  And I was astounded at all the games available on tape in a ziploc baggie!  I think I bought a few that looked like fun, but was pretty disappointed with them when I got home and tried them.  Well, the good news was that my disappointment turned into "I could do this better".  And the best thing about tape games was you could actually see the source code.  So I ended up learning a ton. 

hi @RickR yeah! the cassette games were great, many times you could break into them and list out the source code and learn about them. but yeah that’s how they made a profit they didn’t have the huge numbers atari had and that’s how they remained in business. if you want to get in there and make a big library of games that give you some sort of cash flow you just have to do things like that, ziploc baggies and very inexpensive packaging is just the only way you could do it.

Link to comment
On 8/16/2023 at 11:59 PM, Jinroh said:

Great info as always @Video 61 I always love reading about your tales from the trenches. 😉 I remember the days of ziploc backs pinned to the board at the computer store too with a photocopied sheet with a 5.25" floppy in there. I really lilke your packaging. 🙂 It's unique and fun. 

hi @Jinroh yeah! thanks and im glad you remember the days when they did that! I mean here’s my thing about packaging today: when i release a new game for an Atari system I keep prices down to make it affordable for me to make and you to buy. some new games are $50-$60 dollars if not more and not everybody can afford that. Jack Tramiel would say they make computers "for the masses, not the classes". And when I put out a game and keep the costs low, they scream about my boxes and scream about my clamshells but what about a CD rom jewel case? that thing's under a buck. It’s got a little glossy thing in it but it’s real small. Some manufacturers only have a glossy picture of the game on the front not on the back. This obsession with fancy glossy boxes and packaging, its fine and looks nice but you have to have the numbers for that, a lot of numbers sold, to keep the cost down. otherwise people are paying $50 and there's not much left for the developer to survive.

Link to comment
On 8/16/2023 at 2:05 AM, Justin said:

@Video 61 This is really good advice for indie developers and the entire homebrew market - especially right now as we move toward an unknown future. I hope everyone developing new games for retro platforms will give your Blog a read. Including the most loved homebrew guys, and new Atari themselves.

thanks @Justin and yeah I want everybody to do well and the future is unknonw right now for many. its not just independent developers and homebrewers but the people in the atari community who buy these games also. its my hope this Blog post gets the word out to all atari developers that there are ways to do this and succeed and stay in the game for a long time delivering good games at good prices.

Link to comment
On 8/16/2023 at 2:06 AM, Sabertooth said:

Thanks for sharing these fantastic insights! I wonder if the 100k rule held true for Atari under Sam during the Jaguar's run? With such a limited installed user base, that's nearly a 70 percent attach rate for each sold out title based on 150,000 Jaguars sold during its commercial life. I've read AVP was the best seller at 85K.

hi and thanks @Sabertooth that's a great great question! you just opened a pandoras box and gave me inspiration for my next two Blog posts which will answer your question in detail, and also go in to jack tramiel's sale of Atari through JTS to hasbro and how that all tied back to the Jaguar sales numbers and to what degree the Jaguar was a success or a failure.

and I should warn you: my answers to this question are seen as "controversial". you might not like my answers. you might debate and disagree with my answers. you might think I'm flat-out wrong. and that's okay if you do. all I can tell you is what Jack Tramiel told me and others at Atari, and what Atari was telling me directly. I have to go by my own first hand experiences with Atari and answer as best I can, and 

your question is a really good one @Sabertooth and I will answer it in much more detail in my next Blog posts. for now let me answer them as directly and to the point as I can:

 

On 8/16/2023 at 2:06 AM, Sabertooth said:

I wonder if the 100k rule held true for Atari under Sam during the Jaguar's run?

I don't know the answer to this for sure. The faxes from Atari stopped coming in just prior to the release of Jaguar. By the time the Jag came along Atari wasn't as adamant about sharing some of this sales information, but I did get it from time to time. Atari had made $50 million in profit and it was mostly off games, they made almost no profit off hardware.

I don’t know what the production/sales rule was for the Jaguar. They never told me about that. I’m pretty sure it was 100,000 units per game on the Atari Lynx, at least in 1989-1991. I remember some numbers like 45,000 units to 50,000 units on some Lynx games.

But the Jaguar was a whole different story. They were very quiet about that machine. I mean VERY quiet. It was like pulling teeth getting information about it. And the reason why my own personal opinion was Jack Tramiel was getting ready to retire was that if the Jaguar didn’t go he was getting ready to pull the plug. He could’ve sold the company but if they looked into his past business practices they may have been very leery of buying the company, he may not have been able to sell it. We'll get into that theory later in another Blog.

 

On 8/16/2023 at 2:06 AM, Sabertooth said:

With such a limited installed user base, that's nearly a 70 percent attach rate for each sold out title based on 150,000 Jaguars sold during its commercial life.

See @Sabertooth you're onto something. I don't think those sales numbers are accurate. That's not to say that you're wrong. I just don't think those sales numbers or that "150,000 Jaguars" sales figure that's been reported out there is accurate. At all. I think it's much higher than that worldwide, and I'll tell you why

 

On 8/16/2023 at 2:06 AM, Sabertooth said:

I've read AVP was the best seller at 85K.

Yes. That's the number I have too, I think that number is probably right. 

Let's look at this scenario in context. When I was receiving their sales history, a game like Crystal Castles on XE would be made 100,000 at a time and sell out. These XE games were made to work on all 64k Atari computer systems, and when combined with the XEGS itself was a huge user base. In the many many many millions of systems. So Atari would release 64k Crystal Castles for The Atari 8-bit family and they sold 99,993 units of XE Crystal Castles. They had 7 left.

So think of that with Alien vs. Predator, 85,000 units were sold, but on an installed user base of 150,000 consoles worldwide? That doesn't add up to me. Let's do+the=math. To get that number on Crystal Castles you’d have to have big sales on a huge installed user base. None of that ever made sense to me because A.) Atari was consistently telling me there were 2 million Jaguar units but they did not tell me if that was the United States, or Europe or worldwide, and B.) because some of the Jaguar games sold really well, and that takes a large enough user base.

That’s another thing that’s wrong but I can’t refute it because I was told personally that they moved 2 million units. There were 2 million Jaguars sold. Now, I said that about the Atari Lynx and I got shot down and called a liar. I believe there were actually somewhere around 10 million Lynx units sold world wide. There was even a programmer at Atari who did a Lynx game who said that’s not true. If you go on the Atari Lynx Wikipedia page it says that there were rumors that there’re 6-8 maybe 10 million units sold worldwide. That’s what I believe to be true, because I had insider information and that's what Atari was telling me personally.

I truly believe there are more Atari Jaguar units worldwide than officially documented. Certainly more than that 150,000. 

You see Jack would run these machines through other countries so he didn’t have to pay taxes on them. And he would say "yeah we sold 1 million units in the US" and that’s what Atari would report to the IRS and that's all they paid taxes on. Privately Atari would tell us there were more units offshore. That's how there are all these XE machines down in Mexico that are being sold on eBay and re-imported to the US.

This stuff got shipped off shore pronto and then sold in other countries and that’s how Jack Tramiel evaded taxes, allegedly. That’s not what they told me, Atari told me flat out there were 2 million Jaguar systems. If you think about it 85,000 AVP that’s a lot of one title for such a small user base. Doesn’t that seem awfully odd to you?

 

On 8/16/2023 at 2:13 AM, Justin said:

Lance has told me before that he saw sales figures for Jaguar games, and I think it was Fight for Life or Ultra Vortek had only manufactured, or only sold somewhere around 6,000 cartridges.

@Justin now we're getting into it arent we? They only sold worldwide 900 Fight for Lifes. The company that did Ultra Vortek was in Salt Lake City. They told me they did fairly well with that game so the sales numbers were actually pretty good! It was Fight for Life was what triggered things. After Ted Hoff was fired by Jack Tramiel Atari went 5 whole months without releasing a Jaguar game. Ted Hoff came to work in January of that year and he was locked out of the building.  A lot of us who were still in the Atari business were so dismayed by this. Because there were a lot of games still in the hopper! 

What Ted Hoff did was reorganize the company and he paid off all the back bills, and Ted had gotten Atari quite profitable because he was keeping things on pace with a release schedule. That gave retailers confidence in the life of the system and in Atari's consistency and business practices, it helped their reputation. Ted Hoff had gotten Atari onto a regular release basis as far as games are concerned, you could see what was coming out. Jaguar was selling in Walmart at this point. They were getting 1-2 games a month on the Jaguar which was phenomenal compared to Jack Tramiel. Some of them were done real well. And even though they didn’t sell like AVP they did sell, and many of them did sell good enough. Ted Hoff had resurrected The Atari Lynx too. The Lynx games started selling again because Lynx had a huge installed user base and it never should’ve been done away with.

Well once Ted Hoff was fired and kicked to the curb, I called up Atari right way because I had a feeling of what was going on, and I said are you going stick to your release schedule because it was working. I warned Atari that if they abandoned their release schedule and abandoned their dealers, the dealers would abandon Atari. This is what had happened after the crash. “Well were’ looking things over and deciding what we’re going to do” and I warned them that if they didn’t keep to the schedule they were going to loose whatever ted Hoff had built up, and I knew it was good because Atari had $50 million in the bank and there was a lot of profit.

5 months go by and no new releases from Atari. So they brought out Fight for Life and released it after 5 months had gone by without a peep from Atari to their dealers. Atari called me a few days later and they were just steaming about it and they said you were right. I got a phone call from Atari one day and they said "Lance you were absolutely right that we should have stuck to the release schedule or people would abandon us." And I said that was their past record, that Atari didn't talk to people, they didn't communicate with their dealers or with distributors or buyers for retail stores like Toys R Us, KB or Babbages, nobody had any idea what was going on, they don’t care about support, and when Atari brings stuff out a lot of times it doesn’t sell because they don’t support it.

They only sold worldwide 900 Fight for Lifes. And my order was for 55 of them. Atari said I placed the largest order in the world for fight for life. Right after that they merged with JTS that hard drive maker in India. And that’s all she wrote.

Link to comment
3 hours ago, Video 61 said:

hi @Jinroh yeah! thanks and im glad you remember the days when they did that! I mean here’s my thing about packaging today: when i release a new game for an Atari system I keep prices down to make it affordable for me to make and you to buy. some new games are $50-$60 dollars if not more and not everybody can afford that. Jack Tramiel would say they make computers "for the masses, not the classes". And when I put out a game and keep the costs low, they scream about my boxes and scream about my clamshells but what about a CD rom jewel case? that thing's under a buck. It’s got a little glossy thing in it but it’s real small. Some manufacturers only have a glossy picture of the game on the front not on the back. This obsession with fancy glossy boxes and packaging, its fine and looks nice but you have to have the numbers for that, a lot of numbers sold, to keep the cost down. otherwise people are paying $50 and there's not much left for the developer to survive.

Yes especially when you need to split the cost among a bunch of people, that extra stuff adds up.

The most vocal collectors seem to be Youtubers who want fancy games to look good on camera or in their shelf. So that probably drove things that way.

Sure they can afford it, but I sure can't most of the time. Growing up I'd buy maybe one new game a year brand new. The rest, I'd grab the cheap used copies the video store was liquidating.

CD-ROMs is a good point. One reason the Playstation PSX beat the N64 in sales. I remember PSX games were like $30-40 since they were CD-ROMs, and N64 games could be upwards of $70 because they were on cartridge. I would only get a new N64 game very rarely. $70 in 1996 that's like $136 for a game today. Luckily the video store had $10 and $20 N64 games back then. 

Edited by Jinroh
Link to comment
10 hours ago, Jinroh said:

The most vocal collectors seem to be Youtubers who want fancy games to look good on camera or in their shelf. So that probably drove things that way.

Im guilty of this but I'm trying to remedy that.  I may have a channel but I haven't posted anything in a long time.  My need for games to be in fancy boxes is nothing more than a want for a complete in box game.  It is easier to obtain the game by itself and get the PDF version of the instructions but I all about the physical contact and trying to experience areas I missed as a kid. I am referring to old stock new in box and complete in box games.  I am not referring to homebrew games.

Link to comment
On 8/19/2023 at 6:18 PM, Video 61 said:

Next time we talk about money laundering an entire company  :nintendo_professor_hector:

The juiciest details. 😛

15 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Im guilty of this but I'm trying to remedy that.  I may have a channel but I haven't posted anything in a long time.  My need for games to be in fancy boxes is nothing more than a want for a complete in box game.  It is easier to obtain the game by itself and get the PDF version of the instructions but I all about the physical contact and trying to experience areas I missed as a kid. I am referring to old stock new in box and complete in box games.  I am not referring to homebrew games.

There is nothing wrong with that, they look great. 🙂 Social media and the companies like Limited Run Games, and New Atari, are feeding into the FOMO culture we have right now. If you don't get it NOW! You'll lose out! Ebay, FB, marketplace, etc. they fall into that too, everything old is rare, even if it's not. Just to get an artificial value to something. "ATARI 2600 COMBAT CART! RARE!! VITNAGE!!! L@@K!!" -Buy It Now  $1000! 

So people willingly pay for something that they will think is premium.

 

Some of these limited editions though are they really limited? Some seem to be like "It's limited to how much money we can milk you for, then we'll stop making them." Others it's like limited to what, 50,000 copies? 100,000?


Is it really that rare then? 😛

Edited by Jinroh
Link to comment

I have a few disk games in those plastic sleeves from Datasoft, Epyx, Main Street, and Keystone.  One of the Main Street titles didn't even include a dust sleeve for the disk.  Just wrapped a box label, which is a low quality print on standard paper cut to fit, around the disk and jammed it inside a clamshell.  I can't remember if it is Moon Shuttle or Magneto Bugs but could you imagine if the cartridges for the 2600, 5200, or 7800 were done that way?

Link to comment
38 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I have a few disk games in those plastic sleeves from Datasoft, Epyx, Main Street, and Keystone.  One of the Main Street titles didn't even include a dust sleeve for the disk.  Just wrapped a box label, which is a low quality print on standard paper cut to fit, around the disk and jammed it inside a clamshell.  I can't remember if it is Moon Shuttle or Magneto Bugs but could you imagine if the cartridges for the 2600, 5200, or 7800 were done that way?

hi atari 5200 guy,

 

  sierra online released A-8 carts without labels, i have some somewhere. also in cart shells that were backwards when installed. i have halloweens on the 2600 that had a hand written label that was photo copied and applied to the cart shells.

activision released space shuttle for the 5200 in 2600 boxes, then just put a silver sticker on the box that said 5200. later on they did not even put on the sticker.

once a market shrinks, its hard to keep up the same business plan that you had when the market was booming.

some can, many can't. i watched companies that thought they could, eventually alter their packaging from hard cardboard glossy type of boxes like parker bros. down to flimsy card board, the thinnest they could find, not even that helped, so under they went, or they abandon the market.

 

lance

www.atarisales.com

Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...