atari email archive

a collection of messages sent at Atari from 1983 to 1992.


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  We're just back from AMOA and haven't had much time yet to really sort out
all our thoughts and impressions and numerical results (number of games
sold, etc., etc.), but there are some things that are so obvious to all who
were there that I feel obliged to pass them on immediately.  Without a  
doubt, Gauntlet was the runaway HIT of the show. And if Gauntlet was a "10",
there wasn't even anything close to being a "9".  In the entire 12 years of
my association with Atari (and in attending the majority of trade shows
that took place during those 12 years), I think it's safe to say that we 
have never had a more enthusiastic positive reaction to a product than we
had to Gauntlet.  Please accept the sincere thanks from an Atari loyalist
to all of you who helped make the design, manufacturing, and sale of this
product possible.  I really wished every Atari employee could have been at
the show in person, because then you could really have appreciated the often-
expressed comment of operators and distributors alike: "It's sure good to
see Atari back on top again where they belong."  Even competitors were
surprisingly complementary in a very positive way: "It's good to see a game
like Gauntlet putting such a spark of excitement back into an industry
that's been in hibernation for the last couple years."
   Reports of initial collections in the > $1,000 per week range were common
on the show floor, as operators compared notes with us and other operators
on what their very early testing results had been on Gauntlet.  The highest
reported earnings came from a mall arcade in Toronto, Canada, which had 
received their first Gauntlet 10 days before the AMOA Show began.  The
game had AVERAGED $500. PER DAY, earning $4500. in its first 9 days on 
location.  Needless to say, this operator was quite satisfied with his
"projected" ROI on Gauntlet. 
   As I said earlier, Gauntlet was clearly perceived as the runaway "10"
of the show.  Listed below are my personal ratings of the "8"s, "7"s, and
"6"s as I saw it.  There were also probably another 20 to 30 "5's and 
under" beyond these, but I won't go to the trouble of listing them here.
For a complete report and brochures on all that various products that were
shown, see the '85 AMOA binder that I will be circulating thru-out the
company in the next couple weeks.

The "8"s:
1. Atari's "Temple of Doom"
2. Sega's "Choplifter"
3. Cinematronics "World Series"
4. Bally's "Sarge"
5. Konami's "Rush'N'Attack"
6. William's "Comet" Pinball

The "7"s:
1. Taito's "Legend of Kage"
2. Taito's "Knuckle Joe"
3. Data East's "Shootout"
4. Capcom/Romstar's "Gunsmoke"

The "6"s:
1. Taito/Digital Control's "Ghosts'n'Goblins"
2. Taito/Memetron's "Mat Mania"
3. Nichibitsu's "Terra Cresta"
4. Exidy's "Crack Shot"
5. Capcom/Romstar's "Tiger-Heli"
6. Bally/Sente's "Mini-Golf"
7. Data East's "Ring King"
8. Nintendo's "Arm Wrestling"

The "Specials":
1. Taito's "Super Dead Heat" - 4 player 4-monitor driving game ala Sprint 4
2. Taito's "N.Y. Captor" - long distance (6-10 ft) video shooting game
3. Tatsumi/Data East's "Speed Buggy" - 3-monitor driving game ala TX-1
4. Bally/Sente's "4-Player Hat Trick" - Indy 4 style cabinet
5. Bally/Sente's "Stompin" - Nolan finally got someone to do his "foot-
                             control dance machine"
6. Bally/Sente's "Sacman" - a generic Sac-1 kit to convert Pacman games
7. Nintendo's Pac Kit - a generic Uni-system to convert Pacman games

   Please remember, the above lists are only my personal subjective opinions, 
and based on past precedents, are probably not very accurate.  The only things
I am clearly sure of (from my typical Atari objective viewpoint) is that there
was nothing there that came close to competing with Gauntlet, and nothing there
that I felt was a better second than Temple.  Product sales have clearly
justified my appraisal of Gauntlet.  I'm still waiting to see if they'll do
the same on Temple.
Message 1 of 1

Nov 04, 1985