STATUS UPDATE - 2/86 - CONFIDENTIAL!!! ARARI EYES & EARS ONLY. - ACME show is next week; Friday thru Sunday; 3/7-3/9/86. -Atari will show: Super Sprint, Gauntlet, Temple of Doom, Robo Soccer. -Van Elderen, Moore, Tacakichi, Weatherby, Turner, Drobny, Hally, Logg, Arita are going from Engineering. -They leave Thursday morning. -Nakamura and 2 Namco Engineers will attend the show. - Tentative production quantities of Super Sprint have been agreed upon - see me if you really want to know... - Beginning Monday the factory will stop building games for a 3-5 week period. 12 employees will stay on full-time; 43 will be furloughed. This was a tough decision, but I think it's wise; When Sales volume has peaks and valleys; the production volume has to follow - it hurts in the long term to keep the factory running and build to inventory. Apparently, the furlough package was well-received by manufacturing employees. - We have purchased a new improved VTI package for custom I.C. layout. This gives us a standard-cell library based on 2-micron CMOS as well as gate array and full custom layout ablility. All the support tools are included too. - Japanese Yen: dollar is weak; 6-12months ago was 250 yen to dollar; now 180 yen to dollar. This is hurting PCB kit dealers in USA since profit margin has been erroded - thats good for us - less competition. - Nintendo is expected to introduce Super Mario Bros. on their VS Coin-op system at ACME. Its been a HOT game in Japan on the Home computer and at the usual $200 Nintendo kit price, its expected to do very well in the USA. Nintendo apparently lost money last year in the US coin-op market, and is expected to pull out of the coin-op market entirely...within 12 months? They already have in Japan - they are concentrating on their VERY succesful Home Computer/game console. - SEGA is expected to introduce 4 new games at ACME: Space Harrier (not really new), Major League Baseball, Quartet (4-player Gauntlet rip-off but not nearly as good); and one other. - Bally Sente is expected to introduce a new game too...rumor has it that Owen Rubin is feverishly working on this one. - Exidy is in Chap. 11 and with the president (Kaufman) recovering from illness, they do not appear to pose a threat. - Data East seems to have fallen off their high horse (Kung-Fu etc); with not much to offer...maybe they have a surprise for us at the show. The strong yen will hurt them too since all their product is licensed from Japan. - Williams will probably introduce the new Steve Ritchie Pinball game. Its supposed to be great. It was ready for AMOA, but they held off cause they had a very good pinball in production...The name High Speed is in my mind, thats either Ritchies, or the one they just finished. I have no idea what the production run on a good pinball is these days...maybe someone going to the show can pump Ritchie... - Market still looks weak, but Atari is positioned VERY well with respect to the competition. - Nakamura and troops will be here week of 3/10-3/14; expect tours and show n' tells; will be a good time to find out details about System I Cocktail implementation issues...IF we have our ducks lined up. Please think about questions, and how to present the questions clearly considering the language barrier. - Bob Stewert (Mfg. Mgr) will be bringing a group of 6-8 ace PCB techs thru for a tour... I would like to show them Gauntlet,Roadrunner,Thrasher Labs. I would like to also go over the game development process using Gauntlet as an example. - let me know if VAX mail like this is sufficient, or if you would rather have a group meeting where questions/answers could be exchanged.
Feb 26, 1986