(The Register) Game over: Atari VCS architect quits project, claims he hasn’t been paid for six months

Dancrane212

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,360
A new piece of the Atari VCS saga over at The Register.


Games industry veteran, one of the founding team members behind the Xbox, and Atari system architect, Rob Wyatt told The Register: “As of Friday, October 4th, I have officially resigned as the architect of the Atari VCS."

The techie claimed "Atari haven't paid invoices going back over six months" to his design consultancy, Tin Giant, which was working on the VCS, adding: "As a small company, we have been lucky to survive this long.”
But we are getting into the weeds. Here is a short version of our two-week investigation:

  • The Atari VCS will be extremely limited as a console. It is effectively a $250-ish PC in a nice-looking retro box.
  • Atari’s main architect has quit, claiming he has not been paid in months.
  • Penny-pinching throughout the development process has resulted in a range of bad decisions that effectively prevents the Atari VCS from calling itself a dedicated games console.
  • No original games developers have signed up to the Atari VCS, two years after launch. And they are unlikely to in future, either.
  • There will be no native apps, and services like Netflix will be accessed through a modified browser.
  • The Atari VCS is unlikely to hit its March 2020 deadline, and may in fact never launch.
We have sent Atari, through its press agency ÜberStrategist, a series of questions and outlined most of this article’s findings and conclusions. Despite promising to get back to us, our initial inquiry was sent five days ago and we have yet to receive a response.
There's much more details in the article. Definitely give it a read.
 

kami_sama

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,606
Water is wet.
Anyone thinking the VCS was something like they were saying was delusional.
 

ShinobiBk

Member
Dec 28, 2017
7,068
This has been sketchy from the very start. I can't believe so many people put money down on this.
 
OP
OP
Dancrane212

Dancrane212

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,360
Atari also sent out an update on the machine this morning:



Hello Backers, Fans, and Followers!
Things have gotten really exciting around the Atari offices and in the Atari VCS engineering lab. We know people are talking about our big Antstream Arcade announcement, but the PCB board photo we shared triggered plenty of its own conversation and speculation as well. While we definitely have plans to follow-up the Antstream partnership with more news about games and content, we will now shift the conversation back to the status of the Atari VCS hardware. Jump over to Medium and check out our newest Atari VCS Developer Blog to find the latest on the development process as we rapidly approach mass production. We have lots of new photos and illustrations to share, and hope that you find the latest peek behind the scenes interesting.
You can find all the previous Atari VCS Developer Blog posts here.

IMPORTANT: COMPLETE YOUR BACKERKIT SURVEYS!
We can’t believe we need to say it again, but backers please complete your BackerKit surveys! There are way too many of you who still need to do this. Save yourselves the frustration; find one of the many emails from BackerKit or just go to https://atari-vcs.backerkit.com/ and request your survey. Your survey and backer profile is the single best way to ensure that the right products get sent to the right place at the right time. Please do not confuse this with your Indiegogo profile, which is different.
Thanks again for your ongoing support!
⁠— The Atari VCS Team
 

C.Mongler

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,536
Washington, DC
I'm amazed that there were (granted, not many) people who thought this console was going to be a thing. Should have just made it an Atari Classic Mini and left it at that.
 

SturokBGD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,594
Ontario
User Banned (3 Days): Trolling over a series of posts; Prior bans for similar behavior.
How come this is bigger news than Frederic Chesnais kicking dogs in the face for fun? He also killed my grandmother.
 

Elandyll

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,145
I mean...


Atari
3 employees
Makes $20m -ish a year, mostly royalties
Loses $2.75m per year
Pays it "CEO" (remember, just 3 employees) $1.1m per year
Doesn't pay its contractors
...
I mean...
I think I know what to call this venture...
 

Tempy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,246
I'm amazed that there were (granted, not many) people who thought this console was going to be a thing. Should have just made it an Atari Classic Mini and left it at that.
That already exists as the Atari Flashback, made by ATGames. Recent versions have been pretty good, and the latest even has an SD-card slot.
 

Mudo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,617
Tennessee
I, for one, am shocked!

/s

this project has been a train wreck since the start. It’s sad that everything has gone down the way it has, as this could have been really cool if handled properly.
 

C.Mongler

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,536
Washington, DC
That already exists as the Atari Flashback, made by ATGames. Recent versions have been pretty good, and the latest even has an SD-card slot.
I'm aware; I guess my admittedly unexplained point was more related to aesthetics. The Flashbacks always looked too toy-like for my tastes, whereas the showcased VCS design, while not 100% faithful, looked really nice. Seems like it was the only thing the console had going for it really.
 

Slayven

I don’t know what you’re talking about
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
38,038
These things that come out big and loud always never come out. There are thousand hobby gaming hardware boxes out there, so it isn't that hard to put something out there.
 

themadswagger

Member
Nov 3, 2017
120
I'm aware; I guess my admittedly unexplained point was more related to aesthetics. The Flashbacks always looked too toy-like for my tastes, whereas the showcased VCS design, while not 100% faithful, looked really nice. Seems like it was the only thing the console had going for it really.
I think you’ll like the design of this year’s model:
 

retroman

Member
Oct 31, 2017
1,139
So, the Coleco Chameleon, Atari VCS and Intellivision Amico seem to make for a trifecta of trash.

It's time for the Vectrex to make a comeback and show how it's done!

...said no-one ever except me
 

NeoZeedeater

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,206
I hated how they were going to use the VCS name for this. That belongs to the original system. At least the modern Coleco and Intellivision attempts put in other names to differentiate.
 

Ishmae1

Creative Director, Microsoft
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
218
Seattle, WA
The 2600 was my first game console, so there's a whole bunch of childhood tied up in it.

...and all I wanted from this new one was one of the retro-ish joysticks to keep in my office. Sigh.
 

deathsaber

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,302
Wow. I'll admit, a year and a half ago I was sitting with this queued up on indiegogo, just needed to hit the "confirm" button and this would have been ordered. But I stayed my hand because the release was still far off and I figured "why throw them money this early". Especially in the face of endless products that let you play old Atari games for a fraction of that price. Ultimately told myself, just let the product hit retail (if its hits retail and if its something you want, THEN make a purchase.

I mostly even then never really had expectations for it as a platform- the Atari stuff was nice, but I mostly just wanted an emu box to run other retro software.

Fast forward to now with this thing endlessly delayed, and the news getting more and more shakey as to whether it will release... Way to go me, I guess?