Spat With Newspaper Leaves Atari With Egg on its Face

Atari hit with receipts.

News by Matt Kim, .

Classic video game company Atari accused tech publication The Register of making trollish claims about its upcoming Atari VCS console. Atari claimed that information published by The Register with quotes from Atari COO Michael Arzt were inaccurate. The Register responded by publishing the audio recording of their conversation with Atari.

During the Atari VCS launch event in San Francisco at GDC 2018 The Register wrote a critical impression of the console. Or rather, a prototype of the console. Still, The Register found Arzt's answers to their questions to be vague and unsatisfactory, and they reported as much.

The Atari mystery box.

However, when the article was posted on Atari's Facebook page from a buyer looking from answers, the company said, "Our executives sat with that reporter for half an hour and he wrote what he wanted instead of what was discussed with him. Sadly there are even irresponsible trolls in 'professional' positions I guess."

The Register responded by releasing the entire audio for the interview online backing up the reporter's printed words. The whole situation has put Atari in a negative light, especially considering the Atari VCS surpsassed $2.9 million in funding on its IndieGoGo.

The Atari VCS is currently funding on IndieGoGo. While it's advertised as being able to play select Atari games from the past, it's also apparently forward-facing and able to play new software and games. Though, what those are isn't exactly clear yet. This is a new piece of hardware and not a retro console like the NES Classic, though it can be.

One thing's for sure, publications who've seen the Atari VCS and spoke with Atari have serious concerns and questions Atari hasn't answered and are willing to put blame on the media for the lack of clarity.

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Comments 13

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  • Avatar for bigbadboaz #1 bigbadboaz 4 months ago
    Really starting to look like this latest "Atari" is run by a bunch of poseurs.. no real ties to the legacy and out of their depth as businessmen.
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  • Avatar for BellyFullOfHell #2 BellyFullOfHell 4 months ago
    People really expected anything different?
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #3 VotesForCows 4 months ago
    This is another looming crowd-funded disaster - the warning signs have been there a while. Feel bad for anyone who loses out on it.
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  • Avatar for bigbadboaz #4 bigbadboaz 4 months ago
    It's just amazing projects like this can attract significant funding anymore. I can't even feel bad, considering multiple previous Kickstarter lessons and how clear it was that this has little to do with classic Atari.Edited June 2018 by bigbadboaz
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #5 Roto13 4 months ago
    @bigbadboaz Atari has just been a brand to be passed around for ages now. The Atari anyone ever cared about is long gone and it's not coming back.
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  • Avatar for ericspratling56 #6 ericspratling56 4 months ago
    It's to my understanding that modern Atari isn't connected to 80s Heyday Atari even in a "ship of Theseus" type of way-- there's zero continuity. It literally is just a name purchased wholesale by an entirely different company and run by an entirely different group of people.
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  • Avatar for JamesSwiftDay #7 JamesSwiftDay 4 months ago
    This is starting to sound like the Caleco Chameleon saga all over again. What is with these shoddy retro game boxes?
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  • Avatar for moochan #8 moochan 4 months ago
    "The whole situation has put Atari in a negative light" Copy+Paste the last 30 years or so regarding every Atarii article.
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  • Avatar for Poltergeist8606 #9 Poltergeist8606 4 months ago
    It's starting to look like Atari is being run by The Donald.
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  • Avatar for Poltergeist8606 #10 Poltergeist8606 4 months ago
    @JamesSwiftDay because people are often stupid and keep buying into them.
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  • Avatar for CK20XX #11 CK20XX 4 months ago
    @Roto13 Really, Atari was never that good to begin with. Their biggest footprint on the industry was killing the North American market until Nintendo revived it. Apart from that, they had absolutely no quality control (much like Steam today), created third party developers by abusing and driving off their own employees, and created no memorable franchises or characters, even screwing up the chance to have Pitfall Harry as their mascot. Their backlog consists entirely of simple games that have been endlessly iterated upon and cloned in app stores and on Newgrounds. There's literally nothing valuable whatsoever about the Atari brand.
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  • Avatar for bigbadboaz #12 bigbadboaz 4 months ago
    @CK20XX You're overstating this. They may have royally F'd up the American market, but they're also the ones who first built it - they were Nintendo the generation immediately before Nintendo. Their fingerprints are also all over the Golden Age catalog. Whether or not you feel these particular titles are too simple or have been cloned too often doesn't change this very large legacy.
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