lol...I will never have anything nice to say about the guy , cause I will always feel that Atari could have stayed "in the game" for so much longer without him...
How's Mattel Electronics doing? Coleco? What was Magnavox's last console again? How many Spectrums sold last year? How many Texas Instrument Computers? How many Tandys? How is Sega's cosnole doing this year? SNKs? 3DOs? Phillips? How is Sega's handheld doing? Nokia's? Gizmondos? Tigers?
He came into a company that was losing hundreds of millions of dollars. A lot of armchair videogame CEOs forget that. They think he bought "make a billion" Atari. He bought "lose hundreds of millions in a dead market, while competing in a cut throat other market" Atari. He managed to take that and make it massively rich again, and very, very important in the computer market for a number of years. He also got more gaming hardware out the door than Atari ever did while in its "glory days" under Warner. But yeah, that's so easy to do with a dying company in a dead market. All you have to do is trim hundreds of millions of dollars while increasing sales, margins, and range of products. So very easy. Anyone could do that! And all you have to do is be able to do all that AND be able to afford to buy a company to begin with. Why everyone isn't doing this all the time is beyondd me, as it is such a short order to fill. Right?
And Atari passed on the NES right? The NES!? Didn't Atari know it was the NES? I mean, that thing sold millions of units in the future! How could they pass on something that was a sure thing just so long as you could see through time! I mean, if a Japanese company offered to let me, an American videogame and computer company, sell something for them that looked like a toaster, in a dead market, a market which I already had a product in development for, I would be all like "sure thing! Where do I sign?! I mean, this thing goes on to become the legendary NES, right? That's how this story goes to me, here in the past, before that happens! Now I'll take these profits in 1986 and invest them in Twitter and Facebook!"
NONE of the other contemporary companies in either of Atari's markets is still here today either except the few winners Atari could never have nbeat, ever. Nintendo won the 8-bit console wars by a huge margin. If you think Atari, under anyone at all, could have won that war, coming off a collapse of their industry which cost them hundreds of millions, you are wrong. Once SMB hit, what was Atari or anyone going to answer with? Super Mario just saved the 3DS for failing in the year 2012. He's still moving systems that play games in 3D!
Could Atari, without him, have beaten Apple and MS? Yeah, that was likely. Because ever other computer company from the era managed it, right?
And the Lynx failed. But here is a list of the portables that have beaten Nintendo's line:
That is all.
An uncomfortable truth for classic gaming fans is that without Tramiel Atari probably wouldn't have done even what it did. It was, unknown to it, about to do battle with three of the most unbeatable companies in the entire world. All the other companies around it would also fall, with Atari actually being one of the last. If you think you or anyone else could simultaneously have bested Microsoft, Apple, Nintendo, and an entire host of other newer companies, while still fighting with a ton of your old competitors, coming off of bleeeding red ink into a dead market, I'd like to see it.
Not being more successful in the videogaming marketplace I don't think is criteria most people use for deciding how nice of a person someone was. I don't think God's going to be asking him to quote Jaguar sales figures before deciding if he's to be allowed through the pearly gates...
Another thing to be said for the Tramiel family's leadership was Atari went out with its bills paid, some money in the bank, and with its shareholders gaining stock in a business that looked poised for success (Although I think that ultimately wasn't the case).
How many corporations in recent decades can say that? Most run the bank accounts dry long after it was obvious that things were futile leaving creditors with pennies on the dollar and shareholders with valueless stock.
Used to not be a uncommon way for a corporation to bow out like Atari did. But it's something of a rarity in recent decades. And you can bet that things were pointless by that point. If I remember numbers right from towards the end, they were doing something like spending $3 for every buck they earned in revenue.
Not a formula for sticking around for very long. I think there's plenty of room for criticism of him and his brother, but I think they did a pretty fair job of leading Atari. Left this gamer with a lot of nice memories.
Apparently he was a bit of a jerk, but purely in the business sense (trying to save every penny he could while making as much as possible). I think it was what Atari needed at the time. Still, he was a holocaust survivor who survived and went on to build one business empire and salvage another. I always thought that was a pretty cool thing.
His cut-throat and strong-armed negotiating tactics led a number of distributors to stay away from the Jaguar. I've never owned the system, and from what I've read here from a number of posters, the Jag had a lot of issues.
But it's too bad that he's gone. Say what you will about Tramiel, but he was one colorful dude.
Is this the guy that failed the Jaguar? What a disapointment that was. Wonder how many kids cried once they realized that the Jaguar was lame.[/QUOTE]
Actually, I believe his son was in charge then. And I think people under estimate the success of the Jaguar. See, Atari was nearly dead when it came out. I have read that there were barely 100 employees in the entire company for most of the time the system was out. In comparison, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo quite likely have more than 100 people on most of their individual games, between programming, producing, sales, etc. They had that to promote, develop, sell, court third parties, deal with issues, etc. for the whole company. The Jaguar was really a way to pump up the stock price of the company, along with taking one last ditch effort at re-entering the market. It failed at the latter, but succeeded at the former. It really was about the best they could do with what they had in the market they were in.