The Crash

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N64Dude1
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The Crash

Postby N64Dude1 » January 28th, 2009, 9:07 pm

I've heard a lot about the Crash of 1980's and the reasons are obvious.But I want a more personal view,so how what was it like being stuck with games like Kool-Aid and Custer's Revenge [Sadly I have that cartridge and had the misfortune to play it,no game could be worse well except the obvious one]? What was it like seeing stores overflowed with rubbish games and rubbish consoles?

I am a 90's person and didn't get active with video games til' barely the end of  the 2nd Millennium


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VideoGameCritic
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The Crash

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 28th, 2009, 9:44 pm

I lived through it, and strangely, I didn't notice anything!  I hear there was a glut of games, but you couldn't tell from the stores.  Normal stores didn't carry stuff like Kool Aid Man or Custer's Revenge.  There were bargain bins of games but nothing more than what you'd see today.

The only thing I noticed was companies announcing they were bailing out of the video game business.

I have a theory.  I think there was a perception in the industry that video games were just a fad, and the bubble was going to burst (my dad said that all the time).  So when there was a downturn in the economy and games weren't selling as well, people figured the party was over and it was time to cut their losses.

However, things weren't nearly as bad as people thought.  I recall reading how after Atari cancelled its 5200 machine, it was astonished that the 2600 was still selling millions of units. 

There was never really a crash after all - just a panic within the industry.  Had Coleco and Intellivision stuck it out, they might have done well in the years to come.  Instead they vacated the space, which was quickly filled by Nintendo.  And the rest is history.

So as you can see, you didn't miss much!



m0zart1
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The Crash

Postby m0zart1 » January 28th, 2009, 9:57 pm

[QUOTE=The Video Game Critic]There was never really a crash after all - just a panic within the industry.  Had Coleco and Intellivision stuck it out, they might have done well in the years to come.  Instead they vacated the space, which was quickly filled by Nintendo.  And the rest is history.[/QUOTE]

I agree there wasn't a crash in the usual sense.  I wrote that in a review of ET on Gamespot a while back.

One thing though about your facts here -- Coleco did bail definitely, but Intellivision was still in the market for years to come.  Mattel still supported Intellivision up until 1991.

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The Crash

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 28th, 2009, 10:14 pm

[QUOTE=m0zart]

[QUOTE=The Video Game Critic]There was never really a crash after all - just a panic within the industry.  Had Coleco and Intellivision stuck it out, they might have done well in the years to come.  Instead they vacated the space, which was quickly filled by Nintendo.  And the rest is history.[/QUOTE]

I agree there wasn't a crash in the usual sense.  I wrote that in a review of ET on Gamespot a while back.

One thing though about your facts here -- Coleco did bail definitely, but Intellivision was still in the market for years to come.  Mattel still supported Intellivision up until 1991.
[/QUOTE]

Actually Mattel bailed out in 1984, but their assets were bought up by a small company called INTV, who did their best to keep the system viable for a few years after.

gleebergloben1
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The Crash

Postby gleebergloben1 » January 29th, 2009, 12:08 pm

the video game crash of the early 80's started in june, 1982, which is earlier than i had thought. i would have guessed around the end of 1983. i had been going to the arcades constantly starting in 1980, all the way through to 1984. at the arcades, i didn't notice much until the beginning of 1984. the arcades weren't nearly as crowded as they had been, and the games, quite frankly, weren't that great. i thought 1983 was a great year for arcade games, with games such as dragon's lair, q*bert, arabian, and food fight.

for the home systems, i remember everyone slamming atari for releasing pac-man and ET, but i didn't really notice the crash for the home consoles until the beginning of 1984. more and more games were showing up in bargain bins, and the new releases for the INTV, CV, and 5200 were just trickling out. i stopped going to arcades in late 1984, and i kind of missed the whole arcade scene for a good 5-7 years, and the home scene with the NES. i started back up with the SNES.

regarding the arcades, in june of 1982, it's not really that the business crashed, it's just that it stopped growing. and with the popularity of computers, better movies, and CD's, i think people just had more choices with their money and stopped going to the arcades and buying games for the home consoles.


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The Crash

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 29th, 2009, 4:42 pm

Another component of the crash was that home computers were just coming into their own.  There was the TI-99, the Atari 800, and Commodore machines which featured better graphics than the home consoles.  I was one of those gamers who defected from the consoles to the computers.  Parents supported the transition because computers were considered educational.  Of course, the only thing they were really good for was playing games!

Anayo1
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The Crash

Postby Anayo1 » January 29th, 2009, 5:10 pm

That's a very interesting insight on the Crash, Critic.

scotland171
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The Crash

Postby scotland171 » May 25th, 2013, 11:27 pm

[QUOTE=The Video Game Critic]Another component of the crash was that home computers were just coming into their own.  There was the TI-99, the Atari 800, and Commodore machines which featured better graphics than the home consoles.  I was one of those gamers who defected from the consoles to the computers.  Parents supported the transition because computers were considered educational.  Of course, the only thing they were really good for was playing games!
[/QUOTE]

Its summer of 2013, so its been about 30 years since 'The Crash' of 83.   Like Dave said above, I hardly noticed it I was having so much fun.   People at Atari, Coleco and others were not though.

There was indeed an industry crash, as Atari (the name and face of the home video console industry) went from $2 billion in revenue down to about half that in a single year. Soon Warner would sell off part to Tramiel, and while Atari would survive, it was not at all the same.  And the arcades, which had risen and fell at about the same time, never recovered.

Like Dave, I was one of those that transitioned to computers - at school with Apple, at friends with Texas Instruments, and at home with Commodore. My C64 was indeed an excellent game system, but it really was much more.  I learned to program BASIC games, read Compute and Compute Gazette to learn all about things like how randomness is just 'simulated' on computers, waveforms, Peeks and Pokes.  We typed in games, we learned the to compile into machine code, we learned about I/O, and played elaborate games needing a keyboard and multiple loads.    We wrote our own games, we went on 'bulletin boards' online with this modem thingy and so much more.

I think what is more amazing than the crash, was the recovery of the industry in much the same form as it had been.  One dominant company, selling expensive gaming cartridges on a system far less versatile than the family computers.   Why was the NES so appealing versus a family computer? Was it because families wanted a gaming system for the kids? Even as PCs came down in price and could game well, families bought dedicated gaming consoles.  As we learn about the next generation, many say the same thing.

Verm1
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The Crash

Postby Verm1 » May 26th, 2013, 4:57 am

To me, it sounds like every company, whether video game centric or not, was trying to make games and many of those games either ended up so bad they didn't sell or there were unrealistic expectations in how many copies of a game would sell that led to far too many copies of games being produced.

Certainly, both these issues have and still happen since (in the 90's several companies tried to break into the market with new consoles and recently Squaresoft had unrealistic expectations for the sales of their games, for two examples), but not on an industry wide scale like in the 'crash', yet.

Another part of the crash, was that basically all the big console makers themselves got into trouble during it, alongside the game making companies; Atari, Mattel and Coleco etc all suffered in the crash.

Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft's fortunes may go up and down to a degree, but generally speaking they are all still doing fine.

 

 

 


Orion1
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The Crash

Postby Orion1 » May 26th, 2013, 11:44 am

I remember the crash, though at the time, nobody referred to it as such.  I just remember that everyone was playing the 2600, then all of a sudden everyone stopped (except me of course).  Some of the "quitters" were kids that had reached high school age and no longer wanted to be seen playing a toy.  Others just seemed to lose interest.  Hardly anyone at school was talking about it anymore.

At the time, I wasn't aware there was a flood of bad games, and I don't think anyone else was either.  There had already been tons of bad games since the beginning of the Atari era.  Everyone knew, when they were buying a new game that it could be good or bad.  Like I said, people lost interest.


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