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Atari in all of its various forms and incarnations over the years has experienced many great rises and many great falls.

Atari, Inc was the industry leader in video game technology at all levels during the birth of the video game revolution in the 70's and early 80's. From home console based gaming machines to the latest coin operated hits Atari was in clear command of all sectors of electronic gaming. During the time period from 76 to 84 none of Atari's rival possessed the duality of presence in the market of being both a creator of coin operated games and home based gaming machines. The ablity to port over their arcade titles exclusively to their home gaming systems gave them a tremendous advantage over their other home video game system rivals. When everyone wanted arcade hits like centipede or tempest in the 1980's there was only one home gaming system to play them on and that was Atari's and that was because they were Atari arcade games.

Neither Magnavox with its Odyssey gaming system or Coleco with its Colecovision system could compete with Atari on this level. Atari also was famous for its many partnerships with emerging Namco of Japan. Exclusive distribution of arcade favorites Pacman and Pole position from Namco to the Atari based home gaming machines gave them unrivaled licensee and title strength. The many partnerships with Namco proved so succesful that to this day many still erroneously believe that Atari developed the ideas for Pacman and Pole Position itself for this very reason. By 1983 and 1984 the American video game market was in decline. The real cause of this is largely unknown; but market saturation and a glut of uncreative concept games were largely to blame. Too many companies making too many substandard games for too few gaming systems was the problem of that era.

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