Atari may not be the biggest current name in gaming, but it has been around longer than most, and it has the titles to prove it. Pong, Asteroids, and Pac-Man all came from the minds at Atari. Recently, the company has been remaking some of its most classic arcade titles for re-release on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It even crowd-sourced some of this work by holding a $100,000 contest for indie game developers to re-imagine Pong for the iPhone.
Today, Atari is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a “40 Giveaways in 4 Days” sweepstakes. The contest will take place over on Atari’s Facebook page, where fans of the company can win t-shirts, swag, or even Atari Arcades.
“Over its 40 years of operation, Atari has become one of the most iconic and recognized brands around the world, responsible for mainstreaming video games with blockbuster franchises including Asteroids, Breakout, and Centipede,” said Jim Wilson, CEO of Atari. “Today, we aim to keep the tradition alive through new and creative development efforts based on what made us great in our early days – offering our devoted and growing fan base fun but challenging games on mobile and online platforms.”
Atari has released an infographic detailing its storied history, which, in many ways, mirrors the history of gaming as a whole. Some highlights include the Atari 2600, the Atari Jaguar, and name-dropping Steve Jobs as a former employee. At least the company is even self-deprecating enough to mention that it created the video-game tie-in for the movie E.T. – a game so bad that Atari dumped every copy into a landfill, crushed them, then encased them in cement. Check out the history of Atari below and see how the company has churned out an average of 10 games per year for the past 40 years: