|Early Atari Logo|
Bushnell and Dabney had created Computer Space under the auspices of an informal company they dubbed Syzygy, pronounced siz-eh-jee, a term meaning the Earth, Moon and Sun in perfect alignment. Thankfully a candle-making commune had already registered that name, so Bushnell took a term from the Japanese game Go he liked to play, and Atari was born.
|Dabney, Bushnell, Unknown and Alcorn|
Atari was eventually split into two companies: industry stalwart Jack Tramiel, fresh off his departure from Commodore, would pick up the consumer division of Atari in 1984 to form Atari Corporation, with Warner continuing the arcade division separately as Atari Games, Inc.. They would eventually sell to Namco in 1985. The Tramiel-led Atari would move more deeply into computers with the Atari ST line, while Atari Games made such arcade games as Marble Madness (1984), Super Sprint (1986) and Hard Drivin' (1989).
|Bushnell relaxing, 1999|
So raise a glass to the company that created the video game industry, 40 years young today. As always, for more history of Atari and the games that helped define it and the rest of the video game landscape, consult your local The Dot Eaters article.