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Atari VCS Architect Quits, Claiming Six Months of Nonpayment

Gaming article by Robert N. Adams on October 8, 2019 at 10:25 AM
News

Future of Crowdfunded Retro Console in Doubt

The main man behind the Atari VCS retro console has left the company behind the project, citing more than six months of unpaid invoices for his work to date. This new development (in combination with other information) places the future of this upcoming gaming machine in serious doubt.

The Register reports that gaming industry veteran Rob Wyatt has resigned after more than six months of nonpayment from Atari. He had been working on finalizing the hardware of the much anticipated retro console, finally seeing a prototype motherboard delivered last month. Mr. Wyatt and his team were in the middle of debugging the motherboard before they decided to call it quits, likely leaving the job in the hands of another company called SurfaceInk.

 

“I was hoping to see the project through to the end and that it wouldn't come to this, but I have little choice other than to pursue other opportunities,” Wyatt said to The Register in a statement. And he's not the only one who's had problems, either.

"I hope the game developers who have modern Atari horror stories start coming forward too," said Frank Cifaldi (formerly of Digital Eclipse) on Twitter. "I'm not at liberty to share their experiences but they're awful, steer clear of this company."

 

Atari VCS full setup

What's in the box?

Early last year, Atari had promised that they would be showing up at the Game Developer's Conference. Understandably, the press had expected them to show up with a prototype.

 

Instead, representatives reportedly had "a few empty boxes and no working models". Almost no progress on an actual console had been made prior in the nine months since it was first announced.

Nonetheless, Atari's presence at the event generated press, and that was enough for them to kick off an Indiegogo campaign which ultimately raised just over $3 million.

Atari VCS likely to be delayed

As noted above, Atari has reportedly just begun debugging the motherboard that will go into their console. Manufacturing a product like the Atari VCS takes time, and it seems less and less likely that they are going to meet their intended 2020 release date. The Atari VCS is also apparently unlikely to live up to its specs, likely owing to cost- cutting measures in an attempt to keep the project in the black.

There's a lot more to the story of the apparently troubled development of this upcoiming retro console; you can get the full story over at The Register.

What do you think of the lead Atari VCS architect claiming that he hasn't been paid in more than six months? Do you think this console will launch on time? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author

A photograph of Robert N Adams

Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!