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Crazy hypothetical musing :)


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I just had a crazy thought... instead of selling Atari, I wonder what would have happened if Warner had hired Jack to run Atari instead. Yes, this is purely hypothetical.

 

Imagine that! Jack would have to have full autonomy, of course. Wouldn't have gotten far if a board of directors held a knife to his throat.

 

Anyhow, I'm super tired and thinking crazy stuff and I'll just leave it up to your imaginations!

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Warner didn't understand the product. They wanted to keep selling the same ol thing instead of innovating and updating. Jack might agreed with some of this (XEGS) but what sort of uphill battle would the ST and Jag be? I just don't think their business models would mesh well. Of course, Jack was good at saving money so as long as he could keep the bottom line low, it might have worked but I just think there would be conflict.

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I just had a crazy thought... instead of selling Atari, I wonder what would have happened if Warner had hired Jack to run Atari instead. Yes, this is purely hypothetical.

 

Imagine that! Jack would have to have full autonomy, of course. Wouldn't have gotten far if a board of directors held a knife to his throat.

 

Anyhow, I'm super tired and thinking crazy stuff and I'll just leave it up to your imaginations!

Might have worked out better. Warner still had the marketing muscle and distribution network that Tramiel lacked. Atari gets the guy who inflicted so much damage on Atari, and they would now be able to dish it back.

 

Although ultimately, I'm not sure Jack was the right guy. His main strategy was undercutting everyone else price. He wasn't really innovating, just duplicating what others had, but for less.

 

Also his focus on computers at the expense of consoles was what doomed Atari in the long run. It's hard to know if Warner would have let him get away with this when they saw sales rebounding.

 

 

Edit:

 

Also these things would likely have been different if the company wasn't sold:

 

* NES - Nintendo didn't really want to compete against Atari. The NES could have been an Atari product.

* 7800 - released in 1984 as planned?

* Amiga - Could have been a future Atari console, if Atari wasn't asleep at the switch.

 

So 5200 or 7800 could have been mid-80s consoles. NES or Amiga could have been late 80s consoles. They would have been much more competitive in the games market. XEGS probably doesn't happen. Jaguar as we knew it probably doesn't happen

Edited by zzip
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Atari under the Tramiels had some innovating stuff. Almost nothing made it into production though or failed otherwise. Like the ATW and STylus.

Tramiels and consoles is a big question mark for me. The only thing close to a console they had was the C64 and they didn't have any experience with the software/game developement side of consoles. So no, seeing how they handled the Lynx and Jaguar I don't believe a focus on consoles would have been their saviour.

They did ok with the ST but lacked focus on that and updates of the hardware where slow and late.

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Tramiels and consoles is a big question mark for me. The only thing close to a console they had was the C64 and they didn't have any experience with the software/game developement side of consoles. So no, seeing how they handled the Lynx and Jaguar I don't believe a focus on consoles would have been their saviour.

Well I suppose it depends on how much absolute power JT would be given. He had a personal financial stake in Atari Corp, so he would "cheap out". If he was running Atari Inc, which is someone else's money, he may very well have made different decisions. If Atari Inc's marketing dept was telling him they need to do X, Y and Z for games I think he would have listened-- they knew the videogame market better than anyone at the time. He liked money ultimately. At Atari Corp.. he came to that realization too late, and was too tied up in red tape as a result of the sale to execute better on games.

 

 

They did ok with the ST but lacked focus on that and updates of the hardware where slow and late.

But I have a hard time seeing how the ST would have survived the PC onslaught no matter how much better they executed. I think they only thing that could have saved Atari was if they maintained their leadership position in games.

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I just had a crazy thought... instead of selling Atari, I wonder what would have happened if Warner had hired Jack to run Atari instead. Yes, this is purely hypothetical.

 

Imagine that! Jack would have to have full autonomy, of course. Wouldn't have gotten far if a board of directors held a knife to his throat.

 

Anyhow, I'm super tired and thinking crazy stuff and I'll just leave it up to your imaginations!

 

 

:D

 

lol! Warners CEO Steve Ross did EXACTLY THIS: he call Jack Tramiel and propose him to run Atari as CEO!

 

Jack refused and propose to "take over" Atari in long-term plan (e.g. Warner kept owning around 30% of Atari Corp. for years IIRC)...

 

There is Jack Tramiel interview by 8bit generation where Jack talks about this: http://www.8bitgeneration.com/the-movie/the-commodore-wars/

Edited by calimero
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