The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, home of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, has announced the acquisition of a collection of Atari coin-operated video game history. The materials include artwork, schematics, corporate records, source code, and a variety of artifacts.

The new collection spans from 1972 through 1999, and includes over 1,500 pieces of artwork, advertising materials, hand-drawn schematics, and an unreleased game called Maze Invaders. The latter was created by designer Ed Logg (Super Breakout, Asteroids, Gauntlet), and only two units exist.

Following the video game crash of 1983, Atari spun off a number of divisions. That year also marks the date of the “E.T. Landfill,” which is about to be excavated for the first time. The coin-operated group remained in-house, but was sold a number of times.

Atari Games famously engaged in legal disputes with Nintendo, over unauthorized cartridges for the NES sold under the Tengen brand. Time Warner later purchased a controlling interest before selling the division to WMS Industries, which owned the Bally/Midway arcade operation.

Atari was renamed as Midway Games West in 2000. Midway eventually went out of business, with assets largely ending up with Warner Bros. in 2009.

For more on The Strong National Museum of Play and the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, visit the official website.

[Source: The Strong Museum]


Our Take
During my time living in Rochester, New York, I took many trips to The Strong Museum before and after its renovation. I moved just before the International Center for the History of Electronic Games was opened, and I’m eager to visit on my next trip to Western New York.