Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 38

Thread: Did you live through the Great Video Game Crash of 1984?

  1. #1
    Banned

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    4,364
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default Did you live through the Great Video Game Crash of 1984?

    Before you answer this question, you would have to qualify in a number of categories.


    1. You would have to have been alive during 1984

    2. You would have to have been a Gamer during 1984

    3. You would have to have been conscious of the collapse of the video game industry, during that year.


    If you can answer yes to those 3 questions, then please, tell us what it was like to live during that time and go through that period in video game History.


    I was alive during this particular time period, but I was only 14 years old at the time, and I wasn't really a "gamer". I think I had an Atari 800XL computer at the time and a old Atari 2600, but I didn't really use either of them much. I wasn't much into video gaming at that point in time. In 1989 at the age of 19, I became much more of a gamer, but in 1984, I really didn't know much of anything about any "Great Video Game Crash".

    But I would be very curious to hear some stories from somebody that happened to be around in 1984, and was really into gaming, and was old enough back then to actually understand what the hell was going on in that Industry.

    I'm guessing that you pretty much would need to be over 40 years old now, to even qualify for this.

    Because you would need to be at least in your early 20's to really understand what was going on in the gaming industry.

    Anyways, if anybody was old enough back in 1984 to really understand what the hell took place, then please give us some war stories about that time in Video Gaming.

  2. #2
    Starman (Level 23) Phosphor Dot Fossils's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    in ur base, producing ur dvds
    Posts
    15,002
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I remember being very bitter that not only was the Odyssey 3 being cancelled, but that there would probably be no more new games for the Odyssey 2.

    Really. Other than that I was content to game on via my trusty Apple II.

  3. #3
    Banned

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    4,364
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Phosphor Dot Fossils
    I remember being very bitter that not only was the Odyssey 3 being cancelled, but that there would probably be no more new games for the Odyssey 2.

    Really. Other than that I was content to game on via my trusty Apple II.

    Hmmm. Interesting. So, how old where you back in 1984?


    At what point did you realize that this industry was going to have a major problem? I mean in 1982 or 1983 did you see that this situation was about to happen?


    Where you suprised how swiftly the entire Industry just totally crumbled?

    Thanks ahead of time for any insight that you can provide.

  4. #4
    Banned

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,165
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default Re: Did you live through the Great Video Game Crash of 1984?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony1


    I'm guessing that you pretty much would need to be over 40 years old now, to even qualify for this.

    Because you would need to be at least in your early 20's to really understand what was going on in the gaming industry.
    I was the same age as you and understood well what was taking place. There were too many new systems and games. I remember looking through Electronic Games and Atari Age and thinking "Who is going to buy this junk?" It wasn't until years later that the era was defined as a "crash", but it was perfectly clear then that the videogame "fad" was crumbling. It was as if overnight everything was priced half off.

    Atari's actions reeked of desparation. The "free" comic books, the Swordquest contest, the gimmicky new controllers...but where were the games? Nothing like Space Invaders, Asteroids, or Defender was on the horizon. No wildly popular arcade games left to translate.

    What's probably most difficult to understand for today's young gamers is how momentous an event the release of a popular arcade game was in the Atari era. Today you have people looking forward to the new Doom, the new Resident Evil, new Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, Half Life, etc. etc. Dozens of games come out in a month. Back then, all the attention was focused on that ONE game was in the making. And you didn't have magazines and internet sites with release dates. Each release started as a rumor. "Do you know they're gonna make ATARI DEFENDER?" You knew it was out when the kid down the street got it, and that day life became all about that game. "Kevin McFeeley has Atari Defender! Dad, when are we gonna get Defender?" And within a couple weeks every kid on the block has Defender, and then the rumor mill gets going again.

    When that buzz for the next big game stopped, it was over. How quickly did it happen? Pac Man had huge buzz. Ms. Pac Man just suddenly showed up, and I remembered being surprised Atari had even bothered. That's how quickly the air had been sucked out of the industry.

  5. #5
    Great Puma (Level 12) Sylentwulf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    The Electric Quarter, NH
    Posts
    4,934
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I was around 7 years old, and remember thinking "wow! My mother is buying me like FIVE ATARI GAMES AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!! what the hell is going on?! This is the greatest day of my life!"

    That's about it.
    Rend, slaughter, devour your enemies. There is no other way to survive. You cannot escape your hunger, Warriors of Purgatory

    DP Users get 8% off at www.ElectricQuarter.com using coupon code Digipress5

  6. #6
    Pretzel (Level 4) stargate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Chicopee MA
    Posts
    834
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    "I'm guessing that you pretty much would need to be over 40 years old now, to even qualify for this.
    Because you would need to be at least in your early 20's to really understand what was going on in the gaming industry."

    I disagree. I was also 14 in 1984 and was very much into to the video game scene. Video games were basically my life at the time. I honestly don't think you will find as many 40+ year olds that were big video gamers back in 1984. Video games in general back then were more popular with teenagers. Again, IN GENERAL, I am sure there were also many 20-30 year olds gaming at the time, just not as many.

    I basically remember a bunch of really crappy games. I also remember going to Kay-Bee Toys and they would have these huge bins of 2600 games marked down to a few buck from the original $50 or so normal price.

    Aside from this, however, I don't recall that it really affected me. I was happy playing my Colecovision at the time, even though they stopped production of the system somtime in 1984. I had accumulated a bunch of games by then and was pretty content. Like most young consumers, however, my attention started to drift to home computers and I had my eye on a Commodore 64 that I eventually bought. To some degree, the switch to home computers helped crash the gaming industry. I believe by late 1984-1985, I had sold my 2600 and had my CV in a box in the attic. My C64, however, was proudly displayed on a large computer station in my room.

    With the C64, games became more involved and less "twitch based". I strarted getting more into games like the Ultima series and less into the typical arcade ports. However, it was still gaming just the same and I was just as involved in it as ever.

    So basically for me the "Great Crash" didn't really mean all that much and wasn't nearly as scary as people make it out to be. It basically came down to a couple of years with a lack of games and a severe lack of good games. Then came the NES in 1986 and videogaming became really exciting again.

  7. #7
    Flawless Rawkality Flack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    OKC, OK
    Posts
    14,269
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I was 11 and never noticed it. I went from Atari 2600 to C64 with an NES in there somewhere and never missed a beat. I know there was a videogame crash somewhere, but it didn't reach my house.

  8. #8
    Great Puma (Level 12) NE146's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    4,879
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    All I noticed was that games for my beloved 5200 were getting harder and harder to find. And that's all I knew... the videogame magazines I loved were getting scarce and the ones I did find only looked at computer games. It just looked like things were fading. Where were new games? I didnt' know. When it all just dissapeared I think by that time I was a freshman in high school, so I sort of stored away my consoles and focused on many a other thing. It wasn't until later did I read that it the period was classified as a "crash" and it pretty much made sense. It was more of "yep.. that was it".

  9. #9
    Insert Coin (Level 0)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    39
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I remember it well, I was bumbed that the 7800 wasn't coming out. so imagine my surprise when around 86 I was in a toys are us looking to see if they had any games left and there in a case sat the atari 7800 priced at 79.99. I bought it and 3 of the 4 games they had for it. I'm now 50 and still love to play the old atari games. (I do play more neo geo tho)

  10. #10
    Ladd Spencer (Level 17) Captain Wrong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    twiddle your ball sack Indiana
    Posts
    9,092
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Captain Wrong
    PSN
    Captain Wrong

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sylentwulf
    I was around 7 years old, and remember thinking "wow! My mother is buying me like FIVE ATARI GAMES AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!! what the hell is going on?! This is the greatest day of my life!"

    That's about it.
    Me too.

    Of course I quickly discovered the world of Apple ][ game trading...cough, cough, cough.

  11. #11
    ServBot (Level 11) k8track's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Gwangju, South Korea
    Posts
    3,208
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I was 13 in 1984, and although I wasn't cognizant of what was going on in the industry at the time, I could nevertheless feel something was going down, things were changing. In 1983, everyone and his dog were selling video games. At one point, even the local pharmacies and grocery stores were selling Atari VCS games; they were everywhere! Then through the next year and 1985, I saw all these incredible blowout sales, like the aforementioned Kaybee; everyone here my age will remember those tables with piles and piles and piles of Atari games for less than $5. I still have dreams about them. And then, they all disappeared. For a while, it felt like a cold, dreary ghost town, until the NES arrived.

    I remember that era extremely well. It was one of the formative periods of my life. I made out like a bandit during that period of time.

  12. #12
    Crono (Level 14) Pantechnicon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Alburquerque
    Posts
    6,711
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Zeno2112

    Default

    I meet the first two criteria on this thread: I was alive in 1984 (fourteen years of age to be exact) and an active gamer.

    I was not aware of a market crash, but I'm posting anyways because I do not think that a great many other young'uns at the time were aware of a market either. It is really important to remember this era in a pre-Web context. There was no DP, IGN or any other sort of collective repository wherein thousands of people were able to pore over both the minutiae and business trends which drove their hobbies. Game magazines, by and large, were propaganda tools of console manufacturers or (in the case of 3rd-party publishers) less concerned with the business nuances of the industry than promoting the up-and-coming games. If there was any speculation on a market crash, it would more likely have been found in Business Weekly or the Wall Street Journal than Atari Age, and there weren't a lot of teenagers reading those first two publications back then...at least not in my part of the country.

    So what the guys in three-piece suits referred to as a market crash, I - in my Member's Only jacket - called a bonanza. I distinctly remember walking into a Walgreen's one day over my 9th grade lunch hour and seeing three tables of boxed 2600 carts going for $2 to $4 each. Warlords, Star Raiders, Pac-Man ( I know...I know) and a few others that had long eluded me in the $25 to $40 range were finally coming home. That was a good day.

    A year or so later that new-fangled NES popped up in the stores. I wasn't interested. Looked too complicated and besides, I had all these great "new" 2600 games so I really wasn't in the market. The point, though, is that this ignorant zeitgeist was more the rule than the exception for persons my age.

  13. #13
    Starman (Level 23) Phosphor Dot Fossils's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    in ur base, producing ur dvds
    Posts
    15,002
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony1
    Hmmm. Interesting. So, how old where you back in 1984?
    At what point did you realize that this industry was going to have a major problem? I mean in 1982 or 1983 did you see that this situation was about to happen?
    I couldn't see it coming. Now, I subscribed to everything at the time, despite being all of 12 - Electronic Games, Joystik, Electronic Fun With Computers And Games - and the gradual shift from console to computer coverage should've been a tip-off, but to me it was just another trend, sort of like the increase in coverage of high-end systems like the Colecovision and 5200. I still remember the EG editorial about how we shouldn't mothball our consoles just because their manufacturers' stock prices took a dive, and while I didn't completely understand that statement at the time, even a kid could get a sense that something was up.

    Especially when that news accompanied the announcement that there wasn't gonna be an Odyssey 3. Let me tell ya, I was crushed.

  14. #14
    Ladd Spencer (Level 17)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    9,238
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Scooterb23

    Default

    I was 9 at the time.

    I can't say I really knew what was going on. I noticed most games were $9.99 instead of $29.99 and up. So I was able to get more of them, more often.

    Later in 1984 though, I moved from Indiana to Ohio...and I noticed that in the month or two that I had to take off, that games were harder to find in Ohio than in Indiana...that was the first thing I disliked about Ohio

    Seriously though, I never chaled it up to a "crash" I just figured that Atari hadn't made it to Ohio yet.
    gamesandgrub.blogspot.com - My blog about boardgames, and sometimes food.
    roomwithaviewmaster.tumblr.com - My blog about Viewmaster collecting

  15. #15
    Insert Coin (Level 0) Ruffie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    80
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default My memories of the crash

    I was 17 in 1983, when it seemed to really start for me. I was an avid arcader and an Odyssey 2 owner, and had access to my friends' Atari 2600, 5000, and Colecovision games most of the time. At school I had access to an Apple 2 computer and was able to try a little gaming on it. As an Odyssey 2 owner, I was only happy about 4 times a year, when a new Challenger series game arrived. Toward the end, they just got better, with Killer Bees and Demon Attack arriving at the end.

    Every one of the console makers, including Odyssey, had big plans - and those plans seemed to involve making console systems that acted like computers. It was clear to most of us in our group at that time that computers had games that were far more complex, innovative, and original than those found on consoles.

    So it seemed like a natural evolution, and indeed most of the magazines seemed to be saying it too, that consoles would give way to home computing as the primary source of gaming at home. Those plans by Odyssey, Intellivision, and Colecovision fell quickly before the market reality that was Commodore, Apple, and Atari's already established computer dominance.

    I got a Commodore VIC 20 in 1983, and even then had my eye on a Commodore 64 as soon as I could manage it (which was 1985). As the Odyssey 2 sadly faded, and Electronic Games heralded the big "Shake Out" ( March 1984 issue), I wasn't concerned because I was too enthralled with my VIC 20 games (plus I was doing a lot of other things that high school seniors do at that age).

    I got a Commodore 64 in 1985 while in college and that just cemented it for me. To this day I have that machine hooked up and continue to access the 200+ title library I built for it. A few years later I remember hearing about Nintendos, but paid them little mind until I tried Castlevania at a friend's house. That, plus reading about the Legend of Zelda in the old Questbusters' newsletter, drew me back into the console arena, and I realized that both formats - consoles and PCs - were both viable again.

    So to sum up - the crash to me just seemed like a sensible evolution of gaming from consoles to PCs. In retrospect, I realize that the console gaming experience offers many things that the PC cannot, and I think it's a shame that it faded away for those years in the mid to late 1980s.

    Ruffie

  16. #16
    ServBot (Level 11)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    boston
    Posts
    3,253
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    nice to see so many other old men here!

    i was 12 and on a limited allowence, $7 a week i think. i guess the crash didnt really hit my malls until 85, prior to that i only got atari games on birthdays and christmas. my mom was always buying something at zayre's (sorta like kmart) and i'd go over to the video game bins and buy games by the half dozen. i was always buying the atari titles so i ended up with mostly commons but of course nobody thought of 2600 collecting then. i soon had over 40 games. the next year we moved to an isolated part of RI where there were few kids and i spent a lot of time playing 2600 games on my own little black and white TV. i never really noticed that the fad had ended since i still played games and my best friend was still playing his INTV. i could see that computers were the wave of the future but it was mostly text adventures at that point. it didnt really hit me that the industry had crashed until friends and neighbors started giving me their consoles since they had moved on to apple IIc.
    NEW ENGLAND CLASSIC GAMING-NEXT TRADEMEET pretty soon... IN BOSTON

  17. #17
    classicus carnivorous
    digitalpress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Circling about overhead
    Posts
    26,331
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post
    Xbox LIVE
    Digital Press
    PSN
    digitalpress

    Default

    As usual, Anthony1, GREAT TOPIC.

    I was 19 in 1984, and remember it like it was yesterday.

    The most vivid memory of that year are the "bargain bins". My buddy Kevin and I scoured the east coast hitting KB Toys and Toys 'R Us (there were no Wal-Marts, Targets, Best Buys, Blockbusters... those two were pretty much "it") and the occasional romp at Games 'n Gadgets (now EB). We would typically come home with armloads of games that had bottomed out at $1-$5. It's really where my classic gaming collection was BUILT. I wasn't making enough at that time to buy many $30 games.

    Though most people look back at that time and see the fall of a great era, I see it as a time of great personal joy. It was a ripple effect that subsequently sucked in Intellivision, ColecoVision and Vectrex. There were more cheap games than there were hours in the day to hunt them all down. How I miss 1984.

    As to why it happened, well that's pretty clear. Anyone peeking into those bargain bins were in fact staring directly at the problem. Shovelware. Way too many games on too many systems and not enough gamers. I remember walking into Games and Gadgets on any given day and finding six or seven new Atari titles on the shelves by companies like Apollo, Wizard, US Games, Telesys, Spectravision, Data Age, CommaVid.... who WERE these guys? And the saddest part of all was that more than half of the games were complete shyte. Not surprising that they didn't sell.

    Many have speculated that things are exactly the same today. Too many games to choose from, too many systems. There are two things that are much different, however. First and foremost, there are trade-ins today and exchanges are commonplace, which increase a buyer's confidence. Trust me, you didn't want to be at Games and Gadgets trying to convince the salesman that your Xonox Sir Lancelot didn't work and that you wanted a different game, because they'd run you right out of there in 1984. I know, because I tried. Many times.

    The other factor is that I believe there are proportionally more gamers today than there were back then. Who DOESNT have a game system in their home? In 1984 videogames were toys for kids to the mainstream buyer.

    I wish I could take my time machine back to 1984 because I'd grab those damn Springer cartridges that I foolishly allowed my friend to scarf up. And I'd dig deeper for those River Patrol cartridges that I just KNOW were buried at the bottom.

  18. #18
    Kirby (Level 13) Griking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,548
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I was 15 in 1984 and nature had me getting interested in "other things" at that point in my life. This was also right about this point that I moved on to an Apple IIc computer because I was facinated by computers and also thought that that the games were more sophisticated. Nothing on any console could compare to the Infocom games of the time as well as the Wizardrys, King's Quest and Ultimas.

    Looking back I can't really say that I knew at the time that the game industry was crashing around me (again, I was gaming on computers which weren't effected as much) but I suppose the fact that most of them sucked was partially the reason that I moved on to computers and the reason for the crash itself.

  19. #19
    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    4,216
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    25
    Thanked in
    25 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    YoshiDM
    PSN
    YoshiDM
    3DS Friend
    0860-4642-4923

    Default

    I was 9 at the time and while I was a gamer I wasn't hardcore yet. My family couldn't afford much in 1984. Our Atari was won at a K-Mart Moonlight Madness sale and I think I had like 3 or 4 carts tops. Most of my gaming came from the Color Computer as magazines like Rainbow or Hot CoCo were affordable and had a bunch of programs in them to type in. I did notice that games dropped in price, which enabled me to spend the $20 I got from my grandparents on Space Battle and a GI Joe toy when I knew the games used to be more expensive than that.

    For me it wasn't that big of a deal. I still played CoCo BASIC programs but my time was more spent playing with action figures and the like until I got my own computer in 1986 and I think another Atari (we had to leave our original behind when we moved from Nevada back to Wisconsin) with a buttload of games in the same year.

  20. #20
    Crono (Level 14)
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,077
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Wrong
    Quote Originally Posted by Sylentwulf
    I was around 7 years old, and remember thinking "wow! My mother is buying me like FIVE ATARI GAMES AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!! what the hell is going on?! This is the greatest day of my life!"

    That's about it.
    Me too.

    Of course I quickly discovered the world of Apple ][ game trading...cough, cough, cough.
    I was 9 (Sylenwulf, how the hell are you younger than I am?! ). I remember my mother being dead set against video games from about the beginning. I had an Atari and a few games but playing it more than a couple hours a week got me in trouble. We had very little money anyway, so whenever I would ask for a new game the usual reason was "we don't have the money". Well, when the games came down to like $3 each and my mother STILL wouldn't buy me any I knew something was fishy. My mother hated videogames and still rolls her eyes and says "oh those damn things" when they're mentioned.

    So, blah, yeah, I remember the crash and noticing that all of the game prices had dropped catastrophically. Didn't make any difference in my house, though, unless you count the birthday when 4 people all gave me nice shrinkwrapped copies of E.T. because it was $0.75 at the local dept store.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 55
    Last Post: 05-21-2012, 11:28 AM
  2. 1984 crash: some info
    By Arqueologia_Digital in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-30-2007, 05:37 PM
  3. Help me get a crash course in video game music!
    By Austin in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-23-2006, 07:09 PM
  4. Will there be a video game crash in 1984?
    By DigitalSpace in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 04-01-2004, 11:29 PM
  5. The Great Video Game Crash: Personal Stories
    By SoulBlazer in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 02-24-2004, 10:01 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •