Bushnell: "I was stupid" to sell Atari

Pong creator also admits to being "tired" and prone to losing interest in his own ventures

Atari co-founder and Pong creator Nolan Bushnell has admitted he regrets selling the company.

"I was stupid," he claimed at the [a]list summit this week. "I sold completely because I didn't understand Wall Street. In retrospect, I really wish I hadn't sold it."

Back on the beleaguered publisher's board of directors as of earlier this year, he also revealed he had a short attention span for his own ventures - referring to it as a "5-year ADD."

Bushnell also admitted to being "tired," and earlier joked that his children called him "lame." He began his talk on the future of the games industry by wryly asking, "Do I want to be this retro-focused historical fossil?"

However, he was excited about what the years ahead had in store for gaming, claiming tablet and GPS games held great promise - especially in terms of brands taking advantage of augmented reality software.

He also claimed that robots, "bioimplants" and enhanced contact lenses were a likely course for the industry to take in years to come.

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Latest comments (3)

Josef Brett Animator 6 years ago
Would Atari really be in a different state if Bushnell had kept it?

Not to disparage Bushnell as either a creative force, or businessman, but markets change so much and the fortunes may have been the same. At least he made some money from it and gained some freedom to try new things.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 6 years ago
I was thinking that Josef, not sure how much difference it would have really made.
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Adam Hay Design Engineer, Imagination Technologies6 years ago
If they got the 7800 out when it was ready as opposed to when the Tramiels felt like it several years later they might've had a bit of a lead, but then they wouldn't have had the benefit of Nintendo figuring out how to infiltrate homes post-crash.

You also need to remember that the 7800 was developed during the Warner era, so we don't know if a Bushnell-owned Atari would have even developed it to start with.

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