Atari VCS architect quits, citing six months of missed payments
Rob Wyatt: "As a small company, we have been lucky to survive this long."
Atari VCS architect Rob Wyatt has resigned from the company, alleging that Atari owes him and his company Tin Giant "over six months" worth of owed invoices.
The Register reports the resignation, with Wyatt saying in a statement that "As a small company, we have been lucky to survive this long."
Wyatt and Tin Giant signed onto the project in 2018 to help design the retro hardware. In a separate piece last week also from The Register, concerns were expressed about Wyatt's role on the project given that he had recently co-founded a startup called The Last Gameboard.
At the time, project lead Michael Arzt told GamesIndustry.biz that Tin Giant's work was "largely concluded" but that Wyatt remained on the project.
Wyatt told The Register that his departure had nothing to do with his startup, which "has been around since prior to my engagement with Atari, silently doing R&D."
In response to Wyatt's departure, Atari has shared a statement with USGamer:
"It is Atari's policy not to comment on an isolated matter under dispute, only to say that the Atari VCS project has always been a team effort and its success has never been and will never be dependent on any single individual or partner.
"We remain confident in the Atari VCS as the entire team works diligently to bring forth its vision according to plan, and we will continue to communicate accordingly over the coming weeks and months, including hands-on presentations to key media and partners planned for later this fall."
Additionally, Atari published a blog post today unrelated to Wyatt's departure, announcing that the system has entered pre-production ahead of its planned spring 2020 launch. The project, which was announced in July 2017, has been delayed multiple times and has seen numerous missteps from a promised showing of prototypes turning out to be non-functional boxes to concerns about a lack of native apps and original games.
To the latter concern, Atari said the following to USGamer:
"Atari wishes to inform you that some of your questions indicate that you possess information that is incorrect and/or outdated. In addition, some aspects of the Atari VCS project clearly have been leaked to you in violation of existing confidentiality agreements, and Atari therefore hereby reserves its rights in that respect."