Nolan Bushnell: ‘I Was Stupid to Sell Atari’

Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, has regrets about selling Atari many, many years ago. This week at the [a]list summit during a keynote on the future of games Bushnell said it was dumb of him to sell Atari and that, looking back, he regretted doing so.

He also admitted that these days he feels a little tired and that his age might be catching up to him. He also added that he had a short attention span when it came to his own ventures, referring to his behavior in related to Atari as "5-year ADD."

"I was stupid," Bushnell told the crowd. "I sold completely because I didn’t understand Wall Street. In retrospect, I really wish I hadn’t sold it.

He began his talk on the "future of the games industry" with tongue in firmly in cheek, asking "Do I want to be this retro-focused historical fossil?"

Bushnell sees the industry evolving by leaps and bounds in the years ahead; with technologies like tablets, GPS, and other tech playing a role in moving augmented reality games along. He also sees a far off future where "robots, bioimplants and enhanced contact lenses" are core technologies in games.


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    ecco6t9 says:

    It would of made Atari’s corporate history a lot more easier to follow. And would of meant that Atari and not Warner Bros would own the rights to Gauntlet and Paperboy and some the later Atari Games.

    Wait I just realized that Atari Games was bought by Time Warner which sold it’s Arcade division to Midway which in turn was later acquired by Warner Bros.


    Anyways there were 4 Atari’s at one point and one Atari had to pay the other Atari’s for the right to be Atari, now it seems all except the former Midway branch are owned as one company.

Leave a Reply