Friday, March 4, 2011

Pac-Man and Tod Frye (info taken from wiki and youtube)


Pac-Man (Atari 2600)

  • Based on an unfinished prototype in an attempt to release by the holiday season of 1981.[16]
  • Contained many differences from the arcade version due to the limitations of the console, such as flickering monsters and lower-quality sound effects.[16]
  • 12 million copies were produced, even though only 10 million Atari 2600 consoles had been sold.[17]
  • Along with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, it has been cited as a significant factor in the 1983 video game industry crash.[18]"
"The Pac-Man port was started in May of 1981, and was the most anticipated release for 1982, so marketing pressed Frye to produce the game on a very strict timetable (in the early 1980's lead times on the cartridge ROMs was several months, so the code needed to be completed in September 1981 to get the product into stores in Q1 1982). Atari corporate management demanded Frye complete the game in the standard 4K ROM, despite his repeated requests that 8K of ROM be allocated. Confined by time and available memory, Frye proposed the unthinkable. He approached Atari CEO Ray Kassar, and suggested a royalty agreement. Frye threatened to quit Atari and join Activision, leaving Pac-Man unfinished and Atari without its benchmark title. Kassar rewarded Frye with an unprecedented royalty agreement, having no other option. If the game was completed on schedule, it was agreed a royalty of 10 cents be retained for each Pac-Man cartridge manufactured.[1] Atari would manufacture 12 million Pac-Man cartridges, making Frye a millionaire in the process."

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