Atari co-founder says mobile games make him want to throw his phone

Atari co-founder says mobile games make him want to throw his phone
The likes of the App Store and Google Play have truly morphed the mobile gaming landscape. Handheld consoles have largely been phased out as gaming fans instead score their fix through smartphones and tablets. Some of the video gaming world's pioneers, like Sony, have long embraced the new opportunities, while others—namely Nintendo—have only recently taken the bait. Atari is a name synonymous with what many would deem the Golden Era of gaming, and at 72 years of age, its charismatic co-founder Nolan Bushnell has seen (and overseen) plenty of change. In an interview with The Guardian, the so-called 'godfather of video games' has shared some of his observations on the present state of the industry. 

Bushnell is not one to shy away from making his feelings known. Back in 2013, he famously quipped that Apple CEO Tim Cook 'is no Steve Jobs', and doesn't mince words in his assessment of the current mobile gaming situation that Apple's late co-founder helped to build. He believes in spite of the wealth of technologies available nowadays, they're not being properly utilized:


The benefits of network connectivity and social gaming is something that most of us take for granted. Bushnell always wanted to apply such functionality during the early days of Atari, but the tech, of course, just wasn't in place. The idea of competitive, connected gaming is a virtue that Bushnell still holds dear, and having joined forces with Dutch publisher Spil as an advisor, it will be interesting to see what kinds of projects spawn from the collaboration. 

The first of three Bushnell-influenced titles is slated to arrive early on next year. The full interview, which is an enjoyable read for any long-time gaming fan, can be viewed at the source. 

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17 Comments

1. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

So true. I hate how 99% of mobile games are no fun if you don't do any ingame purchases. They just revolve around making you wait for hours if you don't pay for it. The small named games are games about fun, but those big names like clash of this and that are all about making huge profits from kids.

13. Ezio2710

Posts: 548; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

Lucky patcher

15. JMartin22

Posts: 2312; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

All AAA games nowadays usually keep game data server sided. I doubt that will be good most of the time.

2. Chuck007

Posts: 1409; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Funny you guys posted this article I literally threw my S7 Edge on the ground when arena got frustrating in Star Wars Heroes just the other day. Lucky I didn't damage it one bit lol

3. talon95

Posts: 976; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

True. I find very few games are touch screen friendly, compelling, and don't have in app purchases or game economics that drive you crazy. I'm ok with Angry Birds, and World of Goo.

4. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

It's telling of the industry that the games you're okay with are nearly a decade old.

5. bubblechaos

Posts: 114; Member since: May 04, 2015

Agree with everyone else here. Games are either: 1)look good, have horrible controls. 2)Make you wait or pay to play. 3)Heavily cash to get better 4)Very good but very slow. 5)Too repetitive / No End Game. The only game I still play is: Puzzle and dragons. (too addicted to this)

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

some game have nice graphic, simple gameplay, but after one week it turn into endless grinding, since next level equipment is way too high, and player just cant progress if you didnt use better equipment... and thats how some game "forced" player to pay to continue playing, or his hardwork will be useless... but pirated game + MOD can fix that, lol

6. dimas

Posts: 3241; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Most game developers today are just doing freemium half-baked games to cash in more from gullible players.

7. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Actually is nowsday games is only important the graphics but forgot the gaming experience. Not only mobile but PC, Console games as well.

9. Shocky unregistered

Most mobile games are pretty awful, they're compatible to the thousands free flash games you find online for browsers and they're at least free. It's a shame, because the quality games get lost in a sea of s**t that is the Play Store

16. mixedfish

Posts: 1542; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

They're comparable to those flash games because many originate from the same scammy browser games of decades past.

10. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

generation Z will literaly throw their television after they try nintendo's mario, or donkey kong, lol

11. Tziggy14

Posts: 619; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

Some of the z generation are already in college. So far i'm still seeing them enjoy mario, starfox, etc.

12. Tziggy14

Posts: 619; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

Fun Fact: this guy also co-founded Chuck E Cheeses. lol

14. Coconut00

Posts: 485; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

Only game which has stayed on my phone since I got it is Super Stickman Golf 2.

17. xperian

Posts: 416; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

I agree, mobile gaming sucks. I still have a 3DS for portable gaming

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