Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Editorial

Let's set a couple of things straight:

There are some that would like to suggest that there is some sort of an anti-Atari agenda, and a minority that believe that we should say nothing when Atari go after sites such as atari2600.org.

Hello?, Atari User is a magazine run by Atari enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We love Atari and we are the first to acknowledge that seeing the Atari brand alive today is much better than the brand just fading into history. Keeping the Atari brand alive and relevant for a whole new generation is a positive thing.

Saying nothing, well that is the easy option and does it achieve anything? The answer is probably no it doesn't. Atari are perfectly entitled to protect their intellectual properties, entitled to make a profit and protect their interests. Atari should be able to use their brand and back-catalog of titles to move forward into new emerging markets such as social and mobile gaming. That makes commercial sense, that is their right and nobody here is disputing that.

When Atari gets it wrong, and in this case we believe they have, why shouldn't we speak out to try and protect the retro fanbase - which is after all made up of people who are the most passionate about Atari, its history and its brand - people that literally wear the Fuji symbol with pride.The very people that are most likely to support the company as it releases new titles and moves in new directions.

As fans, we may not always agree with the direction Atari is following or the content it is pumping out, but Atari is a modern company with employees, bills to pay and all the other costs associated with running a business. They may or may not get their commercial decisions right but we want them to succeed and make no bones about that.

It would be great if Atari would hold their hands up and say that, on this occasion, they got it wrong. It would be great if Atari could issue guidance to and engage with the retro community about what they believe is acceptable and what they think isn't. The retro community should be able to produce homebrew titles, demos and programs for Atari's consoles and home computer platforms. The retro community should be allowed to wear the Fuji symbol with pride.

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