Atari VCS architect quits: he wasn't paid for 6 months

contezero

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Rob Wyatt is a member of the original Xbox dev team, game industry veteran and architect of the upcoming Atari VCS but, some days ago, he told The Register:
As of Friday, October 4th, I have officially resigned as the architect of the Atari VCS."
Reason? He, and his game firm, Tin Giant, weren't paid in the last six month. Rob was in charge of designing the hardware and, with his resignation note, he gave the first prototype of the mainboard; probably the same you can see in the photo on top.

The new VCS is Atari's attempt to enter the retro console market by delivering not only an emulation machine but also a powerful computer, able to run classic titles as well as more modern ones. During last E3 they showed an allegedly Atari dev station running the linux version of Borderlands 2 (a 6 years old game!).

Atari launched the system with multiple press releases followed by an Indiegogo campaign raising almost $ 3.000.000 in may 2018 but, at the time, the new VCS was only an empty box, not even a prototype because Tin Giant was hired to develop the actual hardware only near the end of the crowdfunding.

The delivery date was supposed to be june 2019. In march 2019 the delivery date was moved to "end of 2019" and now you can preorder the console with an "early 2020" availability.

Theregister covered the story with a weird old-fashioned idea of journalism: instead of copy-pasting press releases they did some actual investigation and what they discovered is not really good for VCS backers:
  • almost no-one at Atari knows what they are doing or has technical knowledge about Linux, console market of game developing
  • the AtariOS is going to be a simple launcher and not a personalized Linux distro (cost cutting)
  • almost no third party support (no Unreal, Unity ecc)
  • no native app (but you can Netflix or whatever in your browser using Linux)
So, in the end, you can buy for $ 389 an AMD-based linux box with 8gb of ram, 32 gb of SSD and two (nice looking) controllers included.

Assuming this is going to be released for real.

:arrow: Source
 

Dimensional

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Wow. Doesn't look too good for them, or their backers. Hope this goes well, otherwise this will be another thing that will hurt the future of crowdfunding, coming in after all the broken promises for games that signed an exclusivity deal with Epic. Not to mention many others that haven't been reported on in a very long time, or at all. I remember a few kickstarters that got the funding, but went belly up within the first year due to too much overhead costs, to some losing money from badly written contacts with developers, to some being flat out scams that took money with no intention of delivering the promised product in the first place. Atari is one that hopefully can deliver on their promise, because they are a legit and proven business and to see them fail with a crowdfunding would be a major slap in the face.

I didn't back this project as I'm not really that as while I'm into the retro Nostalgia a little, I have ways of doing that which are free, or at least very cheap. Still, I hope everything goes well for Atari and their product. It's a very good company that as far as I know hasn't fallen in with the ranks of EA and Activision/Blizzard and Zenimax. So far the most news I've heard about them is no news aside from stuff like this, which given the rest of the industry is a good thing.
 
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contezero

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This is old crusty news from last month, but if I were him, I'd do the same.

You are probably confusing this post with another one, equally full of bad news for the nevercoming Atari VCS.

As stated in the OP Rob Wyatt resigned on 4th of october so, it cannot be "last month". The register published the article on 8th of october.
 

pedro702

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so it will end up being vaporware and all 3 millions they got will just disapear lol, or they are gonna launch a crapy as hell product so just they do the release.
 

pedro702

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Yeah... Heaven forbid they hire someone else to finish the job and launch on time.
lol this inst a matter of different opinions falling out, on the matter, the architect said they ow him 6 months of pay, so if they dont pay the guy for half an year they are gonna pay a new guy? lol they are bleeding money, im guessing they are all out of funds that is why the guy has 6 months of unpaid salary's.

you cant hire new people when you didn't even paid the people that work for you for half an year, it just doesn't work like that.
 
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contezero

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I hope everything goes well for Atari and their product. It's a very good company

The "old" Atari doesn't exist anymore. It went thru multiple fusion/merging/splitting/bankruptcy. The actual Atari went back in business in 2014 with the idea of capitalizing on online gambling and their old IPs. They do not seems to have a clear business direction and that, somehow, confirm what was written by Theregister: they are clueless :rofl2:.

Heaven forbid they hire someone else to finish the job and launch on time.

They need to: finish the debugging of prototype, build the preproduction samples, do all the certifications, source the components, create packaging, finalize (or create) the AtariOS/Launcher, build the actual stuff, send to US, pass customs. It's a lot of stuff to do in less than 5 month because there is also the Chinese New Year holiday mid-February (everything stops for 15 days). It would be very difficult even if they had a product ready (and they don't) and put a lot of money in the process (and they can't).

that would be really, really ugly for Atari if this didn't release as announced

They already moved the delivery date twice. You can preorder at Walmart with delivery on 2nd of April (because on 1st of April was too obvious) :rofl:.
They will probably have to postpone the date again; It will be really ugly but, a that point, everyone will be hyped for the new Xbox and PS5 so nobody will notice. :wink:

they are gonna launch a crapy as hell product so just they do the release.

The shell looks very nice, they probably spent all the money on it. The specs are interesting, with the right price could have been a Raspberry killer for emulation. Unfortunately the right price is half of their sale price ($390 with 8gb ram and two controllers).

you cant hire new people when you didn't even paid the people that work for you for half an year, it just doesn't work like that.

Also: if you do not have money to pay people...where are you going to find money to buy components and build the actual stuff?

They use indiegogo iirc, there's no actual commitment on there, it's just give us your money and maybe we'll make something.

True,but I really hope they will be able to deliver something, for the backers (I am not one of them but the new VCS is in my list of console to buy as soon as they slash 90% of the price:lol:)
 
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