clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Exclusive Video: In Its Early Days, Atari Was the Animal House of Silicon Valley

"That's so-and-so. He's a great engineer. He doesn't like to wear clothes."

Atari: Game Over

In the late ’70s and early ’80s, Atari was riding high. Sometimes, literally.

After being sold to Warner Communications in 1976, the gaming company moved from owning the arcade to owning the living room with one of the first gaming consoles, the Atari 2600. From its headquarters in San Jose, Calif., Atari went on a creative tear with games like Asteroids, Centipede and Tempest.

Behind that creativity were some unusual characters and more than a few joints. As this exclusive clip from the upcoming Xbox documentary “Atari: Game Over” shows, those salad days were defined by the passion of Atari’s engineers (and a fairly lax dress code).

The rest of the documentary looks at one of the games most often blamed for the company’s downfall, the notorious adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” It’s scheduled to be released this fall on Xbox consoles and Here’s the previously released trailer:

This article originally appeared on