In 1972, Nolan Bushnell founded Atari. The company would go on to define video games during the 1970s. And just when things were getting good, Bushnell sold the company in 1976 to Time Warner — a move he now regrets.
"I was stupid," Bushnell said at a conference this week. "I sold completely because I didn't understand Wall Street. In retrospect, I really wish I hadn't sold it."
But after selling Atari, Bushnell opened up Chuck E. Cheese, which was totally awesome and the site of my 5th birthday party. Animatronics rule! Chuck E. Cheese ran into financial problems and was later absorbed by a rival pizzeria. Atari went on to fill a New Mexico landfill with copies of the E.T. game and contribute to the video game crash of 1983. I bet in 1984 he was pretty happy about selling Atari!
According to website Games Industry, Bushnell joked that his kids called him "lame" and asked, "Do I want to be this retro-focused historical fossil?"
For the rest of the talk, the Atari founder talked about the promise of tablet and GPS games. Games Industry also notes that Bushnell said robots, "bioimplants" and special contact lenses most likely in the cards for gaming's future.