Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Atari, Benj Edwards interviewed founder Nolan Bushnell for How-To Geek:
Benj Edwards, How-To Geek: Do you think the video game
industry has lost sight of any innovations from the early days
Nolan Bushnell: A little bit. Remember that Atari was
founded as a coin-op company. And coin-op has this requirement
that a newbie has to get into the game almost instantly without
reading instructions. So the simplicity of onboarding is lost
by a lot of people right now. [...]
HTG: What did you do “right” in the early years of Atari
that people could learn from today?
Bushnell: We did really good branding. And I think that, in
terms of our graphic badges and our logo and everything, we
wanted to have a distinct look. I think it’s held together.
Right now, the Atari logo is the only thing that’s still really
HTG: Apple used iconic branding successfully too, and Steve
Jobs was one of your early employees. Do you think that rubbed
off on Apple?
Bushnell: I think so, because Jobs used to ride up to my
house on Sunday mornings on his motorcycle. And we’d drink tea
and talk about things. And I talked about the importance of
branding and color palettes and things like that — how a brand
and look is multi-faceted. You’ve never really thought about a
color palette as being unique to a company, and yet it’s
Atari was the first computer company I ever loved. Still love those old machines and games, and still love that logo.