The Atari VCS crowdfunding campaign, which has raised over $2.9 million on Indiegogo as of this writing, has hit a bump in the road thanks to some drama between the game company and a media outlet.
This drama started when The Register published an article that revealed that Atari had accused the outlet of making up quotes and other information featured in a largely negative preview of the Atari VCS. To counter these claims, The Register published audio logs of the interview in question and went so far as to say that “Atari is so full of crap that it should be designated a hazardous waste zone.”
The gist of The Register’s – and, for that matter, IGN’s – concerns regarding the Atari VCS is that Atari seems very confused about the finer details of the console’s hardware and functionality. For instance, Atari COO Michael Arzt wasn’t sure whether the device could be plugged into a computer and seemed to indicate that Atari still hasn’t decided which chip it’s going to put into the device.
The concerns raised by that now-infamous interview, as pointed out by the Register in its response to Atari, is that there are many reasons to believe that the game company has very little idea what the Atari VCS is really supposed to be – or how to make it – and that the company desperately needed the crowdfunding money to start working on a prototype.
Tommy Tallarico, the recently appointed president of Intellivision Entertainment, suggested that he has similar concerns. Tallarico has stated that Indiegogo, Atari’s crowdfunding platform of choice, could theoretically allow a company to “crowdfund something, a piece of hardware, never come out with it, and keep 3 million dollars.” That’s because Inidiegogo’s policies seemingly don’t require a campaign starter to submit proof of hardware prior to starting their campaign. That may be part of the reason why Indiegogo is having to help backers recoup their money on old video game hardware campaigns.
While many of these concerns are somewhat speculative until proven otherwise, none of the news coming out about the Atari VCS in recent weeks has been encouraging.