#3[1m The Rains Review
#4 The Rains Review
This newsletter is intended to help pass on information about what's going on
in Atari Coin-op without having to call a meeting. Most of the information
comes from the staff meetings I have each week with John Farrand and the rest
of the Coin-op management team. The information in this electronic rag should
be considered company confidential (i.e., don't pass it on!).
Those of you who already got this in the preview edition need not read further.
Only minor changes have been added since yesterday's edition.
#6 *** SALES ***
Sales is a mixed bag right now. We are getting extremely good orders on
Marble Madness and a lot of excitement about Paperboy (though we are not yet
taking orders). However, the sales on stuff we have built or will build in
'84 are not moving briskly. The Sales organization is going to try to
concentrate on reducing our current inventory (primarily of I, Robot and
various conversion kits) before the end of the year. The prices on all this
stuff have been reduced substantially (I, Robot @ $1295) and we are getting
some orders. Bob Harvey also feels that we will sell the entire build of Jedi
at full price, though the product is moving slowly right now.
The "road shows" for System I introduction have been delayed from early
December to mid-January. First shipments of Marble should be reaching the
distributors at about that time, so we can have more games at the showings.
There will also be an audio-visual presentation with slides and charts and
videotape which will be directed towards sell-through to the operators.
We will also be showing our products at two European shows in January. The
ATE will be in London, starting January 7, and the IMA will start in Frankfurt
on January 17. We may show Packrat there, as well, but this hasn't been
firmly decided yet.
Additionally, there will be an American show in early March (ASI, I think) and
Atari is planning a distributor meeting here in California in early May where
we will be introducing new software for both systems, and showing Road Runner
for the first time.
#6 *** PRODUCTS ***
We currently have several products on test, with UNIVERSALLY gratifying
results. Packrat was tested for three weeks, and was #1 in a hotly contested
race with Thayer's Quest and Cheyenne. We will be sending out an updated
version of the game for life test next week. Road Runner has been performing
phenomenally in both arcade (50 cents) and bar (25 cents) locations! Paper
Boy continues to post exceptional earnings, and Marble seems to have creamed
pretty much everything at its location in the first week and a half. Temple
of Doom had a very positive second focus group, and we expect to be able to
test Empire Strikes Back in the next couple of weeks. Talk about product
Namco is very interested in writing software for both System I and System II,
but they're afraid of the change in microprocessors. More news about this
should be coming in December.
#6 *** BUSINESS ***
The above products aren't going to alter the generally dismal performance of
our division in 1984. We will lose umpty-ump million bucks (a minus gizitty-
gizat percent change from last year). These figures are based on year-end
projections, assuming we don't end up with a lot of stuff in inventory.
We should have our own Coin-op accounting department in early January. We
should be pretty much a stand-alone business entity by February.
Our Chicago Distribution business is gone (we sold some of the assets to Jerry
Marcus who will start his own distribution operation). Our video edit lab is
gone. Ampliphone is gone. Our production line will be starting in December.
Atari is a coin-op game design and manufacturing company. The only other
business we are in is arcade operations, which is valuable both from a
strategic angle (keeping a close pulse on the industry) and from a cash-flow
position (yes, Adventure is THE profit center in our business this year).
#6 *** THE MOVE ***
We still plan to move on or about the 30th of November. The folks in 790 will
be moving in ahead of engineering by a few days. More details to follow. If
you want to see the floor plan and check out the neighborhood, see Yoko.
No, we don't know how the Schlage card access is going to work for sure yet.
Yes, we should have phones when we move in, and computer connections within a
day or two. Yes, the cafeteria should be open, but I'm not exactly sure when.
#6 *** CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS ***
There will be an official notice coming out, but it looks like we will be
shutting down the company between Christmas and New Years. The 24th, 25th,
and 31st of December will be paid holidays, along with the 1st of January.
If you want to be paid for the period in between, plan on taking vacation for
December 26-28. Exceptions will be made for critical projects. You will be
able to borrow against next year's vacation if you have already used up this
We are trying to plan a company-wide Christmas Party, but the plans are not
yet finalized. If you have comments or requests regarding the party, send
them to KIM::VANELDREN.
Well, that's about it for this time. You can send any questions or comments
you have to your respective V.P. This publication may become a regular
feature on the VAX if I can encourage contributing columnists STUBBEN and
VAN ELDEREN to pitch in on the writing. Send fan mail (or hate mail) to
encourage these rising young journalists.
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