It seems the Atari VCS team are burning bridges before they're even built, as they accused the well respected tech news site The Register of professional trolling.
A user on Facebook sent Atari a link to this article by El Reg that basically savaged the Atari VCS. I'm surprised I missed that article, so I've done a little catching up this morning reading everything through.
Here's what Atari said in reply:
We honestly can't explain that article either. Our executives sat with that reporter for half an hour and he wrote what he wanted instead of what was discussed with him. Sadly there are even irresponsible trolls in "professional" positions i guess. We clearly said that we were bringing engineering design models to GDC and lots of people clearly don't understand what that means. Hunks of plastic? Well, yeah, that's how you finalize the designs and confirm that you can get the look and feel you want for the finished products. Sad.
The article author who wrote the original piece on El Reg himself replied, which was a little amusing:
"He wrote what he wanted rather then what was discussed..." Oh dear. You must have forgotten that I recorded the interview. Will see if my editor is interested in a follow up given your accusations.
And now we have a fresh article out, with the full interview and it shows up Michael Arzt from Atari pretty badly. He seems to dodge questions pretty poorly too, like the case of when they announced a date and then on that date they officially paused it giving no actual details as to why. The guy from El Reg rightyfully said, that usually when such a thing happens (which is incredibly rare) the company will say why they're doing so. Arzt then starts talking about NASA and just making no actual sense, some tiny game box is in no way anything like a rocket launch, that's just ridiculous.
Honestly, the whole interview is a bit of a farce, Arzt is repeatedly dodging questions and now they're trying to paint a respected tech site (one I personally read) as the bad guy…you couldn't make this up. Well, you could, but reality is far more entertaining in this case as the recordings show.
It's a shame, as I wanted it to be success considering it could have been an interesting Linux gaming device. I mean, it still could be, but that interview just shows how badly Atari have been handling it.
Their IndieGoGo is doing well, with it hitting nearly $3 million in pre-orders. Considering it won't even ship until around Spring next year and they're still going through prototypes right now, there's no way I would back their crowdfunding, especially not after how they've made themselves out to be with stuff like this.
I still find it odd how their official website features three quotes from seemingly random nobody's, I thought they would have replaced those quotes by now with more real people, but given this interview perhaps they've found that a bit difficult…
We will possibly cover it next year, once it's actually out to see if it was worth all the fuss.
What are your thoughts?