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Massive Atari archive heads to ICHEG for preservation

The National Museum of Play's International Center for the History of Electronic Games has acquired a thousands-strong collection of Atari coin-op materials, stretching from 1972-1999.
The ICHEG has gained some amazing archives lately -- thousands of vintage Japanese games, and the archives of publishers Strategic Simulations Inc. and Broderbund. Those pale in size and significance next to its latest acquisition: thousands upon thousands of materials documenting the history of Atari's coin-op business from 1972 to 1999. This includes original artwork, videos, marketing materials, source code, design documents, and much more. "The collection represents the largest and most comprehensive assemblage of archival records and other documentary items related to Atari’s coin-operated games anywhere in the world," writes Jeremy Saucier, assistant director of ICHEG, in a new blog post detailing the acquisition. The collection details the production of "almost every" game in Atari's coin-op lineup from 1972's Pong to its final release, 1999's San Francisco Rush 2049. Speaking to Polygon, Saucier elucidated the materials included in the archive and the insights they might bring to light: "It's the kind of thing that is very ephemeral. It's hard to find this sort of thing in an archive. The things you see here are actual field reports from field tests... It's a body of information not just about Atari, but about the industry as well." To find out more, read Saucier's blog post.

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