Whatever fate -- and consumer interest -- hands the Atari brand in the months ahead, there can be no doubts about just how critical the company founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. The one-time industry juggernaught, responsible for such highs as the creation of Pong and the Atari 2600 (and great lows like the release of E.T. for the 2600, a game that greased the slope for crash of 1984), celebrates its 36th anniversary today.
IGN Retro recently looked back over the life and career of Bushnell, but for the birthday of the giant, it's fitting to chart the trajectory of Atari over the last three decades. How did the name once synonymous with videogames become only a front for a completely unrelated publisher?