Originally Posted by onlysublime
and nothing kept Atari afloat except loans. what figures showed the 2600jr doing well? now that would be interesting to read!
I won't reply to most of your statement since my stance on it has already been pointed out. But Atari wasn't kept alive with loans.
It was doing quite well financially. The loans taken out to purchase the home division from Warner by the Tramiels of Commodore fame in 1984 or so were quickly paid off. And things like the 7800, Lynx, and 2600 Jr. were all profitable and kept the company in the black to allow it to develop new computer products. And their computer line was particularly successful, especially in Europe where the Atari ST and other Atari products were one of the most popular platforms in the late 80s and early 90s. Atari also won several notable lawsuits for patent infringement from competitors like Nintendo and Sega that helped fill Atari's coffers.
By 1996, Atari had millions in the bank but between the failure of the Lynx and Jaguar and the death of Atari's computer line, the company had no products to sell and the Tramiels decided they wanted out. So they reverse merged with JT Storage Inc. who wanted that capital in the bank and quickly sold off the Atari videogame IP assets that it had no interest in.
Heck, the 2600 Jr. sold 10 million units from it's 1986 launch until being discontinued in 1990/1991 and even older catalog titles were selling well (Pole Position, a port released for the console in 1983 sold 15,000 copies in 1990 in the last full year for the platform and nearly 600,000 between 86-90 when Atari Corp. rereleased it under their banner for the 2600 Jr.). And new Atari releases did quite well like Donkey Kong (Rereleased after Atari purchased Coleco's 2600 library) and fresh software like Jr. Pac-Man were successful too.
Here's the top 10 2600 titles from the Atari Corp era. We have sales data for every 2600 title Atari Corp sold which is detailed enough to even show us that Atari Corp. inherited 26 copies of StarShip that were sold (Copies left in a warehouse of a poorly recieved launch title from 1977). Also be aware that all 10 of these titles were developed by Atari Inc. and Tramiel's Atari Corp was just rereleasing them and only had to pay the production cost to manufacturer the carts since everything else like programming had already been done and paid for under previous ownership. Easy money...
It's ashame 1987 data hasn't been found yet because that was when the 2600 Jr. was at it's pinnacle It was being sold for $50 and Atari Corp was heavily marketing it as a budget and nostalgia platform (Was in it's 10th year after all) with their "Fun is Back" campaign that a few here might have childhood memories of. But thankfully we have overall sales data from 1986 through it's final year so it's easy to piece together the holes. Not bad for a platform released in 1977 that was largely rereleasing old content while going up against one of the most dominant platforms we've ever seen.
Everyone knows the Atari 7800, Atari Lynx, and Atari Jaguar were outsold by competing Nintendo and Sega products and assume Atari was in bankruptcy throughout it's final ten years. But they had a solid 3rd place niche in the console/handheld gaming marketplace and achieved a lot of success in the PC world and exploiting it's past assets like the 2600 and it's valuable patents.