Steve Bristow, Atari designer, dies

Hailing frequencies open… Forums Phosphor Dot Fossils Gaming History Steve Bristow, Atari designer, dies

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    Marty Goldberg, co-author of Atari: Business Is Fun and Atari: Business Is War, had this to say on Facebook.

    It is with a sad heart that we announce the passing of Atari legend and friend Steve Bristow this past Sunday. Steve was one of the originals, helping out on Computer Space while an intern at Ampex, moving to Nutting Associates as an intern and then taking over for Nolan there when he and Ted left to form Atari. He joined up with his ex-coworkers at Atari for a short while before being tapped to form Kee Games with Joe and Patricia. There he lead the creation of several ground breaking arcade games such as the full color multiplayer Indy 800 and the seminal game Tank. Upon the merger, he oversaw Atari’s Coin Engineering as well as later projects like the Electronic Board Game Division, Plant Manager Pinball Production, before moving to VP Engineering, Consumer and Home Computer Division then VP Engineering, Consumer Game Division in the early 80s. From there he moved to VP Advanced Technology, then VP Engineering, AtariTel Division and then finally Atari VP Engineering Computer Division and Atari Fellow before leaving Atari all together in February ’84. He continued on with an impressive electrical engineering career afterwords, but it’s his time and accomplishments (and all the fun he brought us) at Atari that are the reason we’re all here. He will be sorely missed.

    (Steve Bristow as seen in the Atari Designers panel from our own Best of CGE ’05 videos.)

    He was also responsible for Atari’s legendary arcade Football game. If you ever damn near lost fingertips to the gap between the table surface and the trackball, you probably had a few choice words for Steve Bristow, who thought it would be a great controller for that game. 😆

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