The crash

Video gamesAfter dismal second-quarter earnings reports lead to weeks of massive sell-offs of Warner Communications and Texas Instruments stock (among many other companies tied into the field of computer and video games), investment firm Prudential-Bache Securities – usually a staunch supporter of tech stocks – kicks the industry crash into high gear with a simple warning: do not buy. Stock prices for video game and computer companies tumble precipitously for the remainder of 1983, driving some of the industry’s longest-lived players out of the business (or out of business altogether). Even relatively stable stocks such as Apple and Coleco take a major hit; computer manufacturers and arcade-only game makers who have made it through the first half of 1983 unscathed find their stock valued at half of what it was worth just weeks before. In many respects this marks the end of the home-grown American video game industry: the next wave of successful products will arrive from Japan, and American software houses will rely on those machines to run their products.