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Atari, Inc. was a pioneering video game and computer company that was originally founded on June 27, 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in Sunnyvale, California.


At age 19 in May 1974, Steve Jobs was hired by Al Alcorn as a technician and became employee #40.[1][2] In early 1975, Jobs brought in his friend Steve Wozniak to work on the design of Atari's Breakout video game.[3][4] Bushnell, who had supervised Jobs, remarked that he was "difficult but valuable". When Jobs and Wozniak founded Apple Computer, Bushnell declined an offer from Jobs to invest $50,000 for a 1/3 stake in their new venture.[5] Bushnell sold Atari to Warner Communications for $28 million in 1976 and founded Chuck E. Cheese in the following year.[6]

The current brand is marketed by Atari Interactive, a subsidiary of Atari SA, based in Paris, France.[7]



  1. Steve Jobs, Atari Employee Number 40 by Frank Cifaldi, Game Developer. 2011-10-07.
  2. Breakout - Jobs and Woz Bust Through by William Hunter, The Dot Eaters. 2013-03.
  3. A Breakout Story by Ethan Johnson, The History of How We Play. 2018-12-29.
  4. The Making of Breakout, Retro Gamer. 2014-05-13.
  5. Jobs' first boss Nolan Bushnell: 'Steve was difficult but valuable' by Rik Myslewski, The Register. 2013-03-30.
  6. Folger Estate Up for Sale In Woodside / Atari founder asking $8.9 million for it by Mark Simon, San Francisco Chronicle. 1996-04-25.
  7. "Anthony Jacobson and Pierre Hintze Hire Release FINAL", Atari, 7 October 2009. 

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