The video gaming industry loses another important icon. Gamers are mourning the death of Ted Dabney, a brilliant engineer and one of the co-founders of Atari.
Ted Dabney's Passing
Leonard Herman, the author of the Phoenix series of books and video game historian, confirm the news about Dabney's passing on Facebook.
"I just learned that my good friend, Ted Dabney, the co-founder of Atari, passed away at the age of 81, RIP good friend. Your legacy will live on a long time," wrote Herman.
In 2009, he also wrote an article for Edge magazine that details the icon's story.
Late last year, Dabney was apparently diagnosed with esophageal cancer, which caused his death. Doctors estimated that he only had eight months to live, but he no longer opted to undergo any form of treatment.
The Birth Of An Industry
Together with Nolan Bushnell, Dabney co-founded Syzgy, the predecessor of Atari in 1971. Their initial venture was responsible for the development of Computer Space, which is considered the world's first commercially available arcade video game.
Eventually, in 1972, the pair co-founded Atari and used the former software as the inspiration for Pong that went on to make millions for the company. His stint with the business did not last long due to some disagreement over management roles. He ended up selling his shares back to Bushnell for $250,000.
After a brief period of working with Bushnell to develop games for Pizza Time Theater, which later on became Chuck E. Cheese, another company purchased its assets after it had declared bankruptcy in 1984.
After leaving Atari, he spent much of his time working for companies such as Raytheon, Teledyne, and Fujitsu. It might seem that his involvement with video games is quite short, but the video game industry considers his contributions crucial to the growth of the market.
The Road To Atari
Before Dabney joined hands with Bushnell to form the iconic company, his previous experience paved the way for his future. His expertise in electronics got its start when he was still with the U.S. Marine Corps. After his military service, he went on to work for HP and Bank of America in various tech roles.
Then in 1961, he met his fellow Atari co-founder when he got a job with Ampex. Moreover, the opportunity allowed him to learn more about display technology. The two came up with an idea to open a pizza place that features coin-operated gaming systems.