November 14th 2002

A letter to Activision


Not long after I wrote the October 27th diary entry, I had a look at the Atari 2600 Rarity Guide at atariage.com. As I focused my attention on Activision games, I was surprised to notice how many games they released on this vintage video game console:

  • Activision Decathlon
  • Barnstorming
  • Beamrider
  • Boxing
  • Bridge
  • Checkers
  • Chopper Command
  • Cosmic Commuter
  • Crackpots
  • Dolphin
  • Dragster
  • Enduro
  • Fishing Derby
  • Freeway
  • Frostbite
  • Grand Prix
  • H.E.R.O.
  • Ice Hockey
  • Kabobber
  • Kaboom!
  • Keystone Kapers
  • Laser Blast
  • Megamania
  • Oink!
  • Pitfall!
  • Pitfall II - Lost Caverns
  • Plaque Attack
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Private Eye
  • River Raid
  • River Raid II
  • Robot Tank
  • Sea Quest
  • Skiing
  • Sky Jinks
  • Space Shuttle
  • Spider Fighter
  • Stampede
  • Starmaster
  • Thwocker

    Some of these games should easely fit on a single e-Card, while others would require between 2 and 5 cards, and if Activision was to release most of those games on e-Cards today, they could build up a dedicated series of over 100 cards!

    There's also the possibility that Activision could release Atari 2600 games made by other manufacturers which no longer exist today, such as Imagic, M Network and Xonox. I remember quite a few interesting games released by those companies...

    As I kept on thinking about it, I suddently felt the uncontrolable urge to contact Activision and voice my enthousiasm. I knew that going through the "customer support" section of Activision's web site would be pointless, because they would simply respond with one of those annoying standard form letters.

    I wanted to be heard by the top people at their corporate offices, and so I decided to send a three-page letter in a big yellow envelope. Actually, I sent two letters, one adressed to Robert Kotick (Chairman, CEO and Director) and the other to Brian Kelly (Co-Chairman and Director). I'm pretty sure both of them will read my letter and smile, but I'm hoping that the pictures I included will spark a true desire to convert all those classic Activision games to e-Cards.

    Below is a transcript of the letter I sent to Robert Kotick (on November 12th). If I ever hear from Activision, I'll be sure to mention it right here on this web site!


    (page 1)

    Greetings, Mr. Kotick.

    As a 30 year old gamer, I've been following the evolution of the gaming industry since its beginning, and I decided to contact you regarding a business opportunity which I think Activision should seriously consider.

    I assume that you already know about Nintendo's recently released "e-Reader" device, which allows gamers to scan special trading cards with computer data encoded as strips of tiny dots. Each of these "e-cards" can hold a few kilobytes of data, and this prompted me to do some research about video game titles released by Activision around twenty years ago, mainly on the Atari 2600 video game console. The idea would be to adapt these old titles to be sold as packs of e-cards, and played on the Game Boy Advance via the e-Reader.

    I was surprised to find over 30 Activision games that could possibly be adapted for the e-card medium. Such games as Beam Rider, Enduro, Chopper Command, Crackpots, Freeway, Frostbite, Megamania, Pitfall!, River Raid, Robot Tank, Spider Fighter, and many others could be revived on the Game Boy Advance. I believe Activision still holds the legal rights to all of these classic games, and since I expect that Nintendo will eventually allow third-party game publishers to release their own e-card series via licensing agreements, I think this puts Activision in a highly favorable position.

    On the next page of this letter, you will find fake screenshots that I made to demonstrate what some of these titles could look like on the Game Boy Advance screen. The third page on this letter shows a mockup of a fictional Crackpots e-card. I'm hoping these images will prove to be a convincing argument.

    I have always held Activision products in the highest regard, and I simply wanted to express my interest in seing classic Activision titles make a comeback on a gaming medium (e-cards) which I think would perfectly support these simple yet entertaining games. I can only hope that you will seize this potentially profitable opportunity.

    I am not expecting a reply to this letter, but if you wish to contact me for any reason, my personal e-mail address is pixelboy@lanzen.net.

       Regards,
       Luc Miron


    (page 2)


    Chopper Command


    Crackpots


    Frostbite


    Megamania


    Pressure Cooker


    Plaque Attack


    River Raid


    Robot Tank




    (page 3)


    Front of card


    Back of card