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:
Pitfall II - Lost Caverns
River Raid II
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Front of card
Back of card