1 user

Easy to Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari (2017)

3:22 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

Before Google, Yahoo and even Apple, before the Silicon Valley cliché of informal dress code, skateboards running the corridors and wild creativity became commonplace, one company embodied ... See full summary »


Tomaso Walliser


Tomaso Walliser



Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The Commodore Story of the PET Vic20 C64 and Amiga from engineers, games developers and how Commodore influenced the first 8-bit generation users.

Director: Steven Fletcher
Stars: Rob Hubbard, Leonard Tramiel, Bil Herd
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Jack Tramiel invented Commodore in the 1970's, he envisioned computing for the masses and not just the upper classes. Spearheading the personal technology revolution and combatting ... See full summary »

Director: Tomaso Walliser
Stars: Chuck Peddle, Jack Tramiel, Steve Wozniak
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

How the Commodore Amiga helped influence a generation of Developers to take Video Gaming to a whole new level.

Directors: Anthony Caulfield, Nicola Caulfield
Stars: Shahid Ahmad, Richard Aplin, Brian Bagnall
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A crew digs up all of the old Atari 2600 game cartridges of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" that were tossed into a landfill in the 1980s.

Director: Zak Penn
Stars: Zak Penn, Joe Lewandowski, Robert Rentschler
Documentary | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

This lively documentary explores the rise and fall of physical media and its effect on Independent and cult films. Ranging from the origin of home movies through the video store era, it's ... See full summary »

Directors: Kenneth Powell, Thomas Edward Seymour
Stars: Mike Aransky, Alan Bagh, Troy Bernier
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

'From Bedrooms to Billions' is a 2 and a half hour feature length documentary movie telling the remarkable, true story of the British Video Games Industry from 1979 to the present day. ... See full summary »

Directors: Anthony Caulfield, Nicola Caulfield
Stars: Shahid Ahmad, Nigel Alderton, Nick Alexander
Viva Amiga (2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In a world of green on black, they dared to dream in color. 1985: An upstart team of Silicon Valley mavericks created a miracle: the Amiga computer. A machine made for creativity. For games... See full summary »

Director: Zachary Weddington
Stars: Trevor Dickinson, Dave Haynie, R.J. Mical
Documentary | Animation | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Learn how video games are made, marketed, and consumed by looking back at gaming history and culture through the eyes of game developers, publishers, and consumers.

Director: Jeremy Snead
Stars: Sean Astin, Al Alcorn, Peter Armstrong
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Follow the rise and fall of the King of Arcades as one man pursues his dream against all odds.

Director: Sean Tiedeman
Stars: Ralph H. Baer, Tim Balderamos, Greg Bond
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

If you ever played the game "Snake" on your early model Nokia cellphone, then you're familiar with "Nibbler," the original "snake" game. MAN VS SNAKE tells the story of Tim McVey (the gamer... See full summary »

Directors: Tim Kinzy, Andrew Seklir
Stars: Tim McVey, Dwayne Richard, Enrico Zanetti
Révolution VHS (TV Movie 2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

At a time when tributes to it are on the rise - the Yale University library has just opened a VHS department - this is the history of the VHS, a globalized medium. The entertaining portrait... See full summary »

Director: Dimitri Kourtchine
Stars: Sarah-Jane Sauvegrain, Ray D. Glasser, Marc Wielage
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

1982's Video Game World Champions share their philosophies on joysticks, groupies and life.

Director: Lincoln Ruchti
Stars: Walter Day, Ben Gold, Steve Sanders


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bil Herd Bil Herd ... Himself - Narrator
Nolan Bushnell Nolan Bushnell ... Himself
Manny Gerard Manny Gerard ... Himself
Ray Kassar Ray Kassar ... Himself
Al Alcorn ... Himself
Ralph H. Baer ... Himself (as Ralph Baer)
Joe Decuir Joe Decuir ... Himself
David Crane David Crane ... Himself
Howard Scott Warshaw Howard Scott Warshaw ... Himself (as Howard Warshaw)
Dannis Koble Dannis Koble ... Himself
Ed Rotberg Ed Rotberg ... Himself
David Rolfe David Rolfe ... Himself (as Dave Rolfe)
Steve Russel Steve Russel ... Himself
Chuck Peddle Chuck Peddle ... Himself
Steve Wozniak ... Himself


Before Google, Yahoo and even Apple, before the Silicon Valley cliché of informal dress code, skateboards running the corridors and wild creativity became commonplace, one company embodied the digital economy lifestyle and business style: the one firm coming out of the Age of Aquarius was Atari. The story of Atari is two-thirds the story of Nolan Bushnell, founder and visionary, and one-third the first and probably biggest boom and bust of the new economy some 20 years before the new economy even existed. Atari was showing that technology is cool, way before the personal computer revolution took place and they were reaching out to an ever-growing audience with something that is still cool today: video games. Atari literally introduced the digital world to the mass consciousness. Nolan Bushnell and Atari have a huge collection of firsts: the first successful video game company, the first coin-op video game ever, the first general purpose console to win the market, the first marriage ... Written by Junk Food Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Official Sites:

official site





Release Date:

15 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Junk Food Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Production date at end of credits listed as XXMVII = 20 1000 7 or 1000-20 + 7, should be MMXVII = 2000 + 10 + 7. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

In depth review of the rise and fall of a giant
2 September 2017 | by reshef_i-1See all my reviews

If you're into game history - this movie is for you. There are interviews in the movie with all the key people which used to work in Atari at that time- from Nolan Bushnell the founder, through Ray Kassar (the president) and Manny Gerard from Warner brothers and many more.

The movie paints a broad picture about the emerging game industry back in mid 70 and early 80's that saw the rise of the home video game systems (like the VCS). As the name suggests - the main focus is the rise and fall of Atari - portrayed in many interviews of people of that era (not only in Atari, but from Game industry in America at that time). I would show this documentary to every entrepreneur that wants to set foot in Silicon valley. Why? because one can learn a lot from it:

1) Designers vs management tension. 2) Corporate decisions vs. founder's will 3) Can a person from outside the tech industry run a tech company ? 4) Life span of a high tech product.

and more...

In portraying that era, specifically the rise and fall of Atari - the movie deserves a 10 out of 10.

So... where is the missing 1 star ? well, I know this is not a feature film - but what I sensed is that it is very high on the factual and a little low on the emotional. It didn't move me enough. I did not say "wow" and I did not shed any tear or was too mesmerized during the length of the film. I was little bit curious on how much the movie put ET as the main reason of fall - but that part was handled very well in my opinion. It felt like reading a good well written and documented encyclopedia entry on an intriguing topic. Which is a good thing if you came for educational purposes. So, For entertainment - I would look somewhere else. I do expect some entertainment value from a documentary film. At least something shocking, or some sense of amazement. An emotional ending or funny ending would do it too.

Having said that - People that used to to be children in that era - might find it nostalgic and appealing to reflect back on all those wonderful dots and colors which danced so gracefully on their TV screen for the sake of their enjoyment. If you're one of those people, or if you have any curiosity about video games industry history - this movie is for you !

4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed