Atari was founded on June 27, 1972. Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, also started the "Chuck E. Cheese" line of "pizza theaters". Mr. Bushnell's original name for his new company was "Syzygy", but he renamed it Atari because there was another company already named Syzygy.

For a time Atari also put out games under the name "Kee Games" (such as their 1974 arcade game Tank). Kee was named after Joe Keenan, Bushnell's longtime partner. Their strategy at the time was to put out identical games in order to create more business for Atari. For instance, in 1974 Kee Games released Spike and Atari released Rebound — both volleyball games and both released only a month apart.


  • According to, syzygy is: "The nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies (as the sun, moon, and earth during a solar or lunar eclipse) in a gravitational system."
  • Tank was the first videogame to use ROM chips to store graphic data; this allowed the on-screen characters to be more detailed.
  • Other Kee games include: Elimination (1973), Formula K (1974), Tank II (1974), Twin Racer (1974), Crossfire (1975), , the up-to-eight-player Indy 800 (1975), Tank III (1975), Quiz Show (1976), the two-player Sprint 2 (1976), Tank 8 (1976), Super Bug (1977), Sprint 1 (1978), Ultra Tank (1978), and Drag Race (1979).
  • In 2000, when the U.S. Postal Service came out with their 1980 line of "Celebrate the Century" stamps Ð fifteen stamps depicting what the public thought most represented the '80s Ð "video games" was chosen as one of the two "Lifestyle" issues (the other being Cabbage Patch Kids). The video game stamp portrays a boy and a girl lying in front of a television playing Atari's Defender on the Atari 2600.
    (you can see a picture of the video game stamp at