42 Facts About Nolan Bushnell


Nolan Kay Bushnell was born on February 5,1943 and is an American businessman and electrical engineer.


Nolan Bushnell established Atari, Inc and the Chuck E Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre chain.


Nolan Bushnell has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame and the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame, received the BAFTA Fellowship and the Nations Restaurant News "Innovator of the Year" award, and was named one of Newsweeks "50 Men Who Changed America".


Nolan Bushnell has started more than 20 companies and is one of the founding fathers of the video game industry.


Nolan Bushnell is credited with Bushnell's Law, an aphorism about games that are "easy to learn and difficult to master" being rewarding.


Nolan Bushnell attended Davis High School in the nearby town of Kaysville, Utah.


Nolan Bushnell enrolled at Utah State University in 1961 to study engineering and then later business.


Nolan Bushnell was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.


Nolan Bushnell married his first wife, Paula Rochelle Nielson, in 1966 and had two daughters; in 1969, they moved to California.


Nolan Bushnell used his profit from selling Atari to Warner to purchase the former mansion of coffee magnate James Folger in Woodside, California.


Nolan Bushnell said that he stopped practicing the faith after he got into a debate over the interpretation of the Bible with a professor at the U of U's Institute of Religion in college.


Nolan Bushnell worked at Lagoon Amusement Park for many years while attending college.


Nolan Bushnell was made manager of the games department two seasons after starting.


Nolan Bushnell was interested in the Midway arcade games, where theme park customers would have to use skill and luck to ultimately achieve the goal and win the prize.


Nolan Bushnell liked the concept of getting people curious about the game and from there getting them to pay the fee in order to play.


Nolan Bushnell shared his ideas of creating pizza parlors filled with electronic games with Dabney, and took Dabney to the computing labs at Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory to show him Spacewar.


Dabney built the prototype and Nolan Bushnell shopped it around, looking for a manufacturer.


Nolan Bushnell felt that Nutting Associates had not marketed the game well, and decided that his next game would be licensed to a bigger manufacturer.


Nolan Bushnell knew that the next game they developed would need to be simpler and not require users to read instructions on the cabinet, since their target audience would likely be drunken bar patrons.


Nolan Bushnell originally wanted to develop a game similar to Chicago Coin's Speedway, which at the time was the biggest-selling electro-mechanical game at his arcade.


Nolan Bushnell told Alcorn that he was making the game for General Electric, in order to motivate him, but in actuality he planned to simply dispose of the game.


Nolan Bushnell opted to merge Kee Games into Atari in September 1974 just ahead of the release of Tank, a wholly original arcade game from Kee.


Keenan became president of Atari and managed its operations while Nolan Bushnell retained his CEO role.


Nolan Bushnell realized they needed to speed up the Atari VCS's development.


Warner Communications, looking to boost their own failing media properties, agreed to acquire Atari for, with Nolan Bushnell personally receiving, in November 1976.


However, Nolan Bushnell had concerns on Kassar's plans and feared they had produced too many units to be sold, and at a board meeting with Warner near the end of the year, reiterated this position.


Keenan replaced Nolan Bushnell but left a few months later, with Kassar being named as Atari's CEO by mid-1979.


In 1977, while at Atari, Nolan Bushnell purchased Pizza Time Theatre back from Warner Communications.


In 1981 Bushnell turned over day-to-day food operations of Chuck E Cheese's to a newly hired restaurant executive and focused on Catalyst Technologies.


Nolan Bushnell tried to step back in, blaming the money problems on over-expansion, too much tweaking of the formula and saturation in local markets by the management team.


Nolan Bushnell resigned in February 1984, when the board of directors rejected his proposed changes.


Nolan Bushnell founded Catalyst Technologies, one of the earliest business incubators.


In 1996 Nolan Bushnell became senior consultant to the small game developer Aristo International after it bought Borta, Inc.


Nolan Bushnell died shortly before the dot-com bubble burst with its prototype machines still in development in 1997.


Nolan Bushnell has gone through several failed iterations including a touch-screen kiosk design, a company to run cash and prize awards as part of their uWin concept and an online Entertainment Systems network.


On March 6,2019, Nolan Bushnell was appointed CEO and Chairman of publicly traded company Global Gaming Technologies Corp.


Nolan Bushnell was featured in the documentary film Something Ventured about venture capital development, as well as Atari: Game Over, which documented the unearthing of the Atari video game burial.


Nolan Bushnell was featured in animated TV show Code Monkeys in Episode 3 of Season 1.


Nolan Bushnell is considered to be the "father of electronic gaming" due to his contributions in establishing the arcade game market and creation of Atari.


However, the industry recognized that Baer should be considered the father of home video gaming, while Nolan Bushnell is credited with innovating the arcade game.


In January 2018, the Advisory Committee of the Game Developers Choice Awards announced that Nolan Bushnell would receive the Pioneer Award at the March ceremony at the Game Developers Conference, crediting his role at Atari.


That day, several people through social media, including Brianna Wu, claimed Nolan Bushnell fostered a toxic work environment at Atari for women that became the foundation for the then-future video game industry, based on several documented interviews and accounts of Atari at the time of the 1970s and 1980s; a notable example was of Nolan Bushnell holding board meetings in a hot tub and invited female secretaries to join them.