So why wasn’t Sinistar [for Atari 400/800] released? Around the time Sinistar was being completed (mid 1984), the video game market was crumbling fast and many games were canceled. Apparently marketing decided that the game wasn’t going to make enough money and canceled the project… without telling the programmers! Jeff and his team continued to work on the project for almost two months after it was canceled, due to lack of communication between marketing and the programming department. Incidents like this were not uncommon, and just goes to show how badly out of touch the managers were at the time of Atari’s collapse. [AtariProtos.com]
That game was hard, too. With the adrenaline flowing through your veins as you scrambled to evade the warrior ships, the voice of Sinistar — preparing his attack — was enough to scare you out of your wits. (I can personally attest to this 🙂 Being overtaken by a taunting, screaming, giant space head is just plain unsettling; when it happens while a random six-year-old is tugging at your pant leg pleading for game tokens, death is swift and certain.