Rare Arcade Game Killed By Atari Lawsuit Comes Back To Life

Maybe you're like me and never heard of 1980s arcade game Meteors. If you guessed that it was a clone of Asteroids though, you'd be right. The coin-op arcade game stood at the centre of a lawsuit aimed by Atari at competitor Amusement World.

Video game designer/scholar Ian Bogost runs down the impact of the court case in a blog post. Essentially, the landmark judicial decision ruled that Meteors didn't infringe on Asteroids because an idea can't be copyrighted. Amusement World won the lawsuit but was hit hard by financial repercussions and Meteors faded in the limbo of half-remembered games.

But Eric Holniker — son of Amusement World CEO Stephen Holniker — found one of a very few Meteors cabinets and powered up it this week. Watch the video and feast your eyes on a game that people haven't seen for more than two decades.


Comments

    That is incredibly cool. Also as much as I love the vector art of Asteroid, this totally kicks its arse.

    Also also, I agree with his dad's philosophy on credits. There's an arcade I know of that gives you three credits for a dollar, or five credits for two. Wait no. Maybe it's one credit for a dollar or three for two, and I'm thinking of the pinball machines which give you five balls for a credit. Yeah that must be it. But yeah, you can be well-entertained for a good hour and a half or more and barely even spend ten bucks, it's great.

      So true...

      Whilst I still enjoy the odd arcade game or two. It's very rarely me and my friends will ever try out the "new fangled" machines out there. Most would be about two bucks a go now.... two bucks for about 3-5 mins of multiplayer enjoyment.

      Or we could go to the olde reliable Daytona Machine which gave use 3 races for a buck... we spent many a dollar or re-races on those.

        That's pretty much how it goes with me and my friends. We'll have done something or other in the city, then inevitably wander into Galaxy World. Most of the time is spent trying to find something to play, but there's just... nothing. Unless you're into Tekken/Street Fighter (a couple of guys usually have a go at that) or those things where people spend hours sitting there dropping tokens in hoping to get more tokens out, there really isn't much worth playing. If there's Daytona though, there'll usually be a go of that. Or maybe someone will have a shot at DDR, but personally I don't really get that. The songs are just too indecipherable. Guitar Hero's pretty fun, and I wouldn't mind hitting that up if it's around - but the damn thing's so freakin expensive! Totally not worth it most of the time.

        It's any wonder they proclaim that arcades are dead. Nobody's giving anyone reason to keep them alive.

        Oh actually, there was one absolute goldmine that me and my friends stumbled upon while at Timezone in Surfer's Paradise - Pac Man Battle Royale. It is the most ridiculous, amazing fun I've ever had in an arcade. We must have thrown at least $50 into that machine, playing game after game after game. Every arcade should have a unit.

    That was actually really heartwarming to watch. You could feel the love the guy has for his dad, you could see he was in no way ashamed of his dad ripping off Asteroids, but encouraged by his dad making a possibly superior product. When he said he's 'content', there was something really touching about that. Oddly, it felt like some sort of closure with that and I don't know why. I'm really glad he made this video and I'm really glad I got to see it :)

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