Sad news was announced yesterday. Atari co-founder Ted Dabney has passed away at the age of 81. A friend of Dabney’s, video game historian Leonard Herman, announced his death in a Facebook post:
I just learned that my good friend, Ted Dabney, the co-founder of Atari, passed away at the age of 81. RIP dear friend. Your legacy will live on a long time!
According to Eurogamer, Dabney was diagnosed with esophageal cancer late last year but decided not to undergo treatment after being told that he only had eight months to live.
Dabney co-founded Syzygy Engineering with Nolan Bushnell in 1971 where they launched Computer Space, which was actually the first commercially available computer game. The following year, Dabney and Bushnell went on to co-found Atari, and the circuit board Dabney developed for Computer Space was used in the creation of Pong which was developed by Allan Alcorn.
Dabney later left the industry, and his contributions were largely unknown until Leonard Herman published an interview with him in 2009 in Edge magazine. Meanwhile, Atari is still keeping itself relevant — most notably as a pop-culture company selling retro electronics.
In 2012, a book was written about the history of Atari called Atari Inc.: Business is Fun. The authors and publishers posted their condolences on Facebook.
Others have also been sharing tributes on Twitter as well.
Ted Dabney, co founder of Syzygy & Atari has died. His vision gave my generation more than people can comprehend unless they lived in the days when Atari was born & remember when the world was changed forever by the electronic dreams that company gave us. #Atari #TedDabney pic.twitter.com/Yhmku35EdA
— Catherine DeSpira (@CatDeSpira) May 26, 2018
Crushed to learn of the passing of my friend and Atari co-founder Ted Dabney. Always so gracious and humble. Thank you for everything, Ted.
— Patrick Scott Patterson (@OriginalPSP) May 26, 2018
RIP Ted Dabney, co-founder of Syzygy. Dabney would design Computer Space along with Nolan Bushnell at Syzygy, which was assembled and distributed by Nutting Associates. The circuitry from Computer Space would then go on to be used in Pong, another Syzygy engineered product. pic.twitter.com/tMY5a9X7Ri
— John Andersen (@JohnAndersen21) May 26, 2018
We here at DualShockers share our thoughts with Ted Dabney’s friends and loved ones in light of his passing.