Breakout (1976)


Breakout was produced by Atari in 1976.

Atari released 126 different machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1972.

Other machines made by Atari during the time period Breakout was produced include Indy 4, Starship 1, Night Driver, Flyball, LeMans, Goal IV, Shark JAWS, Jet Fighter, Stock Car, and Anti-Aircraft II — aka Anti-Aircraft.

When Steve Jobs worked at Atari, the company was working on creating the arcade game Breakout, which required 80 Integrated Circuits ICs. The less ICs there were, the cheaper the games would be to produce, so Nolan Bushnell, Atari’s president, offered Jobs 750 to come up with a design, with a 100 bonus for every IC that could be knocked out of the design. Jobs asked his friend Steve Wozniak for help with the challenge and offered to split the 750, and over four days and nights they put together a design that only required 30 ICs. Bushnell gave Jobs his 5000 bonus, which Jobs “split” with Wozniak by telling him it was a 700 bonus, giving him “half,” or 350. Woz was delighted, but years later found out the truth.

As it was, Wozniak’s design cut the number of TTL chips to 42, but Atari’s manufacturing methods could not recreate the design in that way, and they eventually went with their own design which included about 100 TTL chips. The actual gameplay appeared to be the same as Wozniak’s design.






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