- Gaming Resources
- About Us
One of the greatest joys of collecting video games is to learn of someone completely separated from the hobby by time and coming across a treasured gaming stash tucked away in storage consisting of rare games or prototypes that they had completely forgot about. This is exactly what happened to Clark Coffey a few months ago when he received a call from his father who had recently seen a high profile news story of a rare Atari 2600 game selling for $30K. Clark’s father had represented some Atari software developers back in the early 80’s and they would occasionally give Clark, then a child, some games to test so they could get some feedback from their target demographic. Many of these games given to Clark were early developer copies or prototypes which can be quite collectible and in high demand in today’s video game collecting circles. After talking with his father and learning about this $30K Atari cartridge that was recently sold, he quickly went and unearthed his long forgotten box of Atari games that he hadn’t even thought about since they were packed away nearly thirty years ago.
Upon opening the box that had contained these lost Atari games he tested as a child, he did discover that all of them, in fact, were prototypes. The games he found were from companies Telesys, Wizard and Starpath – all three very small developers of Atari games from around 1983. The Telesys game prototypes in his newly discovered collection included: Ram-It and Star Gunner. The Starpath games included: Frogger, Rabbit Transit, Survival Island, Sword of Saros, Sweat! and a Supercharger in-store demo unit. He also discovered an early prototype of Halloween from Wizard, one of
only two games they developed for the Atari; the other being Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He also believes his father has a box of prototypes as well and is currently working with his dad to find these and find out what other Atari treasures they hide.
Now that he had discovered these games, Clark was anxious to find out more about these games and their history so he turned to the experts at AtariAge. After learning more about the history of his prototypes he discovered that one of them, Halloween actually was slightly different than the game released to the public. This makes this prototype highly desirable because it exhibits something different than what others have seen up to the day this prototype was discovered. And who knows, it may be one of only a couple in existence. Check out the videos below explaining the differences between this early prototype and the game that eventually made it to market.
The next interesting thing about the prototypes he discovered was one of the Starpath games was never commercially available and only exist in this prototype form; Sweat!. Prototypes of unreleased games are always in high demand since they are the only playable versions of the games in existence. And since they were never mass produced and commercially available these are games that very few people have ever seen or played. Prototypes of unreleased games are considered Holy Grails to collectors due to their scarcity and mystery within the hobby.
Putting a value on items that are this scarce or possibly one-off is difficult as there is no past sales history of such items. In cases like this it could be estimated that each of Clark’s games are in the $500-$1000 range and maybe significantly more if auctioned off and fought over by two collectors eager to be the next owner of what could be the only copy in existence. Judging by the selling prices of rare video games and prototypes over the past year, you can be sure that these will bring in a tidy sum when all said and done. The only question for Clark is does he want to sell off these gaming artifacts that played an important and fun time in his childhood, helping his father and his clients doing what every kid of the 80′s dreamed of, playing free games? Clark has indicated that if he decides to sell off some or all of this epic gaming discovery he will be listing them right here on GameGavel, the only auction site that allows prototype listings. Any auctions for these items will be added within this editorial so keep an eye out if you are in the market for these one of a kind gaming treasures! Also, look for an exclusive interview with Clark Coffey by the podcast team at http://www.RetroGamingRoundup.com. This interview will be aired in the upcoming May RGRU podcast.
Behold the photos and movies of these important discoveries:
You must be logged in to post a comment.