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Encyclopedia > Kee Games

Kee Games was an arcade game manufacturer that released games from 1973 to 1978. Kee was headed by Joe Keenan, a long-time friend of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell. Keenan managed to hire several defectors from Atari, and began advertising itself as a competitor. In reality, Kee Games was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atari, created in response to the pinball and arcade distributors of the time who demanded exclusivity deals. Kee Games released several "clones" of Atari games, allowing Atari to "exclusively" sell games to two distributors at once. Centipede by Atari is a typical example of a 1980s era arcade game. ... For the concept Atari (当たり) in the board game of Go, see Atari (go term). ... Nolan Bushnell (born in Clearfield, Utah on February 5, 1943–) is the founder of Atari, Inc. ...


In December of 1974, the relationship to Atari was discovered by the public. However, Kee's Tank game had been so successful that the distributors wanted to buy the game even without an exclusivity agreement. At the same time, Atari was having financial and management problems, while Joe Keenan had been very successful managing Kee Games. The two companies merged, with Kee promoted to president of Atari running the business side of things, and Bushnell focusing on engineering. Atari continued to use the "Kee Games" label to release some of their games until 1978, but from then on, the games were clearly labelled "a wholly owned subsidiary of Atari, Inc.".


Games

  • Spike (February 1974) — a clone of Atari's Rebound, with an extra button labelled "spike"
  • Elimination (March 1974) — a clone of Atari's Quadrapong
  • Formula K (June 1974) — a clone of Atari's Gran Trak 10
  • Twin Racer (1974) — a clone of Atari's Gran Trak 20
  • Tank (November 1974) — an original game that became very popular
trademark used after 1974
Enlarge
trademark used after 1974
  • Tank II (May 1975) — the first game sold under the "Kee" label with the Atari disclosure
  • Indy800 (March 1975)
  • Quiz Show (April 1976)
  • Tank 8 (April 1976)
  • Sprint 2 (November 1976)
  • Drag Race (Jun 1977)
  • Super Bug (September 1977)
  • Witch Hunt (1977)
  • Sprint 1 (January 1978)
  • Ultra Tank (February 1978)

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