It all comes full circle for Nolan Bushnell, the man who created Atari almost 40 years ago but later sold it away and subsequently left. Now he's back at the company as a member of the board of directors. Bushnell founded Atari in 1972 and helped create the video game industry with the Atari 2600 system and games like Pong. He was later ousted by the company when he sold it under financial distress. Since then, Bushnell's contributions to the video game industry have tapered away but he has never been forgotten. The visionary has been inducted into the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame as well as the Video Game Hall of Fame. He also went on to found Chuck E Cheese. With two executives recently leaving the Atari Board of Directors, Atari has asked Bushnell to come back on in a consulting role.
"I am very excited to be reacquainted with Atari at a time when it is poised to make interesting strides in key growth areas of the games industry. "The company and its iconic brands have always been important to me, and I look forward to further guiding them at the board level," said Bushnell. In his new position, Bushnell will be representing BlueBay High Yield Investment. The company could use some fresh blood, as it has been tracking with dismal numbers for much of the 2000s, despite acquiring a handful of other studios and bringing in high-level executives like Sony's Phil Harrison. "The addition of Mr. Bushnell ... comes at a time when Atari has increased its focus on its iconic brand and world-renowned game franchises while further expanding its business online," said Atari in a statement.