The following is an interview with Alex DeMeo (Vice President/Producer/Game Designer) at Absolute Entertainment's headquarters in Glen Rock, NJ.
Q: How did Absolute come about?
Alex DeMeo: The company was founded in 1986 by ex-Activision employees. The development is done by the Imagineering branch and the publishing company is Absolute Entertainment.
Q: How many employees are there in the company?
Alex DeMeo: There are 17 employees presently.
Q: What are the company's plans regarding the 2600?
Alex DeMeo: We presently have no plans to release any 2600 cartridges in this country (Ed: Those that were under development were completed and sold to other companies and there are none in stock. Any future news might be given to this publication as an announcement or an exclusive blurb).
Q: Have there been any revisions to any of the 2600 carts which might interest collectors?
Alex DeMeo: No modifications have been made to any of the ones we released, i.e. Skateboardin', Title Match Pro Wrestling, F-14 Tomcat, and Pete Rose Baseball.
Q: Are there any "Easter eggs", like programmer's initials or hidden rooms, in any of the ones released?
Alex DeMeo: Let's see... there was nothing funny in Title Match. No, none to the best of my knowledge.
Q: Has the gambling scandal hurt the sales of Pete Rose Baseball?
Alex DeMeo: It's hard to gauge what effect this has had because there is no basis for comparison. By this I mean, there isn't any other baseball game by Absolute to compare to. Also, what if the scandal had not occurred at all? Who can tell? I started out with the concept of creating the best baseball game around. The Pete Rose endorsement was not a primary factor.
Q: Which 2600 carts sold the most? The least?
Alex DeMeo: I don't have the exact sales figures handy either way. I do recall, however, that we received numerous reorders for Title Match Pro Wrestling.
Q: Has the War in the Gulf increased or decreased the demand for military games?
Alex DeMeo: Again, I do not have the sales figures at my disposal. But, I have to say that if the potential buyer did not notice F-14 Tomcat on the shelves before, then the Gulf War would have definitely made this game more noticeable. It would be able to stand out among the rest.
Q: How long does it take to create an average 2600 game?
Alex DeMeo: Originally, it took 6 months to complete a game and it was usually the work of one programmer. Now it only takes 3-4 months because many time-saving routines and programming aids have been developed. Additionally, the work is usually divided up among several people. Some work on graphics, audio, or another phase.
Here's a PDF copy of the agreement between Absolute Entertainment and Atari Corp.
The interviewer, Al Backiel, has been an Atari 2600 fan and collector for many years. He is a contributing writer and lives in Ridgewood, NJ. He is presently attempting to obtain a small quantity of the overseas releases for resale to collectors. Titles, price, and quantity have not been determined yet. The carts have to be re-acquired from the overseas vendors. They many not be fully packaged and may be in PAL (European) format only. At least one is totally finished. It's called My Golf and was released in Australia. There will be an ad placed in the 2600 Connection when they become available.
|Pete Rose Baseball||Atari VCS/2600||Absolute Entertainment||released|
|Title Match Pro Wrestling||Atari VCS/2600||Absolute Entertainment||released|
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