Activision Corporate Video Circa 1981

You have to love watching David Crane talk about realism in his games while video of Freeway plays in the background, a 2600 title in which players control a chicken crossing the road.

For all its easy to mention, this non-embeddable Activision video takes us back to more than simpler gaming times, but back when developers received due credit, and the creative juices of just a few people were allowed to show through, not corporate higher-ups simply clamoring for sequel bait and DLC. What the games of old lack in visual fidelity and rich experiences, they make up for with their simplicity and creative force. You can see the designers enjoying their work, proud of it, mostly because their name was actually on the box. Sometimes, even their picture was included.

It’s a shame how little these dev teams get anymore. 3DO manuals for EA Sports titles typically featured the entire team in a championship-like pose, all named for their work. In Madden 11, not a single person is credited anywhere in the manual or on the box. Maybe we need to be doomed to repeat Activision’s early history.