Atari Football - Arcade - First Serious Sports Video Game (Atari 1978) -

Atari Football – Arcade – First Serious Sports Video Game (Atari 1978)

The Dot Eaters
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Atari Football – arcade was the first serious sports video game, replicating the nuances of the sport down to selectable football plays. Also ushered in a new game controller with the Trak Ball, and was the first game with a scrolling playfield. Made by Ed Logg, Dave Stubben, Dave Theurer and Mike Albaugh.

Go long for the history of Atari Football, at The Dot Eaters:

Video Game History 101

Watch Buck have a bad day in the arcade laserdisc game Badlands (Konami 1984)”



  1. We had this game in an arcade in Sydney, Australia. Mates and I started a league and played a 10 game schedule amongst ourselves every lunch time and after work. We played 5 or 6 seasons and I won the Superbowl once only and it is still a life highlight!! We had a league rule that you could not select the bomb defense two plays in a row because that just killed the offense. So the game became a tactical battle about when you went deep. The four basic plays could be utillised to run about 8 variations but the game took real effort with the track ball and the blisters were legendary. great great game. Oh, yeah. I made it into the last Superbowl but we never played it as the machine was taken away to be 'fixed' but never returned.

  2. It was a huge hit for Atari, it outsold Space Invaders during Football season!

  3. fucking kolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 🙂

  4. I had a real problem getting the game to work well with a mouse, I never really got it to emulate the trakball correctly, hence the piss poor performance. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

  5. Yeah, I remember those track balls – a friend of mine and I once put enough quarters in the machine to play a full 60-minute game, and the next day I had a blood blister that you wouldn't believe.

  6. howcan u even tell who has the ball the oldest game ive played was 2002

  7. imagine being bed-ridden and only able to play this game 24 hours a day; you would go insane within 30 minutes.

  8. man the graphics are better than ps3 and 360 lol

  9. This demo does the game no justice what-so-ever……..this is one of the funnest head to head games ever created. It still holds up really well actually,

    I was so tired after playing this game, not just from the frantic scrolling on the trackball, but from cracking up so much playing it. People make the funniest sounds, grunts and yells playing it. It's physically challenging like few other game for sure. Your likely to be bruised, battered and worn out from a few games of this…..

  10. after looking at this, how can people complain about the Wii's graphics?

  11. did you not have to play 60minute games only with usual high scoring games?

  12. lol X's and O's. ii just played my madden 99 and thought it wz Og lolz

  13. I won the SuperBowl playing this game. The trophy was a small white dot.

  14. Wow – great memories and fun . The trackball was actually physically challenging as otheres have said, and it was quite a scene to watch people's frantic movements and gyrations as they spun that trackball as hard as they could so their "X" outran the other guy's "O". Also, a quarter would only buy you like 5 minutes of game time, and when that was over you had 30 seconds to put in more quarters to continue the game, so if you were 4th and goal on the 1, you had to pump more quarters to finish.

  15. I have one of the few remaining operational versions of this in my loft. Had for 8 years and still works perfectly!

  16. I used to wear baseball batting gloves while playing this to avoid the pinching & skin burning.

  17. That looks like it would be fun to play TODAY let alone 1978.

  18. Oh yes…..these track balls pinched the palm of my hand and drew a little bit of blood! I had to make sure that I stretched my hand out all of the way. I you left it cupped you were going to get it pinched. Great game but OUCH those trackballs could hurt!

  19. 1:48 Even the crowd 'yells' are in 3D! 😀
    and after you scored,
    an 8 beeps memory read/write failure follows, how disappointing…

  20. It's more like soccer in that there are no arms being used and no hitting.

  21. It's more like soccer in that there are no arms being used and no hitting.

  22. To me this was the best football arcade game ever. Madden is pretty to look at but I could play this game for days on end

  23. first true (RGB) colour arcade game was Galaxian.

  24. Just plain ass,normal, every day,no question about it, no NFL,no year, not named after a player,not named after a coach,not named after the referee's pet goldfish,no quarterback,dimeback,nickelback.Simple,ordinary,unembelished,crystal clear, as frank as Frankenstein as blunt as atom bomb.ONE COMPOUND WORD:IT'S MOTHERFUCKING,GOD DAMN, SONS OF BITCHING ,FUCK FUCK FUCKING FOOTBALL!!

  25. Jesus I was a six year old kid walkin into arcades at this point… Excited, confused, ready. Put my quarters in, had no idea what was goin on, got my hand pinched. Damnit I loved it.

  26. Hi William, I've looked everywhere for this and maybe you have an answer to my question. If you are playing the game with a MAME emulator on a pc, how do you cycle through and select the plays? It is such a great game, and even Madden on a PS$ can't top it with the use of a trackball.

  27. So……….

    Atari couldn't design black and white stick figures as the NFL players like how Midway did for their characters in their 1974 game TV Basketball?

  28. I played this game from the time it came out, through the 80s, into the late 80s when the game was obsolete. 😆

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