For those of you that don’t remember, once upon a time Atari was the king of video games, not just in the home with their Atari VCS/2600, but also in the amusement parlours. Atari was so diversified, they even got into making pinball machines!
To get an understanding of just how huge the Sunnyvale company was, at the 1978 Amusement and Music Operators Association (AMOA) trade show, Atari had a massive exhibit titled Starworld ’78, showcasing their latest wares to wow the industry (and scare the pants off their competitors)!
The “Starworld” theme was chosen by Atari to preview their new games, which they cleverly dubbed as the “Stars” of the 1978 AMOA show. Previewed pinball machines included Space Riders, the colossal Hercules and the double playfield extravaganza of Middle Earth. In the video gaming stakes, their new 2-player space duel game, Orbit and the 3-games-in-one version of Breakout (very smartly titled) Super Breakout were gaining a lot of attention. Also taking centre stage at Starworld ’78 were: Sprint 2, Sit Down Night Driver, Starship, Smokey Joe, Fire Truck, UFO and the unique dual monitor submarine strategy game, Subs. If that wasn’t enough, Atari also had their service technicians on hand to demonstrate the latest test equipment to show off to operators.
And what is a trade show without prizes? Atari was promoting their ‘Starworld Sweepstakes’, a first at the AMOA trade show. Prizes included a Super Breakout machine, a Sony Betamax video tape recorder, a colour TV, a set of leather luggage and a Sony 5” Swivel-vision TV. There were also minor prizes awarded by Atari in their sweepstakes, including Seiko pocket digital alarms and Seiko desk clocks! Whoa, if only we had attended the 1978 AMOA trade show!
source: The Arcade Flyer Archive