Harry Reminder and Mad
Butscher research the roots of Atari Germany
Excerpt from the Atari
The old age
When Atari came to Germany
they set up their tents in Hamburg first. From a former
Atari employee it is known that a one metre high Pac
Man, made of plush, guarded the entrance of the office.
Gerald Mann recorded the German
version of the cult '80s song, Pac Man Fever.
The middle age
After Jack Tramiel
bought Atari, they moved their office to a small town
called Raunheim, in the south-west of Frankfurt.
The main entrance of the Atari
office in Raunheim. This picture was probably
taken in the early '90s.
The new age
In the year 1992 the office
seemed to be too small. So Atari started to build a
new office north of Frankfurt, in a town called Schwalbach.
About ten years later
After reading the MyAtari
article about the UK headquarters, written by Shiuming
Lai, the RAF (Regionalgruppe ABBUC Frankfurt/Main) had
the idea to start a research expedition to discover
the history of Atari in their own country.
The expedition started
on 17 February with Harry Reminder (RAF) as the captain
of the expedition vehicle and Mad Butscher (Foundation
Two) as the navigator.
Here is the captain's
Sunday, 17 February -
Anno Domini 2002
12:55 I fill up my tank
at the gas station.
13:00 I leave Frankfurt
on highway 66. The weather is fine and the road is in
good condition. Then I take highway number 5 to the
south and later the number 3. After passing the airport
I take the exit to Raunheim.
13:30 I reach Raunheim.
I find the small railroad station and wait on the platform
for the arrival of the navigator.
It's Mad Butscher, ready to
start the expedition.
13:37 Mad Butscher
the navigator arrives. He is easy to identify by his
shirt, which has a big Atari logo on it.
13:45 We search for the
street named Frankfurter Straße on my road map,
finding it in the outer industrial area of the town.
After a closer look at the old map we discover that
"Atari" was marked there. A big surprise for
We're proud to be on that location,
where so many Atari employees worked for
14:00 We arrive at the
former Atari building. From the studied chronicles we
know the building had the number 89-91. But there is
no building with that number anymore. So some research
was necessary until we discover that the company, which
is in number 93, is also in number 91. Number 89 was
the backyard. We take some photos for the documentation.
Then the navigator enjoys a cigarette on the historical
Atari parking area. A great moment in his life, he said.
Harry at the delivery area.
Maybe your Atari computer was shipped to
you from here.
14:30 Leaving Raunheim
in the direction of Schwalbach. We miss our exit because
of our discussion. So we follow highway number 3 to
the east and re-connect with highway 66 some kilometres
further. Another 30 kilometres further we leave the
highway at the Eschborn exit.
14:55 We pick up another
investigator, Marc Mortara (RAF), the local navigator
Thorsten and Marc have found
the right way.
"Rabies endangered area"
15:05 The crew arrives
at Schwalbach. The sign at the city limit shows us the
way. This time the building is easy to find. Because
of its blue colour one might think Atari was here yesterday.
I take photos of the main entrance. There are legends
that the office building cost Atari about 25 million
DM (do you remember the DM?).
there are no remaining indications of Atari's
15:20 Because researching
is such a hard job, we finish the expedition at one
of these bad Mc restaurants, which is located directly
next to the former Atari office. Here is a picture taken
from the first floor, compare it to the concept sketch
(a larger version can be found in issue 8) made before
the building was constructed.
Harry's VW Passat, which is as old as his
16:00 We leave Schwalbach
and carry on to reach the next appropriate railway station
for Mad Butscher. Marc Mortara's knowledge is of great
benefit and he leads us directly to Höchst.
16:15 At the station
we say goodbye to Mad Butscher. He takes the train back
16:45 Back in Frankfurt.
End of captain's log.
Mad Butscher and Harry Reminder.