Apparently, the Atari Founder Opened Chuck E. Cheese’s So People Would Play His Video Games


Chuck E. Cheese’s is a classic childhood spot that has everything kids want, from pepperoni pizza to awesome arcade games. Interestingly enough, the same guy who founded Chuck E. Cheese’s first founded Atari — a company largely responsible for bringing arcade and video games to mainstream entertainment.

Engineer and entrepreneur Nolan Bushnell was the genius and founder behind both companies. Apparently, Bushnell had prior experience in the amusement park industry and was a fan of the Walt Disney Company. Ultimately, Chuck E. Cheese’s provided an ideal opportunity for Bushnell to introduce kids to his Atari games. Thus, the mega-chain was born.

The moral of the story? Pizza, video games and ball pits amount to a genius business venture.

PicThx Chuck E. Cheese

By Cameron Simcik

Cameron is a Philadelphia native who is borderline obsessed with chocolate, coffee and sushi. She writes for TheFW and The Daily Meal, and making a mean chocolate chip cookie is her specialty. She also tries pizza everywhere she travels in hopes someday she'll become one of those cool pizza snobs.

6 replies on “Apparently, the Atari Founder Opened Chuck E. Cheese’s So People Would Play His Video Games”

The food is bad but I was surprised when we went there a year or so ago that the pizza is actually better then 90% of the places in my rural town which tells you how bad the pizza is here – the sadder part is the locals think the crap is actually good, YIKES!

Why would I lie about it? I grew up in Silicon Valley and there were many independent pizza places, some bad/some good/some REALLY GOOD. Here we have Pizza Hut (sux), Papa’s pizza (worse then pizza hut) & 2 sandwich shops that sell what they think is a pizza but arent along with pizza from a couple of gas stations which cant be good. The closest decent pizza is 20 miles away – Ive been know to buy pizza at Mello Mushroom (2 hours away) & bring an extra home!

Co-founder of Atari. Likewise, Gene Landrum had a lot to do with the development of Chuck E. Cheese as well, including development of the concept and the person behind the creation of the first location and franchise.

This isnt any surprise to people who lived & worked in Silicon Valley in the 70’s/80’s! I worked at a place that built cabinets for the Atari games & my wife worked at Atari. Bushnell was & is a great entrepreneur & knew full well what he was trying to do & it worked very well:-)

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