Shark Jaws is a single-player arcade game by Atari Inc. under the name of Horror Games, originally released in 1975. An unlicensed tie-in to the movie Jaws, and believed to be the first commercially released movie tie-in, it was created to be a game about sharks eating people. Atari head Nolan Bushnell originally tried to license the Jaws name for the game, but was unable to secure a license from Universal Pictures. Deciding to go ahead with the game anyway, it was retitled Shark JAWS, with the word Shark in tiny print and JAWS in large all caps print to create greater prominence. Bushnell also created a second hidden subsidiary corporation, Horror Games—the previous being Kee Games, to help isolate Atari from a possible lawsuit. According to Bushnell, the game was successful enough to sell approximately two thousand units.
|Developer(s)||Atari Inc./Horror Games|
|Release||North America 25 September 1975|
|Sound||Amplified Mono (one channel)|
|Display||Horizontal orientation, raster (black and white) with color overlay, Standard Resolution.|
The game is housed in a custom cabinet that includes a single joystick and start button. The cabinet bezel uses blue and green colors, and portrays sharks swimming around along with a solitary swimmer. The game PCB is composed of discrete technology, and although the game was released under the name Horror Games, the PCB clearly states Atari.
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- (Montfort & Bogost 2009, p. 125)
- Fulton, Steve (2007-11-06). "The History of Atari:1971-1977; 1975: Innovate Or Die". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- Bogost, Ian (2007-11-13). "Film Adaptation: The First Film License". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
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- MrF4brice (2010-05-13). "Atari Shark Jaws arcade cabinet (1975)". YouTube. Video of a restored Atari Shark Jaws cabinet.
- "Shark Jaws - The Horror of IP Infringement". The Dot Eaters.com. 2014.
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