Friday, September 28, 2012

Allied Leisure's Name of the Game Home Video Game

One of the lesser-known home video games from the 1970s was Allied Leisure's Name of the Game, produced for Christmas 1976. Even David Winter's excellent Pong Story website doesn't have much on it.

Allied's Name of the Game (photo from

I was going through some of the company's annual reports and they acutally had a decent amount of information on the game.
Scott Cohen's Zap claims that Allied introduced a home backgammon game in 1977 but the annual reports don't mention it.

The early reports also listed production and release dates for the company's early video and electromechanical games, but they stopped doing that in 1974 (actually they may have done it in 1975 and 1976 - my library only has 10Ks for those years, not Annual Reports).
Here is the info on Name of the Game from the 1976 and 1977 annual reports/10Ks.

"By July of 1976, because of continuing service difficulties, orders for the pinball machines had been substantially curtailed. At this point the Company determined to enter the home video game business. Based on prototype models, the Company had tentatively accepted commitments for approximately 60,000 home video units from several major customers. The Company expected F.C.C. approval on its game in late September, however,  the F.C.C. approval did not materialize until early December. Because if its late approval, the Company suffered the cancellation of many of these commitments.

In the meantime, the Company had given out substantial requisitions to several suppliers to allow the manufacture of the home video games. While the company had projected sales in excess of $1,500,000 from its home video games during the Christmas season of 1976, the Company sold home video games in December in the amount of approximately $350,000. The company, as a consequence, was left with a substantial inventory of home video games, for which the market is very soft."

"Home Video Games
In June 1976, the Company decided to enter the consumer market by the introduction of a home video game. It was contemplated that the Company could complete its development program in time to participate in the 1976 Christmas season. Delays in deliveries on the part of a major component supplier, plus additional delays in obtaining required F.C.C. approval, prevented the Company from commencing production until December 1976. As a consequence, the Company experienced cancellations on more than $3,000,000 of commitments.

The Company had committed itself for raw material for the production of 25,000 units. Approximately 17,000 units were built, of which approximately 4,000 finished units remained in inventory as of October 31, 1977. The market, beginning in early 1977 was very soft with increasing price deterioration. During its fiscal year ended October 31, 1977, the Company realized gross revenues of approximately $670,000 from the sale of home video units. Since the end of its fiscal year the Company has sold all but 1,000 finished units, which were written down to, and sold at, a reduced price of $15 per unit

The Company’s home video games were marketed through manufacturers' representatives to major discount houses, department stores and other retail outlets. The Company made two models:

(1)    “Name of the Game I,” a four player model that allowed the player a choice of four games (tennis, hockey, squash and handball), plus two target games with an optional electronic gun. This game was designed to sell at $67; (2) “Name of the Game II,” a two player model involving the choice of the same four games, which was designed to sell at $45. The Company is no longer in the business of manufacturing and selling home video games and the remaining raw materials have been completely written off."

 Another item of interest in the early (1973 and 1974) annual reports was a chart of when various games were in production.
Here are the video games they list:

·         Paddle Battle: in production from March to September of 1973.
·         Tennis Tourney: in production from June of 1973 to January of 1974
·         Super Soccer: in production from November of 1973 to January of 1974
·         Hesitation: in production from April to July of 1973
·         Ric-O-Chet: In production from September of 1973 to January of 1974
·         Deluxe Soccer (may not be a video game):  In production from November of 1973 to January of 1974
Ric-O-Chet and Deluxe Soccer were listed as "Export Only"
Ric-O-Chet may not be a video game either. They did have a video game of that name but it is usually listed as a 1975 game. It may have been that it was only available for export before 1975.

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