Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nutting Associates, Dave Nutting Associates, Nutting Industries - What the...?


Studying the early history of coin-op video games can be confusing. Especially when it comes to the name Nutting. Before long, the budding historian encounters Nutting Associates, Dave Nutting Associates, Nutting Industries, Dave Nutting, Bill Nutting etc.

What is the relationship between all these entities - and whatever happened to Nutting Associates?

Nutting Associates

Let's start with Nutting Associates. They have gone down in the annals of history as the manufacturer of the first mass-produced commercial coin-op video game - Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney's Computer Space. Their history extends back farther than that, however.

Nutting Associates was founded by Bill Nutting, sometime between 1965 and 1967. Wikipedia claims it was formed in 1965 but the earliest reference I found to it (though my search was brief) was an article in the August 12, 1968 issue of Billboard. Another article in the December 7th issue provides a bit more information, noting that they were moving from a smaller facility they had occupied for a year and a half into a new, larger one (it also noted that they had around 50 employees at the time).
 

Prior to forming Nutting Associates, Bill Nutting had invested in a company called Edex, which made teaching equipment for the U.S. Navy. One of their products was called The Knowledge Computer, which engineer Richard Ball redesigned for Nutting Associates who released it as Computer Quiz. Computer Quiz was an electro-mechanical quiz game that stored multiple-choice questions on a strip of 16mm film and projected them onto a tiny screen. It was the company's most well-known product and some credit it with opening street locations (such as bars) to arcade games. Other games Nutting Associates made prior to Computer Space include ESP (a number-guessing game), Astro Computer (a horoscope machine), and Sports World (possibly another quiz game).
 
Nutting Industries

Bill Nutting recruited his brother Dave to work on Computer Quiz. To be closer to Chicago (then center of the coin-op industry), Dave moved to Milwaukee and set up his own company, Nutting Industries. in 1967. At the time, Dave was employed by Brooks Stevens Associates (where he had worked on Willy's Jeep Grand Wagoneer - the first SUV). After quitting Brooks and forming Nutting Industries, Dave released his own version of Computer Quiz called Dual IQ Computer. Nutting recalls that he sold about 4,000 units of his version while Bill sold about 3,500 of his. Nutting Industries specialized in quiz games. Other products included Golf IQ and Sensorama (a learn-to-bowl game).

Milwaukee Coin Industries

In 1971, Dave Nutting formed a new company called Milwaukee Coin Industries. MCI’s main business was the manufacture of projection screen games, crude ancestors to the laser disc games of the mid-80s that used images from a film disc or strip projected on a screen to create a realistic background for arcade games. MCI released a number of projection games including Desert Fox, Red Baron, Flying Ace, and U-Boat. They also made a few coin-op oddities such as Airball (in which the player maneuvered a small ball around the field with a column of air) and The Safe (in which the player tried to find the combination of a safe). Keith Egging (later of Taito America) recalls that they also made a Pong clone.

MCI wasn't long for the coin-op game world. One of their customers was Aladdin's Castle, a series of arcades being opened in shopping malls. MCI's investors wanted MCI to get into the mall arcade business and shut down the video game division. MCI then started their own arcade chain called Red Baron, with 20 locations. Nutting wanted no part of it so he and Jeff Frederikson (another MCI associate) took two MCI techs and formed their own design firm called Dave Nutting Associates.
 
Dave Nutting Associates

MCI’s primary distributor had been Empire Distributing, which was owned by Bally. When Bally got wind of Nutting’s design skills they contracted with his company to create a hardware system. To make a long story short, DNA went on to establish a relationship with Bally and designed a number of games for them over the years, including Gun Fight, Seawolf, Boot Hill, Wizard of Wor, Gorf and others.

But What About Nutting Associates?

After Computer Space, Nutting Associates produced a handful of video games, including Computer Space Ball, Wimbledon (one of the first video games to use true color), Paddle Derby, and Missile Radar (which Nolan Bushnell supposedly saw and which later provided the basis for the idea that became Missile Command). Watergate Caper is sometimes listed as a video game, but I suspect that it's actually an electro-mechanical game (perhaps a version of MCI's The Safe). The last game I know of bearing the Nutting Associates name was 1977's Ricochet.

 
By this time, Bill Nutting was long gone. In 1974, Nutting Associates had gone bankrupt and in 1975 Nutting sold it to a Reno slot machine manufacturer named William "Si" Redd, owner of A-1 Supply. Redd began producing video gambling games and later formed the companies Sircoma and International Game Technology where some credit him with single-handedly launching the video poker industry (he somehow managed to convince Bally to sign an agreement giving him exclusive rights to make video gaming machines for five years [Bally got the rights to reel slot machines - they didn't see any future in video gaming machines]).

 
And Bill Nutting? He went on to form an air-taxi service for missionaries in East Africa.



 

35 comments:

  1. I've seen a few of these 'video pinball' games on the web, like Ricochet, that all seemingly look the same. I've found Flipper Ball, TV PinGame, Table Pinball, Ricochet, TV Flipper and TV Pinball. Any ideas who originated the design, and who licensed / copied from who? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. hi
    do you know anything about the knowledge computer as I cant find any information on it, the machine has a sticker on the rear of the machine that says edex corp.
    ant info or people to contact would be appreciated
    thanks

    paul

    ReplyDelete
  3. As soon as I read the reference to "Airball" it brought back a memory. I just looked it up and even found a YouTube clip ("MCI Airball"). I believe I saw that one at some place my father took me to in Houston in the 70s. This blog makes me feel so old :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Financing a car is a very important process and today with the availability of numerous car mega-convert.com brokers it has become an easy option to get secure car loans. Today these car finance brokers are playing a vital role in assisting car buyers as well. In this article, know more about various important factors that you should keep in mind while making a selection of a car finance broker.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Business incubators are organizations that nurture the development and growth of businesses in the early phases to help them persevere in their most vulnerable stages. Incubators provide numerous resources and support services to aid in the a cool way to improve of businesses. The general purpose of incubators is job creation, business retention, enhancing entrepreneurial climate, growing local industries and economies.

    ReplyDelete
  6. How do you decide the name of your discover here? You need to consider a lot more than simply what looks or sounds good. For more information, click here.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back down the road. Cheers Windows

    ReplyDelete
  8. Home Improvement Loan allows you the freedom to make improvements or changes you always wanted to make in your home, making it a better place to live. Home Improvement Loan may help in raising market value of your home by making appropriate changes. You can make any change like improving your garden, new kitchen, or any change you desire. How to Prepare Financial Statements in Excel

    ReplyDelete
  9. Social media for small businesses is a great way for emerging businesses to generate lead and build a reputation. If regularly updated, social media can deliver more results as compared to traditional mediums. Social media for small businesses gives brands an edge of control over the content that they want to post.Also, since social media is a two-way dialogue process, it helps businesses to instantly identify what is benefitting them. Social media for small businesses also helps generate Word of Mouth, which is one of the best tools for emerging businesses. Cash app helpline

    ReplyDelete
  10. Leaders, if you do not understand how to strengthen the building blocks in your business, you cannot grow as fast as you would https://blueskyloans.co. Take a step back and evaluate whether the current state of your business processes are 'solid' enough to expand to the next level of growth in the marketplace.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good students have to carry a lot of burdens on their shoulders: they are responsible for studying hard to earn the best grades they can. And, they have to pay their tuition and living expenses. That is why so many students who have more than one student loan choose to consolidate their student loans. tribal loans

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Cost Of Payday Loans: Confused about payday loans? This article convert money online provide you with some basic information about payday loans to help you decide if a payday loan is right for you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. If you want to start a business from scratch and are lacking experience in that specific industry then this article is for you to read. Find https://autocad.buycheapcad.com/ the most comprehensive details about starting a fresh business without any experience at all.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Financing a car is a very important process and today with the availability of numerous car finance brokers it has become an easy option to get secure car loans. Today these car finance brokers are playing a vital role in assisting car buyers as well. In this article, know more about various important factors that you should keep in mind while making a selection of a car finance broker. gbp to inr forecast

    ReplyDelete
  15. If you need to have home repairs on your houses, you can get cash from a home improvement loan. Indeed, while some residence owners will go and take out a secondary type of debt, more popularly called the home equity loans, others want to be updated on their loans and will instead obtain home improvement equity loans. premium glass pool fencing

    ReplyDelete
  16. What do you guys think of the new OSX Lion that just came out for Mac? 토토먹튀

    ReplyDelete
  17. There is a saying which goes something like this 'Communication is all about understanding'. Although many may not agree, this certainly is the case when it comes to your customers. The prospect of running a business blog makes some business owners nervous. Digital marketing Blog

    ReplyDelete
  18. Japanese gardens are becoming popular and more gardens in the States are trying to have one part of them turned into a Japanese garden. In this Japanese gardening article, you are going to learn 3 types of Japanese garden styles which is very important for the planning of such gardens. soil testing kit lead

    ReplyDelete
  19. This article will focus on the 10 common online business assumptions made by Solopreneurs because not every strategy works for every business. Unfortunately, many will continue to force themselves into one standard. Don't let that be you. Learn some Proven tactics to help you avoid these common pitfalls of assumptions and set your brand up for profitable success. Buy Trustpilot Reviews

    ReplyDelete
  20. If you want to start a business from scratch and are lacking experience in that specific industry then this article is for you to read. Find out the most comprehensive details about starting a fresh business without any experience at all. transitions

    ReplyDelete
  21. An online business directory is a website submission service that allows your small business's website to be added to a specific category where it can be searched for by interested visitors. These searchable online directories allow their visitors to search for websites and businesses that they find interesting or that they want to learn more about. Listing your small business on an online directory increases your website's visibility on the web and helps to create inbound links to your business' website. Online directories make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. All they have to do is jump online, which means that people could find your business' website from their home, office or even while traveling. Ben oreva umolo and ben oreva ben umolo

    ReplyDelete
  22. If you want to start a business from scratch and are lacking experience in that specific industry then this article is for you to read. Find out the most comprehensive details about starting a fresh business without any experience at all. jason bond picks

    ReplyDelete
  23. Starting a business in Australia can be either simple or complex, depending on the way you choose to structure your enterprise. There are four basic structures that you can choose from. These are Sole Trader, Partnership, Company or Trust. Flowers

    ReplyDelete
  24. 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for baby boomer business owners who want to sell their businesses and retire. What are some of the factors that are coming together to make 2014 the "year of the seller?" If you are a baby boomer business owner who is thinking about exiting your business learn why you might want to do so this year. drone x pro review

    ReplyDelete
  25. Social media has grown in the recent years as more people are getting involved, signing themselves up and sharing information with one another. Popular social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogging sites. This movement has been seen by businessmen to be prolific. In fact, in the past few years, we have seen how business people have used the social media to promote their business. But marketing on social media can be tough. Beginners can be overwhelmed. Nevertheless, with simple social media marketing tips and tricks, you can go far! fb video downloader

    ReplyDelete
  26. Social media has grown in the recent years as more people are getting involved, signing themselves up and sharing information with one another. Popular social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogging sites. This movement has been seen by businessmen to be prolific. In fact, in the past few years, we have seen how business people have used the social media to promote their business. But marketing on social media can be tough. Beginners can be overwhelmed. Nevertheless, with simple social media marketing tips and tricks, you can go far! Artist Bio

    ReplyDelete
  27. Building a business requires considerable time and effort, and how do you maintain your business legacy? Read on to learn how you can help protect your business in the future through business succession planning Corporate Services Provider in Dubai, UAE

    ReplyDelete
  28. Financing a car is a very important process and today with the availability of numerous car finance brokers it has become an easy option to get secure car loans. Today these car finance brokers are playing a vital role in assisting car buyers as well. In this article, know more about various important factors that you should keep in mind while making a selection of a car finance broker. INVESTMENT

    ReplyDelete
  29. Splitting the property in a divorce is not always simple - in fact, the difference between community and separate property can become extremely complex. What happens, then, when the community has developed interest in a separate property asset? 안전놀이터

    ReplyDelete
  30. An online business directory is a website submission service that allows your small business's website to be added to a specific category where it can be searched for by interested visitors. These searchable online directories allow their visitors to search for websites and businesses that they find interesting or that they want to learn more about. Listing your small business on an online directory increases your website's visibility on the web and helps to create inbound links to your business' website. Online directories make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. All they have to do is jump online, which means that people could find your business' website from their home, office or even while traveling. Handy reparatur Kiel

    ReplyDelete
  31. When we purchase our homes and visualize our belongings in the space, it seems there is a place for everything and more space than we had before. After we move in, we find there are a few things that can be improved. Before you tackle any home improvement project, you should plan it. dutch door

    ReplyDelete

  32. Top Promoter .I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing. Buy Facebook Ads Accounts

    ReplyDelete
  33. Quotes can be pretty influential on our life. Little did we know that just a few strings of words could really make a difference in our life. There are quotes on friendship, relationship, leadership, success and many others that can be pretty inspiring and impactful on us. But is it true that quotes on leadership can make you be a real leader? Artist Bio

    ReplyDelete
  34. There are so many popular home improvements that continue to gain in popularity because of the outcome of the projects and the easy ability to afford the improvements in the first place. Take a look at this small list of a few of the most popular. Master Groups | Commercial & Residential Landscaping | Fencing Sydney

    ReplyDelete
  35. Cash app is a peer to peer payment app that was launched in 2013 by Square Inc, it allows users to send and receive money online. In the Cash app instead of an account number, you are known on the network by your email address or phone number. You can also create a unique identifier known as a $Cashtag. Users can link Cash App to an existing bank account and use that to transfer money to and from the Cash App account. With Cash App, you can send money from a debit card and spend your Cash App balance directly from that. Users can also receive direct deposits (like a paycheck), to their accounts.
    https://helpcashapp.com

    https://helpcashapp.com/about-us

    https://helpcashapp.com/blog

    https://helpcashapp.com/how-to-access-the-old-cash-app-account

    https://helpcashapp.com/how-to-fix-cash-app-not-working

    https://helpcashapp.com/how-to-activate-cash-app-card

    https://helpcashapp.com/how-to-delete-cash-app-account

    https://helpcashapp.com/cash-app-refund

    https://helpcashapp.com/want-to-increase-limit-of-my-cash-app

    ReplyDelete