Video game pioneer, Pitfall! creator David Crane says esports roots planted 40 years ago

Legendary video game designer David Crane said he probably should have seen the rise of esports way back in the 1980s.

While building games for Atari, a long hallway ended in a sort-of makeshift game room, where programmers would play the latest titles.

These often impromptu sessions would often draw six to eight people watching the gameplay.

“We, of course, looked at games differently than the average person – concentrating on design issues and technical implementation,” he told The OVG in an email interview. “But it could be entertaining nonetheless. It showed the value of watching an expertly played game.”

Crane would move on to Activision, where he would be the brains behind the legendary Atari 2600 game “Pitfall!,” and “Ghostbusters” for the Commodore 64.

This weekend, Crane will be in Orlando for Free Play Florida, an annual showcase of arcade games that serves as an homage to that classical video game period.

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