Nolan Kay Bushnell was born on the 5th February 1943 in Clearfield, Utah USA, and is an engineer and entrepreneur widely known as the co-founder of Atari, Inc. video game development company which produced the majority of the arcade games during the 1980s, of which the most famous are certainly Pong, Pac Man, Breakout and Space Invaders. He is also the co-founder of the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theaters chain of American family entertainment centers and restaurants.
Have you ever wondered how much wealth this computer enthusiast has acquired? How rich Nolan Bushnell is? According to sources, it is estimated that the total amount of Nolan Bushnell’s net worth, as of early 2016, is $50 million including a mansion in Woodside, California, and has been accumulated through his career in the entertainment industry now spanning almost 47 years.
Nolan Bushnell Net Worth $50 Million
Nolan firstly showed an interest in arcade games in his high school days, when he worked at Lagoon Amusement Park. He subsequently graduated from the University of Utah College of Engineering in 1968 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. During studies, his arcade games interest deepened as he played Spacewar! Game, and in 1969, alongside Ted Dabney, Nolan Bushnell formed Syzygy studio, intentionally focused on making Spacewar clone, named Computer Space. The game was released under Nutting Associates label and earned over $3 million. This latter engagement provided the basis of Nolan Bushnell’s overall net worth.
Their appetites grew, and in 1972 the skilled duo founded Atari, Inc., video game development and home computer company. Three years later, the home version of their first game – Pong, hit the market and made a huge success. In 1977 Atari, with Nolan Bushnell as its leader, spawned a revolution in the home gaming market after releasing the Atari 2006 home video game console which immediately sold over 250,000 pieces. In the same year, Nolan sold Atari, Inc. to Warner Communications for $28 million but kept his position as the chairman. By 1982, Nolan led Atari to strengthening its position as one of the fastest-growing companies in USA with annual sales of $1.3 billion. It is doubtless that this business venture was the main source of Nolan Bushnell’s net worth.
Parallel to the development of Atari, in 1977 Nolan Bushnell started another business project – after purchasing Pizza Time Theater from Warner Communications, it became the chain of family entertainment centers originally imagined as the place where kids would eat pizza and play Atari’s video games, named Chuck E. Cheesy’s Pizza Time Theater. However, Nolan resigned from this enterprise in 1984 when the company declared bankruptcy. This business failure didn’t discourage Nolan – subsequently he founded Catalyst Technologies, one of the first business incubators with companies such as Androbot, Etak, Cumma and Axlon in its portfolio. These enrolments certainly impacted Nolan Bushnell’s net worth positively.
Although the 1990s were rough on Nolan’s wealth, and despite the fact that he had to declare bankruptcy and his possessions were seized by the banks, he managed to get back on his feet and earn millions again. In his business career so far, Nolan Bushnell has started over 20 companies, of which the major number is tightly connected to computer science and game development. Some of his more recent projects includes uWink and Brain Rush.
Nolan Bushnell is considered as one of the fathers of the video game industry and for his contribution, he has been rewarded several times – he has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame as well as into the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame. Newsweek named him as one of the 50 Men Who Changed America.
When it comes to his personal life, from his first marriage with Paula Rochelle Nielson, Nolan has three children. Now he is married to Nancy Bushnell, with whom he has five children. They currently reside in the family mansion in Woodside, California which Nolan bought in 1977 from coffee magnate James Folger.
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