Dave Theurer was the mastermind behind the Atari Missile Command arcade game.
The original concept included things like submarines and railroads, but they tended to complicate
game play and so were removed.
The result -- a relatively simple game of
shooting down missiles with other missiles
-- became a huge arcade hit.
It went on to be translated to the
Atari 2600 home video game system, and
sold over 2 million copies for that system.
The game's popularity had a lot to do with its subject matter. Originally, the game was to be named Armageddon.
The early 1980s were a time when many feared the threat of nuclear weaponry, and the thought of missiles falling from
the sky wasn't too far-fetched.
This game was also licensed to Sega for release in certain European countries. This game was included in the Arcade's
Greatest Hits Collection, which also includes Super Breakout, Centipede, Tempest, Asteroids, and Battlezone.