Atari VCS system architect Rob Wyatt is suing Atari over missed payments

Rob Wyatt, the system architect behind the original Xbox, is suing Atari for failing to pay him for the work he did on the company’s retro VCS console. 

Wyatt had been hired to oversee creation of the Atari VCS, but cut ties with the company in October 2019 and said Atari hadn’t paid him in over six months.

In an interview posted at the time, he explained he fully intended to “see the project through to the end,” but the missed payments left him “little choice other than to pursue other opportunities.” Atari refused to comment on what it described as “an isolated matter under dispute.”

Now, six months on from his departure, Wyatt has taken the matter further and filed a lawsuit against the company over an alleged breach of contract and defamation. 

As spotted by VentureBeat, the lawsuit was filed in federal court in Colorado and claims Atari owes Tin Giant precisely $261,720 in missed payments. It also alleges that Atari falsely blamed the delayed launch of the console on Tin Giant, when it fact “Atari’s own mismanagement of the console project that was the cause of or reason for the delayed launch.” 

The throwback machine was initially unveiled under the ‘Ataribox’ moniker in 2017, before eventually being rebranded as a hybrid retro-slash-current-gen console called the Atari VCS.

The VCS was originally slated to ship in 2019, but after that proposed date came and went Atari instead promised to launch the console in 2020.