Auntie Pastie - 09/05/2016
Sadly, the link to the article giving the background is dead (as of May 2016), but it's still available at archive.org :-
Punkydudester - 12/12/2014
It's crazy there were 3 versions of this by 3 different companies. They are all beautifully done too.
I have one Frogger by Chuck Benson, published by Load'n'Go Software...
This prototype is a very interesting curio indeed. I never realized this version existed until many years later (e.g., this website!). In "Hackers," Steven Levy mentioned that Frogger was originally going to be adapted for the Atari by a freelance Apple programmer. John Harris pleaded to Ken Williams to allow him to do it instead. Until the facts were straightened out, I thought this might have been that early version by the Apple programmer. The program APPEARED to be done by someone that knew the 6502 microprocessor, but not the Atari that well. So much for that theory. :)
Since the sound and music are nearly identical to Harris's version, I'm guessing that Chuck Benton had access to some of the same tools. That includes the POKEY soundtrack, which according to Levy, was done by Harris's friend.
At this time, companies became licensed for different media formats. In this case, Parker Bros. secured the distribution rights for all versions based on CARTRIDGE format. That left other media (disk, casette, etc.) open to license by other companies. In the case of the Atari 8 bit, you ended up with Sierra releasing one version (on disk and tape), and Parker Bros. releasing the cartridge version. On the Atari 2600, Parker Bros. released the cart version, and Starpath/Arcadia released a much superior tape-based version for their Supercharger cartridge accessory. Parker Bros. and Frogger tends to be the major example of this happening.
|It is still unclear whether this version was actually published concurrently, before or after the John Harris release. Parker Brothers later sold the game on cartridge as well.|
Missing original tape and disk images!