Which Cereal Company Had A Brief Stint As A Video Game Development House?
Answer: Quaker Oats Company
The early 1980s was a veritable gold rush era in the video game industry, and everybody and their grandmother wanted in on the booming industry. It wasn’t just existing software development companies opening up game divisions or plucky garage startups jumping into the market, even enormous breakfast cereal and food conglomerate Quaker Oats got in on the action.
That’s right, the company you most likely associate with whole oatmeal breakfasts and granola bars had a brief run in the video game industry. It all started in 1982 when they acquired U.S. Games, their short-lived game division. How short-lived? They released fourteen titles for the Atari 2600 over the course of 1982 and early 1983, none of which were particularly popular (including titles like Raft Rider and Eggomania which, disappointingly, has nothing to do with Eggo waffles).
The Video Game Crash of the mid-1980s (that put the entire video game industry into a recession that lasted from 1983 to 1985) was a stake through U.S. Games heart; Quaker Oats reassessed their foray into the industry, realized the demand for their games was non-existent, and quickly withdrew from the market, shuttering U.S. Games in 1983.