Gene Lipkin Email Interview


Gene Lipkin

( Sales Manager of Allied Leisure; President of Atari coin-operated games; President of Sega Enterprises (US) and General Manager of Data East US.)

Email Interview - 2nd January 2006



Jon: Hi,


Gene: Hello Jon,


Jon: I am currently researching the gaming industry history between 1970 and 1985, in particluar a company called Allied Leisure Industries who later become Centuri Inc.


Gene: Well someone preserving Allied or Centuri for that matter is interesting...was a long time ago and there are not many people around today who know the information that you are searching for, of the original people Ron Halliburton and myself are probably the 2 most aware..............

Jon: I understand you worked for Allied Leisure Industries in the early 70's, What year did you start working for them and how were you or by whom were you introduced to the company? 

Gene: 1969, when the company was founded as D&R Braun Company...........I was introduced to Dave Braun by my father.

Jon: As the sales manager at Allied Leisure, did you have any input into the design of a game? 


Gene: Yes, I worked closely with Ron and his team on game ideas 


Jon: It is rumoured that Paddle Battle, the clone of Pong was Allied's biggest seller. Is this true, and if not which was the biggest selling game while you were there. 

Gene: Tennis Tourney was our biggest selling game 

Jon: It has been quoted that Dave Braun promised you $10 for each Paddle Battle you sold. But he didnt honour his agreement so you left Allied. Is this true or were you still working for the company when it changed its name to Centuri Inc ? 

Gene: Actually it was $15.00 per game and unfortunately Dave did not honor his commitment and I left. 


Jon: Whats the story behind you joining Nolan Bushnell and Atari? 

Gene: Very simple, I knew Nolan from his days at Nutting, he wanted me to join him as I understood the coin op side of the business and he believed in engineering, we both understood that "video" was the future of the business so it was an easy decision to make. 

Jon: Do you own any video games of your own from any period of your time in the industry? If so what? 

Gene: NO 


Jon: Was it you who introduced Ron Haliburton to Nolan Bushnell, and if so was this before Ron left Allied and Arcade Engineering for Midway? 

Gene: Yes, I always wanted Ron to be part of the team at Atari, unfortunately the closest we got to having him involved was when we licensed Hercules from him. 

Jon: Where you working for Allied at the time of the warehouse fire? Did the fire wipe out all of Allieds stock? and how was it alleged it was started? 

Gene: Yes, the fire was a true disaster, the cause was faulty electrical. 

Jon: I also researched that large amounts of machines were made but then put straight into storage at Allied, Why was this and was this stock ever sold? 

Gene: Do not know about this, and my recall says this never happened or at least did not happen while I was involved with the company. 

Jon:Did you have any involement with Centuri Inc at all? If so what or whom? Did you ever work with Joel Hochberg? 


Gene: Never had any involvement with Centuri, I have known Joel Hochberg for 30 plus years. 

Jon: Thanks again for your time.

Gene: good luck with your project.





Other Interviews


I managed to find a few other people linked to Centuri, and you can view there interviews below.