If the name “Xante” means nothing for you, they are basically among the rarest and most exotic Atari 2600 cartridges.
According to AtariAge, ante had plans to be a major player in the game distribution. They wanted to establish kiosks that could produce cartridges on demand from a catalog of games. The customer would choose a game, the game would be downloaded over a phone line and then burned to an EPROM right on the spot. A simple label and instruction sheet would be produced to accompany the game, as well as a rather generic box.
Although Xante had plans to produce cartridges for many different game systems, they concentrated on the 2600 since that was the most popular system at the time. They had secured licenses from many software companies such as Imagic and Twentieth Century Fox. Retailers were open to the idea because it reduced their inventory costs, but negotiations with Atari were stalling.
The project was started with a limited catalog in Tulsa, Oklahoma at convenience and grocery stores. Unfortunately, before it could take off on a national level, software licensing issues and the videogame market crash of 1984 caused the company to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. They never made it outside of Tulsa, and consequently their cartridges are very difficult to find.
Their games are instantly recognizable from their blue casing and embossed logo. Xante was well funded and ahead of its time, but were an unfortunate casualty of licensing and the great crash that hurt so many other companies.
They are made even more interesting these days, as you can think of them as a predecessor to the DLC system that is so common now. They’re quite similar to the Japanese Nintendo Power cartridges for GB and Super Famicom, and the obscure Blockbuster Game Factory for SEGA Genesis.
Value? Hard to say. Last year Megaforce, Worm War I, Beany Bopper and Atlantis sold as a lot for $2,000.
The second auction is for a copy of Fire Fighter – a previously unknown Xante game (to my understanding). If it is legit, the seller is going to be losing a massive amount of money based on the absolutely horrid pictures he`s using.
This seller has a lot of Limited Edition 2600 Reproductions – Primarily from Early CGE Events
Factory Sealed Shipping Case of 12 Mythicon Games Atari 2600 Games – Four games each of Fire Fly, Star Fox and Sorcerer
Atari 2600 Music Machine – Another 2600 Rarity.
The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask FOR DISPLAY ONLY Box (Thanks Stephen!)
Mario Kart 7 Key Chain
Super Castlevania IV Sealed Super Nintendo
Loose GBC Shantee
BLANK Sega Genesis EPROM