Gaming Unreleased Atari game Marble Madness II leaks online after more than three decades

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What just happened? For the last several decades, the only way to play the unreleased sequel to Atari's Marble Madness was through a handful of prototype arcade cabinets. That all changed this week with the unexpected leak of the Marble Madness II ROM and nobody seems to know why.

As the story goes, Atari developed a sequel to Marble Madness and created a handful of prototypes for internal focus group testing in the early 90s. Feedback wasn't all that hot, however, and Atari reportedly blamed it on the game's trackball controls. Another prototype was made with an updated control scheme that replaced the trackball with a joystick and accelerator button but it didn't fare much better.

Rather than try a third time, Atari scrapped the game and moved on to another project. It was thought that maybe a dozen or fewer prototype game boards survived.

Recently, an emulator-ready ROM of Marble Madness II started circulating on the Internet. As Ars Technica highlights, it's unclear who is responsible for the dump but longtime MAME contributor David Haywood has a theory.

 
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