Doom for the Atari 2600, also referred to as Doom 2600 or 2600 Doom, was a hoax that circulated the internet around 1997 in the form of an advertisement.

To date, no attempt has actually been made to bring Doom to the Atari 2600, either as a source port or a fan-made game.


The hoax began as a college project in computer imaging. James Catalano was assigned to create three various advertisements for a product of his choice, real or imaginary. He chose to combine the Atari 2600, being a fan of Atari and Retrogaming, with Doom, having been playing the Sega 32X version of the game.

The images created featured two fake screenshots, a game cartridge and box, and a full-page magazine ad which included a fake logo for a company called "Retroware Games" and mentioned support for other Atari systems, as well as Intellivision and Colecovision.

Inspired by the realism of the fake advertisements and with the help of Bill Haslacher, Catalano spread the false images onto forums and newsgroups.

In October 2009 the website of the hoax went down when its host, GeoCities, shut down.


The hoax gathered the attention of many forums and web sites. The 102nd issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly (cover dated January 1998) printed a letter from Catalano which claimed an unlicensed Atari 2600 conversion had been released and was accompanied by screenshots and a reproduction box (consisting essentially of the original PC version box art accompanied by the usual Atari 2600 logos). The editorial staff's response assured readers that Catalano's claims were in fact a joke and that it had fooled a number of people on the Internet and even some software companies.

Barret Alexander, Director of Business Development at id Software at the time, was asked how the company was reacting to the hoax, responding:

"I definitely find that amusing. We're always flattered when people are having fun, as long as they don't step over the boundaries."

In 2006, the Angry Video Game Nerd (who would later review the 32X and Atari Jaguar ports of the original Doom on his internet series) made a sarcastic comment "I'd rather play Doom on Atari!" while criticizing the overly-complicated and tedious gameplay of Friday the 13th on NES, likely an allusion to this infamous hoax.

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