In June of 1979, Warren Robinett, a programmer at Atari, submitted the source code to the second game he’d developed for Atari. The game was called Adventure, and it would be the last game he would develop for the company, leaving soon after submitting the title for production. In his words, “I was p*ssed.” In that time, designers were not allowed to receive credit for their titles. This was due to Atari management not wanting designers to be poached by other companies. In later years, under different management, it was because the programmers were believed to be no more important than the production team that built the cartridges.
In protest, Warren Robinett built a secret room in the game that displayed the message “Created by Warren Robinett.”
“They had the power to keep my name off the box, but I had the power to put my name on the screen,” Robinett said in a 2022 interview with Atari.
Fellow programmer Steve Wright, once the secret room became known to the outside world, said that secrets in games were like waking up on Easter Sunday and finding Easter eggs.