One of the first third-party developers for the Atari 2600, Apollo Inc. was formed by Pat Roper, the president of a Texas-based educational films company. Roper put out a newspaper ad for a programmer and hired a teenage coder from Iowa, Ed Salvo. Salvo immediately delivered a game he'd been working on, Skeet Shoot, and was contracted with developing a second, Spacechase. Upon completing Spacechase, Salvo was promoted to Director of Development and tasked with building a 25 man development team.
Apollo expanded rapidly, growing to over 300 employees. While Apollo put out games at a respectable rate, sales never caught on, falling far short of the projected $30 million for 1982. This, combined with Roper's fixation on trying to outdo Activision (by trying to sell 1 million more units than them, or having one more campus than them, each one floor higher!) led to Salvo and three other programmers leaving the company to form VSS, Inc. in late 1982. Apollo was forced into bankruptcy two weeks later.