In December of 1980, a group of consultants from the US Army approached Atari with the idea that the game "Battlezone
" could be made into a simulator for the then-new 'IFV' Infantry Fighting Vehicle (or the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, as it is known now).
Many physical and gameplay changes were made to the original game, such as a new control yoke (a similar control was used for Star Wars), friendly and hostile vehicles and helicopters, more weapons (7.62 mm machine gun, a cannon with armor piercing or high-explosive shells; and a tube-launched optically-guided missile launcher, or TOW), and view selection (normal or magnified). The key was to guess the size of the target, use the on-screen gauge to align it, and dial in the distance to the object, to hit it with the first shot.
A prototype of the simulator was rushed out in March 1981, and was introduced at the worldwide TRADOC conference that year. It was a hit at the conference.
Ed Rotberg, the project programmer, was very opposed to doing the project, mainly due to the principles of such a project. He felt that technology used to produce Battlezone and video games in general shouldn't be used for bad purposes, such as weapons research, and cited the conversion of automobile factories into tank and airplane factories in World War II. Rotberg spent two months on the project, and resented it the entire time.