Atari, Inc. (Atari, SA subsidiary)
|Type||Subsidiary of Atari, SA|
|Industry||Computer and video games
|Fate||Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code|
|Founded||2003 as Atari Inc. (formerly Infogrames Inc./GT Interactive)|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Key people||Eugene Davis
EVP and General counsel
|Products||Alone in the Dark
|Revenue||US$218 million (2006)|
|Net income||US$68 million (2006)|
The company that currently bears the Atari Inc. name was founded in 1993 under the name GT Interactive. In 1999, Infogrames Entertainment, SA (IESA) acquired a 62% controlling interest in GT Interactive, and proceeded to rename it Infogrames, Inc. After IESA's acquisition of Hasbro Interactive and its related Atari properties in 2001, Infogrames, Inc. intermittently published Atari branded titles for Infogrames Interactive. In 2003, Infogrames, Inc. licensed the Atari name and logo from Atari Interactive and changed its name to Atari Inc. On October 11, 2008 Infogrames completed its acquisition of Atari, Inc., making it a wholly owned subsidiary. On January 21, 2013 Atari Inc. filed for bankruptcy, with President Jim Wilson stating plans to try and split off from parent Atari SA.
Atari Inc. product history
In 2002, Jakks Pacific, a toy making company, released a plug-and-play video game console called the Atari 10-in-1 TV Game. It was battery-operated and shaped similarly to an Atari 2600 joystick, and included A/V ports. In 2004, the same company created a device called Atari Paddle Games, in the shape of one of the 2600s "paddle" controllers with appropriate titles included. However, as stated, neither of the games was directly released by Atari.
The same year that the Paddle Games were released, Atari released a TV game of their own which they called the Atari Flashback Console. The device was designed and produced by Atari consultant Curt Vendel through his engineering firm Legacy Engineering. With only a 10 week development window, what they produced looked like a minute version of the Atari 7800 console originally released in 1984, 20 years prior. The two controllers were small as well, having a joystick and two red buttons on each side. Twenty titles were built into the system. Unlike most plug-and-plays, the Flashback was not powered by batteries, but an (included) AC adaptor instead. The Flashback did fairly well in sales. Since the games were all recreated on hardware more closely resembling the Nintendo Entertainment System than the 7800, some of the aspects of certain games concerning the sound, graphics, or gameplay were either changed or omitted.
Because of popular demand, Atari hired Curt Vendel once again to produce a follow up product. With a longer development window, Vendel released a new version of the Flashback console, titled Atari Flashback 2, in August 2005. The Flashback 2 is based on an implementation of the original Atari 2600 on a single chip that Curt Vendel designed, allowing the original 2600 games to be run instead of ports as in the first Flashback. In addition, the included joysticks are fully compatible with the original 2600 joysticks and vice-versa. Furthermore, the circuitboard in the Flashback 2 actually has connectors for modders to solder on a cartridge slot, allowing the Flashback 2 to play the entire library of 2600 games.
Also, in late October 2005, Atari released one of two collections of its classic arcade games only for the Nokia N-Gage console, titled Atari Masterpieces. Atari Masterpieces Volume I includes classic arcade games: Asteroids, Battlezone, Black Widow, Millipede, Missile Command, Red Baron, Lunar Lander and Super Breakout, and features an exclusive interview with Nolan Bushnell. Atari Masterpieces Volume II was released in March 2006.
On May 5, 2006, Atari and Hasbro stopped Bioware and DLA from further development of premium modules and publishing near-completed premium modules for Neverwinter Nights. No reason was stated, but it was likely in anticipation of the upcoming sequel, Neverwinter Nights 2, which would lack features from these modules. They relented after community backlash.
Recently, Atari's top-selling titles have been the Dragon Ball games based on the popular anime license from Toei Animation in Japan. These include the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series of games for next-generation console systems and the Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku series of games for the Game Boy Advance. These games have topped the best-seller charts for numerous console platforms since the release of Atari's first Dragon Ball Z game, The Legacy of Goku in 2002, which was the first Dragon Ball game to be made by an American company, Webfoot Technologies, and is one of the best-selling Game Boy Advance games of all time (#16). The best selling Budokai series is developed in Japan by Dimps and includes Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3). Atari is also releasing Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi and its sequel, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 which is a separate series from the Budokai series. Following the success of the Budokai and Legacy of Goku series, Atari has released numerous other Dragon Ball titles including Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors, Dragon Ball Z: Super Sonic Warriors 2, Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, Dragon Ball GT: Transformation, Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure and Super Dragon Ball Z.
Atari also released a series of games based on the Matrix movie trilogy including Enter the Matrix and The Matrix: Path of Neo. Although not critical successes, these titles represent some of the most expensive video games ever developed. Enter the Matrix, which was developed by Shiny Entertainment, sold 1.38 million units for the PlayStation 2 and 1 million units for the Nintendo GameCube.
Another popular series by Atari has been the Godzilla Series, based on the nuclear monster originally created by Toho. Pipeworks developed and created all of the three console titles, although handheld titles were developed separately. The series started with "Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee" for the Nintendo GameCube which was released on October 11, 2002 to much success before it was ported to the Microsoft Xbox a year later. It was followed by a sequel, "Godzilla: Save the Earth" for the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox, on November 16, 2004. Despite Save the Earth's relative commercial failure, Godzilla: Unleashed was released for the PS2 and Wii, on November 20, 2007 and December 5, 2007 respectively. Unleashed was accompanied by Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash for the Nintendo DS, which was released on November 20, 2007. There is speculation as to the series' future, although current belief is Atari has lost the rights to Godzilla.
Other currently popular titles for Atari include RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, Test Drive Unlimited, Neverwinter Nights, the Alone in the Dark series and the Driver series (recently sold to Ubisoft for a reported $24 million).
Atari Inc. corporate history
On September 1, 2006, Atari Inc. announced that its stock faces delisting from NASDAQ since its price had fallen under $1.00. On September 5, 2006, David Pierce was appointed as new CEO of Atari, replacing Bruno Bonnell. Pierce previously worked as an executive at Universal Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, and Sony Wonder.
On March 6, 2008, Infogrames made an offer to Atari Inc. to buy out all remaining public shares for a value of US$1.68 per share or US$11 million total. The offer would make Infogrames sole owner of Atari Inc., making it a privately held company.
On April 30, 2008, Atari Inc. announced its intentions to accept Infogrames' buyout offer and merge with Infogrames.
On May 9, 2008, It was revealed that Nasdaq will be removing Atari from the Nasdaq stock market. Atari has stated its intentions to appeal the decision. Atari was notified of Nasdaq's final decision April 24, 2008 and the appeal hearing took place on May 1, 2008. Atari was expected to raise its value to $15 million USD from the period December 20, 2007 through to March, 2008. Atari received notice of its absolute delisting on September 12, 2008.
On October 11, 2008 Infogrames completed its acquisition of Atari, Inc., making it a wholly owned subsidiary.
On January 21, 2013, Atari Inc., Atari Interactive Inc., Humongous, Inc. and California US Holdings, Inc. (collectively, the "Companies") filed petitions for relief under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. All three Ataris emerged from bankruptcy one year later and the entering of the social casino gaming industry with Atari Casino. Frederic Chesnais, who now heads all three companies, stated their entire operations consist of a staff of 10 people.
Atari was one of the companies using British legal company Davenport Lyons in 2008 to recover damages from computer users illegally downloading games but stopped using the company when they were made aware of the false claims being made against innocent members of the public.
Video games published
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Atari.|
- "Infogrames Entertainment Corporate Profile and Annual Report" (PDF). Infogrames Entertainment SA. Fiscal Year 2005-2006. p. 7. Archived from the original on 27 November 2007. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
- Atari Inc. (March 31, 2003). "10-KT · For 3/31/03, Overview Subsection". Atari Inc. Archived from the original on 27 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-06.
- Infogrames completes Atari Inc acquisition - Phil Elliott 11/10/2008 gamesindustry.biz
- Atari: "In The Money", Driver Gone - TotalGaming.net news, July 13, 2006
- Gamasutra - Atari To Fight NASDAQ Delisting Notice
- IGN: Atari Names New CEO
- http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/061002/atari_sale.html?.v=1[dead link]
- http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/04/05/ap3586525.html[dead link]
- Sinclair, Brendan (November 7, 2007). Atari running out of quarters?. Gamespot. Retrieved on November 7, 2007.
- Atari, Inc. Reports Receipt of Non-Binding Offer from Infogrames Entertainment S.A.: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
- Infogrames Entertainment S.A. and Atari, Inc. Announce Agreement to Merge: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
- Delisting of Securities of Atari, Inc. From the NASDAQ Stock Market Source: The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. - GlobeNewswire, Inc.
- "Atari Files For Chapter 11 To Separate From French Parent". Prnewswire.com. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
- Brett Molina (March 26, 2014). "Atari resets with jump into social casino gaming". USA Today. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- BBC Watchdog website, Davenport Lyons - threatening letters, 8 December 2008