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Atari SA

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Atari SA
FormerlyInfogrames Entertainment SA (1983–2009)
Company typePublic
ISINFR0010478248
Industry
FoundedJune 1983; 41 years ago (1983-06) in Lyon, France
FounderBruno Bonnell
Headquarters,
France
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Wade J. Rosen
(Chairman and CEO)
Brands
  • Accolade
  • GT Interactive
  • Infogrames
  • M Network
  • Intellivision
RevenueIncrease 6.4 million[1] (2023)
Increase €-5 million (2023)
Decrease €-6.6 million (2023)
Total assetsIncrease €54.6 million (2023)
Total equityIncrease €11.2 million (2023)
SubsidiariesSee § Subsidiaries
Websiteatari-investisseurs.fr

Atari SA (formerly Infogrames Entertainment SA) is a French video game holding company headquartered in Paris. Once one of the largest video game companies in the world through an acquisition policy under Infogrames, Atari SA dealt with continuing pressures and difficulty finding investors which led to the company seeking bankruptcy protection under French law in January 2013 while subsidiaries in the United States sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as well.[2] Since 2020, the company has seen a turnaround with a new focus on dealing with re-releases of older titles and the acquisition of companies that deal with the re-release of mainly abandonware video games.

Currently, Atari SA is made up of four mainstream divisions - Atari, Nightdive Studios, Digital Eclipse and Infogrames. Through these divisions as well as under subsidiaries Atari Interactive and Atari, Inc.[3], the company owns the rights to many video games held by companies including Accolade, GT Interactive, M Network, and Intellivision.

History[edit]

Early history (1983–1996)[edit]

The founders wanted to christen the company Zboub Système (which can be approximately translated to Dick System in English), but were dissuaded by their legal counsel.[4] According to Bonnell in a TV interview, they then used a mix-and-match computer program to suggest other names, one of which was "Infogramme": a portmanteau of the French words "informatique" (information technology) and "programme" (computer program). The final choice, Infogrames, was a slightly modified version of that suggestion.[5]

The company logo and mascot is an armadillo (tatou in French), chosen when the company was moved to Villeurbanne. Bonnell commented: "This dinosaur [sic] is our symbol. The armadillo has always survived changes to its environment, from the melting of glaciers to the worst of heat waves."[4]

In the late 1980s, Infogrames was noted for its French computer games that often featured original game ideas and occasionally humorous content. They had acquired several licences for popular Franco-Belgian comics. In 1992, they released Alone in the Dark, a 3D horror adventure game, to international attention.[6]

By 1995, Infogrames was held by many shareholders, including a 20% stake from Pathé Interactive (joint-venture between Phillips Media and Chargeurs) and 3.3% by Productions Marcel Dassault.[7] By August, Phillips Media acquired Chargeurs' stake in Pathé Interactive, which led to the 20% shareholding stake of the company transferring fully over to Phillips.[8]

Growth through acquisition (1996–2000)[edit]

Infogrames logo from 1996 to 2000

In 1996, Infogrames embarked on an acquisition campaign that would last seven years and cost more than $500 million; the objective was to become the world's leading interactive entertainment publisher.[9] While the company's debt increased from $55 million in 1999 to $493 million in 2002, the company's revenue also increased from $246 million to $650 million during the same period.[10]

In July 1996, the company announced that it would purchase the British-based holding company Ocean International Ltd. for $100 million, beginning Infogrames' status as a major publisher.[11][12] Ocean International consisted of British developer and publisher Ocean Software and its North American division Ocean of America. After the deal was closed, Ocean became a standalone subsidiary of Infogrames and continued releasing its own titles distant from those of Infogrames. Both Ocean subsidiaries soon became the official distributors for Infogrames in both territories.

In 1997, Infogrames Télématique launched Oceanline, a website that would offer simplified online versions of Infogrames titles.[13] On February 3, Infogrames announced that they would purchase the French division of Phillips Media BV for ₣191.5 million[14][15] with the deal closing on June 9.[16] Phillips Media France, in addition to holding a 20% shareholding stake in Infogrames, also owned the distributors Ecudis (France), Leisuresoft (UK), Bomico Entertainment Software (Germany and Holland),[17] and German publisher Laguna Video Games.[18] Leisuresoft was however not included in the sale, and was shuttered following the purchase.[19]

On January 30, 1998, Infogrames signed a licensing deal with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to publish and develop five titles based on the Looney Tunes franchise.[20] On February 8, Infogrames rebranded its subsidiaries under its own banner, with Ocean Software becoming Infogrames United Kingdom,[21][22] Ocean of America becoming Infogrames Entertainment, Inc.[23][24] and Bomico Entertainment Software becoming Infogrames Deutschland. On the same day, the company announced a two-year distribution deal with Canal+ Multimedia to distribute the company's titles in the UK, France and Germany.[25] Later on in the year the company purchased the distributors ABS Multimedia, Arcadia, and the Swiss Gamecity GmbH[26][27] and ending the year off with the purchase of a 62.5% in Australian game distributor Ozisoft, following its then-recent relinquishment from Sega.[28]

On February 10, 1999, Infogrames extended its partnership with Canal+ Multimedia by purchasing a 50% stake in the publisher, with the intentions to invest ₣50 million into creating titles based on Canal+'s licenses.[29] Infogrames made major purchases for 1999, beginning in March with the purchase of the Gremlin Group for $40 million in March, who owned developers Gremlin Interactive and DMA Design.,[30] with Gremlin rebranding as Infogrames Sheffield House. On April 5, Psygnosis' Paris development studio was purchased.[31] The company's first major purchase of the year came on April 20, with the purchase of publisher Accolade for $60 million in order to gain a major North American distribution network.[32][33] Accolade was rebranded as Infogrames North America, with the company's former North American distribution arm (the ex-Ocean of America) being folded into it. On June 24, the company extended its Looney Tunes licensing deal with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for five years, with a maximum of twenty titles.[34] later on in the year, the company purchased the video game division of the Australian-based Beam Software, and rebranded it as Infogrames Melbourne House.[35] On 29 September, Take-Two Interactive purchased DMA Design from Infogrames for US$11 million and transitioned it over to their Rockstar Games subsidiary, soon becoming Rockstar North.

In December 1999, Infogrames made their then-largest purchase with the acquisition of a 70% stake in publisher GT Interactive Software for $135 million, and assumed GT's $75 million bank debt.[27][36] IESA justified the purchase by stating that GT Interactive provided Infogrames with a "distribution network for all of its products in the United States, as well as a catalog of products that includes Driver, Duke Nukem, Oddworld, Unreal Tournament and Deer Hunter.[27] The deal also included the developers SingleTrac, Humongous Entertainment,[37] Cavedog Entertainment, WizardWorks, MacSoft, Legend Entertainment[38] and Reflections Interactive;[39]

Infogrames began the new millennium of 2000 with a new identity and branding, while in February GT closed down Cavedog Entertainment as part of its restructuring.[40] In June, The company invested another $30 million in GT Interactive, and renamed the publisher as Infogrames, Inc.[41] On June 30, Infogrames purchased developer Paradigm Entertainment for $19.5 million and placed them within Infogrames, Inc. operations.[42] and soon afterwards purchased in-flight games developer Den-o-Tech Int. (DTI) for $5.6 million, renaming them as Infogrames DTI.[43][27] Infogrames was also one of the interested companies in purchasing Eidos Interactive.[44]

On December 6, 2000, board game manufacturer Hasbro announced that they would sell their struggling Hasbro Interactive division to Infogrames for $100 million, $95 million as 4.5 million common shares of Infogrames and $5 million in cash.[45][46] The deal included all of Hasbro Interactive's product library, the Atari and MicroProse brands and titles such as Civilization, Falcon, RollerCoaster Tycoon, Centipede, Missile Command, and Pong, MicroProse's owned developers, the Games.com web portal, third-party video game licenses including Thomas the Tank Engine, Family Feud and various Namco properties, as well as a fifteen-year licensing deal to develop and publish titles based on Hasbro IP such as Dungeons & Dragons, Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head and My Little Pony, with an option for an additional 5 years based on performance.[47][48] The deal did not include Avalon Hill, which was retained by Hasbro. The deal was closed on January 29, 2001,[49][48] and Hasbro Interactive was rebranded as Infogrames Interactive, Inc.[50]

On October 2, 2001, Infogrames announced that they would reinvent the Atari brand as a second major publishing label with the launch of three new games featuring prominent Atari branding on their boxarts: Splashdown, MX Rider and TransWorld Surf.[51] Infogrames titles released under the Atari brand would focus within a core 18-34-year-old male audience, while children's and casual games would retain the Infogrames banner.

In April 2002, the company's Japanese division Infogrames Japan K.K. signed a Japanese distribution deal with Konami for select titles[52] and soon relaunched the Atari brand in the country with the publication of Splashdown, TransWorld Surf and V-Rally 3 in the region.[53] On April 25, Infogrames purchased Shiny Entertainment from the struggling Interplay Entertainment for $47 million, alongside the exclusive publishing rights to publish games based on The Matrix.[54] On August 28, Infogrames purchased the remaining shares in OziSoft for $3.7 million and rebranded the distributor as Infogrames Australia and Infogrames New Zealand.[10][55] On September 12, 2002, Infogrames announced the closure of MicroProse's UK studio, then named Infogrames Chippenham.[56][57] On October 2, the company closed Infogrames Lyon House.[58][59] and on October 22, had acquired the remaining 80% of Eden Studios[60] for $4.1 million,.[10] In the fiscal year of 2002, IESA had a net loss of $67 million on revenues of $650 million, and in 2003 the net losses increased to $89 million.[43]

On January 30, 2003, Infogrames sold their Mac publishing division MacSoft to Destineer.[61][62][63][64] On May 1, the company shuttered the Infogrames Sheffield House development studio.

Rebranding to Atari (2003–2006)[edit]

Atari logo used by Infogrames from 2003 to 2010

On 7 May 2003, Infogrames announced they had licensed the Atari brand and officially reorganized all its subsidiaries under the Atari banner. Its two publishing divisions in the United States - Infogrames, Inc., based in Santa Monica (the former GT Interactive) which handled a majority of the company's "core" titles such as Enter the Matrix, Dungeons and Dragons (including Neverwinter Nights) and other movie tie-ins, was rebranded as Atari, Inc.,[65] and Infogrames Interactive, Inc., based in Beverly, Massachusetts, which focused on children's and casual titles such as games based on the Dragon Ball franchise and their Hasbro license, was renamed Atari Interactive, Inc.,[50][66] merging with the previously existing Atari Interactive, Inc. which held all rights to the Atari brand.[67] Other subsidiaries that rebranded included Infogrames Australia Pty, Ltd. rebranding as Atari Australia Pty, Ltd.,[28] Infogrames United Kingdom Limited rebranding as Atari United Kingdom Limited,[43] Infogrames Europe rebranding as Atari Europe and development studio Infogrames Melbourne House Pty Ltd becoming Atari Melbourne House Pty Ltd.[35] The Infogrames Entertainment SA company as a whole remained under its name, and became a holding company for the Atari assets.[68] Atari, Inc.'s majority shareholder was California U.S. Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Infogrames Entertainment SA.[66] and had exclusive publishing and sublicensing in North America to release titles from Infogrames or its subsidiaries, including Atari Interactive.[66] The Atari licensing agreement with Atari Interactive was put in place for ten years, which would expire in 2013.[66]

In September 2003, Atari announced the closure of the Hunt Valley (the former headquarters of MicroProse) development studio.[69] and Legend Entertainment[70] On October 2, following the closure of Sheffield House, Atari sold a majority of Gremlin Interactive's catalogue alongside their brand, logo and trademark, to Zoo Digital Publishing, a then-new publisher founded by Gremlin co-founder Ian Stewart.[71] On December 18, Atari announced that they would shutter Legend Entertainment in January 2004.[72]

Atari continued to close and sell off franchises in 2004. On March 30, the company shuttered its Minneapolis development studio, formerly WizardWorks, and announced that its titles such as the Deer Hunter franchise would transition off to Atari Interactive.[73] On July 29, 2004, Epic Games announced that it had ended its publishing agreement with Atari, Inc. for the Unreal, and instead signed a new three-game publishing deal with Midway, beginning with Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict in 2005. Atari would continue to publish the existing Unreal back catalog.[74][75] On November 25, 2004, Infogrames Entertainment SA announced they had sold the Civilization franchise to an undisclosed buyer for $22.3 million.,[76]

In January 2005, it was revealed that the buyer for the Civilization franchise was Take-Two Interactive, who acquired distribution rights to the then-upcoming title Civilization IV under their 2K label.[77] On February 10, Atari announced the closure of their Santa Monica and Beverly publishing offices and that publishing would be reassigned to their main North American offices in New York City.[78] On May 2, after signing a new deal with Firaxis Games, 2K announced that they had fully acquired from Atari the full Civilization and prior back catalog of titles. They also announced that they had acquired the publishing rights to the then-recent Sid Meier's Pirates!.[79][80] On June 9, Hasbro announced they had purchased back Atari's exclusive digital gaming rights to their properties for $65 million.[81][41][82] As part of the sale, Hasbro purchased back the video game rights to the Transformers, My Little Pony, Tonka, Magic: The Gathering, Connect Four, Candy Land and Playskool franchises and brands, while Atari would obtain a seven-year exclusive agreement to produce video games based on select Hasbro board games, including Monopoly, Scrabble, The Game of Life, Battleship, Clue, Yahtzee, Simon, Risk and Boggle. Hasbro also secured a separate deal with Atari for the expansion of their Dungeons & Dragons license. On August 22, Atari, Inc. sold Humongous Entertainment to Infogrames Entertainment SA for shares worth US$10.3 million. With this, Infogrames laid off all remaining employees at the company and transferred the Humongous assets to a self-owned subsidiary Humongous, Inc. with intentions to sell off the assets outright.[83] Atari would continue to distribute the company's titles for a period until March 2006, and was later extended to March 2007.[84]

During this period, Atari's most profitable titles in the North American market were Dragon Ball games, which accounted for the largest share of Atari's earnings at the time.[85][86]

Profit losses (2006–2008)[edit]

Infogrames through the remainder of 2006[clarification needed] sold intellectual properties and some studios in order to raise cash and stave off the threat of bankruptcy.[87]

On May 10, 2006, the company began their sales of their studios and properties with the sale of the Games.com website to AOL,[88] Paradigm Entertainment and the Stuntman franchise to THQ[89] and the publishing rights to TimeShift to Vivendi Games. The sales generated $25 million in revenue.[90] On June 17, Midway acquired the back publishing rights to the Unreal back catalog from Infogrames and Atari.[91] In July, Reflections Interactive and the Driver franchise were sold to Ubisoft for $21.6 million.[92] On September 1, Atari, Inc. announced that its stock faced delisting from the Nasdaq stock exchange due to its price having fallen below $1.00.[93] 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, Sony Music, and Sony Wonder.[94] On October 2, Shiny Entertainment was acquired by Foundation 9 Entertainment for $1.6 million.[92][95] The last studio put up for sale - Atari Melbourne House, was sold to Krome Studios in November, and was renamed to Krome Studios Melbourne.[35] Atari retained ownership of Eden Games, while Infogrames still held the assets of Humongous, Inc.

In April 2007, Infogrames' founding chairman Bruno Bonnell left the company after 24 years; on the day of the announcement of is departure IESA's shares jumped 24%.[96] In the same year, Infogrames fired the majority of Atari's directors and laid off 20% of its workforce. For the 2006–2007 fiscal year, Atari posted a net loss of $70 million.[97] In July 2007, Atari sold their exclusive licensing deal with Hasbro back to them for $19 million,[98] which concluded with Hasbro signing a new casual game deal with Electronic Arts a month later.[99] On November 7, GameSpot reported that Atari was beginning to run out of money, losing 12 million dollars in the first fiscal quarter of 2008.[100]

Merger with Atari, Inc. and asset selling to Namco Bandai Games (2008–2009)[edit]

On 6 March 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 the sole owner of Atari Inc., making it a privately held company.[101] On 30 April, Atari Inc. announced its intentions to accept Infogrames' buyout offer and merge with Infogrames,[102] which was completed by October 9.[103] With that acquisition Infogrames was the only owner of the Atari brand.[104] Infogrames said that it planned to reduce administrative costs and to focus on online gaming.[105] On May 9, 2008, it was revealed that NASDAQ would be removing Atari from the NASDAQ stock exchange.[106] Atari has stated its intentions to appeal the decision. Atari was notified of NASDAQ's final decision on 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 of December 20, 2007 through to March 2008. Atari received notice of its absolute delisting on September 12, 2008.[107]

In September 2008, Namco Bandai Games and Infogrames formed a joint venture called Distribution Partners.[108] Distribution Partners was defined by Infogrames as a regrouping of "Infogrames' distribution operations in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America."[109] This new entity consisted mainly of Infograme's distribution network in the PAL region.[110] Distribution Partners was 34% owned by Namco Bandai and 66% owned by Atari.[109]

In December 2008, Infogrames bought Cryptic Studios for $26.7 million in cash plus performance bonuses. Cryptic Studios is a massively multiplayer online game developer and its acquisition is in line with the company's new business strategy which focuses on online games.[111]

In May 2009, Namco Bandai acquired Atari Europe from Infogrames.[112] Its sale and marketing personnel were transferred to Distribution Partners.[112] In March 2009, Infogrames announced that it was getting out of the distribution business in the PAL region with its decision to sell its 66% stake at Distribution Partners.[108] According to an Infogrames press-release, this sale allowed "Atari to focus its financial resources and creative energy exclusively on developing and publishing online-enabled games".[113]

In July, the deal valued at €37 million was completed;[114] Distribution Partners was renamed to Namco Bandai Partners. At that time the company had operations in 50 countries and 17 dedicated offices.[115]

Despite restructuring, Infogrames continued to struggle to become profitable. For the 2008 fiscal year the company posted €51.1 million ($72.17 million) in net losses and for the 2009 fiscal year, which ended in March, Infogrames posted losses of €226.1 million ($319.33 million).[116]

Rebranding to Atari SA (2009–2013)[edit]

During their fiscal year meeting in May 2009, IESA announced that it would be changing its corporate name to an Atari branded name, in line with the use of the name for its subsidiaries. In reference to this, Atari, Inc.'s CEO Jim Wilson said: "We've gotten rid of the Infogrames and Atari duality, the confusion around that. We are one simplified company, under one management team, under one brand."[117]

Infogrames' 29 May earnings report stated:

"The Board agreed to change Infogrames Entertainment's name to Atari. This decision will enable us to make the best use of the Atari brand, capitalising on worldwide strong name recognition and affinity, which are keys drivers to implement the Company's online, product and licensing strategies."[118]

An earnings press release on 24 July 2009 also provided clarification regarding the ensuing name change that was initially announced some two months prior, rebranding themselves as Atari, SA from Infogrames Entertainment, SA. Furthermore, this release also stated their intentions of henceforth utilising the much more recognisable 'Atari Group' moniker with all Atari-related brands and similar such subsidiaries already under their control.[119]

On 21 October 2010, Atari announced Atari's reference shareholders BlueBay Value Recovery (Master) Fund Limited and BlueBay Multi-Strategy (Master) Fund Limited are exploring a disposal of the shares and equity-linked instruments held by them.[120] However, BlueBay shareholders later interrupted the sale process of its holding in Atari.[121] BlueBay later converted the conversion of a portion of the ORANEs held by them.[122]

On April 4, Glu Mobile acquired the Deer Hunter franchise from Atari.[123] On April 12, Eden Games began negotiations as an attempt to separate from Atari SA[124] following a prior strike after Atari laid off a majority of the studios' employees the prior April.[125] On September 28, Atari, SA, BlueBay Value Recovery (Master) Fund Limited, and The BlueBay Multi-Strategy (Master) Fund Limited reached an agreement following their negotiations regarding the restructuring of the debt and capital structure of the Atari group. As part of the agreement, the €20.9 million Credit Facility Agreement was extinguished via €10.9 million loan forgiveness from BlueBay Value Recovery (Master) Fund Limited and Atari's payment of €10 million; the cancellation of the dilutive effect of the ORANEs held by BlueBay; €20 million capital increases to be submitted to the vote of Atari shareholders (of which €10 million with preferential subscription right).[126]

Chapter 11 bankruptcy and auction (2013–2014)[edit]

On 21 January 2013, the North American division of Atari SA - Atari, Inc., Atari Interactive, Inc., Humongous, Inc. and California US Holdings, Inc. all 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.[127] The following week on January 29, Eden Games filed for judicial liquidation, effectively closing the studio down.[128] On May 23, Atari announced that they would sell their game assets, developers, the famous "Fuji" logo, and the Atari name in a bankruptcy auction.[129] Prior to the bankruptcy sale in July, Nordic Games purchased the Desperados franchise and Silver on June 24[130] while Appeal Studios purchased the full rights to Outcast on July 4.[131]

The company's bankruptcy sale took place on July 22, 2013, leading to different titles gaining new homes. A majority of Atari's assets were sold to Tommo, which included a portfolio of over 100 titles and IPs mostly belonging to Accolade and MicroProse, Atari's Math Gran Prix, Humongous Entertainment's "Junior Adventure" titles, and the Accolade and GT Interactive brands.[132] Other companies that bought assets were Rebellion Developments purchasing Atari's Battlezone franchise and Humongous title MoonBase Commander,[132] Devolver Digital purchasing Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, Epic Gear LLC (and later Day 6 Sports Group LLC) purchasing the Backyard Sports franchise,[132] Wargaming purchasing the Total Annihilation and Master of Orion franchises, and Stardock purchasing Star Control.[132] The Test Drive franchise and publishing rights to the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise were also put up for sale, although no bids were offered for either franchise.[132] In October, Eden Games reopened as an independent developer by its founder, David Nadal.[133]

Turnaround strategy and continuing sale of assets (2014–2020)[edit]

In 2014, all three of the North American Atari subsidiaries emerged from bankruptcy under the ownership of Frédéric Chesnais, who headed the slimmed-down companies with their entire operations consisting of a staff of 10 people. Atari announced in March that they had entered the social casino gaming industry with the launch of Atari Casino.[134][135]

In 2015, Atari announced a new turnaround strategy that would focus on "download games, MMO games, mobile games and licensing activities, based in priority around traditional franchises."[136][non-primary source needed] Projects within the strategy included Alone in the Dark: Illumination, RollerCoaster Tycoon World, and a mobile game based on Lunar Lander.

In December 2016, Atari sold the Test Drive franchise to Bigben Interactive[137] Atari also sold the V-Rally series to the company without a formal announcement.[138]

On January 3, 2017, TMZ reported that Frontier Developments, the developer for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, sued Atari, Inc. for not paying the company enough for royalties for the game; Frontier reported that they only received $1.17 million when they needed $3.37 million. Frontier's Chief Operating Officer David Walsh confirmed the report in a GameSpot interview, stating that they had previously attempted to resolve the issue without legal action since April 2016.[139] In 2017, Piko Interactive acquired several titles from Atari: 40 Winks, Bubble Ghost, Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess, Death Gate, Drakkhen, Eternam, Glover, Monty Mole, Hostage: Rescue Mission, Marco Polo and Time Gate: Knight's Chase.[140][141][142][143][144] On June 8, a short teaser video was released, promoting a new product;[145][non-primary source needed] and the following week CEO Fred Chesnais confirmed the company was developing a new game console – the hardware was stated to be based on PC technology, and be still under development.[146] In mid July 2017 an Atari press release confirmed the existence of new hardware, referred to as the Ataribox. The casing design was inspired by the original Atari 2600, with a ribbed top surface, and a rise at the back of the console, with two styles announced: one with a wood veneer front like the original VCS, and another with a black front, akin to later 2600 units. The console was said to support both classic and current games.[147] According to an official company statement of 22 June 2017 the product was to initially launch via a crowdfunding campaign in order to minimize financial risk to the parent company.[148]

In March 2018, the Ataribox was renamed the Atari VCS. It was released, after a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in June 2021. On 19 September, THQ Nordic announced they had acquired the Alone in the Dark franchise and Act of War.[149]

On March 3, 2020, Ziggurat Interactive acquired dozens of ex-Atari-owned titles, including Deadly Dozen.[150]

New leadership, Infogrames revival and acquisitions (2020–present)[edit]

In March 2020, Wade Rosen, the founder of Ziggurat Interactive, became the new chair of the board of directors upon purchasing a substantial share of the company from Chesnais.[151] Within that year, the company launched the Atari Token Cryptocurrency the Atari Token was launched by Atari,[152] in equal partnership with the ICICB Group.[153] The group was licensed to launch an online gaming platform using crypto currencies, including the Atari Token.[154][155]

In March 2021, Atari extended its partnership with ICICB Group for the development of Atari branded hotels, with the first hotels to be constructed in Dubai, Gibraltar and Spain.[156][157][158][159][160] The licensing agreement includes potential additional countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia.[161] In April, Rosen replaced Chesnais as CEO and restructured the company into two units: Atari Gaming, who will focus on video games, and Atari Blockchain, who will focus on blockchain and other businesses.[162] On July 5, 2021, Atari Gaming announced a plan to fully reenter the console and handheld game publishing industry and reduce emphasis on free-to-play and mobile games, leading to possible titles being closed or sold, alongside the closure of Atari Casino.[163] Chesnais later resigned from the company, though remained as a consultant through his new company, Crypto Blockchain Industries (CBI).[164] On November 24, Atari announced they had invested $500,000 in retro gaming streaming platform Antstream, and a deal to potentially purchase MobyGames for $1.5 million through to the end of March 2022.[165] The purchase was completed on March 8, 2022, with Freyholtz remaining as general manager.[166]

In March 2022, Atari ended all ties with former CEO Chesnais and CBI.[167] The following month, they also announced the termination of all license agreements with ICICB, including the end of hotel licenses, and the dissolution of their blockchain joint venture. The Atari Token was disclaimed as "unlicensed" and a replacement would be developed.[168]

In 2023, Atari began a series of IP acquisitions. In March, they acquired the intellectual property rights to 12 Stern Electronics titles, including Berzerk and Frenzy.[169] Later that month, Atari announced that it would acquire Nightdive Studios for $10 million. Nightdive had released several ports and remasters of Atari's divested games.[170] The following month, they had re-acquired over one hundred video games from the Accolade, MicroProse, GT Interactive, and Infogrames catalogues that were formerly owned by Tommo/Billionsoft. This included the Bubsy series and the Accolade and GT Interactive brands.[171] The copyright and trademarks of these titles transitioned to a holding business named GT Interactive, LLC.[172] In May, the company obtained rights for over a dozen M Network games, including Armor Ambush, Astroblast, Frogs and Flies, Space Attack, and Star Strike.[173] Within the latter part of 2023, the company also formed a partnership with and made a minority investment into Playmaji, Inc. the company behind the Polymega retro console,[174][175] acquired AtariAge, a website dedicated to the history of Atari games,[176] Awesomenauts and Swords & Soldiers from Ronimo Games and Digital Eclipse, a developer that specialized in remakes of older games.[177]

On April 2, 2024, Atari re-purchased the publishing rights to RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 from Frontier Developments as part of RollerCoaster Tycoon's 25th anniversary, giving Atari full publishing control of the series once more.[178] Later that month, Atari relaunched the Infogrames brand as a second publishing label to publish titles outside the main Atari brands, along with the acquisition of Totally Reliable Delivery Service from tinyBuild, to be published under the new label.[179][5] Atari also took a 7.9% ownership stake in tinyBuild around the same time.[180] On May 23, Atari announced the acquisition of the Intellivision brand name and its game library from Intellivision Entertainment. This respective company and the Amico console were not included in the sale, and would be renamed. The company would secure a licensing deal with Atari to continue to release updated versions of the Intellivision catalog on the system.[181][182] On 26 June 2024, Infogrames acquired the Surgeon Simulator IP from tinyBuild.[183]

Subsidiaries[edit]

Current[edit]

Name Location Founded Acquired Ref.
AtariAge United States 1998 2023 [184]
Atari Europe S.A.S.U. Lyon, France 1992
Atari, Inc. New York City, United States 1993 1999
Atari Interactive New York City, United States 1995 2001 [185]
Atari Japan KK Japan 2000 [186]
Atari VCS, LLC United States 2017
Digital Eclipse Emeryville, United States 1992 2023 [187]
GT Interactive, LLC New York City, United States 2023 [188]
Infogrames, LLC Los Angeles, United States 2024
MobyGames United States 1999 2022 [189]
Nightdive Studios Vancouver, United States 2012 2023 [190]

Former[edit]

Development[edit]

Name Location Acquired/established Closed/divested Fate Ref[191]
Atari Studios Asia Australia 1999 unknown Closed by Atari [192]
Atari Interactive Hunt Valley Studio Hunt Valley, Maryland, United States 2001 2003 Acquired as MicroProse Hunt Valley in Hasbro Interactive purchase; closed by Atari
Atari Melbourne House Melbourne, Australia 1999 2006 Acquired as Melbourne House; sold to Krome Studios [193]
Cryptic Studios Los Gatos, United States 2008 2011 Sold to Perfect World
DMA Design Dundee, Scotland, 1999 1999 Acquired in Gremlin Interactive purchase; sold to Take-Two Interactive [194]
Eden Games Lyon, France 2002 2013 Acquired as Eden Studios; filed for judicial liquidation in January 2013; later re-opened in October 2013 and now owned by Animoca Brands
Europress Adlington, Cheshire, United Kingdom 2001 2001 Acquired in Hasbro Interactive purchase; sold back to original founder [195]
Humongous Entertainment City of Industry, United States 2000 2006 Acquired in GT Interactive purchase; closed by Infogrames
Humongous, Inc. United States 2006 2013 Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, assets sold to Tommo
Infogrames Chippenham Chipping Sodbury, United Kingdom 2001 2002 Acquired as MicroProse Chipping Sodbury in Hasbro Interactive purchase; closed by Infogrames
Infogrames Lyon House Lyon, France 1998 2002 Closed by Infogrames [196]
Infogrames North America (Internal Development Team) San Jose, United States 1999 2000 Acquired as Accolade; closed by Infogrames[197]
Infogrames Sheffield House Sheffield, United Kingdom 1999 2003 Acquired as Gremlin Interactive; closed [198]
Legend Entertainment Virginia, United States 2000 2004 Acquired in GT Interactive purchase; closed by Atari
Paradigm Entertainment Carrollton, United States, 2000 2006 Sold to THQ
Reflections Interactive Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom 2000 2006 Acquired in GT Interactive purchase; sold to Ubisoft
Shiny Entertainment Laguna Beach, United States 2002 2006 Purchased from Interplay Entertainment; sold to Foundation 9 Entertainment
SingleTrac Salt Lake City, United States 2000 2000 Acquired in GT Interactive purchase; closed by Infogrames

Publication and Distribution[edit]

Name Location Acquired/established Divested Fate Ref.[191]
A+ Multimedia Ltda Portugal 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari do Brasil Ltda. Brazil 1998 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari France S.A.S. France 1991 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari Italia S.p.A. Italy 1994 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari Ibérica S.A. Spain N/A 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari Interactive, Inc. United States 2001 2003 Acquired in Hasbro Interactive purchase; merged out
Atari Interactive Asia Pacific Pty, Ltd. Australia 2001 2004 Acquired in Hasbro Interactive purchase as Hasbro Interactive Asia Pacific; closed [199]
Atari Nordic AB Denmark 2001 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games [200]
Atari Bénélux B.V. Brussels, Netherlands 1994 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari Hellas EURL Greece 2000 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari United Kingdom Limited Manchester, England 1996 2009 Acquired in Ocean International Ltd. purchase as Ocean Software; sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari Deutschland GmbH Germany 1996 2009 Acquired in Laguna Video Games purchase as Bomico Entertainment Software; sold to Namco Bandai Games [17][201]
Atari Israel Ltd. Israel 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari Asia Pacific Pty, Ltd. Australia 2000 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games [202]
Atari Korea Ltd. Korea 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari Taiwan Ltd. Taiwan 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari Singapore Pty, Ltd. Singapore 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari Hong Kong Ltd. Hong Kong 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games
Atari Australia Pty, Ltd. Sydney, Australia 1998 (Minority Stake)
2002 (Full)
2009 Acquired as OziSoft; sold to Namco Bandai Games [203][204]
Atari NZ Limited New Zealand 1998 (Minority Stake)
2002 (Full)
2009 Acquired as OziSoft NZ; sold to Namco Bandai Games [205]
Distribution Partners SAS France 2008 2009 Sold to Namco Bandai Games [191]
Infogrames Entertainment, Inc. San Jose, United States 1996 1999 Acquired in Ocean International Ltd. purchase as Ocean of America, Inc.; Folded into Infogrames North America
Infogrames Interactive Limited United Kingdom 2001 N/A Acquired in Hasbro Interactive purchase as Hasbro Interactive Limited; folded [206]
Infogrames Interactive Direct Limited United Kingdom 2001 N/A Acquired in Hasbro Interactive purchase as Hasbro Interactive Direct Limited; closed [207]
Infogrames Limited United Kingdom Closed [208]
Infogrames North America, Inc. San Jose, United States 1999 2000 Acquired as Accolade; folded into Infogrames, Inc.
MacSoft United States 2000 2003 Acquired in GT Interactive purchase; sold to Destineer [209]
Phillips Media BV Eindhoven, Netherlands 1997 1997 Folded following purchase
WizardWorks Plymouth, Minnesota 2000 2004 Acquired in GT Interactive purchase; closed by Atari [210][211]

Game franchises owned by Atari SA[edit]

As of 2018, Atari SA owns the rights to the following games and game franchises. The majority of these are original works by Atari, Hasbro Interactive or Infogrames, however the most notable outside of these are a large number of intellectual properties formerly belonging to Ocean Software, to which Atari SA never lost the rights.

Original IPs[edit]

  • Citytopia (Atari Interactive, Inc.)
  • Lunar Battle (Atari Interactive, Inc.)

Titles from Atari, Inc.[edit]

Titles from Atari Corporation[edit]

Titles from Accolade[edit]

Titles from GT Interactive[edit]

Titles from Ocean Software[edit]

Titles from Infogrames[edit]

Titles from MicroProse[edit]

Titles from Hasbro Interactive[edit]

Titles from Intellivision[edit]

Other[edit]

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