Return Home

Game Over? Atari’s U.S. Operations File for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 | Posted by John ONeill

atariAtari, one of the most storied game manufacturers in history, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States, and has indicated it plans to to sell off its logo and most profitable videogame franchises.

Atari was incorporated on June 27, 1972 by videogame pioneer Nolan Bushnell and his partner Ted Dabney. Their first games included Pong, Asteroids, and Centipede. By the end of the 20th century, the company had fallen on hard times and essentially vanished. In 1998, Hasbro Interactive acquired Atari’s assets, including the name.

At this point, following the Atari brand gets a little tortured. The company currently operating under the name Atari was founded as GT Interactive in 1993 (long-time gamers may remember GT Interactive as publishers of Doom II, Unreal, Heretic, and Imperium Galactica). They changed names to Infogrames in 1999, and in 2003 licensed the Atari name and logo and changed their name to Atari Inc.

Through all the changes, Atari remained a premiere publisher, especially for fantasy fans. It owns or manages more than 200 brands, and in the last decade alone published Neverwinter Nights (2002), The Temple of Elemental Evil (2003), Master of Orion 3 (2003), Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard (2005), Dungeons & Dragons Online (2006), Star Trek Online (2010), Daggerdale (2011), and The Witcher 2 (2011). Its most recent release of note is the PC version of Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition.

The bankruptcy is intended to sever ties with its troubled French parent, Atari SA (previously called Infogrames), and secure additional funding to continue operations.

Atari US employs roughly 40 people and is seeking $5.25 million, primarily to develop games for digital and mobile platforms.

8 Comments »

  1. […] Slew of Old D&D (and AD&D) Books Now Available Digitally Game Over? Atari’s U.S. Operations File for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Adventure on Film: Terry Pratchett’s […]

    Pingback by Black Gate – Brent Knowles - January 24, 2013 5:50 pm

  2. Hopefully the D&D license will transfer to someone who can do great things with it.

    Comment by Glenn - January 24, 2013 9:30 pm

  3. And hopefully this won’t hose up the future of the Witcher franchise.

    Comment by Joe H. - January 24, 2013 11:03 pm

  4. I never realised they had such a strong D&D line.

    Comment by JLB - January 25, 2013 11:57 am

  5. Hasbro owns both Wizards of the Coast and Atari. I always wondered why there weren’t more D&D computer games, especially when both the ones made before the acquisition (Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale), and the ones after (Neverwinter Nights) were critical and commercial successes.

    Comment by darangrissom - January 25, 2013 4:02 pm

  6. > Hopefully the D&D license will transfer to someone who can do great things with it.

    Glenn,

    Atari (and Hasbro Interactive) chiefly used D&D license as a cash cow for years, licensing it out to a series of developers rather than developing something internally. No reason to believe the next owner won’t do something similar.

    The brand isn’t worth as much as it once was, as there hasn’t been a major hit under the D&D brand since NEVERWINTER NIGHTS.

    There’s a comprehensive list of licensed D&D computer and video games here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dungeons_%26_Dragons_video_games

    It’s an impressive list — 80 games in total!

    Comment by John ONeill - January 26, 2013 7:05 pm

  7. > And hopefully this won’t hose up the future of the Witcher franchise.

    Joe,

    Witcher is developed by Polish software house CD Projekt RED, and I understand the series is quite popular in Europe.

    Even with the collapse of Atari, I expect it will find another North American publisher with no difficulty!

    Comment by John ONeill - January 26, 2013 7:09 pm

  8. Daran,

    > I always wondered why there weren’t more D&D computer games, especially when both the ones made before the acquisition
    > (Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale), and the ones after (Neverwinter Nights) were critical and commercial successes.

    Fair question. But if you have a look at the list above (80 games!) I think you’ll be surprised at just how many there have been over the years.

    Comment by John ONeill - January 26, 2013 7:12 pm


Comments RSS  |  TrackBack URI

 

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Black Gate Home
This site © 2018 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.