Atari Files for Bankruptcy

Video game pioneer Atari has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 protection. Atari’s US division seeks to disband from its financially struggling French ownership group and continue its new direction of developing successful mobile games.

Atari’s actions came as a response to declining sales from its parent operators, which includes Paris-based Atari S.A. The ownership group’s Q2 and Q3 combined revenues had been reported as 11 million euro — approximately half the amount from the previous six months, according to the UK’s The Times.

Atari has endured significant internal & ownership changes since the mid-2000s. In 2008, a French publisher formerly known as Infogrames — the publishing team behind Civilization III, Unreal Tournament 2003, and Rollercoaster Tycoon — purchased Atari for 11 million dollars.

With independent funding, including Tenor Capital Management’s 5.25 million dollar contribution, Atari’s US branch plans to commit to mobile games. However, this would require them to sell their assets, including their brands and logo.

Atari has leveraged some of its assets to develop several mobile titles such as Centipede Origins, Asteroids Gunner, and PONG World. They’re currently working on a new version of Pong with mobile giant Zynga, whom they partnered with for last fall’s Super Bunny Breakout.

Atari & Zynga's Super Bunny Breakout.
Atari & Zynga’s Super Bunny Breakout.

As you probably know, Atari was the developer behind 1972’s Pong and dozens of other arcade-era classics such as Asteroids, Missile Command, and Centipede. The Silicon Valley-founded company went on to release the first home console, the Atari 2600, in 1977.

Within the last few years, Atari has stayed afloat by licensing some of its assets for merchandising; according to IGN, this has contributed to 17 percent of its revenue.

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