Atari’s US wing files for bankruptcy


The American division of Atari has filed for bankruptcy, report the LA Times. The US business hopes to cut itself loose from debts owed by its French parent company.

It’s a bit confusing, this. But the tl;dr is that it’s time to forget about Atari as a major publisher.

The company is run via a complex structure which the Times describes as “essentially an American business with a French public stock listing”. Its CEO, Jim Wilson, is based in New York. And while the French Atari S.A. has been struggling under its various debts, the US company – Atari Inc. – has become quietly profitable, something Atari hasn’t been in about a decade.

Wilson employs only 40 staff, but Atari Inc. have in recent years begun to release games for browsers and smartphones based on the company’s best-known titles, including a new Pong. It’s this Atari which has secured a promise for $5.25m in funding to continue operations and release games post-bankruptcy.

The newly-private US Atari, according to an anonymous source of the LA Times, will “grow a modest business focused on digital and mobile platforms”.

If all goes to plan, it’ll be a different Atari to the publisher which funded some of the best RPGs of the last decade, including the Neverwinter Nights series and The Witcher. And it’ll be a different Atari again to the ‘80s clan that spawned Asteroids. Modern-day Atari merely bears its name, having bought out the company wholesale in 2008.

No – modern-day Atari used to be Infogrames:

What’s the word? Entertainment. What’s the word? Infogrames.

Thanks, Eurogamer.