It's a little disheartening to hear the name "Atari" linked with the phrase "Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection." So, with this weekend's announcement that the U.S division of the former has filed for the latter, nostalgic members of the gaming world grew a bit perturbed. But take heart, the Chapter 11 filing could actually be a good thing.
Since the mid-90s, things have been pretty rough for gaming stalwart Atari. They were sold to Hasbro Interactive for $5 million in 98; two years later, they changed hands again when French publishers Infogrames acquired Hasbro and its subsidiaries. Infogrames re-branded themselves Atari, S.A. and made a respectable attempt to revitalize the troubled brand; however, their efforts weren’t well-received by the public and is one of the many reasons the company’s in poor financial shape (it’s not the only reason things are bad there, though). Through the Chapter 11 filing, Infrogrames-owned companies – Atari Interactive, Humongous Games, California U.S. Holdings – hope to separate themselves from Atari, S.A. before it’s too late.
Atari, US has found a modest amount of success in the mobile & downloadable game space. According to an LA Times source, if they successfully emancipate themselves from Atari, SA and find new financial backing, they’ll continue their work there. Good on ‘em for not going down without a fight! We’ll keep you posted on this one.