Codex Gamicus
For information on the Atari brand and its history, see Atari.

The company that currently bears the Atari Inc. name was founded in 1993 under the name GT Interactive. In 1999, Infogrames Entertainment SA (IESA) acquired a 62% controlling interest in GT Interactive, and proceeded to rename it Infogrames, Inc.[1] After IESA's acquisition of Hasbro Interactive and its related Atari properties in 2001, Infogrames, Inc. intermittently published Atari branded titles for Infogrames Interactive. In 2003, Infogrames Inc. licensed the Atari name and logo from Atari Interactive and changed its name to Atari Inc.[2] On October 11, 2008 Infogrames completed its acquisition of Atari, Inc., making it a wholly owned subsidiary.[3]

Atari Inc. is being moved towards Phil Harrison's vision of online publication and distribution of video games.[4]

Atari Inc. product history[]

In 2002, Jakks Pacific, a toy making company, released a plug-and-play video game console called the Atari 10-in-1 TV Game. It was battery-operated and shaped similarly to an Atari 2600 joystick, and included A/V ports. In 2004, the same company created a device called Atari Paddle Games, in the shape of one of the 2600s "paddle" controllers with appropriate titles included. However, as stated, neither of the games was directly released by Atari.

The same year that the Paddle Games were released, Atari released a TV game of their own which they called the Atari Flashback Console. The device was designed and produced by Atari consultant Curt Vendel through his engineering firm Legacy Engineering. With only a 10 week development window, what they produced looked like a minute version of the Atari 7800 console originally released in 1984, 20 years prior. The two controllers were small as well, having a joystick and two red buttons on each side. Twenty titles were built into the system. Unlike most plug-and-plays, the Flashback was not powered by batteries, but an (included) AC adaptor instead. The Flashback did fairly well in sales. Since the games were all recreated on hardware more closely resembling the Nintendo Entertainment System than the 7800, some of the aspects of certain games concerning the sound, graphics, or gameplay were either changed or omitted.

File:Atari Flashback.jpg

Atari Flashback Console

Because of popular demand, Atari hired Curt Vendel once again to produce a follow up product. With a longer development window, Vendel released a new version of the Flashback console, titled Atari Flashback 2, in August 2005. The Flashback 2 is based on an implementation of the original Atari 2600 on a single chip that Curt Vendel designed, allowing the original 2600 games to be run instead of ports as in the first Flashback. In addition, the included joysticks are fully compatible with the original 2600 joysticks and vice-versa. Furthermore, the circuitboard in the Flashback 2 actually has connectors for modders to solder on a cartridge slot, allowing the Flashback 2 to play the entire library of 2600 games.

Also, in late October 2005, Atari released one of two collections of its classic arcade games only for the Nokia N-Gage console, titled Atari Masterpieces. Atari Masterpieces Volume I includes classic arcade games: Asteroids, Battlezone, Black Widow, Millipede, Missile Command, Red Baron, Lunar Lander and Super Breakout, and features an exclusive interview with Nolan Bushnell. Atari Masterpieces Volume II was released in March 2006.

On May 5, 2006, Atari and Hasbro stopped Bioware and DLA from further development of premium modules and publishing near-completed premium modules for Neverwinter Nights. No reason was stated, but it was likely in anticipation of the upcoming sequel, Neverwinter Nights 2, which would lack features from these modules. They relented after community backlash.

Recently, Atari's top-selling titles have been the Dragon Ball Z games based on the popular anime license from Toei Animation in Japan. These include the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series of games for next-generation console systems and the Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku series of games for the Game Boy Advance. These games have topped the best-seller charts for numerous console platforms since the release of Atari's first Dragon Ball Z game, The Legacy of Goku in 2002, which was the first Dragon Ball game to be made by an American company, Webfoot Technologies, and is one of the best-selling Game Boy Advance games of all time (#16). The best selling Budokai series is developed in Japan by Dimps and includes Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3). Atari is also releasing Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi and its sequel, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 which is a separate series from the Budokai series. Following the success of the Budokai and Legacy of Goku series, Atari has released numerous other Dragon Ball titles including Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors, Dragon Ball Z: Super Sonic Warriors 2, Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, Dragon Ball GT: Transformation, Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure and Super Dragon Ball Z.

Atari also released a series of games based on the Matrix movie trilogy including Enter the Matrix and The Matrix: Path of Neo. Although not critical successes, these titles represent some of the most expensive video games ever developed. Enter the Matrix, which was developed by Shiny Entertainment, sold 1.38 million units for the PlayStation 2 and 1 million units for the Nintendo GameCube.

Another popular series by Atari has been the Godzilla Series, based on the nuclear monster originally created by Toho. Pipeworks developed and created all of the three console titles, although handheld titles were developed separately. The series started with "Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee" for the Nintendo GameCube which was released in October 11, 2002 to much success before it was ported to the Microsoft Xbox a year later. It was followed by a sequel, "Godzilla: Save the Earth" for the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox, on November 16, 2004. Despite Save the Earth's relative commercial failure, Godzilla: Unleashed was released for the PS2 and Wii, on November 20, 2007 and December 5, 2007 respectively. Unleashed was accompanied by Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash for the Nintendo DS, which was released on November 20, 2007. There is speculation as to the series' future, although current belief is Atari has lost the rights to Godzilla.

Other currently popular titles for Atari include RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, Test Drive Unlimited, Neverwinter Nights, the Alone in the Dark series and the Driver series (recently sold to Ubisoft for a reported $24 million[5]).

Atari Inc. corporate history[]

On September 1, 2006, Atari Inc. announced that its stock faces delisting from NASDAQ since its price had fallen under $1.00.[6] 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 Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, and Sony Wonder.[7]

On October 2, 2006, Atari Inc. announced that it had sold off Shiny Entertainment to Foundation 9 Entertainment, which culminated in the completion of their strategic divesture.[8]

On April 5, 2007, Bruno Bonnell resigned his position as chairman and chief financial officer.[9]

On November 7, 2007, Gamespot reported that Atari was beginning to run out of money, losing two million in the first fiscal year of 2008 and announced that were selling the rights of the Test Drive game series for the Infogrames .[10]

On March 6, 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 sole owner of Atari Inc., making it a privately held company.[11]

On April 30, 2008, Atari Inc. announced its intentions to accept Infogrames' buyout offer and merge with Infogrames.[12]

On May 9, 2008, It was revealed that Nasdaq will be removing Atari from the Nasdaq stock market.[13] Atari has stated its intentions to appeal the decision. Atari was notified of Nasdaq's final decision 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 December 20, 2007 through to March, 2008. Atari received notice of its absolute delisting on September 12, 2008.[14]

On October 11, 2008 Infogrames completed its acquisition of Atari, Inc., making it a wholly owned subsidiary.[3]

Software piracy[]

Atari was one of the companies using British legal company Davenport Lyons in 2008 to recover damages from computer users illegally downloading games but stopped using the company when they were made aware of the false claims being made against innocent members of the public.[15]

Major products[]

Main article: [[::Category:Atari games|
Category:Atari games]]

See also[]

  • History of video game companies


External links[]

Template:Atari hardware

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