Atari-infogrames, On The Ropes?

“Retro Rogue” martyg, a frequent visitor to our fourms (“frequent” is a relative term on our forums) has written a very detailed and insightful article about the fate of the Atarinfogrames.    In the article, martyg writes:

Atari management has had more changing faces and directions than a chameleon stuck in a room full of fun house mirrors. This is besides the fact that most of the fly by night management has come from Sony Music, the powerhouse of the video ga…I mean music industry. People from an industry notorious for being dragged kicking and screaming in to new technology and business models running a technology company and not succeeding?

You can read the entire article here: Atari Is Down For The Count

I, myself have always been very skeptical of Infogrames intentions with the Atari name.  Apparently, from I heard the only reason Infogrames renamed themselves Atari in 2003 (after buying the name and properties from from Hasbro in 2001) was because of backlash against anything French in the USA prior to the Iraq war.  At the time, I was very excited that the name Atari was going to appear on games again.   When I went to E3 in 2003, Atari had a HUGE presence outside the LA Convention Center.  The had bought an enormous flag with their “new” fuji logo and placed it in a primary spot, right above the entrance.    I was excited to see what “Atari” had in store at the show.  However, I was very disappointed to find out their booth was closed to “media only”.   It reaked of “we’ve got something to hide”.  They did:   The terrible “Matrix” game that almost bankrupt the company that year.  

Atarinfogrames was never able to make use of some of the properties that should have kept them in the black.  They bought “Humongous Entertainment”, then cancelled most of their best product lines (i.e. “Pajama Sam”) only to sqeeze every last bit of life out of “Backyard Sports”.  They also bought the “Roller Coaster Tycoon” products from Hasbro, some of the best selling PC games EVER, and could not manage to make profit from those either.  They also seemed to drive any bit of life or interest from the “Neverwinter Nights” PC series. 

I hate to see the Atari name die once again, but maybe this time it is for the best.  Unless someone who really cares (like,  say, Nolan Bushnell,the guys at or Curt Vendel) could buy the remants and breath some real life back into the name “Atari”, I’d rather just see it go away forever.  

What do you think?  Tell us in the forums or via email.

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