More Than a Game: Atari Files for Bankruptcy

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If you were born in the 1970's or earlier, I'm sure that you remember the moment you were first introduced to Atari. The company's ground-breaking game, Pong, was one of the very first video games I ever played. I can still remember how it felt to finally get my own Atari game system for Christmas. For weeks, all my friends and family fought over who was going to get the chance to play next. Atari was the first of the modern gaming systems and even decades later, people are still playing games like Pac Man and Centipede on their smart phones.


Just last week, however, Atari filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court. However, the problem isn't as simple as the company having financial trouble. Part of what the company is hoping to accomplish through their bankruptcy filing is the separation of Atari Interactive, the division of the company that develops games for mobile apps and for advanced gaming systems, from the parent company, Atari S.A.


As the bankruptcy proceeding moves forward, the company will be forced to auction off the rights to its logo, its name and the names of their popular games like Centipede, Asteroid, and even Pong. Even without their familiar logo or the use of the names of their biggest hits, Atari Interactive will continue to create and market games and mobile apps. Although the new formats of their popular games are still great sellers, Atari Interactive also produces entirely new games and even an online Dungeons and Dragons game as well.


The news that the Atari logo might become a thing of the past, something that we look at with nostalgia, makes me a little sad. I can only hope that a lesser company doesn't purchase what's left of the parent company and use it to make crappy games and ruin the company's reputation. I would hate a company capitalizing on our warm, fuzzy memories of gathering around our brand new Atari game systems as children.


What do you think about this news? Do you have Atari apps on your mobile device? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Image source: Atari


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  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Jim, I agree. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we'll see a new group of people who love video games take over the Atari brand. However, I'm a realist, and it's more likely that someone will buy it and try to squeeze the last nickles from it.
  • Jim G
    Jim G
    I have all my original Atari games.  The 2600 console died way back when, but I bought the Colecovision console with the Atari adapter and had the best of both game systems.  To hear that Atari is filing for Chapter 11 is a sign of the times that saddens me.  I used to have a bumper sticker that said "Atari, I'd rather be computing than commuting."I, too, hope the company is purchased by someone with foresight or vision and scruples.Atari started this whole home game console era, I think someone with vision can continue to grow the company.

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