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Atari Files for Bankruptcy

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 9:56 am by Stephen Janes

Atari-bankrupt

News has come out that consumer electronic publisher Atari has filed for bankruptcy. For those number crunching geeks out there, it’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which you can read more about here. Essentially, it sounds like Atari’s debtor now obtains possession of Atari’s business and can further decide what to do with the company.

This news isn’t entirely shocking, however. Atari had been going downhill for some time, and really it was just a matter of when this would publicly happen. Ever since 2009, the Atari brand has been changing their personell more than they’ve been releasing games. It really is an unfortunate end to a company that really helped build the video game economy.

Atari was defined by their foray into the home console industry when the released the Atari Video Computer System back in 1976. This system would later be renamed to the Atari 2600 when its successor, the Atari 5200, was released. What really skyrocketed Atari’s popularity, however, was their flagship product PongPong was an early arcade game that was later ported to the Atari home consoles, which piqued nearly everybody’s interest in video gaming during a time when nobody cared. Pong was simple in nature, but was such a financial success that many rival companies attempted to copy its premise and style. In addition to Pong, Atari helped develop Centipede and Tank.

While you can commonly refer to the old consoles as the Atari, the actual company itself is listed as Atari, IncThis iteration of Atari was founded under the name GT Interactive, which published the Duke Nukem franchise on nearly every available console at the time. It’s really a shame considering some of the games that Atari, Inc. published over the years. The last game that I purchased from them was the Ghostbusters: The Video Game which was a fantastic title. Prior to that, a lot of buzz was received for the Alone in the Dark remake, but not many enjoyed it.

It’s an unfitting end, really. The next step would be to see how Atari decided to stay afloat. I doubt this means Atari will cease to exist, especially considering their Atari’s Greatest Hits app just got released on Google Play and iOS Market, which allows you to purchase various Atari 2600 games and Atari arcade classics on your phone.

Geeks, let’s all spend a moment and reflect on our favorite Atari moments. The arcade version of Dig-Dug is perhaps the first Atari game that I played and although I never wasted my allowance on it, it was a fun experience. The crew at Geek Legacy also spoke about this on their recent podcast if you would like to hear more in-depth coverage on the matter.

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