Atari U.S., one of the most iconic video game companies and the owner of hit classics like Pong, Asteroids, or the Tycoon franchises, has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to emerge as a new entity separated from its current owner – Atari S.A., a company formerly known as Infogrames.Atari may have made some great games and consoles back in the 1970s and 1980s, but the last few decades haven't been so kind to the company, which was the target of several mergers and acquisitions, including the most recent one that saw French company Infogrames buy it completely several years ago.
Now, after lots of financial problems, the U.S.-based company is filing for relief under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy code in the U.S.
According to an official statement from Atari, through this move the "U.S.-based Atari operations seek to separate from the structural financial encumbrances of their French parent holding company, Atari S.A. (formerly Infogrames S.A.) and secure independent capital for future growth, primarily in the areas of digital and mobile games."
Atari is now going to either organize a sale in which it has to auction off all of its properties or confirm plans of reorganization.
"These assets include not only one of the most widely recognized brand logos, which is familiar to 90% of Americans, according to a recent survey, but also legendary game titles including Pong, Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Battlezone and Tempest. Other recognized brands include Test Drive, Backyard Sports and Humongous."
Atari pretty much exited the regular video game business and focused on releasing digital and mobile titles that resulted in quite a bit of profit for the struggling company.
Until progress is recorded in this bankruptcy case, Atari will continue operating its business and its ongoing projects with different partners.
You can expect to hear lots more about this new bankruptcy case in the gaming industry soon enough.