Atari Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

A gaming pioneering from the past is letting go of its iconic brands in light of impending bankruptcy. 

Atari logo image

During the 1980s, the name Atari was once a household brand in the United States. Heck, I dare say they’re partly responsible for the modern videogame console market. Unfortunately, through numerous hardware and software failings post their arcade and home console glory days, the company is remembered for nothing more these days as a printed logo on the front of a t-shirt at Hot Topic.

Now that iconic logo, including industry defining properties like Pong, Missile Command, and Asteroids, are being sold off as the company faces Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, a filing that was announced Monday morning. Chapter 11s are mostly reserved for corporations who wish to seek independence from any financial burdens, which is exactly the route Atari seems to be taking  here.

After years of being passed around like the rotten banana at a middle school lunch table, being handed over to every rights-holder imaginable, Atari had found themselves under the control of their current parent company Infogames S.A. who acquired the outfit back in 2008, and then just to confuse the rest of us to no flippin’ end, decided to change their name to Atari S.A.

Atari 2600 Game System image

Basically, the independence being carried out here via Chapter 11 is strictly so that the developing side of the business (the true Atari) can clear itself of its obligations of making countless iOS ports to their classic games and focus on producing original content in the digital and mobile space.

It is, of course, an act which requires sacrificing everything that put them on the map decades ago under founders Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney.

With the $5.25 million in debtor-in-possession funds already secured from investors, it appears that such a fire sale will happen despite of this and soon we’ll see the likes of Centipede and Tempest auctioned off to the highest bidder… which honestly would make for quite the Storage Wars episode.

Atari's Greatest Hits (iOS)

It’s a sad turn of events, but seeing how the company hasn’t been relevant since the Jaguar (what a piece of crap-ola), I hardly doubt much tears will be shed.

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