Logo of Atari, SA and its subsidiaries since 2012
|Infogrames Entertainment, SA (1983-2009)|
|Traded as||Euronext: ATA|
Nasdaq Stockholm: ATA SDB
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Founded||June 1983Lyon, Francein|
|Revenue||EUR15.4 million (2017)|
|EUR8.5 million (2017)|
|EUR7.7 million (2017)|
|EUR20.0 million (2017)|
|EUR7.4 million (2017)|
Atari, SA (formerly Infogrames Entertainment, SA) is a French holding company headquartered in Paris. Its subsidiaries include Atari Interactive and Atari, Inc. Because of continuing pressures upon the company, and difficulty finding investors, it sought bankruptcy protection under French law in January 2013; its subsidiaries in the United States have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as well. All three subsidiaries have since exited bankruptcy, and are all going through a vigorous turnaround campaign.
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The founders wanted to christen the company Zboub Système (which can be approximately translated to Dick System in English), but were dissuaded by their legal counsel. According to Bonnell in a TV interview, they then used a mix-and-match computer program to suggest other names, one of which was "Infogramme": a portmanteau of the French words "informatique" (information technology) and "programme" (a computer program). The final choice, "Infogrames", was a slightly modified version of that suggestion.
The company logo and mascot is an armadillo (tatou in French), chosen when the company was moved to Villeurbanne. Bonnell commented: "This dinosaur [sic] is our symbol. The armadillo has always survived changes to its environment, from the melting of glaciers to the worst of heat waves."
In the late 1980s, Infogrames was noted for its French computer games that often featured original game ideas and occasionally humorous content. They had acquired several licences for popular Franco-Belgian comics.
In 1996, Bruno Bonnell's Infogrames embarked on an acquisition campaign that would last seven years and cost more than $500 million; the objective was to become the world's leading interactive entertainment publisher. While the company's debt increased from $55 million in 1999 to $493 million in 2002, the company's revenue also increased from $246 million to $650 million during the same period.
In April 1996, Infogrames announced they would buy and merge with British company Ocean International Ltd., the owners of Ocean Software and fellow-subsidiary Ocean America, for $100 million. After the merger, Ocean International Ltd. was renamed to Infogrames United Kingdom, Ltd., with Infogrames retaining the Ocean Software brand until 1998. With this merger, Infogrames Entertainment S.A. classified themselves as a "Super Publisher", referring to them being the largest in Europe. In 1997 Infogrames acquired Philips Multimedia BV, and transferred the multimedia software publishing and distribution activities from the company to them. The company also perchased game rights from German publisher Laguna Video Games in the same year.
In 1998, IESA acquired a majority share of 62.5% in the game distributor OziSoft, and in 2002 IESA bought the remaining shares of OziSoft from Sega and other share holders, then renamed them to Infogrames Australia and Infogrames New Zealand. for $3.7 million. Also in 1998 the distributors ABS Multimedia, Arcadia and the Swiss Gamecity GmbH were acquired.
In 1999, IESA bought Gremlin Interactive, alongside DMA Design for $40 million, and renamed the developer to Infogrames Sheffield House. Infogrames though would later sell off DMA Design to Take-Two Interactive in the same year. In the same year, IESA also bought Accolade for $60 million which was renamed as Infogrames North America, Inc.  and Beam Software, which was renamed to Infogrames Melbourne House Pty Ltd.
Then in December 1999, IESA made one of the most expensive acquisitions in the company's history. Infogrames bought 70% of GT Interactive for $135 million, and assumed the new subsidiary's $75 million bank debt. By June 2000 Infogrames had invested another $30 million in GT Interactive. IESA justified the purchase by stating that GT Interactive provided Infogrames with a "distribution network for all of its products in the United States, as well as a catalog of products that includes Driver, Duke Nukem, Oddworld, Unreal Tournament and Deer Hunter".
GT Interactive became Infogrames, Inc.
In 2000, the developer Paradigm Entertainment was bought for $19.5 million and in-flight games developer Den-o-Tech Int. (DTI) , later renamed to Infogrames DTI, was also acquired for $5.6 million.
In the same year, Infogrames, Inc. acquired Infogrames North America, Inc. and both companies were merged into the former.
In January 2001, IESA purchased Hasbro Interactive and the handheld game console Game.com from Hasbro for $100 million; with $95 million as 4.5 million common shares of Infogrames and $5 million in cash.
Also under the terms of the sale agreement, Infogrames gained the exclusive rights to develop and publish games based on Hasbro properties, which included Dungeons & Dragons, Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony and others, for a period of 15 years plus an option for an additional 5 years based on performance.
In October 2001, Infogrames announced that it was "reinventing" the Atari brand (Which they acquired from Hasbro Interactive which they used as a brand for arcade game remakes) with the launch of three new games featuring prominent Atari branding on their boxarts: Splashdown, MX Rider and TransWorld Surf. The brand was a success for Infogrames, and they continued to use Atari as a brand name for console games aimed at 18-34 year olds. PC, educational and casual games retained the Infogrames banner.
In the same year, IESA acquired the remaining 80% of game development studio Eden Games for $4.1 million. In May, Shiny Entertainment was bought from Interplay Entertainment for $47 million. With Eden Games, IESA would publish all of Eden Games' titles, such as V-Rally 3 and later Test Drive Unlimited, and with the Shiny Entertainment acquisition, IESA obtained the rights to develop and publish Enter the Matrix which was the first game based on The Matrix films and sold more than 5 million copies.
In the fiscal year of 2002, IESA had a net loss of $67 million on revenues of $650 million, and in 2003 the net losses increased to $89 million. In 2006, IESA reported a net loss of $201 million on revenues of $525 million, and debts of around $290 million. From 1999 to 2006 IESA accumulated losses totaling EUR500 million.
In 2003, Infogrames closed down the Sheffield House development studio.
On 7 May 2003, IESA officially reorganized its Infogrames Inc. US subsidiary as a separate Nasdaq listed company known as Atari Inc., named its European operations as Atari Europe, renamed Infogrames Interactive, Inc. to Atari Interactive, Inc., (a wholly owned subsidiary of IESA), rebranded Infogrames Australia Pty Ltd as Atari Australia Pty Ltd, renamed Infogrames Melbourne House Pty Ltd to Atari Melbourne House Pty Ltd, Infogrames UK became Atari UK, while IESA became a holding company.
Atari, Inc. is a public company that, as of 2007, had, as a majority stockholder, the company California U.S. Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of IESA.Atari Inc. licences the Atari trademark from Atari Interactive, a license which will expire in 2013. Atari, Inc. has the rights to publish and sublicense in North America certain intellectual properties either owned or licensed by IESA or its subsidiaries, including Atari Interactive.
In 2003, Infogrames closed down the Atari Hunt Valley studio (The last MicroProse studio) and in January 2004, they closed down Legend Entertainment. In 2004, Infogrames sold the Civilization franchise to Take-Two Interactive for $22.3 million. Also that year Infogrames lost the rights to the Unreal franchise when the game's developer Epic Games signed a deal with Midway Games. In June 2005, Infogrames sold back to Hasbro the digital rights to most Hasbro properties including Transformers (except in Japan), My Little Pony and Connect Four, but not Dungeons & Dragons, for $65 million.
In May 2006, IESA sold the Games.com site to AOL. They also sold the Stuntman franchise to THQ and the publishing rights to TimeShift to Vivendi Games. The sales generated $13 million in revenue. THQ also bought the developer Paradigm Entertainment from IESA. In July 2006 IESA sold the game developer Reflections Interactive and the Driver franchise for $21.6 million to Ubisoft. In October, Shiny Entertainment was acquired by Foundation 9 Entertainment for $1.6 million. In November of the same year, Atari Melbourne House was sold to Krome Studios and renamed to Krome Studios Melbourne. After this the only developers still owned by Atari were Eden Games and Humongous, Inc.
In April 2007, Infogrames' founding chairman Bruno Bonnell left the company after 24 years; on the day of the announcement of his departure IESA's shares jumped 24%. After his resignation, Infogrames through the remainder of 2006[clarification needed] sold intellectual properties and some studios in order to raise cash and stave off the threat of bankruptcy.
In the same year, Infogrames fired the majority of Atari's directors and laid off 20% of its workforce. For the 2006-2007 fiscal year, Atari posted a net loss of $70 million.
On 6 March 2008, Infogrames made an offer to Atari Inc. to buy out all remaining public shares for a value of US$1.68 per share or US$11 million total. The offer would make Infogrames the sole owner of Atari Inc., making it a privately held company.
On 30 April 2008, Atari Inc. announced its intentions to accept Infogrames' buyout offer and merge with Infogrames.
On 9 October 2008, Infogrames completed its takeover of Atari Inc. With that acquisition the Atari brand was re-united under Infogrames. Infogrames said that it planned to reduce administrative costs and to focus on online gaming.
In December 2008, Infogrames bought Cryptic Studios for $26.7 million in cash plus performance bonuses. Cryptic Studios is a massively multiplayer online game developer and its acquisition is in line with the company's new business strategy which focuses on online games.
Namco Bandai and Infogrames formed a joint venture called Distribution Partners in September 2008. Distribution Partners was defined by Infogrames as a regrouping of "Infogrames' distribution operations in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America." This new entity consisted mainly of Infograme's distribution network in the PAL region. Distribution Partners was 34% owned by Namco Bandai and 66% owned by Atari.
In May 2009, Namco Bandai acquired Atari Europe from Infogrames. Its sale and marketing personnel were transferred to Distribution Partners. In March 2009, Infogrames announced that it was getting out of the distribution business in the PAL region with its decision to sell its 66% stake at Distribution Partners. According to an Infogrames press-release, this sale allowed "Atari to focus its financial resources and creative energy exclusively on developing and publishing online-enabled games".
In July, the deal valued at EUR37 million was completed; Distribution Partners was renamed to Namco Bandai Partners. At that time the company had operations in 50 countries and 17 dedicated offices.
Despite restructuring, Infogrames continued to struggle to become profitable. For the 2008 fiscal year the company posted EUR51.1 million ($72.17 million) in net losses and for the 2009 fiscal year, which ended in March, Infogrames posted losses of EUR226.1 million ($319.33 million).
During their fiscal year meeting (May 2009), IESA announced that it would be changing its corporate name to an Atari branded name, in line with the use of the name for its subsidiaries. In reference to this, Atari, Inc's CEO Jim Wilson said: "We've gotten rid of the Infogrames and Atari duality, the confusion around that. We are one simplified company, under one management team, under one brand."
Infogrames' 29 May earnings report stated:
An earnings press release on 24 July 2009 also provided clarification regarding the ensuing name change that was initially announced some two months prior, rebranding themselves as Atari, SA from Infogrames Entertainment, SA. Furthermore, this release also stated their intentions of henceforth utilizing the much more recognizable 'Atari Group' moniker with all Atari-related brands and similar such subsidiaries already under their control.
On 21 October 2010, Atari announced Atari's reference shareholders BlueBay Value Recovery (Master) Fund Limited and BlueBay Multi-Strategy (Master) Fund Limited are exploring a disposal of the shares and equity-linked instruments held by them. However, BlueBay shareholders later interrupted the sale process of its holding in Atari. BlueBay later converted the conversion of a portion of the ORANEs held by them.
In 2012, Atari, SA, BlueBay Value Recovery (Master) Fund Limited, and The BlueBay Multi-Strategy (Master) Fund Limited reached an agreement following their negotiations regarding the restructuring of the debt and capital structure of the Atari group. As part of the agreement, the EUR20.9 million Credit Facility Agreement was extinguished via EUR10.9 million loan forgiveness from BlueBay Value Recovery (Master) Fund Limited and Atari's payment of EUR10 million; the cancellation of the dilutive effect of the ORANEs held by BlueBay; EUR20 million capital increases to be submitted to the vote of Atari shareholders (of which EUR10 million with preferential subscription right).
On 21 January 2013, Atari, Inc., Atari Interactive, Inc., Humongous, Inc. and California US Holdings, Inc. (collectively, the "Companies") filed petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
In July 2013, Atari began to sell its game assets, developers and the famous tripod logo and the Atari name in auction. The Battlezone and MoonBase Commander games were bought by Rebellion Developments. The Backyard Sports franchise was sold to Epic Gear LLC and later to Day 6 Sports Group LLC. Tommo bought Humongous Inc. and over 100 different games (Including games from the companies Accolade and MicroProse, and Math Grand Prix).Total Annihilation was sold to Wargaming and lastly, Star Control was bought by Stardock. Atari also had plans to sell off the Test Drive and RollerCoaster Tycoon franchises.Eden Games also closed down during the bankruptcy, but reopened up a year later as an independent developer by its founder, David Nadal.
In 2014, All 3 Ataris emerged from bankruptcy and entered the social casino gaming industry with Atari Casino. Frédéric Chesnais, who now heads all three companies, stated their entire operations consist of a staff of 10 people.
In December 2016, 3 years after the bankruptcy sale, Atari sold the Test Drive franchise to Bigben Interactive. The V-Rally series was also sold to Bigben Interactive around this time without a formal announcement.
In 2017, Piko Interactive acquired 40 Winks, Bubble Ghost, Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess, Death Gate, Drakkhen, Eternam, Glover, Monty Mole, Hostage: Rescue Mission, Marco Polo and Time Gate: Knight's Chase from Atari, SA.
In 2019 Subvert Ltd acquired a range of games formally owned by Atari, SA to include; The Horace series, Penetrator, Terror-Daktil 4D, the Mugsy series, the Videopac series, the Voyeur series, the Mystic Midway series, International Tennis Open, Castle of Terror, Dark Tower, Hellfire, Fighting Warrior, Doc the Destroyer, Terrormolinos, Sir Lancelot , Grand Larceny , Knuckle Busters, Dodgy Geezers, Alien Gate, Kether, and Gearheads.
In 2015, Atari announced a turnaround strategy that would focus on re-releasing the catalog of Atari games. The strategy is focused on "download games, MMO games, mobile games and licensing activities, based in priority around traditional franchises."
Projects currently in production or included in the turnaround strategy include:
On 8 June 2017 a short teaser video was released, promoting a new product; and the following week CEO Fred Chesnais confirmed the company was developing a new game console - the hardware was stated to be based on PC technology, and be still under development. In mid July 2017 an Atari press release confirmed the existence of new hardware, referred to as the Ataribox. The box design was derived from early Atari designs (e.g. 2600) with a ribbed top surface, and a rise at the back of the console; two versions were announced; one with a traditional wood veneer front, and another with a glass front. Connectivity options were given as including HDMI, USB (x4), and an SD card - the console was said to support both classic and current games. According to an official company statement of 22 June 2017 the product was to initially launch via a crowdfunding campaign in order to minimise financial risk to the parent company. In March 2018, the Ataribox was renamed the Atari VCS. In October 2018, Atari SA was listed on the Nasdaq Intl. Designation: PONGF on the U.S. OTC Market. In April 2019, Atari announces that they will began trading in Nasdaq Nordic under the ticker ATA SDB.
|Atari United Kingdom Limited||1996||2009||Manchester, United Kingdom||British game publisher. Originally founded as Ocean Software in 1984, and merged with Infogrames in 1996. The Ocean Software brand name was scrapped in 1998 (last Ocean branded games were published by Infogrames Multimedia SA) and renamed to Infogrames United Kingdom Ltd. Renamed again in 2003 to Atari United Kingdom Limited and sold to Namco Bandai Games in 2009, where they currently trade as Bandai Namco Entertainment UK Limited.|
|Philips Multimedia BV||1997||1997||Eindhoven, Netherlands||Gaming subsidiary of Koninklijke Philips N.V. Bought by Infogrames in 1997 and absorbed. Fellow subsidiaries like Laguna Video Games were also absorbed.|
|Atari Australia Pty, Ltd.||1998 (62%)
|2009||Sydney, Australia||Released Games in Australia. Founded as OziSoft in 1982 and was originally Sega's Australian and New Zealand Distributor. Later renamed to Sega OziSoft in 1992 after Sega purchased the company. 62% of OziSoft was acquired from Sega in 1998 and so "Sega" was removed from the company's name. The remaining 28% was bought in 2002 and OziSoft was renamed to Infogrames Australia Pty, Ltd. Was renamed again to Atari Australia Pty Ltd. and in 2003, and was sold to Namco Bandai Games in 2009. The company currently trades as Bandai Namco Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd.|
|Atari New Zealand Limited||1998 (62%)
|2009||New Zealand||Released Games in New Zealand. Founded alongside the Australian OziSoft in 1982 and functioned the same way. Later named Infogrames New Zealand Limited and Atari New Zealand Limited. Currently trades as Bandai Namco Entertainment NZ Limited.|
|Infogrames Studios Limited||1999||2003||Sheffield, United Kingdom||Game Developer and publisher. Originally founded as Gremlin Interactive in 1984 and functioned both as a publisher and a developer. Acquired by Infogrames in 1999 and was renamed to Infogrames Sheffield House (Trading name was Infogrames Studios Limited.) and downgraded to a developer only. Was closed in 2003 with most of their franchises being sold to Zoo Digital Publishing. Some went to the founder of Gremlin, Ian Stewart.While Hogs of War and Fragile Allegiance were both sold to Alternative Software and Monty Mole was sold to Piko Interactive.|
|DMA Design||1999||1999||Dundee, Scotland||Game Developer. Was acquired by Gremlin Interactive in 1997 and alongside Gremlin was sold to Infogrames in 1999. Infogrames sold DMA off to Take-Two Interactive in 1999 and transitioned DMA to Rockstar Games, where they now trade as Rockstar North Ltd.|
|Infogrames North America, Inc.||1999||2000||San Jose, United States||Game Publisher and distributor. Originally Founded as Accolade, Inc. in 1984 and acquired in 1999, where they were renamed to Infogrames North America, Inc. Acquired by fellow subsidiary Infogrames, Inc. in 2000 and were absorbed into the latter. All of Accolade's assets (Except for the Test Drive franchise) are now owned by Tommo.|
|Atari Melbourne House Pty, Ltd.||1999||2006||Melbourne, Australia||Game Developer. Founded as Beam Software in 1977, and was originally was the developer of publishing division Melbourne House. Continued to trade independently after Melbourne House was sold to Mastertronic in 1988. Melbourne House name revived in 1997 as a publishing label for Beam, and were both sold to Infogrames in 1999, rebranding as Infogrames Melbourne House Pty Ltd. Renamed to Atari Melbourne House Pty Ltd. in 2003 and was sold to Krome Studios in 2006, where they renamed them to Krome Studios Melbourne. Developer fully closed in 2010 by its parent company.|
|Humongous Entertainment, Inc.||1999||2005||City of Industry, United States||Game Developer focused on educational content. Founded in 1992, bought by GT Interactive Software in 1996 but continued to publish their own games. Acquired by Infogrames in 2000 as part of their buyout of GT Interactive Software. Game development division was closed in 2005, but the name lived on under the division Humongous, Inc. which was sold to Tommo in 2013 during the Atari bankruptcy sale. The sale included most of Humongous Entertainment titles, although Backyard Sports, and Moonbase Commander were sold to The Evergreen Group & Rebellion Developments, respectively.|
|Reflections Interactive Limited||1999||2006||Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom||Game Developer. Founded in 1984, bought by GT Interactive Software in 1998, and was acquired by Infogrames in 2000 as part of their buyout of GT Interactive Software. Sold to Ubisoft in 2006 which also included the Driver series that they also developed. Now known as Ubisoft Reflections Limited.|
|Legend Entertainment||1999||2004||Virginia, United States||Game Developer. Founded in 1994, bought by GT Interactive Software in 1998, and was acquired by Infogrames in 2000 as part of their buyout of GT Interactive Software. Closed by Atari in 2004.|
|SingleTrac Entertainment Technologies, Inc.||1999||2000||Salt Lake City, United States||Game Developer. Founded in 1994, bought by GT Interactive Software in 1997, and was acquired by Infogrames in 2000 as part of their buyout of GT Interactive Software. Infogrames closed them down in 2000.|
|Paradigm Entertainment||2000||2006||Carrollton, United States||Game Developer. Originally founded in 1997 as Paradigm Systems, later renamed to Paradigm Entertainment. Acquired by Infogrames in 2000 and was Sold to THQ in 2006, who also bought the Stuntman series. Closed by THQ in 2008.|
|Atari Interactive, Inc.||2001||2003||Originally founded as HIAC XI Corp. in 1998 so Hasbro Interactive could buy the Atari brand name and properties. Later renamed to Atari Interactive, Inc. in May 1998 and traded as a brand name, as well as a holding division of Hasbro Interactive for the Atari properties. Acquired with Hasbro Interactive in 2001 and remained the owner of the Atari name. Merged with Infogrames Interactive to form the current Atari Interactive in 2003.|
|Europress||2001||2002||Adlington, Cheshire, United Kingdom||Software Developer. Acquired by Hasbro Interactive in 1999 and Sold to Infogrames in 2001 as-part of their buyout of Hasbro Interactive. Due to a lack of interest in educational titles, Infogrames then returned the rights to the original founders in 2002.|
|MicroProse Ltd.||2001||2002||Chipping Sodbury, United Kingdom||Game Developer and MicroProse's UK headquarters. sold alongside the other MicroProse Studios to Hasbro Interactive in 1998. Sold to Infogrames in 2001 as-part of their buyout of Hasbro Interactive. Closed in September 2002.|
|Atari Hunt Valley||2001||2003||Hunt Valley, Maryland, United States||Game Developer and MicroProse's Original Studio. Founded in 1982, sold alongside the other MicroProse Studios to Hasbro Interactive in 1998. Sold to Infogrames in 2001 as-part of their buyout of Hasbro Interactive. Renamed to Atari Hunt Valley in 2003 and closed in November of that year.|
|Shiny Entertainment, Inc.||2002||2006||Laguna Beach, United States||Game Developer. Founded in 1993, acquired by Interplay Productions in 1995, who sold them to Infogrames in May 2002. Acquired by Foundation 9 Entertainment in October 2006, who later merged them with another developer, The Collective in 2007 to form Double Helix Games LLC in 2007.|
|Eden Games S.A.S.||2002||2013||Lyon, France||Game Developer. Founded as Eden Studios in January 1998 with Infogrames having a major stake in the studio. Remaining half acquired by them in 2002 and renamed to Eden Games S.A.S. in 2003. Was closed by Atari in March 2013 due to Atari's bankruptcy, and was later re-opened independently from Atari in 2014.|
|Cryptic Studios||2008||2011||Los Gatos, United States||Online Game Developer. Founded in 2000, Acquired by Infogrames in 2008, and sold to Perfect World in 2011.|
As of 2018, Atari, SA own the rights to the following games and game franchises. The majority of these are original works by Atari, Hasbro Interactive or Infogrames, however the most notable outside of these are a large number of intellectual properties formerly belonging to Ocean Software, which Atari never lost the rights.
Le 30 mai 2017, à l'occasion de la publication de son chiffre d'affaires annuel, le groupe Atari a annoncé la « (...) préparation d'une campagne de relations publiques et de crowdfunding pour tester la viabilité d'un nouveau produit hardware pour les jeux vidéo ». Le Groupe a depuis diffusé une vidéo dévoilant un premier design de ce nouveau produit, dont les fonctionnalités et les caractéristiques techniques seront annoncées selon l'avancement des travaux. www.ataribox.com Le Groupe estime qu'il est en mesure de développer un produit attrayant, utilisant la notoriété de la marque Atari dans le domaine du hardware. Pour limiter la prise de risque, ce produit sera initialement lancé dans le cadre d'une campagne de crowdfunding.