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Atari Files For Bankruptcy

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the no-more-combat dept.

Businesses 127

First time accepted submitter halls-of-valhalla writes "Atari was one of the very first video game companies, starting way back in 1972. However, this long-running name that brought us titles like Pong and Asteroids is having major financial issues. Atari's United States branches have filed for bankruptcy on Sunday. This bankruptcy is an attempt to separate themselves from their French parent which has quite a bit of debt. The plan is to split from the French parent and find a buyer to form a private company."

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game over... (4, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year and a half ago | (#42646931)

GAME OVER PLAYER 1

Re:game over... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647039)

INSERT COIN TO CONTINUE!

Re:game over... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647481)

Are they even worth that much?

Re:game over... (2)

Flipao (903929) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647659)

The brand alone?, yes.

Are they worth a quarter? Probably (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647811)

Barring uncovering something nasty during due diligence, I'd pay $0.25 for them if all unsecured debt and unwanted future obligations were canceled. Now if they demanded two quarters, that's another story.

Remember, a quarter isn't worth what it was in Atari's heyday.

Re:game over... (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650027)

Depends. A quarter? No.
A Coin from Super Mario Bros.? Maybe...

Re:game over... (1, Funny)

zwei2stein (782480) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647109)

Insert coin to continue in 3.. 2.. 1..

Re:game over... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42649379)

You have no continues.

This is not Atari (5, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#42646941)

This is formerly Infogrames, who bought rights to the Atari name after the original went bankrupt.

A little basic fact-checking would have fixed this entry, "editors".

Re:This is not Atari (1)

radiumsoup (741987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42646959)

yeah, my first thought was, "Again?"

It sort-of is Atari (5, Informative)

crow (16139) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647013)

Infogrames bought not just the name, but the company. Yes, it's been through a number of acquisitions and mergers. So yes, the current Atari does, in fact, own the copyrights on the 70s and 80s games that everyone associates with it, and it is still the same company. It's not just a brand that someone is licensing around (like RCA).

But you're right, it hasn't really been Atari in the emotional sense since at least 1998 when Hasbro bought them.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (4, Informative)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647133)

Atari died when the Jaguar flopped and JTS quiety bought them in a "reverse merger."

I would venture to say though that after the crash of '83, and the NES started becoming cool two years later, was really when it started to fall.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647241)

The company died from poor management and MBA style decisions. Like many other companies

Atari ST was a good product and then when they followed up with the lousy STE, which had nothing compared to the Amiga's blitter, Atari was on the way do die. Management was MBA greedy and didn't realize the market would choose the better technology, or just plain didn't care as long as their wallets were full.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647749)

Tramiel's sons were idiots.

Of course, they are still rich, so i guess things worked out for them. Just not Atari employees and fans.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647817)

Tramiel's sons were idiots.

Of course, they are still rich, so i guess things worked out for them. Just not Atari employees and fans.

That's the American way. Assholes, maybe - but I don't think they were idiots.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647893)

Tramiel's sons were idiots.

That's not fair and too easy to say without some facts.
In the ST's heyday, they were visiting user groups to (as best they could)
to see what the users wanted to see in current/future products. Marketing, yes.
But there was a genuine concern, too.

Apple was in the same boat back then; probably worse. Guess what "saved" Apple?
Not S. Jobs, but PageMaker. If PageMaker had been developed for the ST, things
would be very different today.

Atari choose a very vertical market - hobby consumer oriented. Sadly, this was too risky
and Jack scared off all of the metal talent (they sure could've been NES and then some).
Apple went more horizontal and built appeal both for consumers and business and their
only genius was giving a mac to colleges.

CAPTCHA = refuel (alas, I fear it's too late even for that)

Re:It sort-of is Atari (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648303)

Mod +5 insightful.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (4, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | about a year and a half ago | (#42649103)

Apples were expandable. IBM PCs were expandable. Ataris and Amigas were not. See a pattern?

Apple got their stuff into schools. IBM got their stuff into small businesses. Atari and Amiga got them into Toys'r'us. It's really that simple.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (5, Insightful)

nogginthenog (582552) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650199)

Huh? Amigas were easily expandable, at least as much as 680x0 Apples. Big box Amigas (A2000, A3000 & A4000) had a Zorro bus which took graphics cards, serial cards, video editing (Video Toaster), etc. Small box Amigas (A500, A600, A1200) has similar expansion capabilities. A500&A1000 had a zorro 1 connector on the side, A1200 & A600 had the clockport. There were also the standard external parallel & serial ports available. There are even new expansion cards being manufactured & designed today (albeit in small quantities)

My A500 had a huge 80Mb SCSI hard drive.

My A4000 had a 24bit graphics card, serial card, 68060 processor with fast SCSI and lots of RAM (60Mb :-)

Re:It sort-of is Atari (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650363)

Tramiel and Atari lost a lot of credibility though when they went on a smear campaign against Amiga.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647773)

Atari ST was a good product and then when they followed up with the lousy STE, which had nothing compared to the Amiga's blitter, Atari was on the way do die.

Yeah, it was sad. I owned both a Falcon 030 and an Amiga 1200. Despite the 16 MHZ 68030 in the Falcon stomping all over the 14 MHZ 68EC020 in the Amiga, the custom chips in the Atari weren't even close to the Amiga. Throw in one of the cheap 100-150 dollar accelerators of the day, and it gave you a 40 or 50 MHZ 68030 in the 1200 that decidedly put the Atari into the ground performance wise.

And don't get me wrong, I loved them both. I was just sad that the game was over; Atari had fired it's last shot in the home computing fight. I've always been a Moto 68k enthusiast, and Apple was already PowerPC. We know what happened to Amiga a few years thereafter. :(

In addition, the Falcon 040 never making it out the door didn't help. Some folks back in the day speculated that it might have had the Jaguar's video hardware.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648189)

From what I understand, after the 8-bit computers had rolled out, but before the 16 bit machines were designed, there was a trade of expertise between Commodore and Atari. The chip designers behind ANTIC, POKEY, and GTIA/CTIA (the graphic and sound chips in the 8-bit Atari computers) went to work for Commodore, and the Commodore people went to work for Atari. So the Amiga wound up with the better chips, and the Atari-ST fell short.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648925)

Actually, the Amiga was originally developed by an independent company (Amiga Inc.) who *did* have some former Atari people working for them. The old Atari Inc. provided some support with caveats attached, and when Jack Tramiel bought out Atari's computer division, he hoped (using his typical legally-dubious techniques) to use legal clauses and agreements to gain control of the Amiga. Commodore rushed in and bought them, there was a lot of fuss and legal bickering, but C= ended up with the rights and Tramiel's Atari rushed out the ST instead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Amiga#Amiga_Corporation [wikipedia.org]

FWIW, the ST *did* do better early on in Europe, because the Amiga was so damn expensive, so don't knock it too much- it did provide "Power without the Price", even if it was eclipsed later on as the Amiga fell in price and took over as Europe's favourite 16-bit. Of course, both flopped in the US...

Re:It sort-of is Atari (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42649089)

I think one of the factors that didn't help either was the lack of availability of TV modulators for the Amiga when they were first launched in the UK (I don't know what the situation was in the rest of Europe). I worked Saturdays in a computer shop at the time of the Amiga and the ST, and one factor that pushed a lot of people in to getting the ST was that they could easily connect it to a domestic television set. Although I had my eyes on the Amiga, I too was on the cusp of getting an ST for this very reason, fortunately TV modulators became available just before I made my purchase.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650221)

TV modulators came as standard with the Amiga, at least in '87 when I got my first one... Shame it stuck out the back!

Re:It sort-of is Atari (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650519)

The Amiga 500 [wikipedia.org] (i.e. the first "affordable" Amiga and the one that people remember as the "classic" Amiga) came out in 1987, and I assume that's what you had.

I suspect that the original 1985 Amiga 1000 [wikipedia.org] might not have come with a modulator. Then again, the list price for that was apparently $1300, and if you had the money (and inclination) for that, the $300 cost of the monitor probably wouldn't be an issue, especially as it was probably being bought by professionals and hobbyists who wouldn't spend $1300 on state-of-the-art media computer and compromise it by shoving the display through some crappy RF. :-)

Re:It sort-of is Atari (2)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#42649557)

At the time, the Atari ST was the only machine with built in MIDI. That and it's relatively cheap price compared to MIDI upgraded computers made it very popular in the music industry.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42649071)

The DSP in the Falcon was cool and some demos make very good use of it. Unfortunately Atari crippled the computer with a 16bit bus so most of the advantages were nullified.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648893)

That's not the same Atari, although both Ataris have their origins in Nolan Bushnell's original Atari.

The company was broken up in the early eighties. Part went to Jack Tramiel, but not the games bit. The Atari you see around these days is related to the games bit.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (3, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650197)

The Atari you see around these days is related to the games bit.

That's incorrect; Hasbro (and through them, Infogrames) got the "Atari" name and IP through the legal remnants of Atari Corp. who *did* deal in games.

Atari Inc. was split along *arcade* (Atari Games) and *home/consumer* (Atari Corp.) lines. The latter (Jack Tramiel's) certainly included a lot of games-related business over the years, even if Tramiel initially thought it was a dead end. They continued the VCS/2600, relaunched the 7800 (after canning it for 18 months or so), released the XE Games System (an updated Atari 800 without a keyboard), then the Lynx (a fantastic handheld console developed by Epyx that was years ahead of its time, and partly killed by their crappy marketing) and finally the ill-fated Jaguar.

Also, the deal was that Atari Games could only use the "Atari" name in the arcade; they used the "Tengen" brand for home releases. Atari Games became part of Midway and was later renamed Midway Games West around the time Hasbro got the home name (to avoid confusion, apparently). I don't know what the status is of Atari Games' rights to the name and IP, but I suspect their legal successor's use of the name will still be restricted to arcade use. (Given that even in Japan- apparently- actual arcade-based games are no longer popular, that's nowhere near as big a deal as it would have been in the mid-80s).

Re:It sort-of is Atari (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650311)

Should have clarified that. When I said "that's incorrect", I meant that it was incorrect that it wasn't related through Tramiel's Atari Corp. (it was) and that it was a successor to Atari Games (which I assume was the entity you meant). Of course, as I mentioned, Atari Corp also did games-related business.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42649025)

JTS quiety bought them in a "reverse merger."

How can something that has no direction be reversed? Reverse takeover, now that makes sense.

Didn't buy "Atari", they bought Hasbro Interactive (5, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648789)

Infogrames bought not just the name, but the company [..] it is still the same company.

Not really, the "company" Infogrames bought and "continued" was merely Hasbro Interactive- and they themselves were merely an unrelated company that had purchased the Atari name and IP.

Quick rehash... the original "true" Atari Inc. ran into trouble following the 1983 US video game crash. It was split into arcade and consumer divisions; the former was "Atari Games" (later sold to Midway, who renamed it and eventually shut it down in 2003).

The latter was bought by Jack Tramiel and became "Atari Corp.", a legally separate company that nonetheless could still be seen as a spiritual continuation of Atari Inc's computer and console division.

Fast forward to the mid-90s, and all Atari Corp's recent products have flopped. The company is cash rich, but with no future, so Tramiel "merges" Atari Corp. with JTS, a second-rate hard drive maker. Since this is- in effect- just a means for him to transfer his investment to JTS, Atari Corp. basically ceases any meaningful operations at this point, remaining only a legal entity within JTS.

A couple of years later, JTS goes bankrupt, and Hasbro buys the Atari IP. No real connection with the original business(es) in any real sense, as there's nothing meaningful to continue by this point.

So, Hasbro weren't really "Atari" except that they bought the name and IP, and Infogrames aren't really either. Both successors that had any meaningful continuation of Atari Inc. (i.e. Atari Corp. and Atari Games) are both now long defunct with nothing left to continue.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42648997)

No, the current Atari (Infogrames US) was an already-existing New York company called GT Interactive (who made a niche as the distributor of nearly all Doom-engine and Unreal games). Infogrames bought GTI to jumpstart their US presence. They later also bought Hasbro Interactive (who owned the Atari IP). GTI and Hasbro were then restructured under the Atari name.

Not only are they not Atari, they only acquired the Atari IP second-hand from a previous owner, who themselves purchased the IP in a fire sale. And anyway, what they did acquire was only half of what Atari was, since the home/arcade split all the way back in the 80s. It's that home division whose assets were liquidated and picked up by Hasbro. The arcade half was itself purchased by Midway, and Midway was then purchased by Warner. Thus, all that might be left of the "real" Atari is now in the hands of Warner, not Infogrames. Though I'm not sure to what degree Warner's purchase was for the company or whether, like the Hasbro/Infogrames deal, it was merely a purchase of IP.

Re:It sort-of is Atari (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650375)

Apparently Midway Games West (the renamed Atari Games) shut down completely in 2003 and only existed as a holding company after that. So even if they bought the "company", it would mean little more than IP and a name in practice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Games [wikipedia.org]

Re:This is not Atari (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647067)

The French arm certainly is an undead version of Infogrames.

But what about Atari Inc? IIRC Infogrames only bought the name. So Atari Inc must be even further removed from Atari(proper).
Last I heard Atari cooperated with Zynga to create Pong. If that is true then both companies are truly frkd. Imagine: Your last ditch effort is to recreate a "game" of yesteryear that nowadays is farted out by first semester students armed with Notepad and and dodgy nutrition.

Atari in name only and not even that since Atari née Inforgrames is the French bit. Pity. I have fond memories of both.

Re:This is not Atari (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647103)

I'm guessing Infogrames would be the "French parent" mentioned in the summary, while the "US branch" is the "real" Atari. Those appear to be valid factual descriptions. Knee-jerk much?

Re:This is not Atari (1)

Macrat (638047) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650417)

This is formerly Infogrames, who bought rights to the Atari name after the original went bankrupt.

A little basic fact-checking would have fixed this entry, "editors".

You mean like reading Wikipedia?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari

Copyright (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42646955)

I'm sure their patents are expired by now, but does anyone know if the entity currently named "Atari" still holds copyright to the old games?

Re:Copyright (5, Informative)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647327)

Intellectual property for American 1980s videogames is a clusterfuck mess. Companies entered into short-term and limited-scope licensing for music, trademarks, images, and the rights to port games from other platforms. And just about every non-Japanese company in business circa 1983 was bankrupt by the mid-90s.

Some platforms, like Colecovision, are such a mess (legally), it would be basically impossible to EVER commercially re-release most of its old games in their original binary form. Coleco in particular signed licensing agreements that literally specified rom cartridges (one of the Adam's fatal flaws, since it meant they couldn't make tape-based versions with more conrent), expired in 10 years, etc. You'd have to spend millions researching ownership, then spin the roulette wheel and try negotiating new licensing agreements with owners who -- almost without exception -- would act like they hit the jackpot and demand outrageous amounts of money that would kill the product dead, anyway.

I believe this was a major motive behind the development of MAME -- the realization that some games were doomed to legally rot in limbo for eternity due to licensing problems.

Re:Copyright (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647833)

This is why we should go back to the original copyright term of 14 years. After that long of a time most works that will make money for the creators will have done so. Any longer than that, and you risk losing the works forever because they become destroyed/forgotten. Also, creators would have to actually create more than 1 good work in their entire lifetime if they wished to continue earning income. As it stands, there's so incentive for artists to create new works as long as their old one keeps selling.

Yes.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42648017)

There are many, many reasons why we should go back to the original copyright term of 14 years. None of those reasons benefit the current super-wealthy corporation conglomerates that continue to lobby the government for even more draconian copyright rules and enforcement practices...so don't expect it to happen anytime soon.

Re:Yes.... (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650205)

If they don't think it benefits them, they aren't being creative enough. What if the next XBox came with a hard drive that came with contained all the music from 1998 (14 years ago) and previously? That would be a pretty good thing to get with your XBox. Or they could sell tracks for 5-25 cents a piece, and it would be pure profit. Nobody to share royalties with. They could do the same with the back catalog of old games. There's a million ways to make money off old content. You can download 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for free but that doesn't stop retailers from selling paperback copies, or even a few people from selling versions of it on the Kindle store (or trying to, Amazon offers it for free).

The French... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42646993)

... should stick to fries. What do they know about 8-bit gaming? Did Napoleon play pong? NO!

Re:The French... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647651)

Napoleon WAS the pong ball, you dummie!

Re:The French... (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42649099)

I bet he caused a pong [slashdot.org] . He was French[1], after all.

[1] But only just. If he'd been born a few months earlier he'd have been an Eyetie.

Please, this Atari isn't the original one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647007)

There's no continuity except name and certain property rights. Atari has been through bankruptcy before, and will likely go through it again.

Why? Because somebody will buy the name, which still resonates for some reason.

It's also why people go to Chuck E. Cheese's.

Re:Please, this Atari isn't the original one. (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647059)

It's also why people go to Chuck E. Cheese's.

I thought is was for the quality food and comforting screams of agitated children. Pew pew pew.

Re:Please, this Atari isn't the original one. (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647213)

It's also why people go to Chuck E. Cheese's.

Gonna have to explain that one further. Locally when the weather is bad, its by far the cheapest place to take the whole family for "fun" which also has a liquor license, so the local cops are continually breaking up fights between dirtbags, which is not exactly great PR so its driving everyone except the dirtbags away. "Oh you went to CeC last night, were the cops there?" Basically if mom and/or dad are prime dive bar customers, but they have the kids that weekend, they can go to CeC and get drunk while the kids play. On the other hand its actually a pretty nice place to visit early enough in the day before the parents get drunk. If they would just close around sundown or so it would result in much higher class/lower crime clientele. Also the local news rag is offended that they aren't paying for enough advertising, so they highlight every minor problem to "motivate" them to purchase more advertising...

I'm guessing the analogy is something like Atari is more fun when you're drunk/baked or ?

Re:Please, this Atari isn't the original one. (2)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647517)

Perhaps something to do with Nolan Bushnell starting both companies?

Re:Please, this Atari isn't the original one. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647707)

Personally, I've been in a Chuckie's exactly two times. The first time was due to ignorance. I didn't like the food, and I damned sure didn't like the kids squealing all around me. It was just to juvenile, and unsupervised. The second time, I was pretty much dragged in, and the experience was even worse.

I guess it's been 25 years since I've been in one, and there is no nostalgia or any similar emotion that might make me venture in again. Some kind of serious money offer might induce me to walk through their doors again. Serious, I said. I'm not going in for a hundred bucks, thank you very much.

Re:Please, this Atari isn't the original one. (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648911)

any similar emotion that might make me venture in again

Well, aside from clientele issues previously mentioned which boil down to, train your bartenders to not serve liquor to dirtbags, its basically an arcade/carnival/state fair/amusement park experience, indoors... I can see how you'd be very unhappy if someone tricked you into thinking its a gourmet suit and tie fine dining establishment, but its not much different or worse than the state/county fair carnival area experience.

Re:Please, this Atari isn't the original one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647835)

Gonna have to explain that one further.

Your local Chuck E. Cheese's experience is in no way comparable to mine.

Here they just have the name and people thinking of it nostalgically so now they're bringing their children, then feeling a bit disappointed as the animatronic robots just aren't as cool.

True Chuck-E-Cheese story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647945)

A friend of mine said a kid she knew wanted a birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese's but Chucky was NOT invited.

What does that kid know that the rest of us don't?

Re:True Chuck-E-Cheese story (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42648129)

Ever seen the Child's Play movies? I wouldn't want Chucky [wikipedia.org] at my birthday either.

Re:True Chuck-E-Cheese story (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648957)

Old enough to really enjoy the video game arcade but too old to be impressed with some dude in a chuckie costume posing for pictures. I'd guess about 10 yrs old. Then again for a toddler to maybe 5 yr old, seeing the mascot walk around seems pretty cool to them.

Kind of like how kids about that age don't believe in Santa anymore and are not going to do the "sit on his lap" thing, but they're still pretty cool with opening presents...

Re:Please, this Atari isn't the original one. (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647845)

Atari has been through bankruptcy before, and will likely go through it again.

Why? Because somebody will buy the name, which still resonates for some reason.

It's also why people go to Chuck E. Cheese's.

Coincidently or not, both of those companies were founded by the same guy, Nolan Bushnell.

How is it that no one has mentioned this yet? (2)

Creedo (548980) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647145)

Brent is exactly correct here: http://pvponline.com/comic/2008/12/08/they-love-the-80s/ [pvponline.com]

Re:How is it that no one has mentioned this yet? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647569)

maybe because it's irrelevant, and you're a moron for thinking it is?

Apple should buy them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647163)

Let them produce exclusive iOS games.

Re:Apple should buy them (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647229)

"ET, now only on the Apple iPad"

Re:Apple should buy them (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647425)

With a music video done by Neil Diamond!

"More juice..."

Re:Apple should buy them (1)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647487)

That would be cool, especially if they used the fixed version [neocomputer.org] .

Well, cool except for the platform exclusivity... That's never cool.

Re:Apple should buy them (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647915)

What a cool thing! And a very, very good analysis.
I really feel for Warshaw. A couple more weeks. A little playtesting.

I also love how now code archaeology has become a thing. This is a highly interesting read. Grab a pot of coffee and waste an hour.

Re:Apple should buy them (1)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648575)

Yeah, I wish the "hacks" forum on AtariAge had more of this kind of break-down. You sometimes find good discussions about problems and solutions though.

Re:Apple should buy them (1)

petsounds (593538) | about a year and a half ago | (#42649955)

I remember playing E.T. on the 2600 when I was a kid. I never thought it was "horrible" -- though constantly falling in wells was annoying -- but it just felt really boring. The first game where I forced myself to finish it. Superman [wikipedia.org] and Raiders of the Lost Ark [wikipedia.org] were both games that also featured the same concepts of exploration as E.T., but without sucking. Okay, Superman wasn't fantastic, but flying around picking up bad guys and helicopters was a lot more fun than a useless little alien falling into wells constantly.

Raiders of the Lost Ark on the other hand was an amazingly complicated game. Quite brutal actually, and somewhat nonsensical, but it was the first game I played where I felt like the developer was daring me to keep playing. Interestingly, ALSO created by the same guy who did E.T., Howard Scott Warshaw. How one guy can make one of the better 2600 games, and then make one of the worst, I'm not sure.

Re:Apple should buy them (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647621)

"ET, now only on the Apple iPad"

ET would hate the iPad. Anyone can magically make it do stuff whether their finger glows or not.

Re:Apple should buy them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42648819)

I can already play them all on android. Rooting not required.

I thought it was already dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647173)

As per the Blade Runner curse.

Re:I thought it was already dead (1)

ichthus (72442) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647669)

What'chu talkin 'bout, Willis [koss.com] ?

How to go bankrupt? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647211)

Name your company Atari.

Re:How to go bankrupt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647371)

Name your company Atari.

Or "Amiga".

Re:How to go bankrupt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647527)

You missed the joke. It's related to Go and since you are here you should know the game...

Re:How to go bankrupt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42648093)

You missed the joke. It's related to Go and since you are here you should know the game...

Oh, right, sorry, I forgot that geekdom is a strictly-defined monoculture where all involved are required by law to consume the same cultural products, ALL of the same cultural products, and nothing BUT those cultural products. My mistake, I'll just head out to the reprocessing facility for a cleansing lobotomy that should take care of all those incorrect ideas I've got kicking around, including that darn lack of smug superiority regarding the appreciation of anything that originates from the Pacific Rim. Hail creativity and individuality, fellow citizen!

First twinkies (2)

netwarerip (2221204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647215)

Now Atari. My formative years have just received a major nutshot.

Atari == my childhood (0)

itachi0x0 (1118873) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647235)

Your childhood should not declare bankruptcy!

Re:Atari == my childhood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42648151)

Your childhood should not declare bankruptcy!

Mmm hmm, really? So why should your childhood be any different from that of your parents' generation? Or are you suggesting we, a modern generation on the move who grew up with certain specific video games, should desperately cling to the pop culture of our past and constantly reminisce about it, much like your parents' generation does with the pop culture of THEIR time while the next generation derisively sneers at us for doing exactly that?

Welcome to the time loop. Everything we said about our parents when they took us to boring-as-hell museums full of dead shit they grew up with? We're about to become them. This attitude of ours is only accelerating it. We got OLD, pal. We got old REALLY fast.

Atari IS a French company (2)

goruka (1721094) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647279)

And it used to be called Infogrames, known for the 90s PC "Alone in the Dark" saga. Then they became a publisher and aquired the Atari brand to get their products more visibility.

Re:Atari IS a French company (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647519)

Back in the day I liked the Infogrames logo [wikipedia.org] very much, it remains one of my favorite game company logos.

Re:Atari IS a French company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42650551)

The logo kept reminding me of an amadillo. That's probably why i liked it, too.

Re:Atari IS a French company (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647919)

Infogrames used to make some nice stuff. But that pretty much stopped with the Amiga.

Bad editor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647289)

Submitter links both to the original article in their summary, as well as a link to their own website, which in turn links to the original article. Yikes.

Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647363)

Atari has been struggling to answer the devastating ad campaign launched by one of its competitors. [youtube.com]

Atari has Reached a State of Atari (5, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647545)

Atari was named for a term [wikipedia.org] in the game "go" in which a stone or group of stones are in danger of being taken by one's opponent and the player has only one option available to avoid this outcome . Kind of like bankruptcy. So it seems that Atari has finally reached a state of Atari.

Re:Atari has Reached a State of Atari (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648053)

The writing was on the wall when they started hitting their biggest fans with cease and decist orders [slashdot.org] . An Atari that valued its history for more what they could sell the rights might not be in this situation today.

It goes from bad to worse now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647573)

Atari has been a shit company for decades now re-re-re-re-selling old games here and there and occasionally crapping out a new shit game but they basically have just been festering for awhile. Their demise is just fine, but the problem now is someone else will buy their library cheap and start re-re-re-re-releasing stuff again and taking old dead games and turning them in shovelware remakes to clog up store shelves.

Re:It goes from bad to worse now. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648099)

I'd pay ten bucks for a DVD with all of Atari's old games on it. It could lie around on a shelf, and when I got bored, I'd browse through the library, and play something. But, I can't imagine actually BUYING a game in the store for twenty bucks. They weren't worth that much back in 1980's!

Re:It goes from bad to worse now. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648841)

I find most of the old games to be more fun to play than the new ones out today. The new ones are nice to look at but mostly suck for play.

Re:It goes from bad to worse now. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42649497)

You used to be able to buy a joystick that had an emulator inside it that included all the old Atari console games.

Or was it the Sega?

In either case, all means "all except the one that was your total best most favouriterest evar".

Re:It goes from bad to worse now. (1)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42650573)

A company called Jakks Pacific made a few of those, including a few console-like ones in their Flashback series. I'll bet you could still find them as they're not all that old.

IIRC, you could solder in a cartridge slot on the FlashBack 2 and play any of the old games. A real shame it didn't have that built-in from the start. Coupled with an AtariMax MyIDE-II Compact Flash Cartridge and you've have the ultimate modern 2600 setup.

Kickstart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42647715)

Can we please launch a Kickstarter to buy all of the copyrights and IPs, and then make them Public Domain?

Re:Kickstart (3, Insightful)

carnivore302 (708545) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647949)

why should "we" do that? Can't "you" do it yourself?

Good luck with that (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648005)

See comments above about the cluster&*(# about licensing issues.

Easy fix (2)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647963)

Eat the power pill!

Glad I already got my flashback (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42647977)

I am pretty happy I got an Atari Flashback a few years ago. It even has marks on the board so you can use it with the old cartridges. I will have to do that one day when I get some time.

Re:Glad I already got my flashback (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648583)

I'd rather have the 1500XL [youtube.com] Atari laptop.

This is not new (1)

Vektuz (886618) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648225)

Atari has filed for bankruptcy several times now. Each an every time, someone buys the name and some IP, then they go bankrupt soon after. It's a curse!

Details of Atari's near death experiences... (1)

atarimuseum (1388269) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648385)

This is nothing new at all for Atari, the company nearly folded in 1974 because Nolan appointed his brother-in-law, a psychologist to run Atari and went over like a lead brick... of course, then the huge profit losses in Dec 82' that nearly dragged Warner Comm down, and then its sale and split in July 1984... So this is yet another chapter in the long sorted drama of Atari... If you really want to know all there is to know about Atari, told directly by the employees themselves, you really need to head over to Amazon and pick up this incredible new book on Atari - Atari Inc. Business is Fun Check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Atari-Inc-Mr-Curt-Vendel/dp/0985597402 [amazon.com]

OhOk (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42648809)

Infogrames subsidiary needs cash badly. Infogrames subsidiary is about to die.

Re:OhOk (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42649175)

"Time is running out!,,,,,, Better luck next time."

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