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Atari Facing $291 Million Debt Claim From... Atari 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the autocannibalism-is-a-great-capitalist-tradition dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Atari declared bankruptcy earlier this year, and part of that process involves selling off its property in order to pay as many entities holding its debt as possible. The latest round includes a $30 million claim from Atari's parent company in France, and a $261 million claim from another subsidiary of that parent company. The $30 million debt is secured (in other words, they get priority on whatever's left in the U.S. Atari's coffers), but the $261 million debt is not, so they'll have to wait in line with everybody else." The article also lists some interesting sell-offs. The old Accolade brand got sold for $50,000, the Battlezone Franchise was sold to Rebellion Interactive for $566,500, and Wargaming World Limited purchased the Total Annihilation and Masters of Orion franchises. Stardock Systems, creators of Sins of a Solar Empire, picked up the rights to the Star Control franchise, which they intend to reboot. (Those who played it will recall that StarCon2 was the Best Game Ever. And it's been remade after the creators released the source code.)
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Atari Facing $291 Million Debt Claim From... Atari

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  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @08:15PM (#44366777)

    A fun fact is that neither of the two Ataris suing each other here are in any reasonable sense the original Atari. First of all, the original company split in 1984 due to financial difficulties, into two companies: 1) Atari Games, which owned the rights to the classic game IP; and 2) Atari Computer, which took over making actual hardware.

    Atari Games existed for a few year in the mid-'80s, but in the late '80s went defunct, getting bought up by Time Warner, which later became AOL, which later sold them to Midway Games, which was later acquired by Warner Bros. So it's basically a copyright holding company owned by some group of investors that is several degrees of separation removed from anyone who actually worked on an Atari game.

    Atari Computer initially did some interesting stuff, mostly notably putting out the Atari ST, and later the Atari 7800. They sort of tanked in the late-'80s/early-'90s though, when the Atari Lynx and the Atari Jaguar both fell hugely short of expectations. This half of the company then met the same fate as Atari Games: it de-facto ceased to exist, except as IP that got sold around between various companies that never had anything to do with its products, in this case Hasbro and Infogrames. And now two parts of this half are suing each other.

    The short version of the story is: Atari got split up in 1984, was defunct by 1993, and now two, of at least three, companies that own some kind of claim to the name "Atari" are suing each other, but none of them have anything to do with Atari, except insofar as they are leeches who've somehow ended up with the rights to exploit the trademark.

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