Atari promises it won't suck this time
Betting big on MMOs
Atari is quite simply a brand with too much history to let die, despite it rarely being more than a financial sinkhole since the video game crash of 1983.
Invariably, there's a company eager to dig up Atari's corpse and resurrect the namesake in order to use its notoriety as an arcade, game console, and home computer pioneer.
French game publisher Infogrames became the latest company in a long line of Atari brand necromancers by purchasing of the ailing firm last October. The company recently announced it will release 14 games in 2009 under the Atari brand, most of which tap into Hollywood movie licenses like Ghostbusters and the Chronicles of Riddick.
As the new Atari tells Reuters today, it's keenly aware of the brand's checkered past, and promises to deliver higher quality titles in the future.
"Having a cool logo and a brand that's known throughout the world is great, but unless it stands for something and actually resonates with our players by delivering great value, fun gameplay, and entertainment, it doesn't mean anything," the new Atari prez Phil Harrison told Reuters.
Atari is also now betting big money on the success of massive multiplayer online (MMO) games.
This week, Atari snapped-up California-based Cryptic Studios for $28m, with a potential $20m bonus depending on the sales of studio's upcoming MMOs, Champions Online set for a 2009 release, Star Trek Online in 2010, and a third unannounced MMO in 2011. The company even beat fellow French game publisher Ubisoft in a bidding war to acquire Cryptic.
Atari will also handle the retail distribution of the next expansion of EVE Online for its global release March 10.
Major plays in the MMO space also follow Atari's recent public venting about the used game market - which the company said is "extremely painful" for the video game publishing industry. After all, the real money in MMOs is charging monthly fees to play online rather than the initial purchase.
Whether Atari can ever truly regain its reputation is still very much up in the air. But rest assured, even if Infogrames flunks out, someone will step up to become the next Atari. ®
Rest in peace
"Major plays in the MMO space also follow Atari's recent public venting about the used game market - which the company said is "extremely painful" for the video game publishing industry."
That means company execs are totally out of touch with the market and players and know they can't play with competition, including their own products from the past. Retrogaming is here to fuel competition by still having old products to compete with, and ensure new games will bring something.
And some companies do business with it: look at Nintendo with the WII ! Are their old products so painfull to their market ? No way, they're reselling them in Wii shop !
"Atari is also now betting big money on the success of massive multiplayer online (MMO) games."
Yeah, "betting" is the right word, here, and after the next fall, they'll buy lotery tickets, as the sole way of geting back into business. The truth is you need talented people and not a legion of DRM-obsessed fuckfits that have killed more brands (NeverWinter nights, don't even start me on this one) than they have created, to have the slightest chance to earn money from a MMO. It takes more than the n00b new prez's speech to turn this long undead company into a Blizzard competitor, I'm afraid.
Atari, do the gaming world a favor, unplug the life support, and rest in peace.
The kids don't know this brand
Too young and even the 30 - 40 years old casual gamers were too young or uninterested. So, where's the public for this revival ?
It's like the Mpman brand, people consider it as a sub-brand for supermarket.
Re :StarTrekOnline should be Elite
IMO Atari produced one of the all time best games in Elite (simple, accessible, focus on gameplay not hardware sapping graphics that I ignore after the first few sessions)....
Hmm no they didn't... They licenced and COPIED a game from the Acorn BBC version....so you cant use that as a example of Atari producing innovative gameplay....
It doesnt matter what the recent history of Atari is it still has a good historic name. In an age where brand names alone are worth millions, companies will continue to buy old names and trademarks to re-hash them for current content as it is basically a cheap method (Compared with throwing millions on advertising) of lifting product placement in the market