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Atari Selling Studios To Avoid Bankruptcy 46

hammersuit writes "GameDaily Biz is reporting that Atari has put up five studios for sale in an effort to stave off bankruptcy once again. These include Shiny Studios (thought to be working on next-gen Earthworm Jim games) and Reflections (working on yet another sequel to the Driver series)."
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Atari Selling Studios To Avoid Bankruptcy

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  • Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.
  • Whoa Nellie! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kryogen1x ( 838672 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @07:37PM (#14746199)
    Whoever gets Earthworm Jim better get it right.
    • Re:Whoa Nellie! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shoptroll ( 544006 )
      Given Shiny's track record with The Matrix franchise I'm not holding my breath. And from what I heard the last EWJ incarnation (Earthworm Jim 3-D) was nothing to write home about. I'll keep my cartridge of Earthworm Jim around in case I want some good and irreverent times.
      • What the hell has shiney ever done thats any good.. though the guy that runs it seems to think hes some kind of 'rock game god'.

        All there stuff has been shite.. (cept maybe the accidental EWJ on the MD). Espically that OTT website

        for some stupid reason im glad they are getting sold.. :(
  • Anything left...? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @07:55PM (#14746319)
    I used to work at Atari for six years. Three years as a QA tester, three years as lead QA tester, and six years of whatever they made me do that didn't fall into first two categories. So I started off at Accolade, which was bought out by Infogrames, which became Infogrames North America after GT Interactive was bought (turning a private company into a public company with a reverse buyout), and became Atari when that intellectual property rights was picked up when Hasbro Interactive was bought. The French parent company was on a buying spree that often paid two to four times what each individual company was worth. But, hey, this was before the dotcoms went bust in 2000. Now all these studios of previously bought companies are being sold for pennies on the dollar because the stock price is now trading at less than a dollar when a lot of the financial guesswork was based on a $10/share and growing stock price back in 1999.

    I left Atari nearly two years ago. From what I been hearing on the inside, production has moved from the west coast to New York to be with the corporate headquarters and closer to France, and QA may stay in Sunnyvale. There isn't much of a company left when you sell all your overpriced studios and the only products you have is the back catalog. I think someone will buy the back catalog, let the American shell company declare bankruptcy, and the French parent will be at square one with nothing to show for.
  • I would not buy IP rights to any of those franchises even if you paid me. If Atari is banking on selling those studios to keep from going under, I am afraid Atari's dead once again. Infogrames (Atari) was doing quite well for itself, this comes as a surprise to me.
  • Maybe instead of making money by selling studios, they should make money by selling games worth playing? Of course Infogrames should have thought of that before the buying spree mentioned by another poster.
    • Neverwinter Nights 2 is very much a game people want to play. Selling a studio is instant; making a hit game takes a bit of time. They're doing all this now to try and make it until they can release some of the stuff in the pipeline.

      I personally don't care if it's Atari that publishes it or not (Obsidian isn't part of them anyways), but NWN2 better be released . . .
      • Bioware is no longer affiliated with Atari. The retarded suits fucked Bioware over and Bioware severed ties. Bioware now self publishes. So if they do work on NW2 this wont' affect them.
        • Bioware isn't developing NWN2. They sub-contracted it out to Obsidian Entertainment (same company they let do KOTOR 2).

          The thing is, as of right now, Atari/Infrogames is the only company with publishing rights to D&D based games. Unless something changes, Atari is still slated to be the publisher for NWN2.
    • Maybe instead of making money by selling studios, they should make money by selling games worth playing?

      what do you mean by "Games worth playing?" you mean to tell me you don't like generic urban street racer 7? or Generic urban fighter 28? what about a 15th variation on a Dragonball game? Driv3r wasn't a game worth playing with all it's glitches and shitty controlls?

      atleast they haven't gone down the EA route (well they have with dragonball) and just repackage the same game from last year throw in a
  • They pissed off Epicgames, one of their most largest and successful developers, caused them to ditch Atari for Midway. They deserve to die for that reason alone.
  • Shame (Score:2, Funny)

    by kleptonin ( 901871 )
    That's a shame, DRIV3R was the B3ST GAM3 3V3R*

    • As a long time GTA fan, I was willing to give an impartial try to GTA-like games. I couldn't make it past the first mission in Driv3r, no matter how well I rode along with those police cars. It was the only game I returned to the video store early, out of frustration.

    • The original Driver game on the PS1 was excellent but due to the hardware it ran a little slow. I had a friend who had it on the PC with a force feedback steering wheel and I must say it was absolutely amazing to play, real 70s driving fun. The original game had it right but the sequels that force you to get out of the car ruined the game for me.

      Driver was at it's best when all you did was drive.
  • What goes around... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jestrzcap ( 46989 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @10:46PM (#14747187)
    I, for one, would not be sad to see Atari go. They have personally cheesed me off recently on several occasions. The biggest and saddest of these was The Temple of Elemental Evil. The game had so much potential to be a very well done D&D 3.5 game, but was completely and totally fucked by Atari who pushed it out the door incomplete, stripped of solid content, and untested. For that alone I hope they die. More recently they've completely ignored the linux community in regards to Neverwinter Nights 2.

    I will do a little dance the day they die.

    • Same here.
      At this point I am not only worried because nwn 2 does not
      support gnu/linux, I am worried because maybe we won't see nwn 2 _at all_.

    • The only reason I bought NWN was because they promised (and eventually delivered) a Linux client. As an added bonus I got one of the best games I've had in ages. On a sadder note, my kids got Dragonshard recently - which is a quite good game. Unfortunately, the installer for it was completely hosed and I had to manually run the .msi file on the CD to get it to install at all. Once installed, none of the patches would work. It's not like creating a half decent installer or patch installer is rocket scie
    • ... Atari who pushed it out the door incomplete, stripped of solid content, and untested.

      The game was tested. The problem was that the developer didn't want to fix it and/or the game had to go out the door to meet the quarterly goals. A PC title would after all get a patch. Unless the same problem happens again: the developer doesn't want to fix it and/or the patch had to go out the door so other products can be worked on. The Temple of Elemental Evil, as evil as it was, got tested. No one wanted to list
  • Maybe finally we can get some good D&D games seeing how Atari is pissing all over the license.
  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <oarigogirdor>> on Friday February 17, 2006 @11:41PM (#14747380) Homepage
    "A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever." - Shigeru Miyamoto
  • ...Atari employee's are being told "Atari."

    I like the idea of Atari, but asside from games they had nothing to do with but distribution (Neverwinter Nights), they haven't seemed to DO much in the last..... four years or so. That is, unless you count Firaxis as Atari, in which case, Atari still rocks.
  • Maybe they shouldn't have put protections that only annoy game buyers but not pirates.

    Quite a few games I *bought*, I had to find a no-cd patch for them because they kept complaining I didn't put the CD in!

    How many customers have they lost with that?
  • I thought they were long since a part of history...
    • You're correct. The "Atari" they're referring to here is not the Atari we all remember from our childhood. That Atari went out of business years ago. The French company Infogrames (one of the largest publishers, though I believe they are behind EA) bought all the rights to the Atari name several years ago, and then they changed their name to "Atari". So to be more accurate, the title should be "Infogrames selling studios to avoid bankruptcy".
  • Driver 1 was easily the best driving simulation game of its time. I have yet to see a game that surpases the physics algorythms of that game. The hackability was like a dream come true.

    If the original hackers are still in Reflections are still there, I would buy just them and let them loose making the ultimate pure driving game.

    To Reflections: Drop the stories and cut-scenes and shooting modes and make us the ultimate hackable cross platform MMO driving game. I guarantee millions of sales globally. Make it
  • In the buying spree of 1999-2000 when Infogrames grabbed up Ocean, Gremlin, Accolade, GTI, and Hasbro Interactive, fueled by a $300 million interest-free loan from the French Government, a third-rate European game company headed up by a charismatic self-proclaimed "visionary" with a degree in chemical engineering, thought they could take on EA. They made quite a few very expensive mistakes. One was dictated by the times -- in the dot com bubble, everything was more expensive, including IP. The second was in
    • Atari died of mismanagement, plain and simple. I'm just surprised it took so damn long.

      Could've been worst. Infogrames was supposed to publish Duke Nukem Forever but Bono got rid of the franchise after Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes for the Playstation. The developers couldn't explain why there was a hazy black-and-white picture of a dick on the porno theater screen. Bono ordered the picture and the "sleaze" mode out of the game since that aspect of Duke Nukem didn't match his "family values".

Forty two.