Atari is one of the most well known brands in the gaming industry. That being said, the company now known as Atari hasn't been associated with a hit for a long time. The modern gaming industry has not been kind to the company, but it's making a comeback via mobile and social gaming. That comeback may be delayed for a bit as it now works its way through bankruptcy.
Atari's U.S. branch announced today that it has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The move is being used to detach itself from its France-based parent company, Atari S.A. The company says it has been a growth driver for the parent company since rebranding itself as a social game developer in 2011, but the break off from its parent company is being used to "preserve [its] inherent value and and unlock revenue potential unrealized while under control of Atari S.A."
As part of the bankruptcy process, Atari U.S. plans to sell off all of its assets, including its branding. Some of the properties available for sale include Pong, Asteroids, Centipede, Tempest, Test Drive, Backyard Sports, and more.
Atari says that its business will continue as normal over the next few months. In fact, the company has a few new games in the pipeline that will be launching on mobile devices, including a new entry in the Rollercoaster Tycoon series and Atari Casino.
Atari is just starting the bankruptcy process, but troubled publisher THQ has been there for a while. The company announced its plans to sell off the company to a private investor in late December, but the company's investors, with the help of the court, stopped the sale in favor of an auction where each property may be sold off piece by piece. We'll know later this week if THQ will end up as a whole in the hands of its initial investor or if the company will be split up among the wolves hoping to obtain the lucrative Saints Row franchise.
All that being said, Atari probably doesn't have anything to worry about. Mobile gamers who grew up with an Atari 2600 will be able to enjoy touch-enabled versions of their favorite retro games for years to come.