atarilogo Atari filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US

Bloomberg News is reporting that the gaming giant of the past Atari is throwing in the towel and seeking to declare bankruptcy. I’d say this marks the end of an era, but come on – Atari’s era ended a long time ago, and they’ve been a shadow of their former selves for a while now. Still, this is some head-turning news for anyone who’s old enough to remember the days when Atari was a successful hardware manufacturer – and really, they had their software hits as well. Missile Command? Paper Boy? Gauntlet Legends? Anyone? Either way, we’ve got a bit more news about this after the cut.

Straight from the article:

New York-based Atari Inc., maker of video games “Pong” and “Asteroids,” as well as affiliates Atari Interactive Inc., Humongous Inc. and California U.S. Holdings Inc., asked to be jointly administered in filings today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, according to a statement.

“Within the next 90 to 120 days, the companies expect to effectuate a sale of all, or substantially all, of their assets,” in a free and clear sale under the U.S. bankruptcy laws, or confirm reorganization plans that “accomplish substantially the same result,” according to the statement.

Atari was founded in 1972 and became a pioneer in arcade and video games. Today it lags behind game-making giants such as Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI), the world’s largest by sales, and Electronic Arts Inc. (EA)

That pretty much says it all. Once a giant in the arcade and home gaming market, and now they’ll likely be selling off most or all of their remaining intellectual property. It will be interesting to see if there are any prominent takers of some of Atari’s IP. I for one would love to see Crytek get involved and come out with a brand new Pong that somehow requires an 8-core processor and intense CPU cooling to run at max detail. Here’s hoping!