Atari has pulled out of E3, a mere three weeks before the must-attend mega-event is set to kick off. When contacted for comment, the company told Joystiq that it was a "proactive decision to attend but not exhibit at this year's E3 event." Although the publisher feels E3 benefits the industry, it is currently focused on "other selling and marketing initiatives" for Ghostbusters, Champions Online and "other to be announced titles." It sounds to us like someone is out of cash, which is the word on the street (and might explain Ghostbusters' surprise exclusivity in Europe).

We contacted the ESA, which runs E3 and still has Atari listed as an exhibitor, to see if the organization had received a check from Atari for the space on the show floor and meeting room -- the ESA referred all media calls to Atari. We contacted Atari and asked several direct questions regarding its E3 status -- and whether it has paid for the space it reserved. A company representative could only confirm that it will not attend the show and did not have any press events planned for LA during E3. We've been told that we should expect a more detailed answer sometime soon.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.