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Infogrames prepares for Atari disposal

Alan Rose

Last week, a developer from the Neverwinter Nights community discussed some of the financial difficulties Atari is currently experiencing. MSNBC is now confirming that French publisher Infogrames, who has a controlling interest in Atari, is attempting to restructure its failing business, which could have a substantial impact on some of the year's most anticipated games.

Atari had recently cut prices on all current gen games, but more drastic actions are in store. Infogrames may sell the publishing rights to upcoming titles Neverwinter Nights 2 and Timeshift (both due in September), and is also considering potential buy-outs of its other subsidiary studios, including Shiny Entertainment (Matrix: Path of Neo, Earthworm Jim). A potential merger with rival French games maker Ubisoft has even been speculated, although Infogrames founder and executive chairman Bruno Bonnell has dismissed this rumor as premature.

Bonnell's recent discussions with Elevation Partners have lead some industry analysts to believe that Atari's Dungeons & Dragons license might find its way back to BioWare, but this could just be wishful thinking. Let us know if you think the Atari brand should be put out to pasture at this point, or if it just needs more capable management.

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