Atari Shareholder Riot

By John Walker on November 23rd, 2007 at 12:56 pm.

Atari, look, we’re worried.

Atari

Atari US is in freefall, with share prices tumbling, and the company talking about lay-offs and cancelling projects. This week they announced a 2nd quarter loss of a whopping US$7.7m, and 15% has fallen off their share prices since the beginning of this week.

The already troubled publisher has been relying on the last of its licenses to stay afloat. Games like Neverwinter Nights 2 and Dungeons & Dragons Online come from their links with Wizards of the Coast. And despite The Witcher being almost unintelligible, it’s selling well enough to keep it in the charts. However, how long can they keep going while money flies out the windows like escaping wasps?

Here’s why we’re worried, though. In assuring GamesIndustry.biz that the Atari US collapse isn’t affecting Atari UK, the PR team assures them things are fine with “very exciting titles” to come. And they are?

My Horse And Me (multiformat)
Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation (360)
Jenga (Wii, DS)
Legendary: The Box (360) (Er, no link because developer Spark’s own site doesn’t acknowledge it, Atari don’t list it, and they’re co-publishing it with GameCock whose ghastly Flash site won’t directly link to the teaser, and indeed announces it will have a “Sprint 2008 release”. But, it does look freaking awesome).

With Alone In The Dark missing in action, despite promises it’s going along well, is this really the release list of a company that’s fine? My Horse And Me is in your “very exciting titles” list?

My Horse And Me?

, .

22 Comments »

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  1. Jim Rossignol says:

    My Horse and I looks awesome!

  2. John Walker says:

    I didn’t even get started on the grammar.

  3. fluffy bunny says:

    Good to see The Witcher is selling well. I love that game, probably the most enjoyable RPG I’ve played since Morrowind.

  4. usagizero says:

    I keep wondering when I see things like this if it’s the beginning of another video game lull with companies closing and taking fewer and fewer risks with creative games. Granted, Atari is still pretty much coasting off of nostalgia of the name and not great games, so this isn’t a huge surprise to me.

  5. Jan-Tore Berghei says:

    The Witcher is the best “western” RPG to come out in a while. Really enjoyable! Sadly, that probably says more about the state of the genre rather than the game.

  6. Electric Dragon says:

    At least they found a use for that valuable “Father Ted” licence. Or perhaps it’s a collaboration with DeAgostini?

  7. Tom Lillis says:

    Electric Dragon says:

    At least they found a use for that valuable Father Ted licence. Or perhaps it’s a collaboration with DeAgostini?

    Truly, there’s nothing like unexpected Neil Hannon to brighten ones morning.

    What I want to know is, who the hell wants to play Jenga in an electronic format? I can barely do it with the physical blocks, so I can hardly conceive of it being anything but infuriating with a Wiimote.

    And Ace Combat 6 is more or less “meh,” so I don’t see that being anyone’s salvation.

    Me and My Horse, then?

    Well, maybe it’s a spelling error, and they’re really working on “Me and My Whores,” an exciting, GTA-style pimping sim. Because if it’s not, and they’re really relying on pretty ponies…

    …good-bye, last vestiges of early home gaming juggernaut! We will miss you!

  8. Babs says:

    ‘My Horse And Me’
    To shame judging a book by it’s cover! This could be a satirical noir-style crime adventure about a string of muders on the show-jumping circuit. Or an Action/RPG about a girl and her cyborg time-travelling super horse on a bloody rampage through the ages. Or the videogame mediums first attempt at interactive horse-porn.

    Probably not though.

  9. Kieron Gillen says:

    I’ve played it. It’s about horses and me and I LIKE THE BUTTERFLIES.

    KG

  10. Tom Lillis says:

    Ah. Well, in that case… to apply an apropos Britishism to the situation, I do believe they’re bolloxed.

    I’m going to go play a very bittersweet game of Pitfall, now.

    Sniff.

  11. Mike says:

    Well, Atari EU has just put up a new teaser for Alone in the Dark at http://www.centraldark.com (d’you see what they… etc. etc.) suggesting that there is progress of some sort. Keep an eye out for slap-in-the-face Evil Dead/Carpenter references in the video to win bonus points.

    I think it’s safe to assume that there’s a sequel to Test Drive Unlimited (which I thought was rather good) in development at Eden as well. If that gets cancelled I’ll be pretty non-plussed.

  12. JP says:

    I’d be a lot sadder if Infogrames had anything at all, other than buying the brand name and logo, to do with the original Atari.

  13. Tom Lillis says:

    It’s the principle of the thing! I am well aware that I could go over to Chuck E. Cheese and be steeped in much deeper Atariness than I would be playing any of those godawful DragonBall games. But the name still does sort of mean something, and I shall be sad to see it go.

    At least until Nolan Bushnell buys it back so he can open “The Atariland Pizza, Auto Detailing, and WiFi Center,” or whatever the hell his next crazy-ass amalgamation of food, technology, and some other utterly inappropriate wildcard turns out to be. Then I think I’ll be sad to see it come back.

    See, this is why I should not have days off. I end up spending hours posting comments about the state of affairs at Atari instead of doing actual work.

  14. John Walker says:

    As JP says, Atari have nothing at all to do with the Atari of old. I put up an old Atari logo as a joke, more than anything.

    Infogrames bought the name a few years back as part of a rebranding exercise.

    Still, it’d be sad to see Infogrames go. And yes, Test Drive Unlimited was good. Shame they forgot to market it very well.

  15. kindredphantom says:

    I can’t wait for the sequel: My Horse And You.

  16. Meredith Basingwary says:

    Horses *are* the best of all the animals, though.

  17. Dan Forever says:

    Hey! Don’t knock Jenga DS! I worked on the engine for that at APE. I’m pretty proud of my input into the DS engine… though I never actually played the game, I have to admit (my gameplay programming was on a different DS title). Aren’t industry placements fun? :D

    …I wonder if they left my name in the credits…*goes off to poke people in the know*

  18. I_still_love_Okami says:

    @Dan Forever: Look it up here: http://www.mobygames.com/home

  19. wiper says:

    “I didn’t even get started on the grammar.”

    Te be fair, it could turn out that the horse and the player are merely objects to the game…

  20. zanbowser says:

    It *is* “Me,” in that instance. *I* do to things; things do to/with *me.*

    On that (rather disturbing) note:

    “I can’t wait for the sequel: My Horse and You” — kindredphantom

    EPIC LULZ.

  21. CornerUnitSofa says:

    Is that the same Ace Combat game that helped the 360 to beat PS3 sales in Japan, for that week, for the first time?

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