Atari now says the future is digital and on mobile

Ben Parfitt
Atari now says the future is digital and on mobile

Another week, another new direction for Atari.

The CEO of the struggling former games giant Frederic Chesnais has told NowGamer that the company’s future now lies on mobile – just over a year after founder and board member Nolan Bushnell said that mobile gaming was ”over”.

"What we’re going to do is very simple,” Chesnais said. “First we have restructured the company big-time, we really spent a long time trying to extricate the company from bankruptcy, and that’s done now.

"How we see the company down the road is moving towards digital – multiplayer and single-player – and moving towards mobile.

"We’ve announced that we got a new game coming out, we’re going to announce Haunted House in a few weeks. We’ve announced Atari Casino as you know, but we’re revitalising the all the big IPs one-by-one. Alone In The Dark we’ve announced, but more as a general project. We’re going to do them one-by-one."

Atari’s struggles date back nearly ten years now, when in 2005 CEO James Caparro quit just a month before the firm embarked on a serious business restructure. None of which helped – two years later it was threatened with a Nasdaq delisting.

Former Sony Studios boss Phil Harrison was drafted in in 2008 to try and stem the flow but signs of unfocused strategy and internal confusion continued. One moment it was declaring it was to ditch single-player games and the next it expressed a desire to become “a billion dollar distributor”.

Its European business was acquired by Namco Bandai in early 2009 and later that year high-profile CEO David Gardner stepped down and within four months Harrison was also gone, with founder Nolan Bushnell returning to the board.

Later that year its new direction was casual gamers, but by last year Atari found itself filing for bankruptcy – a process it exited in late 2013.

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Tags: Digital , mobile , atari , direction

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