Atari: Online strong despite despite 65% revenue drop

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Atari has released results for the first quarter of its 2010/2011 fiscal year - and despite a 65% drop in revenues, the firm's online takings have jumped.

According to GameDaily The publisher reported net revenues of €19.3 million versus €54.5 million the year previously - but the drop is in line with Atari's expectations.

Retail releases took a dent. Atari released only one new game, Sandlot Sluggers, in the quarter - whereas last year it released two big-licence games, Ghostbusters: The Video Gameand Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.

In all, retail revenue dropped to €10.9 million in the quarter from €42 million the prior year.

But online revenues helped compensate for the shortfall - arguably proving the publisher can successfully (if slowly) make the transition to a purely digital publisher.

Star Trek Online and Champions Online brought in €8.4 million for the quarter - an increase of €6.4 million over digital revenues in the comparable quarter last year.

Ultimately online revenues account for 44 per cent of Atari's total net - when last year it was just four percent.

Atari said it will stick to previous forecasts and expects considerable improvement” over the next few quarters - that's thanks to the release of games like Test Drive Unlimited 2 and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, plus the release of Haunted House will be shipping for the Wii, Xbox Live Arcade, and the PC plus Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush will be released for Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and DS.

The publisher said it also intends to release a number of games based on classic brands for Xbox Live Arcade, PSN, PC, and social networks.