Atari is to exit games development as the struggling company refocuses its North American operations on publishing and distribution, it was announced last night.
In an official statement, the company said that Atari's activity going forward "will involve title acquisition, sales and marketing, and physical distribution of products from Infogrames, its 51% shareholder, and other selected partners."
The rights to racing series Test Drive have been now licensed to Infogrames for a $5m royalty advance over six years. Lyon, France-based Infogrames will now develop the franchise further with Eden Studios, the French team contracts for two more TD games. Atari has also agreed to terminate its Production Services Agreement with Infogrames.
The move means Atari is now completely without development resource following 18 months of deals that have seen the likes of Shiny, Reflections and Paradigm sold off to other developers and publishers.
Atari also said some jobs would go as it restructured around the core publishing business; the company's CEO, David Pierce, has also resigned.
"Atari continues to take important steps to stream-line operations and establish a winning business plan. We expect that the actions we are undertaking today will position us for the future as a preferred business and distribution partner," concluded Curtis G. Solsvig III, temporary CEO and chief restructuring officer.