Atari files for bankruptcy, sells off Pong

Atari, the company that has for long been seen as the forefather of video games, has filed for bankruptcy in the US under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Atari's original Pong arcade game (image: Engadget)

“With this move, the U.S.-based Atari operations seek to separate from the structural financial encumbrances of their French parent holding company, Atari S.A. (formerly Infogrames S.A.) and secure independent capital for future growth, primarily in the areas of digital and mobile games,” the company said in a statement.

Atari also added that they will be selling off their assest in order to keep the company afloat, which in all likelihood means selling off the hugely-successful Pong to another video games company.

“Within the next 90-120 days, the Companies expect to effectuate a sale of all, or substantially all, of their assets in a “sale free and clear” under section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code or to confirm plans of reorganization that accomplish substantially the same result. These assets include not only one of the most widely recognized brand logos, which is familiar to 90% of Americans, according to a recent survey, but also legendary game titles including Pong, Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Battlezone and Tempest. Other recognized brands include Test Drive, Backyard Sports and Humongous,” Atari’s statement continues.

While Atari in France has had better luck in terms of finances “the Chapter 11 process constitutes the most strategic option for Atari’s U.S. operations, as they look to preserve their inherent value and unlock revenue potential unrealized while under the control of Atari S.A.

During this period, the company expects to conduct its normal business operations.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor