Haunted House of Trademark Horrors

March 20, 2015 - James Fudge

Meet the man who has been fighting an Atari trademark challenge for over three years.

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Legendary developer Jeff Minter claims Atari is blocking future releases of 'TxK'

March 18, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Update: GamesBeat has a statement from Atari explaining its position on the Minter situation and reiterating many of the claims that he made against them. It's definitely worth checking out. What's curious is that Minter has been working on this game for awhile and even released it on PS Vita. Why has Atari suddenly pounced on Minter at this point?

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University of North Dakota Professor Donates 'Centipede' Cartridge to The Smithsonian

January 12, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The University of North Dakota's Special Collections department owns a cartridge of the Atari 2600 game Centipede, which was excavated from a landfill in New Mexico last year as part of a Microsoft documentary (Atari: Game Over) about the legendary "Atari game grave site." The thousands of cartridges were dumped there in the aftermath of the video games industry crash of 1983.

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City of Alamogordo Makes $37K Off of Old Atari 2600 Cartridges

November 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The City of Alamogordo, New Mexico has generated $37,000 selling 100 Atari 2600 games on eBay that were unearthed as part of the Microsoft Xbox Entertainment Studios documentary on Atari's failed history and rumors (which turned out to be true) of a massive video game graveyard in the New Mexico desert earlier this year.

The thousands of game cartridges unearthed are currently under the watch of the Tularosa Basin Historical Society and being stored at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo.

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Buy Games Discovered in the 'Atari: Game Over' Documentary

November 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Want to buy one of the many Atari 2600 games that were exhumed from a mass grave of games as part of the upcoming documentary, Atari: Game Over? Well the city of Alamogordo, New Mexico is selling about a hundred of them on eBay - and they aren't cheap.

Boxed versions (of what some call the worst game ever made) ET: The Extra-Terrestrial in varying conditions are currently selling for between $260 - $500, while other titles like Missile Command, Asteroids, Warlord and Defender are selling for around $50 each.

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Some Games From The 'Atari Video Game Graveyard' To Be Auctioned Off

September 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier this week the Alamogordo City Council (Alamogordo, New Mexico) voted 7-0 to sell the 800 Atari games excavated as part of the Xbox Entertainment Studios documentary on Atari's video game graveyard earlier this year.

The City Council plans to auction off at least half of the 800 Atari games on eBay and on the council's web site. The games are currently under the watch of the Tularosa Basin Historical Society and being stored at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo.

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Denny's Adds Extra Cheese to Atari Classics

July 1, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Did someone order something with extra cheese at Denny's, allegedly "America's Diner?" Well whether you did or not a new deal with Atari to transform some of its select classic Atari 2600 games is some of the cheesiest marketing we've seen.

The deal sees Denny's app offer three classic Atari games reimagined with new titles and food items as themes. There's Hasteroids (Asteroids), Centiup (Centipede), and Take-Out (Breakout). The games are free, and available now in both iOS and Android app stores via the Denny's app.

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A Meaner, Leaner Atari is Ready for Business

June 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In an interview with Polygon, Atari explains how a combination of old and new IP, licensing, digital publishing, and a smaller operation will put the company back on the right track after surviving bankruptcy.

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The Man Who Disposed of 750,000 Atari Games

May 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Here's an interesting fact: the man responsible for the Atari game graveyard unearthed by a documentary film crew over the weekend (to be released at a later date as part of Microsoft's Xbox Original entertainment programming for Xbox Live) has been identified as James Heller of Nampa, Idaho.

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ICHEG Adds Atari Arcade Materials to Vast Archives

April 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) revealed that it has added materials documenting the history of Atari's coin-op business from 1972 to 1999 to its archives. This material includes original artwork, videos, marketing materials, source code, design documents, and much more. The collection details the production of nearly every game in Atari's coin-op lineup.

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The Hunt for the E.T. Cartridge Dump Continues

April 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It looks like the documentary seeking to find the lost dump containing thousands of copies of the worst Atari game ever made can dig in New Mexico. It has long been rumored that millions of copies of the Atari 2600 game, E.T.: Extra-Terrestrial were buried in a landfill in New Mexico.

For those who don't know, E.T. is considered the worst game ever made, and has been accused of helping to hasten the video game industry crash of 1983. Recently several film companies ran into a government road block when they located the landfill in question.

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Court Approves Atari's Bankruptcy Exit Plan

December 6, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The North American arm of Atari filed for bankruptcy in January 2013 and hoped to separate itself from its French parent company. It looks like the company has finally gotten approval to do just that. According to the Wall Street Journal, a US bankruptcy court judge has approved Atari's plan to escape bankruptcy.

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Wargaming, Stardock, and Rebellion Score Big IP from Atari Auction

July 22, 2013 -

New U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents obtained by Gamasutra reveals some of the companies that managed to successfully bid on various Atari franchises that were being sold off at auction as the company liquidates its assets as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Nordic Games Buys Desperados and Silver From Atari

June 24, 2013 -

Nordic Games has bought more assets from another company finding itself in the throes of distress and bankruptcy. This time the company has snapped up several franchises from Atari: Desperados and Silver. The IP was part of a block of assets put up for sale last month.

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Atari Seeks Permission to Hold Asset Auctions in July from Bankruptcy Court

May 23, 2013 -

Atari Inc., the US division of French parent company Atari S.A., has asked a U.S. bankruptcy court for permission to auction off its assets in July. The assets include the Atari logo, the Test Drive, Asteroids, Pong, Total Annihilation, and Rollercoaster Tycoon franchises.

Atari filed for bankruptcy in January and tried to solicit bids for its entire catalog, but the 15 offers it received were deemed unacceptable. Now the company hopes to divide its assets up and sell them separately in hopes of generating more cash to pay down its debtors.

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Atari Founder Thinks Oculus Rift, Google Glass are the 'Next Big Things'

March 27, 2013 -

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell tells All Things D that the smart money is no longer going into smartphones as the industry shifts to focus on new platforms.

"All the money's out," Bushnell told the publication. "Do I really want to do a mobile game that's one of 300,000, where discoverability is everything? You really have to have a little more sizzle on the steak."

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Happy Birthday Andrew Eisen!

February 1, 2013 -

Normally we don't do shout-outs for people's birthdays, but our own Andrew Eisen is special to us - like the son we always wanted without having to go through the motions of sex or adoption.. He is now 33 years old as of today.

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Atari Files for Bankruptcy

January 21, 2013 -

Atari has filed for bankruptcy in the New York Bankruptcy Court and its assets will be sold off, according to GamesBeat. The company founded by Nolan Bushnell in 1972 will continue to operate during the bankruptcy proceedings.

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Atari Revenues Slip as it Sticks the Fork in Eden Games

May 11, 2012 -

Atari reported a fiscal year decline in revenue, revealing that it raked in about $51.3 million (39.6 million euros) for the year, down from $77.8 million (60.1 million euros) in 2011.

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Atari Defends iOS App Store Take-Downs

January 4, 2012 -

Atari says that, while it admires the work of independent developers, it must defend its intellectual property. The company made its comments after it was revealed yesterday that it had been using its tight relationship with Apple to take down games that had a "passing resemblance" to games in its extensive back catalog of classic games arcade games. Black Powder Media claimed that it took its games Vector Tanks, Vector Tanks Extreme, and Vector Tanks 3 off the app store after Atari claimed the games infringed on its Battlezone IP.

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Atari Takes Down iOS Games for Having a 'Passing Resemblance ' to Battlezone, Claims Developer

January 3, 2012 -

According to iOS game developer Black Powder Media, Atari is removing games from the App Store (with the help of Apple, of course) that resemble anything from its extensive back catalog of classic games. The company developed a game called Vector Tanks 3, which bears a slight resemblance to Battlezone. Atari has also threatened legal action against iOS developers who are developing games that it deems are rip-offs of its owned IPs.

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Atari Lawyers Take Aim at Retro Community Developers

August 23, 2011 -

According to two reports - one on Atari User and another on 8-Bit Rocket, lawyers representing Atari are taking aim at the retro Atari community. The most recent actions on Atari's part include sending a cease and desist letter to atari2600.org, a website that has been registered by Andrew Davie since 2000.

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Atari Settles D&D Dispute, Delays Neverwinter Game

August 15, 2011 -

Neverwinter Nights, the online-focused RPG that was being developed by Atari’s Cryptic Studios, has been delayed. When Atari announced the PC role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter, it did so knowing that some bad results could be coming out of a court battle with Hasbro over the licensing rights to Dungeons and Dragons. While Hasbro and Atari seemed to have settled their dispute today, the company also announced that its latest D&D-branded game would be delayed.

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Atari Sues Tommo Over Flashback Knock-Offs

July 7, 2011 -

Atari Interactive has filed a $30 million lawsuit in a California district court against Tommo Inc., alleging that the toy distributor knowingly sold knockoffs of its Flashback 2 console. According to the complaint filed by Atari and acquired by Gamasutra, Tommo sold "wholesale quantities of unauthorized and pirated copies of Atari software and Atari Flashback 2 consoles."

The Flashback 2 was released in 2005 as a plug-and-play direct-to-TV console shaped like a 2600 console. The Flashback came packed with forty games. In 2006 Atari discontinued the system after selling over 860,000 units.

Knock-offs sold by various companies are usually identical to the original Flashback units, offering the same style of packaging, design and packed-in games.

According to Flashback creator Legacy Engineering, "illegal manufacturers" were probably able to obtain the original's source files and plastic molds for the Flashback.

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Perfect World to Acquire Cryptic Studios from Atari

May 31, 2011 -

China-based MMO giant Perfect World has entered into an agreement with Atari S.A. to acquire a hundred percent equity interest in Cryptic Studios, the developers of Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and City of Heroes. The California-based online game developer will cost Perfect World approximately EUR 35.0 million in cash, or $49.8 million. The deal is subject to working capital, adjustments as provided in the agreement, and other customary closing conditions. It is assumed that Perfect World does not gain control of the MMO's that Cryptic currently facilitates such as Champions Online or Star Trek Online.

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Atari To Divest Cryptic Studios

May 17, 2011 -

As part of an earnings report today, Atari announced it is divesting of its interest in Champions Online developer Cryptic Studios, calling the development house a "discontinued operation" as of March 31.

Atari will continue to support all current Cryptic products while the publisher looks to sell the studio, Gamasutra understands. Development on the Bay Area studio's Neverwinter project will continue as normal for the time being.

The studio showed a loss of $7.5 million for the 2010/11 fiscal year period, up from a loss of $17.9 million in the same period a year ago. Most of this was due to turning its super hero MMO Champions Online to a free-to-play game, instead relying on micro-transaction to make money off the game. Its success was apparently not appreciated by parent company Atari.

Source: Gamasutra

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Eden Games Stages 'Symbolic Day Strike' After Massive Layoffs

May 11, 2011 -

Test Drive Unlimited 2 and the V-Rally series developer Eden Games is not happy with the way Atari has been treating it and - in the face of enormous redundancies at the company - have gone on strike today. In the face of layoffs, the French studio has said enough, and are refusing to work. After learning they are to lose 51 of their 80 employees they’ve taken strike action.

Eden issued the following statement:

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New England Town Keeps Video Game Ban in Place

May 9, 2011 -

You may remember our report on a small coastal Massachusetts town that banned coin operated games from grocery stores and bars in 1982. Well recently, the town of Marshfield voted on lifting the ban and the results were surprising. By a vote of 655-554 at a recent Marshfield Town Meeting, residents rejected lifting the town's ban on coin-operated video games. It has been 29 years since the people of Marshfield chased Donkey Kong out of town and it looks like him and his ilk are still unwelcomed.

George Mallet, a long-time resident who petitioned the town to consider repealing the law at annual Town Meeting, thought resident had come around.

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Atari Wants Infringers to Pass GO

September 23, 2010 -

If you can't beat, join them... or convince them to join you. That's kind of what Atari is doing with those developer and publishers it thinks are infringing on its copyrights to create socialized game experiences (Facebook, iPhone, etc.). Atari calls it the "GO initiative." The company will reach out to portals and developers that it believes have created clones of its classic IPs and offer an invitation to replace the clones with the real deal.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz in an interview published today, Atari project head Thom Kozik said that getting developers on board to improve Atari IP instead of copying it is of paramount importance.

"This initiative is not about going out after the market with a big stick, that's a different situation," Kozik said. "First and foremost we're going to be saying, 'let's bring the friends and folks who love us, and the folks who love these brands, into the fold, and we'll worry about the folks who don't want to play along, no pun intended, we'll worry about them later in a different context'" .

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Nolan Bushnell: 'I Was Stupid to Sell Atari'

August 11, 2010 -

Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, has regrets about selling Atari many, many years ago. This week at the [a]list summit during a keynote on the future of games Bushnell said it was dumb of him to sell Atari and that, looking back, he regretted doing so.

He also admitted that these days he feels a little tired and that his age might be catching up to him. He also added that he had a short attention span when it came to his own ventures, referring to his behavior in related to Atari as "5-year ADD."

"I was stupid," Bushnell told the crowd. "I sold completely because I didn't understand Wall Street. In retrospect, I really wish I hadn't sold it.

He began his talk on the "future of the games industry" with tongue in firmly in cheek, asking "Do I want to be this retro-focused historical fossil?"

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Andrew EisenI made this video about two years ago but it's topical again. "The Effects of Gay Marriage" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcFyxiYu9I406/30/2015 - 12:12pm
black mantaA little more compact, but still not a radical re-design.06/30/2015 - 12:00pm
SuperKeegYeah, the proton pack is different in design, but similar in spirit. Its a little dirty, not pretty, but functional.06/30/2015 - 11:08am
IvresseI'm guessing it's specifically designed to be smaller. The original packs were pretty bulky looking...06/30/2015 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightThe proton pack is a very different design. Here is the original: http://www.gbfans.com/wiki/Proton_Pack_Part_Names06/30/2015 - 10:50am
black mantaProton pack looks essentially the same to me. Have no problem with either, BTW. :)06/30/2015 - 10:32am
Andrew EisenNot much change to the uniforms so I was surprised to see such a redesign for the proton pack. I like it though!06/30/2015 - 10:22am
Andrew EisenGhostbuster proton pack: https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61586646983075840006/30/2015 - 10:19am
Andrew EisenGhostbuster uniforms: https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61565492324668211206/30/2015 - 10:18am
Mattsworknamegamergate or any part of that movment. My biggest issues have always been more about my views on the idustry on a personal level rather then any affilication with GG.06/30/2015 - 9:50am
MattsworknameI only really every had any interest in the GG stuff when they were going in about the media and stuff and the whole "Gamers are Dead" junk. As a general rule, whatever issues I had with various groups was more my own issues, not anything specific with06/30/2015 - 9:49am
Andrew EisenI'm still trying to figure out where anyone is getting the idea violent content or lousy representation of women and minorities in video games shouldn't exist or be promoted.06/30/2015 - 9:25am
james_fudgeWell, members of GP first, members of GG second, I always say.06/30/2015 - 9:06am
black mantaConsidering it's only you and Mattsworkname that have been carrying the banner for it here, that pretty much testifies to how little influence they have. Most everyone else here couldn't care less.06/30/2015 - 8:54am
black mantaAgain GG is more like Occupy Wall Street than the Tea Party movement. They had their moment, but they fizzled out. And now exist more as a nebulous thing spouting ideas. They haven't achieved anything meaningful.06/30/2015 - 8:52am
black mantaAs sincere as your beliefs may be, the movement is still rife with bigots and misogynists.06/30/2015 - 8:51am
black mantaI'm sure you're heart's in the right place, Goth. But it doesn't excuse the behavior of GG's members towards the people they don't like.06/30/2015 - 8:50am
MattsworknameWow goth, write a novel why dont cha. Seriously I know you have a passion for this stuff, but wow, thats kinda overkill.06/30/2015 - 8:46am
james_fudgeI hereby dub this space the Mainifesto Box (tm)06/30/2015 - 8:34am
Infophile13 shouts in total by Goth in a row. I think I'm to blame here. If I'd read the Breitbart link when he'd posted it, maybe he wouldn't have felt the need to say everything here.06/30/2015 - 8:27am
 

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