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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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'" .
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?"