Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Atari Must Save Vs. Lawsuit

Oh, the tangle of licenses and subrights... now Hasbro is suing Atari because (apparently) Atari is trying to sublicense D&D rights to Namco Bandai, and Hasbro doesn't believe Atari has the right to do that. Atari's been having some difficulties lately, and I do have to wonder how it's managed to muddle through all of its twists and turns. The latest news I saw is that David Gardner is no longer CEO; no explanation was given for his abrupt departure (though supposedly he's still on the board). Not even the gentle fig leaf of "resigned to pursue other interests" was granted him.

Of course, I'm still wondering how Atari (the company formerly known as Infogrammes) has managed to survive burdened with over $600 million in debt. There were lots of complicated corporate maneuvers involved, and somehow you could no longer see the which shell held the debt. Then Atari bought Cryptic from Take Two, but what they used for money I'm not sure.

At some point all of the financial manipulations and stock flotations and loan covenants can no longer make up for a failure to create and ship products that make a profit. I just hope that there's a minimum of collateral damage to good people when that happens.

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