Archive: Computer Collector Newsletter / Technology Rewind, Jan. 2004 - March 2006

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Atari at another crossroads

by Evan Koblentz

Yet another historic computer company is having an anniversary, but it's not a happy one. Atari on Feb. 13, 1996 merged with hard drive maker JTS Corp., laying off most of their staff in the process. Fast- forward to last week, with Atari announcing a loss of $4.8 million (4 cents per share) for its third quarter of 2006; the sudden resignation of its chief financial officer; and the fact that they've got no good credit left at the bank. What's it all mean?

"The uncertainties caused by these conditions raise substantial doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern. However, the Company is taking definitive steps to address its current financial position and restore shareholder value, and continues to believe in Atari's ability to compete in the interactive entertainment industry" -- that's the corporate reply at

In simple English, that means Atari as we know it will once again we chopped up and sold for parts. Corporate insiders, speaking off-the- record, told us they expect announcements about this in about two months from now. What no one can predict is who the buyer(s) will be, but Forbes magazine explains it best at

All I know for sure is that 2600 games are still far more enjoyable than games for any other console before or since! Perhaps we hobbyists should take up a collection, acquire the intellectual property rights to Atari, and transform it into a vintage entity for and by the people. Count me in for $20...