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Atari Corporation

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Atari Corporation was formed in 1984 when Jack Tramiel bought the home computing and game console divisions of Atari, Inc. from Warner Communications and merged it with his own company, Tramel Technology Ltd. (TTL).

Jack Tramiel was the former CEO of Commodore International which had been recently ousted. During this time, he stopped all of their game and console development and focused only on developing computers. Jack Tramiel hired many of the engineers from Commodore to join him, however these engineers were sued by Commodore for stealing computer designs that were used in Commodore computers, and Commodore won. Atari also sued Commodore and Amiga Corp. for breach of contract, which was eventually settled out of court.

Atari came up with the Atari ST computer, which stopped the net losses at Atari, the ST sold 4 million units, mostly in Europe, it did not fare as well in the USA.

This success gave Atari more financial leverage, so Atari got into marketing the handheld console, the Atari Lynx (which was developed by Epyx). The Lynx had very good technical abilities, however it drained the batteries required for it very quickly, and they had a shortage of parts when a person needed it repaired. It was also more expensive than the Nintendo Game Boy and had less aggressive marketing strategies that the Game Boy had and did not have the third party development that the Game Boy and the SEGA Game Gear had.

Atari then proceeded to develop a 64-bit CD Based console, the Atari Jaguar, which was expensive on the market. It did not fare well in the beginning of it's introduction, and after the SEGA Saturn, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 came out, the Jaguar was a complete failure because of its inability to compete with these systems. The Tramiel family eventually pulled out of the business and sold their stock to JTS Inc., but Atari does not exist anymore.

The name Atari is now used as a game publisher and subsidiary for Infogrames, which later re-branded its entire business to Atari. There are no plans on getting back into developing consoles.

Credited on 221 Games from 1980 to 1998

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Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 2 (1998 on PlayStation)
Battlezone (1998 on Windows)
Millipede (1998 on Dedicated handheld)
World Tour Racing (1997 on Jaguar)
Iron Soldier 2 (1997 on Jaguar)
Centipede (1997 on Dedicated handheld)
Missile Command (1997 on Dedicated handheld)
Breakout 2000 (1996 on Jaguar)
Mutant Penguins (1996 on DOS, Windows, Jaguar)
Defender 2000 (1996 on Jaguar)
Arcade Classics: Battlezone/Super Breakout (1996 on Game Boy)
Fight for Life (1996 on Jaguar)
Head-On Soccer (1995 on SNES, Genesis, Jaguar)
Zoop (1995 on DOS, PlayStation, Game Boy...)
Atari Karts (1995 on Jaguar)
Baldies (1995 on DOS, Windows, PlayStation...)
Battlemorph (1995 on Jaguar)
Battlezone 2000 (1995 on Lynx)
Blue Lightning (1995 on Jaguar)
FlipOut! (1995 on Windows, Jaguar, DOS)

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History +


Company releases the Atari Lynx.


Atari Corporation rehires founder Nolan Bushnell to develop games for the Atari 2600 platform.


Atari Corporation finally releases the Atari 7800 console although it was ready since 1984.


Company releases the Atari ST.

July 1984

The home computing and game console divisions of Atari was sold to Jack Tramiel under the name Atari Corp. for $240 million.

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Trivia +

The word “atari” is a term from the Japanese board game Go.

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