Atari's US arm files for bankruptcy protection

The famed Atari logo, along with pioneering video game titles such as "Pong" and "Asteroids", are up for sale after the US-arm of the troubled French gaming group filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday.

The move is a way for the US business to untangle itself from, as the company put it, the "financial encumbrances" of its French parent, Atari SA.

Atari US plans to sell off most of its assets, including the logo, which, according to a survey quoted by the company, is familiar to some 90 per cent of Americans. Games titles up for grabs also include "Battlezone" and "Tempest".

According to reports, Atari US, along with its affiliates, hopes to lure a buyer who could take the business private, and then help it stake out a position in the fast-growing market for mobile games.

The filing under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy code marks a sharp reversal of fortunes for the business which dominated the video games market in the 70s and 80s.

"The Chapter 11 process constitutes the most strategic option for Atari's US operations, as they look to preserve their inherent value and unlock revenue potential unrealised while under the control of Atari SA," the company said in a statement.

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