This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Atari CEO Angles for Rebound

It's an open question whether Atari (ATAR) is better known for being one of the video-game industry's pioneers -- or one of its persistent failures.

The company has gone through numerous incarnations since jump-starting the video-game era with its original console and hit arcade games back in the early 1980s.

Like that earlier incarnation, the current version of the company, now majority owned by French video-game maker Infogrames, is struggling.

The company's sales and bottom line have plunged. Its executive suite has been a revolving door since the departure of Atari CEO Jim Caparro a year ago; and some of its key games, such as Driver 3, have been busts.

But the company has bounced back before, and the new CEO, Bruno Bonnell, who also heads Infogrames, is hoping to lead the company's latest resurrection. Last week, in the wake of the E3 conference in May, I talked with Bonnell about his efforts to revive Atari. What is Atari's strategy as the industry goes through the remainder of this console transition?

Bruno Bonnell: Atari is definitely not in the tanker category like [<b>Electronic Arts</b> <span class=" TICKERFLAT">(<a href="/quote/ERTS.html">ERTS</a><a class=" arrow" href="/quote/ERTS.html"><span class=" tickerChange" id="story_ERTS"></span></a>)</span>], for instance. We're more into a very flexible, opportunistic attitude.

So, away from the $25 million budget that I'm [considering] now as [the] urban myth of our industry, we'd rather focus on what are people really willing to play.

If the $25 million budget is a "myth," what are you expecting to spend on developing next-generation titles?

It all depends.

Aside from Test Drive and Alone in the Dark, which are in the range of $15 million, our focus is probably more on [Xbox] 360 where you can make great games for $50,000. It's like the movie business: You have movies that cost $200 million plus, and you have movies which cost less than a million euros.

You can make great games for $50,000?

Yeah. [For Xbox] Live Arcade.

In the movie business, people accept the idea that you can spread the budget from, I would say, $5 million to $200 million. You know, in the games business, every game should be 25 [million dollars], otherwise it's a bad game. That's why I call it an urban myth. You have games [that] have cost us much less and made a tremendous profit.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
ATAR $0.01 0.00%
AAPL $117.81 0.00%
FB $105.45 0.00%
GOOG $750.26 0.00%
TSLA $231.61 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 +1.24 0.06%
NASDAQ 5,127.5250 +11.3820 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs