Atari US are in dire straits at the moment, with bankruptcy proceedings looming, and the company is now looking to offload its IPs separately.
GamesIndustry reports that only a handful of investors made preliminary offers to buy the company's entire back catalogue (15 out of a total 180), with no bids deemed as "acceptable" by the ailing publisher. They'll therefore plan to shed their franchise rights as individual lots at auction, with the objective of raising somewhere in the region of $22.2 million all-told.
"The Debtors believe that this type of a targeted bidding process affords the Debtors the best opportunity to market the Assets and maximize the value thereof for the benefit of all stakeholders," quotes the Wall Street Journal.
The auctions are scheduled for July, and it's clear that some of Atari's roster will probably find new homes. Rollercoaster Tycoon has been valued as their most valuable franchise, requiring a £3.5 million opening bid, while the moderately successful Test Drive series weighs in at $1.5 million. In contrast, the beloved Total Annihilation strategy franchise is up for comparative pocket change at $250,000.
We'll let you know how Atari fares, and where these franchises end up. At the risk of twisting the knife and kicking poor old Atari while they're down, I can't help but feel that some of their franchises will be much safer under new ownership...
Clarification: this story refers to Atari US, who filed for bankruptcy to distance themselves from French parent company Atari S.A. Apologies for any confusion. - Jonathan