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Fruitman on Infogrames - The Atari Times

Fruitman on Infogrames

How is the French company doing with the Atari property?
by Fruitman

September 30, 2002
If you were in charge of the new Atari, what direction would you take it? Would you try to recapture Atari's prominence by building an all-new console? Would you rehash old favorites and releasing updated versions? Would you try to recapture the essence that made Atari's games so timeless? Or would you take all of your existing products and do nothing more than stamp the Atari name on them in hopes of cashing in on the Atari legacy? So far, it looks like Infogrames is taking the fourth, and most despicable, choice.

In case you've been living in a cave for the past few years, you might know that Atari has bounced around to a few different owners since being released by the Tramiel regime. First there was the "reverse-merger" with JTS to line the Tramiel's pockets before Atari went down to flaming ruins. Then JTS stupidly (but thankfully) sold off Atari's assets to Hasbro. After attempting to simply cash in on the Atari name by releasing "updates" of Atari games, Hasbro sold its video game division to Infogrames for 50 million.

So, what is Infogrames doing with Atari? Well, after over a year, very little. Perhaps they need more time to develop games with Atari in mind? Or, maybe the real truth is coming out: There is NO Atari! Their aim is to simply stick Atari's name on a bunch of games to trick us Atari fans into buying them! Well, friends, I'm not falling for it.

What Infogrames should do, is to set up Atari similar to the divisions within Sega. AM2, you may remember, is responsible for creating such hits as Daytona USA, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop, Fighting Vipers, and other Sega hits. The Atari division within Infogrames should contain a group of dedicated gamers intent on creating games in the original spirit of Atari.

And just what does it take for a game to have the true spirit of Atari? Here is some advice for Infogrames straight from the minds at Atari.

Rob Fulop, creator of such 2600 Atari classics as Night Driver and Missile Command believes that Atari discovered all of the premises of video games within the first five years.

Don Thomas, who was with Atari for many years, also believes that a game must have a certain type of "Fun Factor." Games must maintain a balance between the High Score Potential, Repetition of elements, Ease of learning, Strategy, and must have Secrets. "Only the original classic games consistently maintain a balance of every one of them," said Thomas.

Infogrames, please make use of this strategy to return Atari to its former state of glory. Atarians don't want to see rehashes of old games. Nor do they want to see your games with the Atari logo on it. We want REAL Atari games. Games with true creativity and genius built upon Atari's essence and foundation. Do this and you will create greatness. Because only a fool would hoist his company name on a building that wasn't finished.

Despite having the Atari logo placed prominently on Transworld Surf for Xbox, this game was NOT developed by Atari. It was developed by Angel Studios. Now, just what is Infogrames trying to pull?
It's very good looking, but exactly HOW is Unreal Tournament 2003 an ATARI game?

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