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Atari files for chapter 11 bankruptcy

11:55 AM, Jan 21, 2013   |    comments
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Brett Molina, USA TODAY

Video game pioneer Atari has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of a plan to split from its parent company formerly known as Infogrames.

The creator of classic video game franchises such as Pong and Asteroids will begin a sale of its assets in the next few months, in an attempt to operate as an independent company.

Instead of focusing on the home console market, where Atari rose in popularity with its '80s-era hardware, the publisher will turn to the digital and mobile space. Several titles based on classic titles including Asteroids and Breakout have launched on Apple's App Store and performed well.

Atari says the move to mobile games has netted annual profits in 2011 and 2012 for both the publisher and parent company Atari S.A. According to the Los Angeles Times, who first reported the story, neither company has generated profit for roughly 10 years.

In 2008, Infogrames announced it was merging with Atari, acquiring the publisher's remaining shares for about $11 million.

Last summer, Atari celebrated its 40th anniversary. The last notable console release for Atari was the 2009 video game based on the Ghostbusters series of films.

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