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Atari, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATAR ) is a majority owned subsidiary of Infogrames Entertainment SA (IESA), encompassing its North American operations. Atari develops, publishes and distributes games for all major video game consoles, as well as for the personal computer, and is currently one of the largest third-party publishers of video games in the United States.
The company that currently bears the Atari name was founded in 1993 under the name GT Interactive. GT Interactive was acquired by IESA in 1999 and renamed Infogrames, Inc. Infogrames acquired the Atari brand name from its purchase of Hasbro Interactive, which in turn had acquired it from JTS Corporation, which the original Atari had merged with in 1996. Infogrames, Inc. intermittently used the Atari name as a brand name for selected titles before IESA officially changed the U.S. subsidiary’s name to Atari, Inc. in 2003.
The original Atari was founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It was a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles, and home computers. The company’s products, such as PONG and the Atari 2600, helped define computer entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid-1980s.
Atari Games was split off in 1984 with the rights to use the brand on arcade games, such as Klax, Gauntlet and Roadblasters. This separate company is now part of Midway Games, which pulled out of the coin-op market and no longer uses the Atari name. It has no connection to IESA .