Atari files for bankruptcy in order to split from Atari... Eh?

The US operations of famed and iconic videogames brand Atari are seeking to split from its European parent company, also named Atari, by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

French games publisher Infogrammes acquired the Atari name when it bought Hasbro Interactive in 2001, it then changed its name to Atari outright in 2008, but keeping different operations as separate concerns under the one umbrella brand. Now, several of those operations are looking to split from the main company in order either to reorganise and capitalise on Atari's back catalogue of famous arcade titles, or sell them in order to help grow the US firm away from the financial troubles of the European arm.

Atari Inc. and three related America developers are the companies looking to split from Atari S.A. - nee Infogrammes. It is claimed that the four firms contributed a healthy amount towards the annual profits of the parent publisher in the past two years by growing in the digital gaming space, not least with mobile games of classic Atari licences.

However, the management of Atari Inc. believes that the only way for the US operations to continue to grow would be independently, hence the move to file for bankruptcy and find a buyer to become a private entity.

Where this will leave Atari S.A. is unclear. It has been a while since the publisher has released a triple-A title away from mobile, tablet or digital download, relying more on budget software releases.

"The Chapter 11 process constitutes the most strategic option for Atari's U.S. operations, as they look to preserve their inherent value and unlock revenue potential unrealised while under the control of Atari S.A.," says a statement from Atari Inc. "During this period, the company expects to conduct its normal business operations."

Forthcoming mobile and tablet games are planned around the Rollercoaster Tycoon and Atari Casino franchises.