Games publisher Atari, the US division of French publisher Infogrammes, famous for bringing us titles such as Space Invaders, Driver and the Matrix to our computer screens has run into financial difficulties following poor sales last year.

The firm, who posted results on Thursday night for the quarter ending December 31st, revealed sales down to $100.8 million from a figure of $156.4 million a year previously, while profits collapsed into a net loss of $4.8 million, from a profit of $19.6 million in the previous year.

Overall, the firm is trailing a nine-month loss of $62.8 million compared with a nine-month profit of $14.8 million in the last three quarters of calendar 2004.

The figures are likely to be the last nail in the coffin for the publisher with banks refusing to help the situation.

Nine years ago, in 1996 the company's share price was valued at just over $127 a share, in a reflection of a catalogue of troubles experienced since 1998, the share price at close on Friday was $0.63.