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Atari exits production as CEO resigns

Nov 14, 2007

As Atari exits game production to focus on publishing and distribution, the North American game publisher announced Tuesday that CEO David Pierce has resigned.

Curtis G. Solsvig III, chief restructuring officer will be filling Pierce's position on an interim basis as Atari searches for a replacement.

Atari had announced Pierce as CEO back in September 2006.

Meanwhile, Atari will refocus its business on publishing and distribution in North America, completely withdrawing from the production business.

Atari has also licensed its Test Drive franchise to Lyon, France-based parent Infogrames Entertainment S.A. for a $5 million advance royalty.

Atari will now focus on title acquisition, sales and marketing and physical distribution of games from Infogrames and "other select partners."

A statement from Atari adds, "Atari has agreed in principle with IESA to terminate its Production Services Agreement in the near future. As a result, Atari will no longer provide production and quality assurances services to IESA. Rather, Atari plans to transfer certain employees and contract other staff on a project basis for a limited period of time."

Atari will make additional workforce cuts as part of this latest round of restructuring.

The firm announced in 2006 the first inkling of a plan to get out of game development, as the studio began an initiative to sell off its internal development studios.

Atari recently reported a Q1 loss of $11.9 million and expressed "substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern."

Courtesy of CVG