Atari To Auction Off RollerCoaster Tycoon And Test Drive Franchises

By James Dohnert , Updated May 23, 2013 04:08 PM EDT
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After failing to sell off its assets in a package deal bankrupt game publisher Atari will attempt to auction off its empire in pieces. The struggling firm has reportedly begun looking for bidders for properties such as RollerCoaster Tycoon, Test Drive, and its brand name.

The RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise will start at a minimum bid of $3.5 million. Test Drive will open at $1.5 million while the Atari brand name will be offered starting at $15 million. Franchises including Humongous, Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise, Math Gran Prix, and Total Annihilation will also head to the bidding block. Open bids will be taken starting July 17.

Opening preliminary bids have so far garnered about $22 million. The auction will mark the second time that Atari has looked to sell off its properties. Last January, the struggling firm attempted to unload its entire catalog in a widespread bidding process. Atari executives hoped the sell off would create quick cash for the bankrupt firm.

The orginal auction the firm reached out to over 180 publishers to bid on the collection. However, none of the 15 publishers that posted a bid met Atari's expectations. In its bankruptcy court filing, Atari says that the current piecemeal sell off will give it the best opportunity to maximize profits from an auction.

"The debtors believe that this type of a targeted bidding process affords the debtors the best opportunity to market the assets and maximize the value thereof for the benefit of all stakeholders," Atari says in its filing, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Atari's dwindling financials forced the firm to stop development on its remake of Blood. In February, Former Monolith CEO Jace Hall said that the company decided to stop production on the remake of the 1998 FPS.

The once successful video game publisher has focused less on developing major titles in recent years. An increase of parity in the console gaming market forced the firm to put its focus on digital games and licensing.

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of one of the company's first major franchises. Pong celebrated its 40th with the launch of Pong World on iOS.

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