December 12, 2008
Atari Brand Name Rides Again!
There are some brand names that are so durable that no amount of failure, poor management or shoddy products can keep them from being classics. Atari is one such name, which now will receive new life as a reincarnation of Infogrames.
Back in June I noted that Infogrames had bought the Atari name for $11 million and suggested that they should start cleaning up the messy naming architecture that Atari had been subjected to (Atari Interactive, Atari Corporation, Atari Games). They have done that, and the new Atari, Inc looks ready to rock.
The name still comes across as "old school cool" to video gamers but the new Atari president, Phil Harrison, is quick to note that he has a "a cool logo and a brand" and just needs to find cool games to support it.
Harrison was responsible for turning Sony Worldwide Studios into a leading game development factory, and his being behind the rehabilitation of the Atari name has created some excitement. The bloggers over at Go Nintendo are declaring that they "hope to see [the Atari name] synonymous with quality." At least one other blogger notes that he didn't think NINTENDO could make a comeback, but the "Wii has hushed my mouth."
I agree. Just a few years ago Nintendo was as retro as Atari is today and many people were laughing at the Wii naming.
Atari still brings back memories to millions of gamers and it is one of those names that we want to see succeed.
There is still so much recognition and goodwill built into the brand that I would not be surprised if Atari was the sleeper brand name of 2009.
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