Atari is the current name of the French video game holding company formerly known as Infogrames.
The original Atari was founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1971 as Syzygy Engineering, and was incorporated as Atari on June 27, 1972. In 1976, Warner Communications purchased the home division of Atari as they wanted to get into the interactive entertainment business.
On July 1, 1984, because of the video game crash of 1983, Warner sold the home division of the company to Tramel Technology, while Warner kept the arcade division of Atari. The arcade division became Atari Games and the home division became Atari, Inc. The controlling interest in Atari Games was sold to Namco in 1985. Atari Games began publishing games for the home video game market in 1987 under the Tengen brand name. In 1989, Warner merged with Time to become known as Time Warner. In 1993, Time Warner created Time Warner Interactive when they bought a controlling interest in Atari Games. The arcade division continued to operate under the name Atari Games, while releases for the home video game market used the Time Warner Interactive label. In 1996, Atari Games was sold to WMS Industries, and was made part of their Midway division (which it had purchased in 1988). In 1998, WMS Industries spun off its remaining shares in Midway. In 1999, Atari Games became Midway Games West. Midway's arcade division was closed in June 2001. Most of Midway's assets were later acquired by Warner Bros. in 2009. Midway was merged with WB Games Chicago to become NetherRealm Studios in 2010.
In July 1996, Atari Inc merged with JTS Inc. to form JTS Corp. In March 1998, JTS sold the Atari name and assets to Hasbro Interactive. In December 2000, Infogrames purchased Hasbro Interactive and gained control of Atari.
Infogrames' North American branch was known as GT Interactive (which they acquired in 1999). In 2003, they renamed GT Interactive to Atari, Inc and incorporated Humongous Entertainment (which they gained from the purchase of GT Interactive) into their Atari division. The company formerly known as GT Interactive became known as Atari in 2003. Atari sold Humongous Entertainment back to their Infogrames parent in 2006.
In May 2009, Namco Bandai bought Atari Europe and Infogrames announced it was getting out of the distribution business in Europe. That same month, they changed their name to Atari, bringing an end to the Infogrames brand name. The North American branch known as Atari (formerly GT Interactive) kept the title Atari, Inc. and the parent company (formerly Infogrames) became Atari, SA.
Atari filed for bankruptcy in January 2013, and Tommo purchased Humongous Entertainment at the bankruptcy auction in July 2013.