Atari annual sales down nearly 50%

Publisher's new focus on fewer releases limits revenues to $80.3 million for the full fiscal year, but also helps curtail losses to $8.8 million.

Atari's metamorphosis into an online-focused publisher is bringing with it some growing pains. Although "shrinking pains" may be a more appropriate phrase, as the company today reported a 49 percent drop in annual revenues.

Atari is undergoing yet another evolution.

For the 12 months ended March 31, Atari reported net revenues of €56.7 million ($80.3 million), down from €111.2 million ($157.4 million) for the year prior. Among the reasons for the drop were the publisher's plans to focus on releasing fewer (but more profitable) titles, as well as a general withdrawal from the relatively low-margin business of distributing other developers' games.

One more reason for the sales slide was Atari's announced plan to divest itself of Cryptic Studios, as the move took the online specialist studio's revenues from Champions Online and Star Trek Online out of Atari's net revenues calculations. Had Cryptic been included in the tally, Atari would have posted revenues of €72.6 million ($102.8 million), which would have still been down more than 37 percent year-over-year.

With Atari's revenues shrinking, the publisher's losses followed suit. For the full fiscal year, Atari reported net losses of €6.2 million ($8.8 million), considerably better than the €19.4 million ($27.5 million) in losses it ran up for the previous fiscal year.

Looking ahead, Atari reiterated its strategy of focusing on fewer, more profitable games, specifically those based on its owned franchises and key licenses like Dungeons & Dragons, Ghostbusters, and Rollercoaster Tycoon. It expects to post improved results for the first half of the current fiscal year and "maintain profitability" for the second half. Already announced and released major titles for the current fiscal year include The Witcher 2 on the PC, Centipede: Infestation for the 3DS and Wii, and a host of downloadable titles like Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale, and revamps of Yar's Revenge, Star Raiders, and Warlords.

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13 comments
Dekker451
Dekker451

"joeborg14 Posted May 18, 2011 2:07 am GMT I mean, companies like Atari, Capcom, and Square Enix post huge losses because they're either not making the games that gamers want or not making those games that we gamers want a quality experience. Did people really want a Star Trek Online? I think the numbers speak for themselves." The numbers to which you refer are undoubtedly bogus. There is no definitive source whatsoever for MMO subscription stats. The only people in a position to know such things are the people running the games and we have no reason to trust their numbers.

McBoogerballz
McBoogerballz

roller coaster tycoon 4...publish it before you die plz

goodemon
goodemon

So what up with the Ghostbusters franchise? that game was cool

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

If they are going to keep making garbage, they'll keep losing money.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

So Atari is trying to focus on online gaming but selling Cryptic, "the online specialist studio". Interesting.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Atari has managed to hang on this long. (sort of) The Atari is in name only. Good business chucking away Champions and Star trek on-line games. Centipede seems to have kept Atari alive. if barely

FoeCrusher
FoeCrusher

Maybe Atari can make a social game like Farmville called Gameville. In this game you would be challenged to make poor decisions and weak games. You could then share your mediocre creations with your friends on facebook.

jamyskis
jamyskis

Is this the beginning of a slow death for the MMO genre? Quite possibly. Atari had been banking perhaps more than others on MMOs, and like most companies, this gamble spectacularly failed to pay off. MMOs are simply too expensive to run and it's a market that by its very nature gets very saturated very quickly with a very small number of participants.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

The problem is, companies are trying to gain profit trough download only, but most gamers prefer retail, most gamers want to pay more for a physical media, than pay less for a download, the biggest gamer are in places that internet is weaker, and(or) more expensive, without mentioning that, they are so focused in creating online games, that they have created mostly crap games, even their MMO is lame now. And what keep PS3 and PSP alive during this crisis was retail, not download games.

joeborg14
joeborg14

I mean, companies like Atari, Capcom, and Square Enix post huge losses because they're either not making the games that gamers want or not making those games that we gamers want a quality experience. Did people really want a Star Trek Online? I think the numbers speak for themselves. Did people really want another online Final Fantasy? Yes, but Square released a crappy product, and look where it got them. But take Valve, Rockstar, or even Blizzard -- they give gamers what they want, and even when they give us something else (e.g. a new IP) that we're necessarily asking for, it's an excellent product. And look at their success.

servb0ts
servb0ts

I gotta salute Atari, they don't sugarcoat BS excuse like other companies when lose money, they learn from their mistakes lol now SE, EA & Capcom needs to learn a thing or two from Atari.