Atari to sell RollerCoaster Tycoon, Test Drive franchises at auction

Bankrupt publisher hoping to bring in at least $22 million from upcoming asset auctions.

Bankrupt publisher Atari Inc., the US branch of French owner Atari S.A., has failed to find a buyer for its portfolio of franchises and will not attempt to sell them off piecemeal.

The Wall Street Journal reports that bidding on a pool of game franchises and the Atari name itself will start at $15 million.

The minimum bid for the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise is $3.5 million, while potential buyers must pay at least $1.5 million for the Test Drive series.

Minimum bids totaled around $22.2 million, according to a court filing Wednesday.

Atari Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in January. According to the Wall Street Journal, its investment banker reached out to 180 would-be buyers, with about half agreeing to pursue purchases. However, only 15 actually submitted bids, none of which were approved by Atari.

Thus, Atari Inc. now plans to sell its brands on a franchise-by-franchise basis during auctions beginning next month. The Humongous, Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise, and Math Gran Prix franchises are going for $500,000, while the Total Annihilation series will be available with a $250,000 floor price.

Before the auctions can take place, a judge must approve of the sale process, something Atari hopes can happen during a June 11 hearing. Bids must then be submitted by July 10 ahead of auctions to take place July 16, 17, 18, and 19. If all goes to plan, Atari will seek final approval of all sales during a hearing on July 24.

Atari is also seeking permission to sell games "of minor value" separate from the official auctions. None of these titles were specified.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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