Jim Wilson heads to Atari

Former Sony BMG exec joins Phil Harrison on publisher's executive team as president and CEO.

27 Comments

It's no secret that Atari has been on the ropes for the past couple of years. However, the publisher and its parent company have announced several steps in recent weeks to return the beleaguered brand to its former position of prominence. Kicking off this month, Infogrames named former Sony Computer Entertainment president of worldwide publishing Phil Harrison as its new president and general director. That move was followed days later by Infogrames issuing a letter of intent to purchase all of Atari's outstanding stocks to take the publisher private.

Today, Atari and Infogrames made their next move in the road to recovery, announcing that fellow Sony alum Jim Wilson will join Harrison in the publishers' executive ranks as CEO and president of Atari, effectively immediately. Wilson steps into the position vacated by David Pierce, who bid the company au revoir in November after just one year at its head.

Wilson boasts an extensive 15-year track record at the executive level in the gaming and entertainment industry. Most recently, Wilson served as executive VP and general manager of Sony BMG's home entertainment business, overseeing development of products from partners such as Sesame Workshop, World Wrestling Entertainment, and Classic Media. Prior to Sony BMG, Wilson oversaw the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon licenses as president of Universal Interactive. Following Vivendi's acquisition of Universal, Wilson transitioned into the role of executive president/general manager of worldwide studios for Vivendi Universal Games.

"Atari, Inc., with its world-renowned brand and strong library of game franchises, has a tremendous opportunity in North America. I look forward to working with the Atari team and shareholders to lead Atari, Inc. into its next phase of growth," said Wilson in a statement.

As with Harrison, Wilson will have his work cut out for him. Following a string of setbacks, which include a number of NASDAQ delisting threats, shrinking revenues, and nonexistent profits, Atari itself expressed last year uncertainty over uncertainty over its "ability to continue as a going concern." However, the publisher has signaled that a change in winds may be afoot, saying today that it "entered into a series of transactions with its majority shareholder, Infogrames Entertainment, aimed at stabilizing and focusing the company's distribution efforts," and that it had reestablished a $14 million line of credit with BlueBay High Yield Investments.

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leimeisei

Expect sony to buy atari in about a year or so's time.

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ctg867

??? ZOMG SONY BUYIN ATARI CONFIRMED!!!! /joke Really though, I see more coincidence then anything else. I'd really like to see some of the old names that Atari still owns being brought back and rejuvenated.

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steve4200

wow with those two guys they should have a very very good chance of a come back...should be very intresting to see what atari brings out in 3-5 yrs

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itBit

Atari 10400 is coming ...

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CaptCheeseGuy

I hope Atari survives. I dont know whether or not Alone in the Dark will be a good game. But if it is, I still dont believe that they've revived Atari. Its going to take some new franchises to revive that company.

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thesineater

This has got to ba an April fool's joke! Please Atari, give it up already! " Kicking off this month, Infogrames named former Sony Computer Entertainment president of worldwide publishing Phil Harrison as its new president and general director. " I don't care if you appoint Mr. Miyamoto himself as CEO it won't help! How about appointing some games that don't suck! Please people stop beating a dead horse! Oh and by the way for those who wanna know, yes I do know that this is not the old Atari. Does not matter. They still rank a negative 10 in the gaming world.

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klugenbeel

Yeah freakin' right! Making a come back Atari, lets hope these guys still have some good ideas left in them and make a turn around for you guys!

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BarryIreland

I hope alone in the Dark will be a good game.It looks awesome at the moment!!If it fails it will probably ruin Atari if it prevails Atari will be revived!!Is that a good thing or a bad thing?Make up your own mind

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JunoFallon

Wreaks of April Fools Joke...

Avatar image for ranbla
ranbla

The ex-Sony people that have gone over to Atari are secretly still employed by Sony. They infiltrated Atari to smooth the way for a Sony takeover of Atari which will result in it's being completely dismembered and closed down.

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newown

I can say it : Atari is going to be the future of gaming ! I think :!:

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finalsquall76

The new Atari 1337 ???

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Allround_gamer

Kick the ass of EA!

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drangel_jam

White Noise! Ultimately, it's all about the games. If Alone in the Dark turns out superb, it will revive Atari.

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packster

I really hope Atari makes a comeback, they deserve it!

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ps3thabest

so dis guy from sony goin 2 atari i sense another console on da way

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Thigeic

I really hope Atari makes it. Its been a name that has followed me since I was a kid, and they deserve better, really.

Avatar image for AvIdGaMeR444
AvIdGaMeR444

Wow! Jim Wilson is going to Atari. Now all of Atari's problems will magically just go away now...

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Generic_Dude

lol, going to Atari... it's like stepping aboard the Titanic.

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re4leonkennedy

Does anyone know when warlords is coming to xbla?

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Lum_Yatsura

Atari is a very strong brand name, and has wide recognition for better or worse. I'd like seeing them return to their roots more. Promote the classic arcade titles which made them known to begin with.

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bradly_2795

Good, now hopefully the Atari name will shine in the spotlight like it once did.

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alpal123

Something tells me that they will eventually just rename Infogrames to Atari and consolidate its board of directors. The reason I think this is because Atari is a more well-known brand, and on Infogrames' website they basically refer to themselves as "The Atari Group" anyway. It wouldn't be the first time this sort of rebranding has happened; when SBC bought AT&T Corp. they thought AT&T was a better-known brand so they just renamed SBC to AT&T Inc.

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uklegendkiller

Great news for Atari. Hopefully they can get right back on it, it would be a shame if they went under.

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RaiKageRyu

Can they really save Atari?

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Dwinn7

I smell a comeback!

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RaNaBiR

Good for Atari. It's time for them to make a proper comeback..