But then came the ’90s, when Nintendo and Sega reduced Atari to a glorified T-shirt brand for the next 2 decades.
But fear not, nostalgia junkies, Atari has returned — and profitable again — thanks to… RollerCoaster Tycoon?
They’ve gone mobile
The close of Atari’s flagship hardware division in 1993 marked the beginning of the end for Atari as it floundered aimlessly for the next decade before filing for bankruptcy in 2013 — that’s when Atari’s current CEO Frederic Chesnais bought it.
Saddled with almost $34m in debt and less than $1m in revenue, Atari’s new owner became hellbent on going mobile. And it worked.
Now, Atari is debt-free and profitable (with $20m in revenue) thanks largely to RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch (a mobile-friendly version of the PC classic) — its best-selling game, with almost 200k active users.
‘Hey, we can be nostalgic too’
After seeing the success of Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition, Atari announced it would release a new gaming console to hit shelves by 2019.
And Atari isn’t the only OG looking to get back in the mix (though it may be the only one you’ve heard of). Forbes reports that Intellivision (Atari’s key competitor back in the day) will also get back on the hardware saddle.