New York, New York, March 4, 2005 - Atari, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATAR) announced today that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Spark UnlimitedTM for worldwide publishing rights across all media to all future titles developed by the award-winning creative team at Spark UnlimitedTM, the studio behind the recent hit console game Call of DutyTM: Finest HourTM. In what is anticipated to be a long-term development relationship between the two companies, Atari will seek to foster new ideas and concepts for future forms of entertainment by drawing upon Spark's long standing relationships and experiences across a broad array of entertainment realms.
The first joint project, currently under development by Spark, is an intellectual property with full multi-media potential, which Atari will look to exploit in film, television and consumer products. Currently in development for the next generation of consoles, the project will be unveiled in greater detail in the spring, with an anticipated launch during the Holiday 2006 season.
"Interactive entertainment extends across a full spectrum of mediums, not as an afterthought, but by strategic design that begins with a comprehensive creative vision," said Jim Caparro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atari in making the announcement. "We are focused on working with innovative teams like Spark to launch and cultivate franchises which fully embrace the all-encompassing entertainment experience. With a track record for creating compelling, unique stories and characters, Spark is an ideal collaborative partner."
Spark's most recently developed title, the critically acclaimed Call of DutyTM: Finest HourTM was released in November 2004 and ranked #5 among the best-selling titles across all platforms during the month of December according to recently released NPD TRST data. The game recently received a BAFTA award for "Best Audio in a Game" and was nominated in the category of "Best PlayStation® 2 Game of the Year." It was also named "Best Military Game" at Spike TV's second annual "Video Game Awards" in 2004.
"To date, our goal at Spark has been to create high-quality innovative titles that deliver uniquely realistic and cinematic gaming experiences," said Craig Allen, Chief Executive Officer of Spark Unlimited. "We are excited about this new partnership with Atari in part because they have a proven track record for publishing hit titles, but also because we share Jim's and the Company's vision for creating titles that blend many expressions of media into a dynamic new framework for audiences to experience."
Spark Unlimited was founded by 27 of the individuals who developed titles in the Medal of HonorTM console and PC series. Members of the Spark team have worked on such best-selling games as Medal of Honor FrontlineTM, Medal of Honor Allied AssaultTM, Medal of Honor UndergroundTM and the original Medal of HonorTM.
About Spark Unlimited
Spark UnlimitedTM is a developer of high-quality games for all console systems including the PlayStation® 2, XboxTM, NINTENDO GAMECUBETM, as well as the next generation of consoles from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Sherman Oaks, California, Spark UnlimitedTM is an employee-owned company that seeks to create artistry through technology for a global gaming audience. For more information about Spark UnlimitedTM, please visit our website at www.sparkunlimited.com.
New York-based Atari, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATAR) develops interactive games for all platforms and is one of the largest third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software in the U.S. The Company's 1,000+ titles include hard-core, genre-defining games such as DRIV3RTM, Enter the MatrixTM, Neverwinter NightsTM, StuntmanTM, Test Drive®, Unreal® Tournament 2004, and Unreal® Championship; and mass-market and children's games such as Backyard SportsTM, Nickelodeon's Blue's CluesTM and Dora the ExplorerTM, Dragon Ball Z® and RollerCoaster Tycoon®. Atari, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of France-based Infogrames Entertainment SA (Euronext - ISIN: FR-0000052573), the largest interactive games publisher in Europe. For more information, visit www.atari.com.
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With the exception of the historical information contained in this release, the matters described herein contain certain "forward-looking statements" that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this release are not promises or guarantees and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These statements are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and are naturally subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. We caution you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein. Some of the factors which could cause our results to differ materially include the following: the loss of key customers, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target or Toys "R" Us; fluctuations in the Company's quarterly net revenues and results of operations based on the seasonality of our industry; delays in product development and related product release schedules; maintaining relationships with leading independent video game software developers; adapting to the rapidly changing industry technology, including new console technology; maintaining or acquiring licenses to intellectual property; the termination or modification of our agreements with hardware manufacturers; and other factors described in our SEC filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2004, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and our Registration Statement on Form S-2 (as filed with the SEC on September 18, 2003, Registration No. 333-107819).
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