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Ghostbusters, Riddick Drive Surge In Atari Revenues

Lyon, France-based Atari posted a 30 percent rise in first quarter revenues to €54.5 million ($77.78 million), driven by the releases of Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.
Lyon, France-based Atari posted a 30 percent rise in first quarter revenues to €54.5 million ($77.78 million), driven by the releases of Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. Atari, whose future had been uncertain in recent years after a long string of losses and layoffs, needs a slate of game launches that can catapult the beleaguered publisher back into profitability. While the two titles drove sales higher for the quarter, Atari said, "This performance in the first quarter is mainly due to a favorable game release schedule and should not be extrapolated for the remaining of the year." No information on profit for the quarter was released. Atari released Ghostbusters in mid-June in North America on major home and handheld paltforms. The Xbox 360 version of the game made NPD Group's top 20 US video game sales list at number 11, with sales of under 200,000 units for the month. Ghostbusters also launched in Europe in June, but only on PlayStation 3, through a publishing deal with Sony Europe. Atari said the game will release on PC, Xbox 360, Wii, DS and PSP in autumn 2009 in Europe. April's Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is a remake of the 2004 title, Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay. US operations represented 83.5 percent of total revenues for Atari during the quarter. Thirty-seven percent of Atari's total worldwide revenue came from Xbox 360 titles during the quarter, followed by PS3 (24.6 percent), Wii (12.1 percent), and other platforms. In the first quarter, Atari, which was formerly identified as a subsidiary of Infogrames, officially changed its branding to "Atari", "capitalizing on worldwide strong name recognition and affinity," the publisher said. During the quarter, the company also announced a change in management that saw the departure of Atari president and former Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios head Phil Harrison. Atari reiterated that it expects operating income to be at or above breakeven in the second half of its fiscal year. Upcoming Atari-published games include Qubed for Xbox 360, the PC MMORPGs Champions Online and Star Trek Online, and Backyard Football.

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