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Atari Improves Full-Year Loss As Revenues Fall

Publisher Atari (Champions Online, Star Trek Online) majorly shrunk its full-year loss to 19.4 million euros ($23.8 million), and saw a small profit of 3.8 million euros ($4.7 million) in the second half of the year.
Publisher Atari shrunk its full-year loss from 221.9 million euros ($272.4 million) to 19.4 million euros ($23.8 million), and saw a small profit of 3.8 million euros ($4.7 million)) in the second half of the year -- thanks in part to Cryptic-developed MMOs like Star Trek Online and Champions Online. The results demonstrate a dramatic improvement for the long-suffering company, whose attempts to usher in a post-Bruno Bonnell era have been stymied by crippling debt and the departure of notable execs/creators such as Phil Harrison and Paulina Bozek. Nonetheless, the company's second-half profit for the six-month period that ended March 31, 2010 contrasts very positively with a 171.3 million euro ($210.3 million) loss in the second half of the previous year. That comes despite significant drops in revenue. Atari's full-year revenues for the year that ended March 31 fell 15.2 percent year-over-year from 136.4 million euros ($167.5 million), while second-half revenues were cut nearly in half, falling 42.4 percent to 47.2 million euros ($58.0 million). "Market conditions continue to change rapidly, and we are constantly adapting by continuing to build our on-line focused strategy," said CEO Jeff Lapin. "Our brands are well suited for extension into the fast growing on-line gaming sector. I am proud of the team we have assembled, and we will continue to focus on achieving profitability." The PC MMOs from Cryptic Studios, a formerly independent developer now owned by Atari, led the publisher to increase its second-half subscription and digital distribution revenue by nearly sixfold -- rising by 9.2 million euros ($11.3 million) to 10.8 million euros ($13.3 million). That massive growth meant online games counted for 23 percent of revenue in the second half of the 2009/2010 fiscal year, compared to 2 percent in the second half of the previous year. Other strong performers for the year as a whole included Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Backyard Football 2010.

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