From Sega Retro
AtGames is a company which develops and distributes embedded gaming units, downloadable mobile games, and also is the sole distributor of Sega's console and PC games in Greater China. It was founded in 2001 in Bermuda and since then has gone on to distribute its products across the world.
AtGames manufactures their own consoles which typically match or emulate Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System or Sega Game Gear hardware to varying degrees of accuracy. Their operations are surprisingly large, with a number of "consoles on a chip" being produced by them in the last ten years. Though responsible for the hardware (and often happy to place their name on the units), much of AtGames' product range are distributed by smaller companies across the world, who in turn tend to give the products their own branding.
AtGames' products typically use a built-in game selection system named "Firecore" licensed from a different company.
In the wake of the 25th anniversary of the Mega Drive's November 1990 UK release, the AtGames Mega Drive (which features built-in games and a cartridge slot) experienced a 400% UK sales surge in November 2015, in the run up to Christmas 2015.
In January 2005, AtGames entered an agreement with Sega, which granted AtGames the "sole and exclusive right [to] license" Sega titles for "plug & play" systems. Following this agreement, however, AtGames merely used these rights to demand royalty cuts from competing manufacturers; somewhat like a "patent troll", but for the Sega IP rights themselves.
In March 2005, AtGames contacted both Jakks Pacific and Radica, demanding AtGames licensing for prior Sega-licensed consoles; while Jakks Pacific accepted these terms, Radica did not. Radica held a meeting with Sega, threatening legal action if AtGames' practices continued; Sega agreed with Radica, now informing AtGames that they could not "sublicense" the Sega IPs to competing manufacturers. However, AtGames filed a lawsuit against Radica surrounding the matter, claiming Sega and Radica's meeting "interfered" with their plans.
The exact outcome of the lawsuit is unknown. However, many Sega systems sublicensed by AtGames followed shortly thereafter (including the Coleco and Techno Source systems); this implies the case was somewhat ruled in AtGames' favor. Most, if not all, following Sega plug & play devices state they are "[produced] under license by AtGames Holdings, Ltd." in the manuals/packaging.
Towards the later 2000s, AtGames began developing most of their consoles in-house, no longer using the "sublicensing" strategy they had previously fought for. In 2018, following increasing negative feedback towards the AtGames brand, Sega canceled their partnership with the company. AtGames was planned to be the developer for the Mega Drive Mini, but due to the revoking of their rights, development was outsourced to M2 instead.
The number of distributors and naming inconsistencies across AtGames' product range has lead to much confusion, therefore these may not be the "official" names of AtGames' products.
- PlayPal Plug & Play (2006)
- Arcade Portable (2007)
- Arcade Motion Classic (2008)
- Brain Games Colour (2008)
- Mega Drive Twin Pads (2008)
- Genesis Gencore (2009)
- GenMobile (2009)
- RetroGen (2009)
- Arcade Gamer Classic (200x)
- Reactor (2010)
- Arcade Master (2010)
- Arcade Motion Dual (2010)
- Arcade Nano series (2010)
- Arcade Blast (2011)
- Arcade Ultimate (2012)
- Sega Mega Drive Flashback (2017)
- Arcade Classic (20xx)
- Arcade Gamer (20xx)
- Arcade Gamer Portable (20xx)
- Sonic Blast (Techno Source)
- Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos & Spinball (Techno Source)
- Handheld Electronic Games (Coleco)
- TF-DVD560 (Coby)
- Unknown Jakks Pacific system(s)
- Retro-bit, Hyperkin (US)
- Blaze Europe (UK)
- H&B, Just For Games (France)
- Millennium (Germany)
- BSComp Ltd./Cyber Toy (Russia)
- Tectoy (Brazil)
- "AtGames Holdings Ltd. v. Radica Games Ltd., a Bermuda Company" (https://casetext.com/case/atgames-holdings-ltd-v-radica-games-ltd)