Atari Games

From Sega Retro

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Atari Games
Founded: 1984
Defunct: 2003
Merged into: Midway Games West (2000)
Headquarters: Milpitas, California, United States

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Atari Games (or Atari Games Corporation) was a company formed in 1984, after the original Atari Inc. split into two halves (the other half being Atari Corporation, sold by Warner Communications to Jack Tramiel). Atari Games started life off as the arcade division of Atari Inc., producing a number of top arcade games during the 1980s. One of the conditions of the split requires Atari Games to always include "Games" in its title and logos - Atari Corporation did not have that restriction.

Unlike Atari Corporation, Atari Games was comprised of many former Atari Inc. imployees, and as such continued operating in a similar manner to Atari Inc. In 1985 Namco bought a controlling interest in the company, though in the following year these shares were bought back by Atari Games employees.

Atari Games' home console division was Tengen, and was the company engaged in a legal battle with Nintendo over the NES release of Tetris. In 1993, Atari Games was bought again by Time Warner Interactive though it remained independent until 1996 when it was sold to WMS Industries. At the time, its cousin, Atari Corporation was also being purchased and re-organised by numerous companies, so WMS Industries brought together Atari Games and the remnants of Tengen and made it a subsidiary of Midway Games. Though Midway took over the publishing duties of their home console titles, Atari Games continued to use its own branding for its arcade games until 2000, when the studio was renamed Midway Games West to avoid further confusion.

In 2003 Midway Games West was closed down, and in 2009 Midway Games declared bankruptcy, and so Atari Games does no longer exist in any form. Much of is assets are now owned by Warner Bros.


Note: In most cases, Atari Games built the arcade versions, Tengen/Time Warner Interactive created the Sega ports.


  • Tetris (licensed from Atari Games; 1988)

Master System

Mega Drive

Game Gear

Sega 32X