NEWS - Monday, June 14, 2004


Atari Cuts Ties With Oddwold Inhabitants

Atari has divested itself of any remaining investment in developer Oddworld Inhabitants, according to its recently-filed annual 10-K form. The document, which runs down Atari’s business for the recently-concluded fiscal year in detail, includes an account of the publisher’s involvement with Oddworld. Their relationship dates back to 1996, when Atari invested $7.1 million in Oddworld, in return for a 50% stake in the company. When Oddworld’s third game, Munch’s Oddysee, became an Xbox exclusive in late 2000, Microsoft took over publishing duties in North America, but Atari retained an interest in the developer and its project, publishing the game in Europe. In the spring of 2002, after the release of Munch’s Oddysee, Atari took a charge more than halving the value of its investment in Oddworld, down to $3.5 million. The move was meant to more accurately reflect the fair market value of the investment at the time. Later, toward the end of 2003, Atari exchanged the remainder of its investment in Oddworld, along with its licensed publishing rights for the developer’s projects, to Microsoft for Oddworld’s share of $1.8 million in publishing royalties that Microsoft had advanced to Atari. As of the end of the recent fiscal year, which concluded March 31, Atari has no investment in Oddworld, the report indicates. The news comes as Oddworld is still seeking a publisher for its next project, tentatively titled Stranger, which Microsoft quietly dropped from its release slate last year, but we’ll continue to look out for more updates on the status of that project
Source: http://www.1up.com

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