Infogames to change name to Atari

Cyberbiz Brief

A day after announcing it was shipping more than 4 million copies of its “Enter the Matrix” vidgame, which debuts next week with “The Matrix Reloaded” feature, publisher Infogrames is changing its corporate name to Atari.

Infogrames acquired the Atari brand when it bought the interactive assets of toymaker Hasbro and has sporadically used the name, one of the oldest and most storied in vidgame history, for titles such as the “Matrix” release.

“It’s the perfect time in our history to make this change,” said Bruno Bonnell, prexy-CEO of the Lyons, France-based company. The company’s French parent, Infogrames Entertainment, will retain its name and Euronext trading code, but otherwise all worldwide operations will be conducted under the Atari brand. The U.S. unit will be known as Atari Inc. and will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol ATAR.

Atari’s decision to ship more than 4 million copies of the “Matrix” game would generate $200 million in retail “box office” if all units of the highly anticipated game are sold. But the company has bet big on the title, by one estimate spending as much as $100 million to buy the game’s developer, finish making and marketing the game and ship it to store shelves worldwide.