The largest computer game developer
and second largest in the world, only topped by Electronic Arts
. According to their corporate website, "Infogrames Entertainment was founded in 1983 by Bruno Bonnell, Christophe Sapet and Thomas Schmider with the vision of becoming the premier provider of interactive entertainment software. (...) Today, the company proudly ranks as one of the world's top ten publishers of interactive entertainment software with a catalogue of over 1,000
titles and a direct-sales and third-party distribution network covering over 57 countries".
Infogrames develops and distributes games for pretty much any platform available, including X-Box, Playstation 2, Nintendo's Game Cube, Dreamcast and Macintosh and Windows based PCs. Their franchises include Alone in the Dark, the Unreal games, the Falcon flight sims, Test Drive, Wheel of Time, Driver and Deer Hunter. The company also holds about a gazillion licenses, including The Matrix, Dragonball Z, Mission: Impossible, Looney Toons, Peanuts (you know, Charlie Brown and Snoopy), Terminator and non-fictional stuff such as the Survivor tv show, Harley Davidson and the Le Mans 48 hour race.
Infogrames has been on an enourmous shopping spree in the past few years, aquiring such companies as Accolade, GT Interactive and Hasbro, and subsequently, MicroProse and Atari (more about that in a bit!), among others. And yet, despite being one of the major forces in the computer games market, Infogrames suffers from being a virtually unknown brand outside Europe, and more specificly, in the United States. At the time of the Hasbro/Atari aquisition, Industry insiders and observers speculated that Infogrames would change their name to Atari within the near future. The point being that Atari, who single handedly brought console gaming to the american living rooms, is a well established and well known brand in the states and would therefore be able to lift sales through brand recognition. The observers were almost right.
Infogrames have not changed their name to Atari, but has revived the brand and published loads of games under it, while still retaining the Infogrames brand for other titles. According to the company itself, hard-core games like Unreal, Enter the Matrix and Driver are published under the Atari label, while titles for the mass entertainment audience, like Civilization and RollerCoaster Tycoon will remain under the Infogrames brand.