Atari is a brand name that has been owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by French publisher Atari SA through a subsidiary named Atari Interactive. The original Atari, founded in Sunnyvale, California, in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, was a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles and home computers. The company’s products, such as Pong and the Atari 2600, helped define the electronic entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid-1980s.
In 1984, as a result of the video game crash of 1983, the home console and computer divisions of the original Atari Inc. were sold off, and the company was renamed Atari Games Inc. Atari Games received the rights to use the logo and brand name with appended text “Games” on arcade games, as well as rights to the original 1972–1984 arcade hardware properties. The Atari Consumer Electronics Division properties were in turn sold to Jack Tramiel’s Tramel Technology Ltd., which then renamed itself to Atari Corporation. In 1996, Atari Corporation reverse-merged with disk-drive manufacturer JT Storage (JTS), becoming a division within the company. In 1998, Hasbro Interactive acquired all Atari Corporation related properties from JTS, creating a new subsidiary, Atari Interactive.