Goodbye Atari, hello Namco

Atari’s European operation will be history within weeks, as Namco Bandai swoops to complete its acquisition of the business, MCV understands.

Atari Europe’s sales and marketing staff will be safely transferred to newly-formed business Distribution Partners – which will handle all Namco Bandai product in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Distribution Partners is even looking to grow the operation’s current headcount to strengthen its position as Europe’s latest publishing giant.

Namco Bandai bought a 34 per cent stake in the Atari Europe business in March last year, and is expected to pick up the remaining 66 per cent from parent Infogrames next month.

MCV understands that former Take Two, THQ and EA exec John Galloway will head up the UK and Nordic offices of Distribution Partners (or Namco Bandai Partners), and that the new deal has satisfied scrutiny from anti-competition bodies.

We believe that DP will become a wholly-owned Namco Bandai games company soon, but this process requires time and we will comment further when we have an anticipated closing date,” said Atari’s UK marketing boss David Miller this week.

Atari’s US division (Atari Inc) remains active – and MCV understands that this will now become the firm’s biggest HQ.

Atari will continue to have a presence in the UK, however, in the shape of the London studio it opened in September, managed by ex-SingStar boss Paulina Bozek. Infogrames CEO David Gardner will also work out of this office.

Infogrames will continue to operate from its office in Lyon, France.

Meanwhile, Distribution Partners will exclusively handle Atari-produced boxed titles outside of the US until 2014.

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