Wargaming, Stardock and Rebellion have all secured top bids in Atari's ongoing bankruptcy auctions, with Total Annihilation finding a home with Chris Taylor's new employer.
Although sales are yet to be finalised, documents pertaining to Atari's latest round of bidders show the following companies in top position for various properties:
- Epic Gear, LLC:
- Backyard Sports franchise
- Rebellion Interactive Games Limited
- Battlezone franchise
- Moonbase Commander franchise
- Tommo, Inc:
- Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise
- Humongous franchise
- Math Gran Prix
- Stardock Systems, Inc:
- Star Control franchise
- Wargaming World Limited:
- Total Annihilation franchise
- Master of Orion franchise
Interestingly, should these deals fall through, Stardock is second in line for Master of Orion, and Uber Entertainment is second choice for Total Annihilation. Tommo is a back up bidder for Battlezone, and On the Go Technology LLC put its hand up for Star Control.
Now, the really cool bit: Wargaming recently took possession of Gas Powered Games, the little-developer-that-couldn't responsible for Dungeon Siege, Supremem Commander and Demigod, among others. Its leader Chris Taylor and several other employees founded the studio when Cavedog Entertainment collapsed, a studio remembered with more than fondness for, yes, Total Annihilation.
Presumably, the path is now clear for Wargaming to publish a new Taylor-designed Total Annihilation sequel, something he's indicated interest in. If your panties did not just explode I am unsure your strategy credit is high enough to warrant comment.
Most of the strategy properties on this list are extremely well-respected but found only a small audience; Battlezone is an exception, as it spawned a number of versions and sequels.
The bankrupt Atari began selling off its assets piecemeal in May, having failed to find a single buyer for its enormous catalogue. Nordic Games has already picked up a couple of Atari properties, and original developer Appeal has won back Outcast. The sale and bankruptcy proceedings have caused trouble for Beamdog's Baldur's Gate efforts.
Founder Nolan Bushnell has said Atari was abused by a series of shareholders.
Value-added trivia: In unrelated news, while researching this article I discovered that Star Control, a classic strategy property now likely to be turned over to Sins of a Solar Empire publisher Stardock, was developed by Toys for Bob, the studio behind Skylanders, and that it also made PSOne classic Pandemonium. How about that?