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Reset Atari - makers of GCW Zero trying to buy Atari brand


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#1 Amstari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2013 8:29 PM

Found out about this and thought I would share it: https://www.fundable.com/reset-atari

I like the idea but I'm not sure if the amount they are trying to raise will come anywhere near the amount required to buy the Atari brand.

What I really like is the reward if you pledge $7500, it's an arcade machine that serves beer!

#2 StoneAgeGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2013 9:06 PM

They are going to need way more than $250K for the Atari brand. Shoot if you could obtain the Atari brand for only $250K it would already be sold, I mean for only $250K I would buy it.

IMO this is actually pretty shady thing to do. First this KickStarter seems to be a big advertisement for their GCW Zero and correct me if I am wrong but if they do reach their goal they get to keep the money right? So at worst they get a bunch of advertising for the GCW Zero and at best they get $250K+ in their pocket. There is no way that money would go to buying the Atari brand because it would never be enough. They couldn't even license the Atari name for their system because as far as I know AtGames currently has that license.

Also read until the end:

Obligatory Legal Disclaimer

We are not soliciting funds for equity
We don't even have any equity to offer. We are simply aggregating funds to explore the process of buying a company that we all know and love.
Your pledge, while appreciated, will not entitle you to any ownership rights or any other conceivable rights to any company mentioned or created in the future. Your pledge will only entitle you to whatever reward is stated in the pledge tier. For legal reasons, that’s the only option we can offer.


Information not Verified
The information we have gathered and provided has not been verified by a third party. The numbers we are quoting may in fact be wrong. We encourage you to conduct your own diligence on the affairs of Atari. We're just telling you what we think we know. All information is subject to change.



#3 Gregory DG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2013 9:14 PM

Interesting. Wish I could just buy the rights to one or two games... I think I'd take Asteroids and Centipede...

#4 Taskmaster99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2013 9:14 PM

Do you automatically get the kegerator/arcade machine by pledging the money...or does the deal have to go through first? Would love a Centipede machine with Shock Top.

#5 gcwnow OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 9, 2013 11:14 PM

If you make a pledge and we meet the goal you will get whatever prize you pledged for such as Arkeg.

The goal of 250K is just a number setting the goal higher would have just looked as unrealistic as 500K or 1Mill. The point of the campaign is to raise awareness and keep it in the proper hands it should be in and foster new indie developers and provide them an outlet to grow and expand as the new Atari will if we get the rights.

If our bid for some reason is rejected worst case we use the funds to just acquire licensing of Atari Games/Hardware from the company with the winning bid and other licensing such as Capcom, Konami, Sega, and Badai/Namco.

We are seeking to keep this in proper hands and make sure Atari has a proper future like it's past.

One huge goal is to legitimize emulation, bring games old retro games from Atari and others to the masses...

Eventual goal would be to make all of the titles we get via our bid for the Atari IP Public Domain free to everyone.

#6 StoneAgeGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:19 AM

If our bid for some reason is rejected worst case we use the funds to just acquire licensing of Atari Games/Hardware from the company with the winning bid and other licensing such as Capcom, Konami, Sega, and Badai/Namco.


Worst case?

Currently as far as I know AtGames has this license (they are company currently producing the Flashback 4). Secondly even if they no longer have it how do you know you will have enough money to acquire it? You claim that this 250K is for looking into acquiring it, not actually acquiring it. So where will you get the money to actually acquire it?

I really don't understand this Kick Starter at all. As far as I can tell its just a big GCW Zero advertisement.

#7 Atariboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:52 AM

If you need to ask for donations just to fund the purchase, how are you going to be able to do anything with the IP if a miracle did happen and you were able to purchase what you wanted?

And beyond some limited annoyance with scattered instances of cease and desist letters from an overzealous member of their legal team, the community largely does what it pleases already in regards to their classic gaming properties. And since I'm unaware of a way to retire intellectual property rights prematurely, you likely couldn't legally release Atari's classic gaming associated IP into the public domain. So someone like a publisher wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole just because you said it was free for the taking. So no more classic gaming collections, no more plug and plays, no more downloadable games on services like Xbox Live Arcade, etc.

Seems like a very drastic step just to avoid the occasional cease and desist letter to homebrewers and such.

Edited by Atariboy, Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:53 AM.


#8 bennybingo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:17 AM

It sounds like they are only going after licensing rights, and as said earlier, it will cost them a hell of a lot more than $250k....the whole thing seems like:

A.) they have no clue what they are doing

or

B.) they are setting things up to keep the money no matter what the outcome.

Either way, they aren't getting a pledge from me. It's bad enough I have to deal with clueless elected officials who love to spend my money every day on false hopes and promises...I would rather avoid this nonsense in my hobby as well.

#9 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:36 AM

Buying Atari to put games on the GCW Zero seems like buying Atari to put games on the Harmony Cart.

#10 Taskmaster99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:49 AM

No way Im bidding 7500 bucks for the chance I dont get squat. Good luck.

#11 gcwnow OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:22 PM

@StoneAgeGamer with Atari in bankruptcy all of the current licensing deals will soon be null and void. Our intent is to try for total capture of the Atari IP from 1972 to 1996.

If we succeed in this, we will then eventually release it all to public domain around 2018, after we have reinvigorated the brand and launched our Atari branded Indie Software development studio.

If we are unable to acquire total IP, we will be seeking the licensing of all the game titles from the numerous game consoles Atari has released and some key PC titles. If we achieve this, of course
we won't be able to release it to the public domain (because we won't own the IP), but we will be trying to preserve and reinvigorate the titles on not only the GCW Zero but numerous devices and operating systems.

@Atariboy I have numerous software/hardware developers and third party developers that can assist with porting the games and emulators or hardware from IP or licensing we gain from this bid for Atari rights to numerous devices in a matter of weeks after retaining the IP or licensing rights.

As stated above this is not just about the GCW Zero it’s about getting these games to numerous devices on a mass level to reinvigorate Atari as a brand and as a Game studio primarily focused at Indie Developers and their games.

This is also to keep the heritage and history of Atari alive for future generations as it is one of the founding fathers of gaming.

#12 gcwnow OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:18 PM

This is not the only company we seeking licensing from as most companies we can secure rights with just a royalty from each title sold and secure a few we can give away free.

This has always been about making emulation via emulators for multiple games from multiple game studios legitimate and legal for all.

@TaskMaster99 If for some reason we didn't meet the funding goal you would not be charge anything as far as I understand by fundable.com through wepay.com who takes the payments. If we do get the funding goal the "Arkey" will be packed up and shipped to your door for hours of enjoyment. If for some reason you were charged for unsuccessful funding goal just ask for a refund and we would provide one.

The points of why we are seeking Atari IP are above and what the money is being spent for which is to acquire the IP in total for 1972 to 1996 or at least licensing and make emulation legitimate and legal.

If we acquire the total IP yes the plan is to release a good portion of all the IP to the public Domain by 2018. Relaunching a defunct studio and making it for and about Indie Development will require a cash flow for the near future.

If you choose to use Emulators out there already to include the ROMS that is your choice and I don't plan to take any legal recourse if we were to secure the IP in total. This is about something bigger which is making emulators and emulation legal and accepted.

There has been this cloud and grey area around emulation and emulators for way too long and we hope to be able to clear that cloud and foster new developers and hardware from this in a free and open environment.

Edited by gcwnow, Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:10 PM.


#13 StoneAgeGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:20 PM

It still sounds like a terribly thought out plan.

#14 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:25 PM

What I don't understand is...

Why is GCW Zero wasting time with the naive and misguided Atari scheme instead of producing and improving the actual GCW Zero handheld?

My second question is...

Why did Kickstarter Fundable allow something that is at best naive and misguided, and at worst an intentional scam?

The only possible outcome from this is that both GCW Zero and Kickstarter Fundable will be tarnished.

[edit]
Go play the lottery. At least then there's a chance, even if it's only 1 out of 18 billion, for you to get something out of your investment. That's a higher chance of investment return than GCW Zero buying Atari.

So.... I just noticed that it's Fundable and not Kickstarter. Ahhhh... so the folks at Kickstarter thought it was enough that GCW Zero recently got a chunk of money for the handheld. Did Kickstarter turn down this "fundraising" scheme to investigate buying Atari?

Wow... $10K has been raised so far. PT Barnum at his best.
[/edit]

Edited by akator, Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:38 PM.


#15 bennybingo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:35 PM

My second question is...

Why did Kickstarter allow something that is at best naive and misguided, and at worst an intentional scam?

The only possible outcome from this is that both GCW Zero and Kickstarter Fundable will be tarnished.


Notice...it's "fundable.com" not kickstarter. I would guess that Kickstarter wouldn't even go for this one! :rolling:

#16 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:55 PM

This has always been about making emulation via emulators for multiple games from multiple game studios legitimate and legal for all.


Yippee doo. Atari reduced to cruddy software emulation.
I guess it's no worse than Atari being reduced to a set of glassware at target but it sure as hell ain't much better.

Edited by Reaperman, Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:59 PM.


#17 StoneAgeGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:37 PM

Personally I would suggest the people at GCW drop this idea before it really hurts your reputation. Maybe you should target some more realistically obtainable properties from maybe some lower tier developers from years past. Also, use your own damn money or go to a bank. Why the hell would we give you money to purchase an IP or license to an IP? I am not seeing what it is in it for anyone except you. At least with some of these kickstarter things its to bring a new product to the market that people actually want. No one wants what you are trying to sell with this Atari thing. Sounds like the thinking is "Lets try to acquire Atari IP rights on someone else's dime and if we can't we got a quarter million+ in the bank that we don't have to pay back."

#18 bennybingo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:47 PM

Personally I would suggest the people at GCW drop this idea before it really hurts your reputation.

I don't know about anyone else, but for me, that ship set sail with the announcement of this whole sham. It's pretty damned low to entice folks with some cool swag, when they are aware nothing will ever come of the whole thing. I might as well give my money away to a nigerian refugee.

#19 Taskmaster99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:53 PM

read the whole response to me in post #12. Nothing in there makes me feel comfortable giving any money to this project. "You wont be charged if we dont meet the goal from what I understand?" "If you are charged by mistake....just ask for a refund?" OK....gonna tap into the checking account right now :roll:

#20 Atariboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:08 PM

Yippee doo. Atari reduced to cruddy software emulation.


99% of the worth of the brand is the connection with their classic properties. The average person in 2013 could care less if the latest game that has their attention has the Fuji logo on it. And I bet a ton of their customers in recent years couldn't tell you off hand that a specific game that they played was even published by them unless it was something like Atari Anthology where the connection is obvious.

There's very little worth there in revigurating their classic IP. Remakes and reimaginings of classic gaming properties from the 1970's and the early 1980's almost always fall flat on their face with extremely few exceptions for the dozens of attempts that have been made by a variety of publishers over the past 15 or so years. And to take a concept like Adventure far enough to interest the average consumer, there's barely any point in even maintaining that IP connection. The people that care about the connection with the original are the ones that want to play the 2600 classic untouched or a game that they picture as having been possible back in the day a few years later. And the vast majority of customers that will be interested in a 21st century effort could care less that there's some vague connection there with a game that appears ancient to their eyes.

Atari's properties belong with a commercial entity that will take advantage of their history with things like emulation projects rather than daydreamers that think Atari could return to something more than just a tiny niche player in the marketplace. The worth with the brand is its history. Atari as a going concern died many years ago and odd hopes like turning them into an indie publisher strike me not only as virtually pointless but extremely detrimental to commercializing their heritage. Atari belongs with an owner that will bring to market things like emulations of games like Tempest and many other classics, both the usual suspects like Tempest and the masses of classic gaming properties untouched in the emulation era, and tell the story of that era of videogaming history to classic gamers and hopefully a new generation of gamers.

Atari's classic gaming properties don't need to become abandonware where unenforced copyrights keep any company with some semblance of business sense away even though the IP holder proclaims a open city. And neither does the classic gaming hobbyist need protection from the limited threat of harassment via cease & desist notices. It might be news to some, but the classic gaming community largely is already doing what it pleases with Atari's past. From distributing roms, selling reproductions of Atari software, commissionings runs of replacement artwork for arcade cabinets, plastering the Atari logo on boxes to provide an authentic appearance, etc.

#21 Pacmania OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:16 AM

@StoneAgeGamer with Atari in bankruptcy all of the current licensing deals will soon be null and void. Our intent is to try for total capture of the Atari IP from 1972 to 1996.


I think you need to go and do some proper research. The Atari that are in bankruptcy don't own all the IP. Warner Bros own all the IP of Atari Games from 1984 right up to when they were closed down and absorbed into Midway. So you will need even more money if you want that IP too.

#22 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:27 AM

I think buying the Atari name is pointless since clones have been legally made for ages. Put the money towards a 2600 oriented FPGA Arcade with cart slot.

#23 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:33 AM

If you want to buy Atari's logo, trademarks, name and IP - try more in the neighborhood of $34-$50million

If you are looking to buy a license, you would have to wait until whomever buys Atari and do a new license deal, any existing license deals will be null & void in an asset sale, the company as a whole is not being sold, its IP and assets are being auctions and that is not covered in a survivability clause of a license agreement.

As for $7500 and a keg arcade, honestly anyone could just buy an arcade from some of the existing arcade cabinet companies and do it themselves for under $1500

If I had to make a guess here, given the waiver at the end of the funding campaign, these guys are keeping the funds even if they can't buy the license or the Atari assets, and the whole pitch in their funding campaign looks like a Infomercial on their GCW-Zero (Dingo 320 repackaged) handheld unit. So it looks more like they are just doing this to generate funding for themselves and their console, given the odds and the totally below any possibility of getting Atari or a license set of $250K, this looks more like they just want to raise $250K for themselves and know they will never have the funds to buy Atari or even acquire a license.

#24 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:49 AM

I think you need to go and do some proper research. The Atari that are in bankruptcy don't own all the IP. Warner Bros own all the IP of Atari Games from 1984 right up to when they were closed down and absorbed into Midway. So you will need even more money if you want that IP too.


I agree. Most of the history on the page is wrong, and a bunch of the IP they have listed is not IP that the current Atari owns. Pitfall? Pac-Man? Seriously? Funny to see Yars' Revenge misspelled as well. As Curt also pointed out, their understanding of the bankruptcy, the IP, and what's actually going on is waaaaay off. This is coming off more like a publicity stunt for their handheld.

#25 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:55 PM

Why 2018? That sounds like purchasing slaves to keep as slaves for 5 years and then releasing them because you are an abolitionist. It makes more sense to release all the slaves on the day of purchase.

The reason emulation is frowned upon is that people believe that "intellectual property" is real property. Doing what you describe would help make the reasons emulation is frowned upon look legitimate because you would be treating intellectual property as real.

Why should one fund your project if you're going to wait until 2018? To me it sounds like you are trying to get the Atari brand name connected to your toy to increase sales and then maybe release "property" into the public domain in five years(Our Favorite Atari Games + The GCW Portable Console = Awesome). Emulation is already legitimate. "Intellectual property" is public domain at the moment it reaches the public. Any law that says otherwise is illegitimate. Intellectual property laws are just a way for corporations to try to keep a monopoly on ideas and it sounds like that is exactly what you are trying to do. It doesn't seem any different than what Atari or any other video game company has already considered legitimate emulation.

Why not release it on the day of purchase? Is it because you want to wipe out your competition by preventing the makers of other portable emulation devices from using "your" software/games? That is the opposite of making emulation legitimate and slows down the innovation caused by fair competition. I recommend focusing on making your hardware better than your competition and making it as open as possible. If you want to use Atari as an edge over your competition by somehow getting their intellectual property then you would be more successful putting it in the public domain on day one because the users would see that you are on their side. On the other hand, if you don't release it on day one, you are basically saying,"Look at our new Atari handheld that plays our legitimate Atari emulators as well as illegitimate emulators!"




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