We're thrilled to announce the return of GamesBeat Next, hosted in San Francisco this October, where we will explore the theme of "Playing the Edge." Apply to speak here and learn more about sponsorship opportunities here. At the event, we will also announce 25 top game startups as the 2024 Game Changers. Apply or nominate today!

Atari has named a new chief executive today, promoting Jim Wilson from within to the top job as part of a plan to resuscitate the company’s struggling video game business.

Atari is the oldest brand in video games, but it has not been the most successful. The company has changed hands a few times and is now based in Paris, France. Wilson, who was deputy CEO, replaces Jeff Lapin, who is leaving the company.

For the first half of the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the company reported revenues of $38 million, down 57 percent from $89.9 million a year ago. The company reported a net loss of $12 million, compared to a loss of $37.9 million a year earlier. That’s pretty sad for a company with a brand that goes back to the beginning of video games. Atari’s Pong ignited the video game revolution in 1972.

Wilson joined Atari’s U.S. division as CEO in 2008. He helped turn around that business and has been focused on getting things right in Europe. The company has shifted more emphasis to its digital, online, and mobile businesses. But it suffered a huge setback when Star Trek Online, made by the Cryptic Studios division of Atari, was poorly received. Atari has taken the Cryptic resources and focused them on social casual online games. Smaller games such as Faeries vs. Darklings (pictured) are the focus for the future.


GamesBeat Next 2023

Join the GamesBeat community in San Francisco this October 24-25. You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry on latest developments and their take on the future of gaming.

Learn More

“Jim has the board’s full support as he continues to drive new goals of growth and success. At the end of Jeff’s mandates, Atari is better positioned as we enter the next strategic phase of our plan,” said Frank Dangeard, Atari chairman, in a statement.

But Atari is a small fish in a pond full of piranhas. Rivals such as Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft are far bigger and have proven more adept at making hit games. Wilson will run the company’s operations from Los Angeles.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.