Atari has had something of tumultuous history in terms of finances over the last few decades. Whilst it experienced a huge boom with the explosion of arcade games it got into difficulty with the video game crash that occurred in the 1980s. Since then it has changed focus multiple times but still raised eyebrows when it launched a crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine for a port of RollerCoaster Tycoon for the Nintendo Switch.
According to Fred Chesnais, the CEO of Atari Game Partners, this was not because the company needed the cash to bring the game to the new platform but rather as a way to experiment with new funding techniques.
“As a financier, because I have a portfolio of 200 games, I have a broader question,” Chesnais said, “which is, ‘What is the best way from a cost of capital perspective for Atari and for me?’”
“From a strategy perspective, as a publisher, we are doing this game. From a financial perspective and cost of capital perspective, it makes sense for Atari to try and test some new sources of funding to see if these sources could be available down the road for more games.”