After a four-year legal battle over video game patents which saw Atari filing a lawsuit against the Japanese giants last autumn, the two companies recently came to an out-of-court settlement worth $50 million in cash for the rights to over 70 Atari patents and another $40 million in return for an 8 per cent stake in Atari.
Atari had been experiencing some problems in terms of cash-flow which affected not only the advertising of the Jaguar, but also its construction. According to Computer Trade Weekly Atari lost $48 million last financial year, so the money from Sega is a big boost.
The final settlement is excellent news for the Jaguar. Sam Trammel, CEO of Atari, commented: “The increased cash position will be used, among other things, to enhance our marketing position this fall.” This improves Atari's chances of a worldwide success with the machine, especially considering the fact that the settlement will enable Atari to launch a fresh assault on the market in time for Christmas. Part of the deal is that Atari can also license certain Sega games, so look out for the likes of Sonic and Virtua Fighters on the Jaguar.
More Jaguar news
A licensing agreement between Williams Entertainment and Atari could see souped up versions of arcade classics like Joust, Defender and Robotron appearing on the Jaguar. These could well also be the first versions of these games to introduce first-person perspective in a realistic three-dimensional environment. Williams have already developed Troy Aikman NFL Football and Double Dragon V for the Jag. Byron Williams, president of Williams Entertainment was all chuffed about the whole thing: “We're very excited about the Atari Jaguar 64-bit platform and happy to support it with our finest titles.”
By Nick Peers