Atari is a corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. As of 2012, it is owned by Atari Interactive, a subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA (ASA).
The original Atari, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It was a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles, and home computers. The company's products, such as Pong and the Atari 2600, helped define the computer entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid 1980s.
In 1984, the original Atari Inc. was split, and the arcade division was turned into Atari Games Inc. Atari Games received the rights to use the logo and brand name with appended text "Games" on arcade games, as well as rights to the original 1972 - 1984 arcade hardware properties. The Atari Consumer Electronics Division properties were in turn sold to Jack Tramiel's Tramel Technology Ltd., which then renamed itself to Atari Corporation. In 1996, Atari Corporation reverse merged with disk drive manufacturer JT Storage (JTS), becoming a division within the company.
In 1998, Hasbro Interactive acquired all Atari Corporation related properties from JTS, creating a new subsidiary, Atari Interactive. IESA bought Hasbro Interactive in 2001 and renamed it to Infogrames Interactive. IESA changed the company name entirely to Atari Interactive in 2003.
The company that currently bears the name Atari Inc. was founded in 1993 under the name GT Interactive. IESA acquired a 62% controlling interest in GT Interactive in 1999, and renamed it Infogrames, Inc. Following IESA's acquisition of Hasbro Interactive, Infogrames, Inc. intermittently published Atari branded titles for Infogrames Interactive. In 2003, Infogrames Inc. licensed the Atari name and logo from Atari Interactive and changed its name to Atari Inc. On October 11, 2008, Infogrames completed its acquisition of Atari, Inc., making it a wholly owned subsidiary.