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  • Atari makes me laugh

    Posted on June 1st, 2006 Finster No comments

    There has been a mild uproar in the gaming community over Atari pulling the plug on Bioware’s Neverwinter Nights support. Apparently, this was done with several premium modules still in QA and almost ready to release. Atari was asked about this and responded with some marketing tripe hype about NWN2 and the new editor in NWN2 blah blah blah.

    A lot of people have also been quick to rip on Atari for this, and I don’t see the point. People are still going to make mods for NWN1. For crying out loud, there are still people out there making Quake 2 mods. I’m not really worried about this at all. No more official updates? Oh well. If the major bugs haven’t been squashed from the game after 4 years of updates, it’s not going to magically happen in the next year or so before NWN2 is released.

    What tickles my funny bone about this is Atari’s seeming inability to make any kind of positive contact with the gaming community. When given the chance to issue a salient response to why NWN is no longer being supported, the best they can come up with is, “Our goal is to make Neverwinter Nights 2 one of the most compelling RPG experiences seen in years by also making it one of the most mod-friendly games ever.”

    Seriously. Atari. Free advice for ya: fire your PR department, because they SUCK.

    In other news, I went over to to check out this whole GamersFirst program they’re doing, which really just boils down to cutting prices on all of their back catalog to $20 and then supposedly offering it for download through Direct2Drive and “Valve”. (I guess they meant Steam, but who knows.)

    I’ve checked out Direct2Drive, and my Steam client, and so far there is no sign of any of the newly priced $19.99 titles. I wonder if Atari even talked to Valve, because typically Valve has been pretty eager to announce new Steam platform product offerings.

    Meanwhile, if you go to the GamersFirst site (supposedly the one place these games should be available for download today), and click on any of the titles they have listed as “available for download” (I use the term available loosely, here). You will have the title added to your shopping cart. Unfortunately, Atari appears to be charging $5 shipping and handling and teh delivery method is defaulted to “Physical Shipment”. Yeah, I was a little surprised. I’m sure it’s just a bug in their system, but it’s one more thing that makes me chuckle at Atari’s complete ineptitude.

    It’s like they’re being managed by a team of monkeys or something. All of Atari’s problems remind of the last dying actions of another developer/publisher… Interplay, who, oddly enough, is still filing financial reports with the SEC. And in case Atari doesn’t know, here’s a graph showing how much $100 spent investing in Interplay 5 years ago is worth today.

    Interplay Performance

    Translation: $0

    Good luck, Atari!

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