Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast has settled a one and a half year dispute with Atari SA over the rights to online Dungeons and Dragons products (source). The situation looks basically the same now as it did before, but that just shows you what I know.

The following chronology took some time to unravel, and, as usual, is missing major but mostly irrelevant parts, such as Bioware and Obsidian’s part in Neverwinter. Many Atari properties are also skipped over. Chase down the rest on Wikipedia.

  • 1972 Atari Inc (the first) formed by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney
  • 1974 Namco buys Atari Japan
  • 1976 Warner Communications buys Atari Inc
  • 1983 Infrogrames Entertainment SA (IESA) formed
  • 1984 Jack Tramiel buys most of Atari Inc from Warner Communications and renames it Atari Corp; Warner retains Atari Inc arcade games
  • 1985 Namco buys Atari Inc arcade games from Warner Communication; Atari Inc (the first) closes
  • 1993 GT Interactive formed
  • 1994 JT Storage formed
  • 1995 Hasbro forms Hasbro Interactive
  • 1996 JT Storage merges with, and closes, Atari Corp; Atari Interactive was the name of Atari Corp’s publishing division
  • 1998 Hasbro Interactive buys Atari IP from JT Storage; JT Storage closes
  • 1999 IESA buys GT Interactive and renames it Infrogrames, Inc.
  • 2000 Cryptic Studios founded
  • 2001 IESA buys Hasbro Interactive from Hasbro and renames it Infogrames Interactive; IESA gains the rights to develop Atari properties for 15 years
  • 2003 IESA renames Infogrames Interactive to Atari Interactive and Infogrames Inc to Atari Inc (the second)
  • 2005 Namco merges with Bandai, and its games are spun off to become Namco Bandai Games; Hasbro buys back some digital gaming rights for Atari; IESA retains a 10 year deal to produce Atari properties; Precursor to Turbine formed
  • 2006 Precursor to Turbine released Dungeons and Dragons Online, published by Atari; Turbine sues Atari for not promoting DDO enough, suspecting them of working on their own D&D MMOG (the D&D based MMO Neverwinter)
  • 2008 IESA buys Atari Inc. and Cryptic Studios; forms partnership with Namco Bandai; Perfect World Entertainment formed (which also has several subsidiaries named after variations of Perfect World)
  • 2009 IEA changes Infrogrames Interactive to Atari SA; other subsidiaries include Atari London, Atari Interactive, and Atari Inc.; Hasbro (Wotc) sues Atari for possibly sub-licensing D&D rights to Namco Bandai, which Hasbro sees as a competitor
  • 2010 Nolan Bushnell joins Atari SA board of directors; Warner Bros buys Turbine (and settles the lawsuit against Atari); Atari announces Neverwinter
  • 2011 Perfect World Entertainment buys Cryptic Studios; Hasbro settles lawsuit with Atari and reclaims D&D rights, yet continues to license them to Atari
  • 2012 Neverwinter from Cryptic Studios scheduled for release, having been pushed back due to the sale of Cryptic Studios

Speaking of settling disputes, Microsoft will avoid a trademark issue in Europe by renaming its game “Trenched” to “Iron Brigade”. (source)