Atari VCS
Image: Atari

Atari has released its latest financial report, and it makes for grim reading (thanks, Eurogamer).

The industry veteran now has its hands in several pies, including hardware, software and even NFTs, but has admitted that it may need additional funding to remain afloat following its underperformance in key commercial areas – one of which is the recently revived (and repeatedly delayed) VCS, which appears to have flopped at retail.

For the first half of the financial year ending 30th September, Atari's revenue came in at €4.3m, which is a drop of 27 percent from the same period last year, during which it managed to generate €6m.

Blame was laid squarely at the feet of the company's hardware business, which includes the new-fangled VCS console, which was crowdfunded a few years back. Revenue for this sector dropped a staggering 92 percent from €2.3m in the same period last year to just €200,000.

Revenue from software was up, however, rising by 10 percent. Licensing revenue was down 18 percent, while Atari's controversial blockchain / NFT revenues increased from €400,000 to €700,000. Atari made a net loss of €5.4m, which is an increase from the €3.5m loss made during the same period of time last year.

Atari now feels that it "may require additional funding resources" to continue with its current business, with new loans from main shareholder Irata being one option, as well as raising the money via other means – which could include a public offering in order "to meet capital needs and refinance the Company's debt".

Despite poor sales of the VCS and the suspension of the contract with its original manufacturing partner, Atari has assured Tom's Hardware that it remains committed to the system:

As we noted in our Half-Year 2022/2023 Results, we have reorganized our hardware business and laid the groundwork for a new commercial strategy. As part of this reorganization we suspended our relationship with the original manufacturing partner of the Atari VCS, but we continue to maintain inventory and fulfill new orders.

Atari remains committed to the VCS platform. We have been adding more support for game developers and continue to add new games to the store. Hardware is an important part of Atari’s legacy and will continue to be a part of our long-term strategy.

We have several hardware and software projects in development, under licensed contracts, that will expand the VCS ecosystem and create additional utility for users.

Of course, the Atari of today isn't the same as the one which conquered millions of living rooms in the '70s and early '80s. It's not even the same company that launched the Atari ST, Lynx and Jaguar. The Atari name has changed hands more than once since then.

On the bright side, the recently-released Atari 50th Anniversary is a fine celebration of the company's history – the positive commercial performance of that collection should be reflected in Atari's next financial report, assuming it survives that long, of course...