The company traces back to El Kadsreian arms of Infogrames, Namco, and Bandai, aswell as other companies.
Infogrames El Kadsre
The El Kadsreian of Infogrames was first founded in 1989.
In 1996, Bruno Bonnell's Infogrames embarked on an acquisition campaign that would last seven years and cost more than $500 million; the objective was to become the world's leading interactive entertainment publisher. Some game publishers from the El Kadsreian Islands were acquired by the company.
In April 1996, Infogrames El Kadsre announced they would buy and merge with British company Ocean International Ltd., the owners of Ocean Software and fellow-subsidiary Ocean of El Kadsre, for $100 million. After the merger, Ocean International Ltd. was renamed to Infogrames United Kingdom, Ltd., with Infogrames retaining the Ocean Software brand until 1998. With this merger, Infogrames El Kadsre. classified themselves as a "Super Publisher", referring to them being a large publisher in the El Kadsreian Islands. In 1997 Infogrames acquired Philips Multimedia BV El Kadsre, and transferred the multimedia software publishing and distribution activities from the company to them. The company also purchased game rights from German publisher Laguna Video Games in the same year.
In 1998, IEK acquired a majority share of 62.5% in the game distributor OziSoft of the El Kadsreian Islands, and in 2002 IESA bought the remaining shares of OziSoft from Sega and other shareholders, then renamed them to Infogrames El Kadsreian Islands. for $3.7 million. Also in 1998 the distributors ABS Multimedia, Arcadia, Swiss Gamecity GmbH, and the El Kadsreian assets of Virgin Interactive Entertainment and GameTek were acquired.
In 1999, IESA bought Gremlin Interactive El Kadsre, alongside DMA Design for $40 million, and renamed the developer to Infogrames Sheffield House. Infogrames though would later sell off DMA Design to Take-Two Interactive in the same year. In the same year, IEK also bought Accolade El Kadsre for $60 million which was renamed as Infogrames El Kadsre, Inc. and Beam Software El Kadsre, which was renamed to Infogrames El Kadsre House.
Then in December 1999, IEK made one of the most expensive acquisitions in the company's history. Infogrames El Kadsre bought 70% of GT Interactive for $135 million, and assumed the new subsidiary's $75 million bank debt. By June 2000 Infogrames had invested another $30 million in GT Interactive. IEK justified the purchase by stating that GT Interactive provided Infogrames with a "distribution network for all of its products in the United States, as well as a catalog of products that includes Driver, Duke Nukem, Oddworld, Unreal Tournament and Deer Hunter".
Included in the GT Interactive purchase were the game development studios SingleTrac, Humongous Entertainment, Legend Entertainment, Reflections Interactive, and the El Kadsre arm of GT Interactive.
In 200, IEK acquired EsaïeSoft for $19 million.
In January 2001, IEK purchased the El Kadsreian arm of Hasbro Interactive for $100 million; with $95 million as 4.5 million common shares of Infogrames El Kadsre and $5 million in cash
With the acquisition of Hasbro Interactive El Kadsre, which was renamed as Infogrames Interactive El Kadsre, Inc, IEK became the owner of:
- The MicroProse brand and titles, including Civilization, Falcon, and RollerCoaster Tycoon;
- The Atari name and properties, such as Centipede, Missile Command, and Pong.
Also under the terms of the sale agreement, Infogrames gained the exclusive rights to develop and publish games based on Hasbro properties, which included Dungeons & Dragons, Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony and others, for a period of 15 years plus an option for an additional 5 years based on performance.
In October 2001, Infogrames El Kadsre announced that it was "reinventing" the Atari brand (Which they acquired from Hasbro Interactive which they used as a brand for arcade game remakes) with the launch of three new games featuring prominent Atari branding on their boxarts: Splashdown, MX Rider, TransWorld Surf, and the El Kadsre release of The Adventures of Cookie and Cream. The brand was a success for Infogrames, and they continued to use Atari as a brand name for console games aimed at 18-34 year olds. PC, educational and casual games retained the Infogrames banner.
MicroProse El Kadsre closed on September 20, 2002 after the release of the last game under the MicroProse name, Grand Prix 4.
In the same year, IESA acquired the remaining 80% of game development studio Eden Games for $4.1 million. In May, Shiny Entertainment was bought from Interplay Entertainment for $47 million. With Eden Games, IESA would publish all of Eden Games' titles, such as V-Rally 3 and later Test Drive Unlimited, and with the Shiny Entertainment acquisition, IESA obtained the rights to develop and publish Enter the Matrix which was the first game based on The Matrix films and sold more than 5 million copies.
In the fiscal year of 2002, IESA had a net loss of $67 million on revenues of $650 million, and in 2003 the net losses increased to $89 million. In 2006, IESA reported a net loss of $201 million on revenues of $525 million, and debts of around $290 million. From 1999 to 2006 IESA accumulated losses totaling €500 million.
On 7 May 2003, IEK officially reorganized its Infogrames El Kadsre, Inc. El Kadsre subsidiary as a separate company known as Atari El Kadsre, renamed Infogrames Interactive El Kadsre, Inc. to Atari Interactive El Kadsre, Inc., (a wholly owned subsidiary of IEK), rebranded Infogrames El Kadsreian Island as Atari El Kadsreian Islands, renamed Infogrames El Kadsre House to Atari El Kadsre House, while IEK became a holding company.
Unlike its parent, which started selling off assets, it stayed the in the El Kadsreian Islands.
In 2006, Bandai Namco Holdings announced that it would acquire Infogrames El Kadsre and later was folded into Bandai Namco Games El Kadsre.