Nolan Bushnell, who founded the original Atari in 1972, has returned to the company masthead as a member of Atari S.A.'s board of directors.
"Original Atari" and "Atari S.A." have to be specified because technically they're not the same company. It's complicated but it all has to do with Infogrames' 2008 acquisition of Atari and making it a wholly-owned subsidiary. But the point is that Bushnell is back with the brand he made world famous, and it's not Chuck E. Cheese.
Bushnell, speaking to Industry Gamers, said his return "kind of is a homecoming".
"I think Atari has made some really nice strides in the last few years," he said, "and I feel like it's the right time and right place. I've known [CEO]Jeff Lapin and some of the guys [for quite a while] , and I bumped into them a few years ago at E3 and had some dialogue. It just all of a sudden felt natural I think for both sides."
Bushnell said Atari's "really, really cool worldwide brand" creates a lot of opportunities, one of them being a a chance "to revitalise some of the classic Atari games." And we're already seeing some of that in Xbox Live's Game Room.
Atari's Bushnell Talks About His Homecoming [Industry Gamers]