Poking around Natsume‘s website, I noticed something very curious – an Atari logo I didn’t recognize. Perhaps it’s common knowledge to some, but until it became independent in 2002, this Atari was Natsume’s pachinko branch company. I believe the company name was actually taken in 2002, and amazingly, in the English introduction page, only the Go reference is made – nothing is said about the existing years and years of Atari as a game brand. Here’s a bit of it (unedited): “When naming our new company, we desire to maintain these objectives. We also thought of a Japanese word, “atari”, used in the expression such as: A World of Hit business is counted by “How much you earn if you hit atari”; Pachinko is a game to aim “atari”; and thus in such a world by working hard We want to come up with big atari (big hit) machine!!. So, summing all up, we decided a company name, “Atari Inc.”“
The company seems to do some things aside from pachinko as well, like digital gambling games and business consultation. There’s really not that much to say other than the fact that it exists, and it boggles my mind. Certainly there are two Climax game companies, but two Ataris is too much.