Atari Files Trademark Renewal For Defunct Studio Ocean

Back in 1983, in the days of the Commodore 64, Amiga, and Atari ST, two British entrepreneurs founded a game development studio called Ocean Software. At first a mail order business creating clones of successful games like Missile Command and Frogger, Ocean soon became successful in its own right when the company began developing games based on popular movies like 1984’s fantasy The NeverEnding Story, Rambo, Short Circuit, Jurassic Park, and Lethal Weapon. Over the next 15 years, Ocean released nearly 200 film-licensed games, independent titles, and arcade games converted for home consoles and computers.


In 1996, the success of Ocean Software attracted the attention of Infogrames, a growing development house whose goal was to acquire other game studios in order to become the world’s leading game publisher. Ocean merged with Infogrames, took on the name of Infogrames United Kingdom, Ltd., and effectively ceased to exist. Between 2001 and 2008, Infogrames also acquired the Atari brand, and eventually the name Atari was adopted by the entire company.

Fast forward to 2022, and Atari Europe has filed a trademark application with the European Union Intellectual Property Office for the name Ocean, specifying that the products released under the Ocean label will be “computer games entertainment software.” However, further delving into the application reveals that Atari may intend to do more than release video games under the Ocean brand. The goods and services listed also cover hardware like consoles, controllers, and gaming headsets, as well as virtual goods like video game weapons, currency, and skins. There is also mention of streaming, subscriptions, game software rental, and online gaming services “in the nature of computer and video game tournaments.”


Granted, the categories provided on the trademark application are broad sweeping, with a variety of goods and services grouped together. So it’s likely that Atari does not plan to use the Ocean trademark for all of the listed purposes. However, Atari has been actively working on a turnaround strategy since 2014 after the company sold many of its assets to stave off bankruptcy. This has been sporadically visible, namely with the 2020 release of the Atari VCS console, the Atari gaming themed hotel, and the company’s expansion into NFTs and cryptocurrency.

The company’s turnaround strategy also includes re-releasing the entire catalog of classic Atari games, as well as developing mobile titles and MMOs. In April 2021, the company restructured its operations to create a division called Atari Gaming that would be dedicated to developing PC and console games. These releases will be premium titles with single-player campaigns, multiplayer, and online play, and some are already in development. In this light, it makes sense that Atari would begin re-establishing previously successful brands and trademarks like Ocean Software. It will be interesting to see what other long-defunct and forgotten names the company revives next.

Source: Gamerant

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