GOODBYE ATARI HELLO NAMCO

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Atari Europe will officially become Namco Bandai in the next few weeks, as the Japanese publisher finalises its acquisition of the business.

Namco Bandai bought a 34% stake in the Atari Europe business in March last year, and is expected to pick up the remaining portion from parent Infogrames in the next month.

That's according to the latest issue of trade mag MCV, which reports that European sales and marketing staff are to be safely transferred to newly formed Distribution Partners - which will handle all Namco Bandai games in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand from now on.

Atari's US division will remain active and become the publisher's sole HQ, says MCV, headed up by current CEO David Gardner.

Distribution Partners will even look to grow its headcount and strengthen its position as Europe's biggest games publisher.

"We believe that DP will become a wholly-owned Namco Bandai games company soon, but this process requires time and we will comment further when we have an anticipated closing date," Atari's European marketing boss David Miller told the trade mag.

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