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Posted by 7DZens (Ranked 1 on Monopoly ( Ladder) on March 31, 2004 at 11:16:55:

Games Inc.'s deal with Atari tardy

By Cliff Peale
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A $1.125 million acquisition that was to catapult Games Inc. to profitability this year will be delayed.

Officials at Cincinnati-based Games said this week that the company's deal with Atari Inc. for the Internet site and digital licenses for games including Monopoly and Risk probably wouldn't close by today's scheduled date.

Atari was supposed to deliver a version of the online games that downloaded more quickly by the end of February but hasn't done that yet, said Myles Cairns, Games Inc.'s chief financial officer.

Officials at Atari did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Games, run by local businessman Roger Ach, had touted the deal as its ticket to greater revenue. The company has struggled to stay afloat, including a loss of $2.5 million in the latest fiscal year.

It already controls the Internet site but has turned its attention to online games. It wants to aggregate the well-known titles on the Web site, then charge annual or monthly fees to play.

"We can't go to the public with the games that are out there and charge for them," Cairns said. "I think there's no question the deal will happen. It's just a question of when."

Part of the deal includes a $3 million cash payment to Atari from Games Inc. for upfront royalties. Games plans to sell preferred stock to raise that payment.

It has not yet sold the stock but has commitments to buy enough shares to raise the money, Cairns said. He said Games Inc. could do that with about a week's notice.

"All of the pieces of the puzzle come together at the same time," Cairns said. "So we're certainly not going to pay for games we don't have access to."


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