Must be funny, in a rich man’s world

Things are finally looking up for Atari: after selling off a handful of studios and licenses and focusing on smaller, cheaper to develop titles (and endless Dragon Ball Z brawlers), their profits are up 13 percent on last year. They’ve still got some way to go though, as they’re currently $243 million in debt. Ouch.

This would explain why earlier last month they sold most of their Hasbro rights – including Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee and Tonka – back to the toy manufacturer for $19.5 million. They’re still keeping hold of Jenga though, for their upcoming Wii and DS rendition of the wooden block tugging game. It’s bound to be excellent.

No sooner had they sold the rights back, they were snapped up by the cash loaded EA, presumably to be used on their new EA Casual label. What’s interesting here is that the deal – which is set to last until the space year 2013 – allows Hasbro to use “selected EA franchises” as source material for toys and such. Need for Speed remote-controlled cars and talking Sims dolls, anybody? Or how about some cuddly Def Jam rappers (suitable for ages 18 and over)?

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