Atari founder Nolan Bushnell reckons Atari's big problem "for the last 15 years is that it hasn't stood for anything".
Asked about Atari by Gamasutra, Bushnell joked that "no matter how misbehaved your children are, you still sort of look at them, even though they've left the house and have been in prison for a year".
Pressed on the company's current state, Bushnell elaborated: "Well, you know, I've always had a dream of architecting the reversal of fortune.
"The real problem that Atari has really had for the last 15 years is that it hasn't stood for anything. I think a name and a brand has to stand for something, otherwise it's not a brand. It's a logo. I think that the people who have been running it have never had a core vision."
Having "some core values" was something Bushnell advised the current regime to sort out pronto, although he admitted he doesn't know Phil Harrison and couldn't comment on what he - and David Gardner - are up to since the former Sony exec joined the company earlier this year.
When informed by Gama's interviewer that Harrison "obviously did it because he likes a challenge", however, Bushnell concluded: "It's a big challenge."
Bushnell is the founder of Atari and the Chuck E. Cheese Pizza-Time Theaters restaurant chain, and recently launched uWink game-based restaurants and chairs the board of NeoEdge Networks - a company involved with in-game advertising.