In a statement, Atari says the move is necessary to secure investments it needs to grow in mobile and digital gaming.
Atari, which turned 40 last year, was a videogame pioneer with games like "Pong" and "Centipede," but has changed owners several times amid financial problems.
France's Infogrames Entertainment first took a stake in Atari in 2000.
It acquired the remaining stake in 2008 and changed its name to Atari S.A.
In its filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York, Atari is seeking approval for $5.25 million in debtor-in-possession financing from private investment firm Tenor Capital Management.