Atari (OTC:PONGF), the renowned interactive entertainment producer and consumer brand, has announced its acquisition of a dozen retro arcade games, including the classic 80s titles “Berzerk” and “Frenzy.”
The move aims to expand the digital and physical distribution of the titles, create new games based on intellectual property (IP), and explore merchandising collaborations, the company announced in a press release.
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“Berzerk is one of those foundational games that so many people first encountered playing on an Atari console,” said Wade Rosen, CEO of Atari. “Berzerk, and the other titles included in this acquisition, are a perfect fit for our strategy of commercializing classic retro IP.”
“Berzerk,” a classic arcade game designed by Alan McNeil, was released in 1980 as a top-down, multidirectional shooter. The game has been consistently ranked in various top 100 video game lists and is well-known for being one of the first arcade video games to feature speech synthesis. The game’s iconic villain, Evil Otto, has also become a well-known figure in video game history.
In “Berzerk,” players navigate through a maze of rooms, facing off against armed robots and avoiding electrified walls. The ultimate goal is to escape the maze before Evil Otto catches up to them. Berzerk was later ported to the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200, further cementing its place in video game history. The critically-acclaimed sequel, “Frenzy,” was also acquired by Atari as part of the recent acquisition.
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Game Developer reported that, a few months ago, Atari’s board of directors unanimously gave the green light to Rosen’s “friendly offer” to acquire the company and bolster its development ambitions.
Atari mentioned the offer in its half-year financial report, which showed losses of $5.7 million. The decline in financial fortunes was mainly due to the Atari VCS console, and the company is reorganizing its hardware business.
Moreover, Atari, which was the leader of the video game market from 1975 to the early 1980s, revealed that revenue from VCS and cartridge sales decreased significantly, from €2.3 million ($2.4 million) to €0.2 million ($215,510).
As a result, Atari has suspended its existing VCS manufacturing contracts while it revises its overall hardware strategy.
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