Atari has announced an agreement to acquire Digital Eclipse. The studio is known for its expertise in digitally restoring and preserving retro titles such as Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration.
According to a press release, Atari aims to expand its internal development and further support its retro-focused growth strategy (citing its acquisition of Night Dive Studios earlier this year as an example) by leveraging Digital Eclipse’s proprietary tech and experience. Atari states that Digital Eclipse benefits by gaining access to “world-class IP” to grow its business and development capabilities further.
Atari is spending $6.5 million on the acquisition ($4 million in cash, $2.5 million in newly issued Atari shares), with a remaining earn-out of up to $13.5 million in cash over the next 10 years based on the studio’s future performance. The purchase is set to be completed in the next few days.
Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration
Founded in 1992, Digital Eclipse got its start creating commercial emulations of arcade classics like Joust, Robotron: 2084, and Defender. The studio has produced over 250 games. Since 2015, it has made its name creating quality collections of classic game series. That includes well-received bundles like Mega Man Legacy Collection, Disney Afternoon Collection, TMNT: Cowabunga Collection, Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, and The Making of Karateka.
These collections have not only restored lost classics for new generations of players to enjoy but have also included long-lost development materials such as concept art, original design documents, and even, in the cases of the critically-acclaimed Atari 50 and The Making of Karateka, documentary-style footage from the developers sharing stories about the games’ creation.
“Digital Eclipse is the best in the world at what they do,” says Atari chairman and CEO Wade Rosen in the press release. “They have a deep love and respect for the history of the games industry, and are renowned for developing critically acclaimed projects based on historic franchises. Digital Eclipse, along with Nightdive, are in perfect alignment with Atari’s DNA and renewed purpose. I’m personally excited to see where we can push the boundaries of retro innovation together.”
Digital Eclipse president and creative director Mike Mika added, “Our experience collaborating on Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration was revelatory. The trust that Atari showed our team, and our clear mutual love and respect for the content, positioned us to produce something truly remarkable. I know Atari will continue to champion our approach and that we will be bringing fans exciting new projects for years to come.”
For more on Atari, check out our recent 90-minute interview with Wade Rosen on our All Things Nintendo podcast.