Atari buys retro gaming company Nightdive Studios

In a nutshell: Unexpectedly, Atari entered into an agreement to acquire Washington-based developer Nightdive Studios. The gaming industry pioneer paid $10 million for Nightdive, half in cash and half in newly issued Atari stock. There is also the option of paying an additional $10 million in cash over the next three years, contingent on Nightdive achieving future performance targets.

Nightdive was founded by Stephen Kick and his wife Alix in 2012. The firm specializes in obtaining the rights to old video games, updating them and re-release them on modern platforms. To date, the studio has released more than 100 titles, including notable titles such as Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition, Forsaken Remastered, Doom 64, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, and System Shock: Enhanced Edition.

His latest project, a remake of the 1994 classic System Shock, is almost complete. The game is available for pre order for $39.99 ahead of its scheduled launch on May 30, 2023. Interested parties can try the demo to see if it lives up to expectations.

Atari and Nightdive have been working together for a long time. In fact, Atari CEO Wade Rosen already owns 13 percent of Nightdive.

With the acquisition, Atari will have access to Nightdive’s library of custom IPs, as well as its own KEX enginewhich helps make classic games playable on modern hardware. Atari will also be able to use Nightdive’s publishing arm to support its own retro growth strategy.

Last December, Atari announced that it was suspending direct relationships with hardware manufacturers, leading some to speculate that its Atari VCS system may be falling into disuse. Adding fuel to the fire was the reduction in the price of the base system from $199.99 to $159.99.

Looking back at the system, Atari has restored the original price of $199.99, so maybe the console can last a little longer.

Atari board members have already unanimously approved the acquisition and expect it to be completed sometime in April 2023.

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