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Atari is acquiring retro game specialists Nightdive Studios

Atari is acquiring retro game specialists Nightdive Studios


Atari plans to use the studio’s technology and publishing expertise to ‘enhance and improve’ games from its substantial back catalog.

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A first-person shooter screenshot of a hand holding a gun in a corridor filled with orange lights and particle effects.
A screenshot from Nightdive’s upcoming System Shock remake.
Image: Nightdive Studios

Atari has announced that it’s buying Nightdive Studios, the developer behind several remasters of classic games like Quake and Doom 64 as well as the upcoming System Shock remake. In a press release, Atari said it plans to use the acquisition to “enrich its large library of owned IP... leverage Night Dive’s proprietary technology, and utilize Night Dive’s publishing capabilities to support Atari’s retro-focused growth strategy.”

The acquisition comes just months after Atari released one of its most complete retro game collections to date, called Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, and it seems to hope Nightdive will help with similar remasters in the future. Its press release specifically calls out the studio’s proprietary Kex engine, which not only makes older games playable on modern systems but also allows the studio to “enhance and improve upon” the original titles.

“Night Dive’s proven expertise and successful track record in commercializing retro IP is well-aligned with Atari’s strategy and I am confident that their combined talent, technology and IP portfolio will contribute to Atari’s future success,” said Atari CEO Wade Rosen, who already owns a 13 percent stake in Nightdive.

Atari 50 was a fantastic release, filled not just with commercially released games but also unreleased prototypes, documentaries, and magazine articles. But the classic game company’s other recent big bet, the Atari VCS console, was less well received. The machine reportedly had a difficult development, faced multiple delays, and eventually released to middling reviews.

Atari is paying $10 million for Nightdive Studios, half in cash and half in Atari shares. It expects the acquisition to complete in April, the month before the release of the studio’s long-awaited System Shock remake on May 30th on PC. A console release on PlayStation and Xbox is coming at a later date.