Atari has announced that it is to acquire retro gaming specialist studio Digital Eclipse.
The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming days and totals $20m in value, with $6.5m of that being paid in cash and shares as soon as the acquisition closes.
The remaining $13.5m will be paid in cash over the next decade “based on future performance of Digital Eclipse”.
Atari CEO Wade Rosen says that the deal will allow his studio and Digital Eclipse to “push the boundaries of retro innovation together” and that Atari’s new purchase aligns perfectly with “Atari’s DNA and renewed purpose”.
For his part, Digital Eclipse CEO Andrew Ayre says his studio and Atari “share the same ethos” in terms of game preservation, and that the two studios represent an “exciting combination”.
In an FAQ on the official Digital Eclipse website, the studio goes into some more detail regarding what the Atari acquisition means for future operations.
In short, it sounds like things will generally proceed as normal; Digital Eclipse will “still have the freedom to seek out other projects” outside of Atari, and the Gold Master Series documentaries will also continue to be released unimpeded.
If you’re not familiar with Digital Eclipse, you may well have played some of their games without realizing it.
The studio has worked on retro collections like Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection and The Disney Afternoon Collection, as well as other compilations for studios like Blizzard and SNK.
Atari’s acquisition makes a lot of sense, too, given that Digital Eclipse was the studio responsible for last year’s birthday extravaganza Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration.
This is the second retro studio acquisition Atari has made this year, too; back in May, the legendary company also purchased retro revivalists Nightdive, whose name you might know from projects like the System Shock remake.
It remains to be seen what Atari intends to do with its new acquisition, but it sounds like usual operations won’t be interrupted much. Stay tuned for more.