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Atari will acquire long-running US developer Digital Eclipse in a deal worth $20 million.
Founded in 1992, Digital Eclipse is best know from remastering retro games with releases such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, the Disney Classic Games Collection and the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection.
The studio has already worked with Atari on the acclaimed Atari 50: The Anniversary Collection.
The acquisition is expected to close in the next few days. Atari is paying an initial consideration of $6.5 million, of which $4 million is cash and $2.5 million is newly issued ordinary shares, with potential performance-based earn-outs of up to $13.5 million payable in cash over the next ten years.
In an FAQ on its own website, Digital Eclipse said it will “still have the freedom to seek out projects with other parties.” The studio has various unannounced projects in the works that aren’t based on Atari IP, and these will “carry on as planned.”
The developer also said it plans to continue its Gold Master Series project, a range of video game documentaries about key retro titles, which began earlier this year with The Making of Karateka.
The Digital Eclipse Arcade series will also continue, as well work on the remaster of Wizardry: Providing Grounds of the Mad Overlord. In fact, the studio said the latter will benefit from Atari’s ownership as the team has “cooked up some lofty goals for this project, and this acquisition might make it a little easier for us to reach them.”
Anyone who has invested in the company via Fig will be unaffected, with the dividends schedule unchanged and all Fig funds still used on development of Digital Eclipse’s various projects.
“Atari and Digital Eclipse share the same ethos when it comes to [the] celebration and preservation of gaming history,” said Digital Eclipse CEO Andrew Ayre. “It’s an exciting combination, and I am confident this will serve Digital Eclipse and our fans extremely well as we grow our business and expand our capabilities.”
The acquisition follows Atari’s purchase of Nightdive Studios for $10 million and retro community AtariAge earlier this year.
“Digital Eclipse is the best in the world at what they do,” said Atari CEO and chairman Wade Rosen. “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.”