Digital Eclipse, the 31-year-old game developer and publisher that recently released both the interactive documentary The Making of Karateka and a modern remake of Wizardry, has agreed to be acquired by Atari for $6.5 million, according to today’s press release.
Prior to the release of the Karateka documentary, Digital Eclipse released Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, an interactive museum of 103 Atari games. As Digital Eclipse editorial director Chris Kohler detailed in the latest issue of Juiced.GS, the tight deadline to release that product in time for Atari’s 50th birthday in 2022 required that they temporarily shelve the Karateka documentary they were already developing.
Critics deemed the resulting compilation a success:
With Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, Digital Eclipse has set a new bar for future historical compilations in video games.Jason Fanelli, Game Informer
Digital Eclipse continues to outdo themselves with these classic compilations each time. This one sets a bar though that will be nigh impossible to outdo.Ken McKown, ZTGD
As an interactive timeline and a virtual exhibit, Atari 50 is unparalleled. No other historical collection comes close to how awesome this is as a context-rich story.Neal Monaghan, NintendoWorld
Atari itself must’ve been similarly pleased, as evidenced by this acquisition. But Digital Eclipse indicates that it will continue working on non-Atari products:
While we’re certainly happy to have greater access to Atari’s fantastic library, we still have the freedom to seek out projects with other parties. In addition to recent releases like Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord and The Making of Karateka, Digital Eclipse has a lot of unannounced projects in the works that do not involve Atari’s IP, and those will carry on as planned. The future is wide open, and we believe partnering with Atari will bring about even more opportunities.Digital Eclipse & Atari: The FAQ
The Atari brand has passed through many owners through the years. The current iteration of Atari was originally known as Infogrames, a French game publisher who, in 2001, purchased Hasbro Interactive, which itself had bought Atari’s assets in 1998.