Atari is not the household name it was 40 years ago, but it’s nonetheless one of the most important brands in video game history. And to give us a better understanding of that history than ever before, Atari and developer Digital Eclipse have announced Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, a massive collection of not just Atari video games but also never-before-seen interviews, hardware schematics, internal memos, promotional materials, and many other materials. And it’s all arranged for easy viewing on an interactive timeline. Frankly, it sounds awesome.
Digital Eclipse is one of the premier specialists of game emulation, having worked on technically impressive and robust collections like Blizzard Arcade Collection, SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, Mega Man Legacy Collection, and the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection. Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration feels like the developer’s magnum opus for how much is included in this collection.
Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration Collection Features
- Artifacts: A rich collection of discoverable photos, sketches, early marketing materials, and even classic console schematics are accessed by uncovering relevant points on the interactive Atari timeline, all of which put Atari’s library of games in historical context.
- Video Games by Era: Explore the Atari timeline and unlock games across decades as you learn the background of each, including their inception and the talented individuals behind the projects on six platforms: Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Atari ST, Atari Jaguar, and Atari Lynx.
- Bonus Games: Unlocked through completing challenges and uncovering certain Artifacts, bonus games include dozens of newly finished “never-completed” or unreleased games from the 1980s, experimental new versions of classic titles, and mash-ups that marry beloved early-era titles into a single, fluid experience.
- Expert Insight Through Storytelling: The collection is outfitted with a handful of various never-before-seen interviews with Atari leadership, past and present, as well as other prolific names in the games industry; complemented, of course, by the video game developers who helped raise Atari to become an industry icon.
- Reimagined and Revisited: The team at Digital Eclipse created five new games for the collection that reimagine some of the most beloved Atari classics or play on classic game themes, including Haunted House, Neo Breakout, Yars’ Revenge, Vctr Sctr, and the infamously never-finished Airworld.
The Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration collection will launch in November 2022 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store, retailing for $39.99. Personally, this is the most interested I’ve been in Atari since… well, whenever the last time I played Pole Position was.