- Atari has acquired the Berzerk IP and its 1982 sequel Frenzy, among ten other titles from Stern Electronics.
- In its official statement, the company said it would expand the game’s distribution and explore merchandising opportunities while creating new games.
- CEO Wade Rosen also mentioned how the arcade game fits the company’s strategy.
One of gaming’s most iconic brands, Atari, has purchased the rights to the classic arcade game Berzerk. Stern previously owned this IP and created it way back in 1980. Atari has also bought the rights to the arcade game’s sequel Frenzy, which came out in 1982. Moreover, the company has acquired ten other arcade games from Stern.
Berzerk, the classic arcade game from the 80s, found a new home at Atari!
With its iconic sound effects and challenging gameplay, this game is a true gem of the arcade era and we're proud to preserve it for the next generation.https://t.co/a6FvITjUeg pic.twitter.com/6gXvO8Pc7t
— Atari (@atari) March 17, 2023
In its official statement, Atari said it would work to expand the digital and physical distribution of these newly acquired games. Furthermore, it will explore merchandising opportunities for these IPs and also create new games based on Berzerk. Atari CEO Wade Rosen also talked about the importance of the retro arcade game. He said:
Berzerk is one of those foundational games that so many people first encountered playing on an Atari console. Berzerk, and the other titles included in this acquisition, are a perfect fit for our strategy of commercializing classic retro IP.”
Berzerk is one of the most renowned arcade games of all time. It was among the first arcade games to use speech synthesis, which is the artificial production of human speech. Alan McNeil created this top-down arcade shooter and also released home console ports for Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and Vectrex. The title’s legacy is one of the greatest in gaming history, and it made Flux magazine’s 1995 list of the “Top 100 Video Games.”
Evil Otto, the game’s antagonist, also holds a significant place in video game pop culture. He is hailed by many as one of the greatest villains in gaming history. Berzerk is popular for being highly challenging, and Evil Otto was a big reason for that. IGN ranked him as the 78th greatest villain of all time in its “Top 100 Video game Villains” list.
Many 80’s children will remember the Atari home console as the epitome of gaming at that time. Atari 2600 sold 30 million units by the end of its lifetime and popularise home console gaming as a whole. Nowadays, Atari puts emphasis on expanding games outside their original medium with merchandising. It delved into cryptocurrency back in 2020 and called it Atari Token and also launched a new home console.
Besides that, the company is working to build Atari-themed hotels, with the first ones opening outside the US. Hence, it’s safe to say that the company is trying to expand its portfolio.
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