Last month, publisher Atari decided to rummage through its library of games – it’s a big one – and resurrect a couple of them. The result is two remakes: Alone in the Dark and Haunted House. A new Roller Coaster Tycoon is in the works as well, and hopefully one that’s more appealing than the mobile game they recently released.
But Atari isn’t done. The publisher continues to rifle through its back catalogue, looking for old games that could be brought back to life with new technology. Like the Million Dollar Man. Though presumably they will cost a lot more than that to create.
“In having this great catalog of over 220 IPs, it affords us a lot of challenges and benefits,” Atari’s COO told Polygon. “The challenge side is what do you select? What is it that we really want to put resources behind and really blow out for this fan base that is clamoring for these new things? On the other side, you have the benefit of having that back catalog to choose from.
“[At Atari], we all have our favorites that we’ve had ideations on. What would this look like leveraging new technologies, new delivery methods, and what makes sense from an artistic, creative and also commercial perspective?”
Obviously this leveraging of new technology and delivery methods doesn’t always prove to be good for the player. In the case of the new Roller Coaster Tycoon, the mobile one, it means shoehorned social features and lots of microtransactions. That’s not how anyone wants to remember the classic management sim.
With Alone in the Dark: Illumination, we’ll have to wait and see if the new ideas actually make for a better game. Co-op, for instance, is a bit tricky for horror games. It can work – though this is rarely the case. Sometimes the addition of another player destroys any sense of vulnerability or horror. But done right, it can create unnerving situations, where you see a friend taken out by something unseen and wonder if you’re next.
Are there any classic games you’re hoping Atari will bring back?