Fresh out of bankruptcy court last December, Atari and its classic games Asteroids and Centipede are back and coming to a smartphone near you. Well, the names and images of those games, at least.
Atari is entering the world of social casino gaming, the video game company announced on Wednesday, in a new product appropriately called Atari Casino. (Not to be confused with the classic 1978 Atari game Casino.) The game, which will appear online, on mobile devices, and on Facebook, comes out of a partnership with video game company FlowPlay. That's the first partnership Atari has signed since going through bankruptcy court in 2013.
Though it will be branded with Atari's most memorable games, Atari Casino will be a straightforward gambling game of poker, slots, and blackjack. It will be very similar to FlowPlay's Vegas World or Slots Social Casino games, but will feature visual themes taken straight from famed Atari games. Arizona Sen. John McCain, for one, will be happy with the news; the former presidential candidate was spotted playing poker on his phone at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
This new direction for the company is statement on both Atari (the company is relying on the nostalgia for its decades-old hits to survive) and the current state of online gaming (mobile, casino-style gaming is where the money is.) Atari has struggled to recapture the glory of their 1980s heyday, but even though they have failed to keep up in the world of Xbox and Playstations, those old classics still remain valuable properties to reach the aging veterans of console combat.
But if all you actually want is to play those old Atari games and not their new incarnations, the Atari Casino likely won't satiate that deep burning need. Instead, try the Internet Archive Console Living Room, a collection of free downloadable old video games that's particularly fond of Atari's greatest classics. Oh, and you can play the anti-classic of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, too.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.