The iconic video game publisher Atari has announced that it will acquire Nightdive Studios Inc., the developer behind the System Shock remake. The acquisition is anticipated to be finalized by April of this year.
According to Atari, the purpose of the acquisition is to expand its collection of intellectual properties, take advantage of Nightdive Studios’ unique technology and use its publishing capabilities to support Atari’s retro-focused growth strategy.
Yahoo Finance reported that the acquisition would involve an initial payment of $10 million and an earn-out of up to $10 million that will be paid in cash over the next three years, based on Nightdive’s future performance.
This is a big win for our team! As we look to continue producing high-quality, new, and remastered games that do justice to the original IP; we could think of no better long-term partner than @atari https://t.co/icK4zbQBe2
— Nightdive Studios (@NightdiveStudio) March 23, 2023
Per Yahoo, Nightdive has revealed its revenue for December 2022 to be approximately $3 million. Most of the shares, which account for about 87 percent, are owned by the company’s founders. Wade Rosen, who serves as the CEO and chairman of Atari, holds the remaining 13 percent minority stake.
“Night Dive’s proven expertise and successful track record in commercializing retro IP is well-aligned with Atari’s strategy,” Rosen said. He insisted that the collaboration of Nightdive’s talent, technology and IP portfolio would be crucial to Atari’s future success.
Atari’s acquisition of Nightdive Studios will grant the former complete ownership of the latter’s game collection and access to its exclusive KEX Engine technology, enabling retro games to be played on modern machines.
The CEO of Nightdive, Stephen Kick, took to Twitter to announce the news, voicing his joy in teaming up with Atari to revive beloved games. The Nightdive official account also shared the news, referring to the acquisition as a “big win” for the studio.
After the news was circulated on Twitter, fans have been giving mixed reactions, with several questioning the impact of this acquisition on Nightdive’s games updates, such as the Blood: Fresh Supply. The CEO replied jokingly, “I sold Nightdive just so we could patch Blood.”
I sold Nightdive just so we could patch Blood 😉
— Stephen Kick 🎮 GDC (@pripyatbeast) March 23, 2023
Former Sony Online Entertainment artists Stephen and Alix Kick founded Nightdive in 2012. The company’s inception happened when Stephen purchased a vintage copy of System Shock 2, only to discover that the 1999 game was incompatible with his computer. This realization prompted them to create a company that updates and makes classic games available to modern-day gamers.
Nightdive has been updating classic games and rendering them playable on modern systems with improved resolutions and frame rates since its establishment.
The studio has recently released several remastered versions of older titles, such as Turok Dinosaur Hunter, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, Forsaken Remastered, Doom 64, Quake, Shadow Man Remastered, PowerSlave Exhumed and System Shock: Enhanced Edition.
The company is working on remastering System Shock 2, Rise of the Triad and SiN, with plans to release updated versions of these games.
We're now enabled to resurrect games that we only dreamed of before, thank you!
— Stephen Kick 🎮 GDC (@pripyatbeast) March 23, 2023
Atari’s 50th anniversary
Nightdive’s acquisition is one of Atari’s recent attempts to revive its brand. The company is primarily recognized for its early contributions to the gaming industry, particularly the Atari 2600 — one of the first home gaming consoles to achieve significant commercial success in the U.S.
Atari recently marked its 50th anniversary and celebrated the occasion by launching several releases, such as a limited edition Atari 50th Anniversary box set that includes ten collectible cartridges of Atari 2,600 games. It also launched Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, which features over 90 games and functions as a digital museum, tracing the company’s history.
In addition, Atari released a unique NFT collection to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The company collaborated with the famous artist Butcher Billy, renowned for his work in Black Mirror, Universal Music, Marvel, Stranger Things and more. The collection comprises 2,600 NFTs. The Atari X collection features fifteen unique original artworks by the artist.
RIP Nightdive. RIP my dreams.
I was really looking forward to that System Shock remake too, but this is a gigantic nail in System Shock's coffin. The franchise is dead and we won't see the remake.
As a kickstarter backer, I feel a deep sense of dread. https://t.co/2wc8mY8jlX
— The Toblin (@TheToblin) March 23, 2023
Along with the 50th anniversary NFT collection, Atari is venturing into the Web3 space with the X project. The company has committed to creating a series of major blockchain-based initiatives. It is confident that blockchain technology will continue to expand and play a much more prominent role in its portfolio.
Operated from New York and Paris offices, Atari has over 200 distinctive games and franchises, including widely recognized titles like Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Pong and RollerCoaster Tycoon.