Last Updated on March 17, 2023
News of 12 classic arcade properties indicates that more old-time Atari games could be heading for re-release soon.
A dozen retro titles have been acquired from Stern Electronics, including Berzerk and Frenzy, classics from the arcade era that were ported to the Atari 2600 in the early 1980s. While other games are included, only these two titles have been named.
The acquisition enables Atari to expand digital and physical distribution of the games, develop new games based on them, and opens brand and merchandising opportunities.
In 1980, Alan McNeil designed Berzerk, a multidirectional shooter game that features a top-down perspective. Released for arcades, it has since been ranked among the “Top 100 Video Games” on various lists. Berzerk gained widespread recognition for being one of the earliest arcade games to incorporate speech synthesis technology, and its iconic antagonist, Evil Otto, also contributed to its fame.
Berzerk and Frenzy
Berzerk involves players maneuvering through a series of rooms filled with armed robots and avoiding electrified walls in a maze-like setting. The objective is to escape the maze without getting caught by the game’s villain, Otto. The game was subsequently adapted for the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 by Atari.
Frenzy, meanwhile, is a 1982 arcade game sequel to Berzerk. In Frenzy, players control a character named “Otto,” who is the villain from the original Berzerk game. The objective of the game is to shoot and destroy various objects, including robots and walls, while avoiding obstacles and enemies that appear on the screen. Like its predecessor, Frenzy features speech synthesis technology that adds to the game’s atmosphere.
Atari CEO Wade Rosen: “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.”
Further details on re-releases and other merchandise will no doubt be issued in due course.