The lights are on
Today Atari and restaurant chain Denny’s announced a partnership to bring back classic Atari arcade games, with new twists inspired by Denny’s “Greatest Hits Remixed” menu. This partnership is the latest step in a larger corporate comeback strategy for Atari, in which the iconic video game publishing company hopes to branch out into several branches of digital entertainment.
The Denny’s “Greatest Hits Remixed” menu features some of the diner’s all-time most popular dishes revamped with modern flavors. In keeping with this idea, Atari’s arcade games will also be remixed with new Denny’s-themed elements.
Three Atari arcade titles are being remixed: Asteroids will now be called “Hashteroids”, and the asteroids and spaceship have been replaced by hash browns and a ketchup bottle, respectively. Centipede, has been renamed “Centipup”, for Denny’s pancakes. Finally, Breakout will be called “Take Out.”
The updated classic games are being re-released as part of Denny’s “Build Your Own” customizable mobile app. The app is available for free now on iOS and Android.
Recently Atari announced its strategy to become more relevant in digital entertainment, both by re-launching nostalgic game titles like these and by capitalizing on other markets including digital gambling and video content on Youtube. This partnership with Denny’s is Atari’s latest attempt to make their beloved games more widely accessible on various platforms.
While this marketing strategy may seem bizarre, it comes at a pretty good time for Atari, as the company recently re-entered public consciousness after a certain urban legend about a landfill turned out to be true.
Our TakeWhile at first this seems like depressing information—a venerable, established game company like Atari turning its classic games into advertisements—there is a bright side. There’s a reason Asteroids, Centipede, and Breakout are considered classics: they’re all fun. Having the opportunity to play them (for free, no less) on mobile devices is by no means a bad thing. Atari and Denny’s deserve at least some credit for making it happen, even if shooting falling hash browns with a ketchup bottle sounds pretty silly.
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