Atari acquires System Shock developer Nightdive Studios

by Danny Craig  · 
Atari acquires System Shock developer Nightdive Studios
Nightdive Studios

Atari has announced its acquisition of the US-based Nightdive Studios, known for getting the rights to abandoned franchises and rebooting or porting them for modern systems.

The details:

  • Atari confirmed in a press release that it has agreed to buy out the studio for $10 million (USD), which will be paid out to shareholders—half in cash and half in Atari shares. The agreement also includes the possibility of an additional payout of up to $10 million over the next three years, depending on Nightdive's overall performance. The entire acquisition process is scheduled to be finished by April 2023. Wade Rosen, Atari's CEO & Chairman, had previously purchased 13% of Nightdive through his company, the Wade J. Rosen Revocable Trust.
  • Nightdive is best known for porting older games to modern consoles, such as the recent re-releases of Doom 64, Turok, and Quake. Back in 2012, the studio acquired the rights to the cult classic System Shock franchise and other assets once owned by the now-defunct Looking Glass Studios, and it is currently working on a remake of the original title, which is set to be released on major platforms in May 2023. With the acquisition, Atari now owns the KEX Engine, which was developed by Nightdive to add modern features to older titles, so we'll likely see more retro games added to the new platforms in the future.
  • Despite the iconic name, the company now known as Atari is separate from the original Atari, Inc., which was later sold to the now-defunct Atari Corporation. In the early 2000s, French developer Infogrames purchased the rights to the Atari name and has since used it for not only the parent company Atari SA, but also its subsidiaries Atari, Inc., and Atari Interactive.

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