Hasbro is set to start a retro gaming trend following its acquisition of the rights for 75 Atari games from hard disk drive developer JTS for $5 million.
The children's manufacturer has experienced success in the games market with family orientated titles such as Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. The first game to be released from the portfolio of retro titles will be Centipede. Other classics destined to reappear on the high street will include Missile Command, Breakout, Pong and Asteroids.
Mary Miller, UK marketing director for Hasbro, revealed that the games would appear in both PC and PlayStation format. 'The main reason was that we launched Frogger in November last year, and it has now sold nearly one million. We realised that this retro thing could be big, so we went for it,' said Miller.
However, Ian Hawkins, customer services manager at Electronic Arts, felt the classics may not stand up to the test of time: 'I remember playing a text-based adventure game on the ZX81, which was great at the time, but it could wither in the shadow of new games. People may buy it and play it once for nostalgia. Good luck to it though, it has seen a niche in the market,' he said.
Hasbro also acquired the rights for Atari hardware, but stated that it had no plans at present to develop an Atari console.
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