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Atari reveals Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration Expanded Edition

Remember Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration? Well, the celebrated compilation is coming back around in Expanded form.

We’re moving back and forth, through time

Maybe mainly moving back though time with this one, but you get the picture, as 2022’s Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration was a look back at some of the publisher’s biggest hits and greatest moments. More than just a compilation, the game was a kind of interactive museum tour of Atari’s history, and pretty easily one of the best representatives of the genre in a long time.

Fans of the game know well that it’s been updated pretty solidly since its original launch, but it’s about to get a full second release, with Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration Expanded Edition. Why a relaunch? Because there’s quite a bit of new content, including two new “timelines” and a whopping 39 games.

  • The Wider World of Atari timeline, which includes 19 playable games and eight video segments, takes a series of deep dives into stories from Atari history, showing how Atari continued to influence creators and fans over the decades.  New interviews, vintage ads, historical artifacts, and more have all been researched and presented with Digital Eclipse’s signature style. Highlights from the new timeline include a deep dive into Stern Electronics’ robot-blasting Berzerk; unusual and underappreciated innovations and hidden gems from the late 1980s; a spotlight on the artist Evelyn Seto, who helped create the iconic “Fuji” Atari logo; Pong creator Al Alcorn explaining the birth of Breakout; and an exploration of the fan base’s role in discovering unreleased prototypes, creating “homebrew” games, and preserving Atari history.
  • TheFirst Console War timeline, which includes 20 playable games and half-dozen video segments, tells the story of the first major console war in the gaming industry between the Atari 2600 and Mattel’s Intellivision. The team at Digital Eclipse curates an exploration of the rivalry, including Mattel’s quixotic decision to create games for the competing Atari 2600. Highlights include a selection of M Network games, including some fan-favorites; a mix of Atari and M Network sports games, and some rare Atari 2600 and 5200 prototypes. New interview features include former Intellivision game director Don Daglow, M Network programmer Jane Terjung, Activision’s David Crane and Garry Kitchen, homebrew programmer Dennis Debro, and historians Leonard Herman and Mike Mika.

Atari press release

Which way will you go?

If you already own the original, then you can rest assured that all of the above will be delivered as DLC for you to grab some time “later this year”. Those who want the full “Extended Edition” experience however, can grab a digital copy for modern Xbox and PlayStation consoles, the PC, and the Switch on October 25th, 2024.

Physically, the game will launch day and date with that digital version, but will only be made available for the PS5 and Switch. If you have the latter system too, you might want to grab a copy of the Switch’s special Steelbook release.

The box there will be nicely stocked, coming packed with mini-arcade marquees, a replica of Al Alcorn’s business card, a set of art cards, and a steelbook to store it all in. Not too shabby, and pretty sharp for $49.99 USD ($39.99 USD for the standard).

Should make for a nice autumn for Atari diehards.

About Jason Micciche

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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