Tempest 4000
Image: Atari/Llamasoft

For the last few decades, Jeff Minter's name has been closely associated with Dave Theurer's classic arcade game Tempest, ever since the cult UK developer released Tempest 2000 on the Atari Jaguar in 1994.

Minter's returned to the well a few times for inspiration, such as on 2000's Tempest 3000 for the Nuon, the original PlayStation Vita title TxK from 2014, and most recently Tempest 4000, available across multiple platforms. However, speaking to Time Extension, he says he finally feels he has accomplished all he wanted with his own twists on the formula. Well, almost! According to the developer, he's done with any more "new Tempest", but would love to see have a chance to add VR to Tempest 4000 — something he tells us already exists.

Minter told Time Extension in a recent interview:

"I think the only thing I would maybe like to do with it before I move on, though I don’t think we’ll ever have the chance, is to do the VR version of Tempest 4000, which is basically pretty much always existed anyway.

"We did a VR version for TxK, which is what evolved into Tempest 4000, and Atari had us take that out. I would quite like them to say, ‘Hey, you know, put that back in.’ Not alter the game in any other way, just put the VR stuff back in, because Tempest works really well in VR, you’d be surprised. It’s really nice to play in VR. It looks great. And the bits where the web shatters and you zoom through space, it’s fantastic stuff. It would be really nice to put that in.

"Apart from that, I don’t want to do any more new Tempest, I’m all Tempested out, I think. I’d rather have a romp through other stuff in Atari’s back catalogue if I’m going to do more Atari stuff. Maybe let somebody else have a go on a future version of Tempest, and see what they do with it. They may come up with something completely different to me. Tony Crowther did his own sort of tube shooter thing, didn’t he? He did N20. Maybe give him a crack at it."

From having played one of Llamasoft's other games, 2017's Polybius, in VR, we'd love to see Minter get a chance to reintroduce the feature into Tempest 4000, but we'd also just as equally enjoy seeing the veteran developer take on other classic Atari properties, such is the case with the upcoming Akka Arrh.

Atari, however, seems resistant to allowing the VR version of Tempest 4000 to be made more widely available, despite the small studio's pleading over the years. Instead, the large video game company seems more focused on its metaverse efforts, something Minter unsurprisingly wants nothing to do with.

Would you like to see Tempest 4000 in VR? Let us know! Better yet, let Atari know!