After 25 Years Away, Atari Is Returning To Arcades With Its "Recharged" Series 1
Image: Atari

Video game veteran Atari is partnering with video game studio and coin-op manufacturer Alan-1, Inc. (yes, that's a reference to Tron, you nerd) to bring its "Recharged" series to arcades, bringing the company back into the location-based entertainment arena after a 25-year absence.

"Alan-1 has been selected by Atari to create new arcade games cabinets for their Recharged games," says a press release issued today. "This collaboration marks a significant step forward in enriching the location-based arcade experience by the company that created the most endearing coin-operated video games in the world."

"The Recharged Series has reintroduced some of Atari’s most recognized and celebrated titles to new generations of players,” adds Ethan Zoubek, President of Atari. "We are excited to be working with a leader in the arcade space to bring these games to an even wider audience."

This partnership will comprise "at least ten" full-sized Recharged arcade game cabinets over the next three years, all powered by Alan-1’s 'Video Arcade System' technology. "It features modern interactive mechanical effects inspired by virtual pinball technology–including pinball knockers, shaker motors, blower fans, etc. These additional features will interact with the player's in-game experiences," continues the PR. The first cab is expected to be released in Q3 of this year.

Alan-1 has previously made a cab for its own title, Avian Knights, which you can see below.

VAS is looking to be a little more advanced than the cabinets that allowed Atari to conquer the market back in the '70s and '80s:

The VAS will also include a ticket redemption system based on scores as well as a robust high score tournament league system– Major League eSports™ (MLeS). This technology will include iPhone/Android notifications, which will invite players to periodically return to the location where the Atari/Alan-1 game was played and beat the high score. The combination of modern day LBE ticket redemption expectations, along with eSports League innovations, is an industry first. Alan-1’s Major League eSports™ and Video Arcade System™ technology helps arcade operators drive more revenue, increase profitability, and makes playing games on a dedicated game cabinet more fun!

Atari's coin-op story began with the iconic Pong, which hit the market in 1972. Over the next decade or so, the company would release some of the most commercially successful arcade titles of all time, including Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, Tempest and Missile Command.

When Atari, Inc. was purchased by Sam Tramiel and rebranded as Atari Corp in 1984, the arcade side of the business was retained by Warner and became Atari Games. It would continue to produce coin-op hits, such as Paperboy, Gauntlet and Rampart, but would become less of a force as the 1990s progressed, releasing critical duds like Primal Rage and Mace: The Dark Age. 1999 was the final year that Atari had any meaningful presence in amusement arcades, with War: Final Assault, Road Burners and San Francisco Rush 2049 being its last three releases.

The Recharged series kicked off in 2020 and is made up of revivals of classic Atari games. The series currently includes Berzerk: Recharged, Quantum: Recharged, Caverns of Mars: Recharged, Asteroids: Recharged, Centipede: Recharged, Black Widow: Recharged, Breakout: Recharged, Gravitar: Recharged, Missile Command: Recharged and Yars: Recharged.