Atari set to acquire The Making of Karateka studio, Digital Eclipse

Digital Eclipse has become known for its retro re-releases over the last few years.
The Making of Karateka digital eclipse atari

Atari has entered into a USD $6.5 million agreement to acquire Digital Eclipse, the studio most known for its retro, history-focussed games and re-releases, like interactive meta-documentary The Making of Karateka, and Atari’s own Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, which included a museum-style exploration of the company’s most prominent games.

While starting life as a video game developer, producing console and handheld games such as Spyro 2: Season of Flame, Spyro: Attack of the Rhynocs, and Spider-Man for the Game Boy Advance (all fantastic adaptations, we should note), the company soon transitioned to focus on retro titles. Since 2015, Digital Eclipse has re-released a number of iconic games in ‘legacy’ style collections, with Mega Man, Street Fighter, SNK, and even the Disney Afternoon classics getting the Digital Eclipse treatment.

Once Atari’s agreement is completed – “in the coming days” – Digital Eclipse’s prowess in restoring classic and retro games will be brought in-house, likely to aid in the restoration of Atari’s vast games library. Per an FAQ, Digital Eclipse will still have scope and “freedom to seek out projects with other parties” and no existing projects will be impacted by the acquisition.

Read: ‘The Making of Karateka’ is the gold standard for games preservation – Review

Digital Eclipse leadership appears confident in this partnership, and that it will allow the company to grow, while continuing its mission to preserve the most important video games of the last few decades.

“Atari and Digital Eclipse share the same ethos when it comes to celebration and preservation of gaming history,” Andrew Ayre, CEO of Digital Eclipse said in a press release. “It’s an exciting combination, and I am confident this will serve Digital Eclipse and our fans extremely well as we grow our business and expand our capabilities.”

Wade Rosen, chairman and CEO of Atari shared similar hope for the future, praising Digital Eclipse’s work in preservation. “Digital Eclipse is the best in the world at what they do. They have a deep love and respect for the history of the games industry, and are renowned for developing critically acclaimed projects based on historic franchises …  I’m personally excited to see where we can push the boundaries of retro innovation together.”

Notably, Digital Eclipse is the second major retro-focussed studio acquired by Atari in 2023. It also acquired Nightdive Studios (System Shock) earlier in the year, with the aim to leverage its expertise in retro remasters and re-releases.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.