Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration receives expansion

52, technically, but who’s counting?

Pure Nintendo rated Atari 50: the Anniversary Celebration a 9/10 upon its release back in 2022, stating, “Whether you’re looking for a nostalgic kick, curious to check out rare titles, or looking to bone up on games of a bygone era, Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration has you covered.” It will soon cover you even more with two new times and 39 additional games.

This significant expansion will come with a new name when it’s released for Switch and other consoles on October 25th: Atari 50: the Anniversary Celebration Expanded Edition. It will also come with a Steelbook physical version that will include Atari 2600 art cards, miniature arcade marquee signs, and an Al Alcorn Replica Syzygy Co. business card.

The two timelines of new content are:

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.

The First 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.

Ah, perfect; the first signs of Intellivision love from Atari’s acquisition of the Intellivision brand. Those M Network games were never nearly as good as their Intellivision counterparts, but what a joy to see them get another moment in the spotlight.

Oh, and no worries if you already own Atari 50: the Anniversary Celebration; these two new timelines and games will be offered to owners of the original Atari 50 release as DLC later this year.

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