Atari, best known for "the 1980s", is not only still going, but it has a new CEO – Frederic Chesnais. And he's hinting that the company are considering releasing new hardware, but it isn't what you think it might be….
Asteroids is coming to a big screen near you. That’s no lie. The classic Atari title, originally released 30 years ago, is being made into a movie.
I’m expecting it to be quite intense viewing – plenty of complicated dialogue, elaborate plot twists and some Oscar-worthy performances from its cast.
Or maybe it will stay faithful to the original game and will simply be two-hours of a triangle-based spaceship blowing up some square-ish looking asteroids with little or no plot at all. Maybe they could even shoot it in black and white for added authenticity.
Universal has apparently signed up Matthew Lopez to write the script for the film which will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
It sounds like a winner. No honestly. Although it will have a hard job dislodging Super Mario Bros as the best ever movie adaptation of a game. Bob Hoskins as Mario – genius.
Get yourself in the mood for the movie with a quick blast on the original game:
This cannot be real. Please let it not be real. Oh god… it is real. It appears that someone’s created a ring that fits over an erect penis allowing you to move it in four directions to control an Atari 2600 like a joystick. An optional secondary ring lets you stroke the shaft to simulate button presses.
Thankfully it’s not commercially on sale, but full instructions to make your own are provided on SF Medialabs’ website, including a guide on how to remove the shaft from the original joystick and replace it with a tissue dispenser. Handy.
Following the news the other week that some pensioners had been accused of downloading pirated games, Atari has abandoned its ‘sue-your-own-customers’ strategy, developed in conjunction with trigger-happy lawyers Davenport-Lyons.
Although the company maintains that it will “always retain and reserve the right to protect our intellectual property from illegal copying and piracy”, this is a positive step from a company realising that the only thing it’s actually getting out of the campaign of intimidation is bad press.
Will other companies follow? Codemasters is the biggest games publisher still associated with the troubled law firm. With any luck, it will wake up too, and realise that bringing legal action against its customers is far more trouble that it’s worth. There are many other options for making money with games.
I’m off to go buy some Atari games.
Poor Gill and Ken Murdoch. They’re aged 54 and 66 respectively, and they’ve never played a computer game in their lives. Imagine their shock when they opened a letter from law firm Davenport-Lyons that accused them of downloading an Atari game called Race 07, at 3am on November 26, 2007.
The letter demanded immediate compensation of £500 plus £25 costs, with the threat that that figure could rise into the thousands if legal action began against the couple. Over to Ken:
“A Swiss investigator had identified us as the downloader of this software at 2.59am on November 26, 2007. At 10am that day, I was at a government conference. The thought of me being up at 3am was ludicrous – and there are no kids in our house. The whole thing’s been a nightmare. We have never even played computer games.”
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