Atari today launches Asteroids reboot Asteroids: Outpost on Steam as an Early Access title - and it's threatened to reboot other cult classic Atari games, too.
Asteroids: Outpost is an open world survival sandbox shooter. You play a deep space prospector and have to harvest your fortune while fending off claim jumpers.
It's developed by indie developer Salty Games. There's gameplay in the video below.
Atari COO Todd Shallbetter said Asteroids: Outpost is an example of the company's new strategy of partnering with "young and innovative studios to take a refreshing look at each game from our extensive portfolio".
Shallbetter added other reboots, or "re-births" as he calls them, are on the way.
"Asteroids is the first of a long series of re-births, and we are considering doing the same for our other iconic games such as Warlords, Adventure, Tempest, Missile Command and many more."
The mention of a potential Tempest reboot is sure to catch the attention of that game's community following the recent furore around developer Jeff Minter's claims about Atari and its attempt to block the release of TxK on PC, PlayStation 4 and virtual reality devices.
Earlier this month Minter revealed Atari had blocked the release of his Vita shooter TxK on other platforms, claiming it infringed on its Tempest copyright. According to Minter, Atari also wants TxK removed from sale on the PlayStation Store.
Minter said he had tried and failed to convince Atari to allow him to use official Tempest branding for TxK ports.
TxK is a follow-on from cult Atari Jaguar shooter Tempest 2000, which Minter created in 1994 while working for the old Atari. Tempest 2000 itself was a remake of Dave Theurer's 1981 arcade game classic, Tempest.
TxK, which Minter calls a "distantly related sequel" to Tempest 2000, launched on PlayStation Vita to critical acclaim in February 2014.
Atari responded to Minter's allegations with a carefully-worded statement that stressed the company's right to defend its intellectual property.
Atari values and protects its intellectual property and expects others to respect its copyrights and trademarks. When Llamasoft launched TxK in early 2014, Atari was surprised and dismayed by the very close similarities between TxK and the Tempest franchise. Atari was not alone in noticing the incredible likeness between the titles. Several major gaming outlets also remarked at the similarity of features and overall appearance of TxK to Tempest; one stated of TxK, 'This is essentially Tempest.'
There is no lawsuit. Atari has been in continuous contact with the developer since the game launched in hopes that the matter would be resolved.
Minter has said he's had it with Atari and ready to move on from the episode, so the likelihood of partnering with the company on a Tempest reboot appears slim. Who then, would dare to have a go?