In depressing “there is no way this is ever going to work” news, Atari has announced their plans to reboot the arcade classic Asteroids and turn it into an open-world survival MMO for the PC.
Atari has been sullying its reputation for a fair few years now, with the once-famed company having last made an appearance in the industry by attaching their name to the utterly dire Haunted House: Cryptic Graves. Now they’re attempting to dip their feet into uncharted waters with Asteroids: Outpost, a “bold re-imagining of the world-renowned 1979 arcade shooter puts players in the role of a deep space miner, as they struggle for survival in the asteroid belt.”
Discussing the upcoming release, which is set to be developed by Salty Games (I have no idea who they are, either), Atari’s CEO Fred Chesnais said in a press release: “Asteroids is one of the most iconic titles in Atari’s portfolio of more than 200 games and franchises, and we’re looking forward to ushering the game into today’s digital gaming era. We’re paying homage to the original Asteroids by incorporating classic features such as asteroid blasting capabilities, while introducing a completely new premise and gameplay. Asteroids: Outpost will appeal to both fans of the classic Asteroids as well as enthusiasts of immersive survival games and expansive MMOs.”
I fail to see how this could possibly appeal to fans of the 1979 arcade classic considering its completely different concept, though from Atari’s pitch it seems very much like they’re going for a “DayZ in space” vibe, tasking players with collecting resources, scavenging for ore and making alliances with other players or, as is most typically the case in DayZ, shooting them down in order to steal their precious loot.
A concerning piece of information about the game, as highlighted by Kotaku, is that developer Salty Games is being supported with “technical and infrastructure support from Arktos Entertainment Group.” For those who can’t remember Arktos, they acquired a majority stake in Hammerpoint Games back in late 2012, with Hammerpoint being the team behind The War Z. The War Z‘s launch was one of the most disastrous in history, with Hammerpoint even having to change the name of the game to distance itself from the mess. That doesn’t exactly imbue me with hope for Asteroid: Outpost‘s future.