Hasbro Interactive to relaunch Atari computer games

Hasbro Interactive, the toy manufacturer’s software arm, is relaunching the Atari range of computer games with a &£2m pan-European advertising campaign.

The company’s acquisition of the Atari brand in 1998 gave it the rights to more than 75 games. Successful titles such as Centipede, Missile Command, Pong and Breakout – last seen in the mid-Eighties – will be resurrected across all game formats.

But Hasbro Interactive says it has no plans to relaunch the Atari console, although it could license the brand to a hardware developer.

Advertising agency Griffin Bacal, which handles the advertising for Hasbro’s toys and games range, will be responsible for the TV, press and outdoor advertising, as well as media planning and buying for Atari.

The first wave of updated Atari games will be launched in October, aimed at children aged eight to 15, as well as casual gamers of all ages looking for a quick fix.

Atari brand manager Harvey Eagle says: “The appeal of Atari games is that they are instantly accessible and rewarding.

“Hasbro Interactive is already a strong PC-led publisher. This will give it some presence in the console market.”

The one-time Warner-owned Atari console and accompanying software stopped selling in 1985. It was overtaken by companies such as Nintendo and Sony, which were marketed more aggressively.

The Atari range will be sold alongside Hasbro Interactive’s existing games for PCs, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 consoles.

Hasbro Interactive has recently enjoyed commercial success with updated versions of two classic arcade games, Pong and Frogger.

The company hopes the same addictive arcade style gameplay will appeal to a new audience of console gamers.

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