Over 40 years later, video game consolidation puts a definitive end to an early console war

It’s taken over 40 years, but an early console war finally seems to have entirely fizzled out as the last embers have been completely extinguished following Atari purchasing the Intellivision brand from Intellivision Entertainment LLC with rights to over 200 titles and the Intellivision trademarks. The two brands previously butted heads in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but that’s all just history now.

According to the announcement, Atari intends to expand the physical and digital distribution of Intellivision games in addition to brand and licensing opportunities. Additionally, there is apparently the possibility of entirely new games, though it’s unclear what, exactly, that might look like.

Atari-owned studio Digital Eclipse, for example, is known for crafting incredible collections of emulated older games that are often part arcade, part museum. Doing something similar to, say, Atari 50 but for Intellivision seems like an obvious next step, and it feels telling that the first quote in the press release announcing Atari’s new purchase is from Mike Mika, Digital Eclipse studio head.

We acquired the Intellivision brand and game library. 👏”This was a very rare opportunity to unite former competitors and bring together fans of the golden age of gaming.” – Wade RosenThe former Intellivision will rebrand and continue distribution of the Amico console. pic.twitter.com/jncWwKq3GoMay 23, 2024

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“Uniting Atari and Intellivision after 45 years ends the longest-running console war in history,” said Mika, which is a perfectly fine and accurate statement but also somewhat unusual as the first quote in the announcement unless Digital Eclipse has something cooking. I’ll refrain from speculating any further, but it certainly would be compelling to see the team take a crack at the newly acquired library.

Intellivision Entertainment LLC, for its part, will rebrand and continue work on the Amico game console under license from Atari to distribute Intellivision games on it. That is assuming it ever releases. The Intellivision Amico, which seems like it will simply be Amico in the future, was first announced in 2018 and hasn’t exactly had a smooth time in development. In November 2023, the company behind it essentially said it couldn’t afford to produce the physical consoles at the time.

“Atari has been a valuable partner and we have every confidence they will be a responsible steward of the storied Intellivision brand,” said Phil Adam, CEO of Intellivision Entertainment. “We look forward to our expanded collaboration and bringing a broad array of new Atari and Intellivision titles to the Amico and Amico Home family gaming platforms.”

If you’re not already familiar with Intellivision and the purchase has you curious, you could always check out our list of the best Intellivision games.

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