In the first interview following last night’s breaking news that Atari would be acquiring Nightdive Studios, Nightdive’s director of Business Development sat down and spoke to us about how this will effect the future of the retro-remaster studio. In short, it shouldn’t impact the output of the studio at all.
“Part of the raison d’etre behind the deal was that Atari’s vision for Nightdive is: ‘we want you guys to keep on doing what you have been doing, only do more of it.’
“So it should not be unexpected or surprising to anyone, but a lot of the deals that happen in the gaming industry are based on personal relationships, right? We have known Wade Rosen, the relatively new CEO of Atari, for a number of years. Wade is the only external investor in Nightdive Studios.”
“We have worked with Wade but we also know him on a personal basis and that was a lot of the impetus of finding a like mind. But [someone] that also had a complimentary skill set that would allow us to really extend our vision and mission.”
On the topic of whether this would affect the games Nightdive could work on in the future. Kuperman insisted this wasn’t the case: “No, and some of our external relationships have been fully disclosed publicly as great relationships. Like our time working with Bethesda! That’s something that we anticipate will continue going on into the future and, you know, perhaps doing more of it.”
While Kuperman ensured that the the Atari deal would not lead to a shift in strategy, nor a change in the kinds of games Nightdive would release, he did state that the deal may open up channels the studio has not been able to explore. He’d continue by pointing to Nightdive’s history, initally starting on PC before partnering with Xbox for console releases, later expanding to Nintendo Switch and Playstation. He’d also point out: “I don’t think people necessarily know this, but quite a bit of our business comes from the Playstation side of things”
As for the 50 / 50 split between cash and Atari stocks being the price for the Nightdive Acquisition, Kuperman stated this was sought after by both sides. “One of the reasons why the stock portion of it was so important is that we are invested – in every sense of the word invested – in the future growth of Atari. This means the success of Atari will be beneficial to us, and vice versa for sure.”
Finally, why now? With System Shock on the horizon and numerious eyes on the studio’s immediate future, go through this massive business venture? Well, as it turns out, is specifically because System Shock is nearly done that this deal was able to happen.
“System shock is something that has occupied so much of our focus.”
“But until we’d reached this point where the end goal is in sight for us, we just did not have the resources to look at this kind of deal. First of all, if people have never been through an acquisition, and especially by a publicly traded company, they don’t realise the complexity involved in it. I don’t want to say that I’ve had to give them blood samples, but pretty close. (laughs). They certainly have done their due diligence and are aware that, you know, they’re no skeletons in this closet. But you know, it really is draining and it really is all consuming.”