As the industry continues to grow, there is a growing desire to revisit gaming’s past. By this point, we are all familiar with developers looking to incorporate elements of games gone by into new entries. Nintendo is even getting in on the action lately with releases of their own miniature compilations of games from the NES and SNES, respectively. If there is one company that has been already embracing this passion for classics, though, it would simply have to be AtGames. They are far from strangers to releasing new versions of the SEGA Genesis and Atari 2600, after all. As they get set to release their latest versions this month, marketing coordinator of AtGames Ray Attiyat has gotten to discuss with me how they will be approaching the scene this year.
Ryan Silberman: How confident are you with the retro gaming scene as of late?
Ray Attiyat: We are extremely confident in the scene. We have been humbled to see a major player such as Nintendo join the retro market that we have been in for over a decade now.
What do you think sparks this idea to revisit classics from decades past?
A classic game is a classic for a reason. There’s a timeless quality about it. In this age of massive multimedia video game productions that require a significant time investment just to learn the controls, it’s refreshing to play a classic game that’s almost instantly intuitive.
With SEGA releasing Sonic Mania and Nintendo releasing the NES and SNES Classic Editions, do you think companies like these are realizing how important retro gaming is?
We believe that retro gaming has almost always been important. There’s always been a drive for many gamers to relive the best games of their youth.
Have you taken note of efforts made by indie developers to make brand new games for consoles like the Genesis/Mega Drive and Atari 2600? What is your opinion on that practice?
We think it is great that people are still passionate enough to make and support games for these systems! It’s a testament to how great they were when they were the current generation. In fact, we even feature some great indie and homebrew content on our Sega and Atari products.
How do you plan to clasp the popularity of retro gaming with this year’s Atari and SEGA releases? What do those new offerings have that the previous consoles don’t?
The Sega Genesis Flashback and Atari Flashback 8 are the latest additions to our retro gaming line. Both consoles include 720p HDMI output, 2.4g wireless controllers, save/pause/rewind functions for all games, and original wired controller support. The Sega unit comes with 85 games built in as well as a cartridge slot to play original Sega Genesis/Megadrive games. The Atari console comes with 120 built in games.
Are there challenges you face regarding adding new features to systems that boast classic titles?
We try to mimic much of the look and feel of the original systems and controllers, but do make considerations for modern technology and the tastes of today’s consumers. The challenge is balancing modern features and original features. For instance, our Sega Genesis Flashback console comes standard with 2.4ghz wireless controllers, but still remains compatible with the original Sega Genesis controllers. Original cartridge support is also available on the Sega Genesis Flashback
Is there anything more you expect to learn after releasing the consoles to the public?
We are very interested in learning how well received all of the fan suggested changes that we have implemented into this years line.
If you were to have a superpower, what would it be?
Definitely always being able to plug in your USB cord the proper way on the first try.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the new SEGA Genesis and Atari Flashback consoles this month! We will be sure to see if they are as intriguing as they sound to be.