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Japanese talent takes Atari into 2009

Tekken 6 and brand new project from Q Entertainment head up publisher's 2009 portfolio

Atari has signed two of Japan's biggest talents for 2009, with the latest in the Tekken franchise and a brand new project from Q Entertainment's Tetsuya Mizuguchi due from the reinvigorated publisher.

During the company's Atari Live event held in London, Mizuguchi took to the stage to reveal his latest music game, currently known as QJ, which he hopes will offer a new experience on Wii using the console's unique controller.

Atari is also repackaging all three of Mizuguchi's XBLA titles - Rez HD, Every Extend Extra Extreme and Lumines Live - for a retail release, priced "very aggressively," according to Atari CEO David Gardner, at EUR 20.

The Tekken 6 announcement came from former Sony studio boss Phil Harrison, now president of Atari, who mentioned seeing the first Tekken way back in the days of the original PlayStation, adding that he was pleased that the latest title would be multiformat, for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Lead designer Katsuhiro Harada took to the stage to introduce an exclusive trailer for Tekken 6, noting the series has sold over 33 million units worldwide, and pointing out that the European market for the fighting franchise has grown considerably since the release of Tekken 5. The title is due for release in Autumn 2009.

Other projects from the company include retail releases for online episodic series Sam and Max, and the previously announced partnership with CCP to bring EVE Online back to retail after six successful years online.

Atari will also be publishing Gas Powered Games' Demigod in European and PAL regions and bringing three other Namco Bandai titles to Europe during the first quarter of 2009 – Eternal Sonata for PS3, Family Ski & Snowboard for the Wii and Afro Samurai, based on the cult cartoon series, for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Following rumours earlier in the week, Atari is also working with CD Projeckt on a console game based on PC hit The Witcher, due for release on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Harrison also introduced a trailer for The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, developed by Starbreeze, a team he said he had been keen to work with since he saw the original Riddick title while working for Sony.

And working with fighting specialists Aki Corp, there will also be a new release in the Ready 2 Rumble series, Ready 2 Rumble Revolution for the Wii, a series that has already generated USD 100m worth of business according to Harrison.

The company said that in the longer term, beyond 2009, it plans to return to some of its famous franchises such as Neverwinter Nights, Test Drive Unlimited, Dungeons & Dragons and Baldur's Gate although no solid details were given.

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Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.