Archive for February, 2010

Atari Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Legendary Videogame Sensation With the Return of Missile Command(R)

Friday, February 26th, 2010 | Permalink

Atari Inc., one of the world’s most recognized videogame publishers, is bringing back a franchise that helped catapult the company into an international household name with the 30th anniversary edition of Missile Command®. The new version has been updated and reimagined by OMGPOP, operator of the omgpop.com website. Housed in a mini-site dedicated to the game, the remixed Missile Command captures the original iconic DNA of the 1980’s phenomenon, and adds compelling new dimensions and attitude – highlighted by the entirely online multiplayer gameplay, a first for the franchise.

The year was 1980 and all across the planet people had the very real fear that one day the world’s super powers would finally use their nuclear arsenals. Missile Command was in many ways a reaction to those fears. The premise of the game was simple: the player must protect six cities from an ever increasing swarm of ballistic missiles. Control was taken care of by a fast and accurate trackball that was notorious for pinching the skin of players’ fingers. That didn’t seem to affect the public appeal of the game which became an immediate arcade smash hit and one of the biggest sellers of the Atari 2600 system.

Now Atari and OMGPOP have built upon that legacy with this exciting online version. With enhanced features such as power-ups, new enemies, upgrades, and an entirely online multiplayer co-operative gameplay option, the new Missile Command has all the makings of a modern classic.

“Missile Command is a pop culture phenomenon that millions upon millions of fans have enjoyed throughout the years,” says Jim Wilson, President and CEO of Atari, Inc. “The new Missile Command maintains the appeal of the original while bringing it to today’s casual and social game players. It is an example of how Atari’s games portfolio is well positioned for today’s growing online games market.”

“Working with Atari was terrific,” says OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter. “To be able to work on a classic that many of us grew up playing and add the social and multiplayer features was a great way to bring the game to the millions of teens on omgpop.com.”

Missile Command on Atari.com boasts thrilling new gameplay such as:

  • Online Co-op Gameplay – play instantly with up to seven-players in real-time
  • Unlimited Levels – play with increasing challenge as you progress
  • Unique Difficulty Scaling – difficulty scales based on number of players and level progression into the game
  • Power-ups – all new power upgrades help players increase blast radius, missile speed, reload rates, missile supply and more
  • Enemies take on massive waves of enemy missiles, aircrafts and bosses with varying speeds, health, behavior and characteristics
  • Award Systems – Medals awarded to top players in each round and a leaderboard support system  to track players and friends with most medals

Fans who visit www.missilecommand.com can immerse themselves in the game’s heritage by comparing the OMGPOP remix to the original 1980 release, also playable on the site. In addition, to celebrate the game’s place in gaming history, Atari has created a retrospective charting the evolution of the game from its coin-op origins with original cabinet images, box art, screenshots and trivia.

There is also the opportunity to win a rare, refurbished original Missile Command coin-op cabinet from the 1980s. For more information and details on how to enter the sweepstakes please visit www.missilecommand.com.

For more information on the new Missile Command, please visit www.atari.com.

About ATARI, SA

Atari group is a global creator, producer and publisher of interactive entertainment for interactive game platforms that include PC, online, consoles from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony and advanced smart phones (i.e. iPhone).  Divisions of Atari, SA include Cryptic Studios, Eden Studios, Atari Interactive, Inc. and Atari, Inc.

Atari benefits from its global brand and an extensive catalogue of popular games based on classic owned game franchises (Asteroids®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, Lunar Lander®), original owned franchises (Test Drive®, Backyard Sports™, Deer Hunter®), MMO games from Cryptic Studios (Star Trek Online, Champions Online) and third party franchises (Ghostbusters®, Project Runway™, Dungeons and Dragons®).

For more information please visit www.atari.com.

© 2010 Atari Europe SASU. All rights reserved.

Atari word mark and logo are trademarks owned by Atari Interactive, Inc.

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The greatest theme park press release of all time

Friday, February 26th, 2010 | Permalink

Kudos to Disneyland for a press release that spins faster than an amped up Mad Tea Party teacup.

Let’s get straight to the goodness, shall we?

In the spirit of Walt Disney’s renowned ability to create magic, the Disneyland Resort is sprinkling some pixie dust on the calendar and virtually creating an “8th Day” in its operating week in anticipation of high demand for the new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction, which resurfaces June 11 in the Tomorrowland Lagoon. The subs return as part of the ongoing Year of a Million Dreams celebration at the Disneyland Resort.

Starting June 11, the day the subs resurface, guests will be allowed to join the queue until official park closing and the subs will continue their voyages to find Nemo for up to 2 1/2 hours after park closing.

“We’re very excited to bring back the classic subs attraction, which we know will appeal to guests of all ages,” said Ed Grier, President, Disneyland Resort. “In order to meet what we believe will be very high demand, we’re virtually adding an ‘8th day’ to the week.”

Disney’s long had a policy that park closing time means queue closing time. If you are on line when the park closes, you get to go through the queue and ride.

So, decoding the press release, what Disneyland’s really saying is… it expects the Nemo queue to be two and a half hours long… at midnight!

The “eighth day” is really just seventeen extra operating hours added to the Tomorrowland labor budget to handle the crowds without cutting the queue early. Of course, if Disneyland did, it’d just have to extend labor hours for the Main Street Guest Relations desk to handle all the ticked-off guests. 😉

Let me take this opportunity to reiterate Robert’s Rule of Theme Park Visits: Get there before the park opens in the morning!

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Amusement Business: Asian Attractions Expo 2010 Education Program to Focus on Successful, Safe, and Profitable Operations Education Program Runs July 13 – 16

Friday, February 26th, 2010 | Permalink

Asian Attractions Expo (AAE) 2010 will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and boasts an education program focusing on tenets of success within the attractions industry—leadership, safety, operations, and marketing. The Expo, produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), features sessions which will provide opportunities for attendees to learn the latest industry information and best practices from their peers and other industry experts.

“The education program at Asian Attractions Expo will present the core issues of the industry from some of the most successful, safe, and profitable facilities and leaders,” says John Henderson, vice president of education at IAAPA.

Highlights of the four-day program are as follows:

IAAPA Safety Institute: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13, the IAAPA Safety Institute will address issues from both operator and manufacturer perspectives with presentations from industry experts with regional experience. The day’s sessions will focus on continuing safe operations in the attractions industry throughout Asia and safety standards and government regulations for the region. Invited speakers include Greg Hale, chief safety officer at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Jim Seay, president of Premier Rides, and George Ling from the Hong Kong Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. The Safety Institute is free for Expo participants.

Leadership Breakfasts: On Thursday, July 15, Chip Cleary, chairman of the IAAPA Board of Directors and senior vice president of waterpark operations for Palace Entertainment, will address leadership and its role in operating a successful attraction. And on Friday, July 16, Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism, Ng Yen Yen, is invited to speak on tourism in Malaysia and the burgeoning attractions industry’s contribution to the region. Each breakfast costs $25 per person, due upon registration.

Education Seminars: Throughout the week, roundtable discussions and seminars will address increasing the value of live entertainment; developing new marketing concepts to increase revenue; making environmentally friendly and conservation-minded decisions for a facility; and designing an attraction for optimum guest capacity, efficiency, and safety. A behind-the-scenes tour of Sunway Lagoon is planned for Thursday, July 15, and a post-show trip to Genting Highlands Resort is set for Friday, July 16. Both tours will provide unique networking opportunities and insight into how successful Asian attractions are operated. All education sessions are free with Expo registration.Costs for the tours will be available upon registration.

More information on these events and details for registration are available at www.IAAPA.org/expos/asian.

About Asian Attractions Expo 2010

Since 1997, Asian Attractions Expo has been the premier event for the multibillion-dollar leisure and attractions industry in Asia. Organizers anticipate more than 3,000 professionals from amusement and theme parks, waterparks, zoos, aquariums, museums, family entertainment centers, casinos, and resorts will participate in the annual event to develop and purchase new attractions and products for their facilities, see what’s new in the industry, learn best practices, and network with colleagues.

During the event, more than 150 exhibitors from 25 countries will come to Kuala Lumpur to showcase innovative products in more than 100 categories, including amusement and theme park rides; architectural and design services; coin-operated games, skill games, and redemption prizes; theatrical productions; and maintenance services and equipment. AAE is co-hosted by the Malaysian Association of Amusement Themepark & Family Attractions (MAATFA) and the Australian Amusement Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA). More information can be found at www.IAAPA.org/expos/asian.

About IAAPA

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded more than 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,000 facility, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. IAAPA maintains offices in Europe, Latin America, and North America. To learn more, visit www.IAAPA.org.

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