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'Missile Command' Celebrates 30th Anniversary With Free-to-Play Multiplayer Game

by Rainier on Feb. 25, 2010 @ 8:20 a.m. PST

Atari 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 with enhanced features such as powerups, new enemies, upgrades, and an entirely online multiplayer co-operative gameplay option

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. Missile Command is free to play and available at the official website, Atari's Missile Command website and through OMGPOP.

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 powerups, 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 leader board support system  to track players and friends with most medals

Fans who visit the official website 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.

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