Atari has acquired the Intellivision brand, ending the first ever console war

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Atari has acquired the Intellivision brand, effectively ending the first console rivalry dating back to the 1970s.

Atari announced today that it had acquired the Intellivision brand and certain games from Intellivision Entertainment LLC, which has been working on the Amico console for a number of years.

The deal will not, however, include the Amico. Instead, Intellivision Entertainment LLC will continue as a separate, rebranded company, and will continue working on the Amico, using a licence from Atari to release Intellivision games on it.

The Intellivision (‘intelligent television’) console was released by Mattel in 1979 and was responsible for starting the first ever video game console war, going head-to-head against the Atari VCS (later renamed the Atari 2600). Now that both brands are under the same company, the rivalry is essentially over.

“Uniting Atari and Intellivision after 45 years ends the longest-running console war in history,” said Mike Mika, studio head at Atari-owned Digital Eclipse.

Atari CEO and chairman Wade Rosen added: “This was a very rare opportunity to unite former competitors and bring together fans of Atari, Intellivision and the golden age of gaming.”

The acquisition means Atari now owns the rights to more than 200 titles from Intellivision’s portfolio, as well as the Intellivision branding and trademarks.

The company has already started taking advantage of its acquisition by adding Intellivision-branded items to the Atari online store.

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Intellivision Entertainment CEO Phil Adam said: “Atari has been a valuable partner and we have every confidence they will be a responsible steward of the storied Intellivision brand.

“We look forward to our expanded collaboration and bringing a broad array of new Atari and Intellivision titles to the Amico and Amico Home family gaming platforms.”

The Amico system was originally due to launch in October 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic pushed this back to April 2021, then again to fall 2021.

The company even started selling eight of its boxed launch games in October 2021, despite the console not yet having a release date.

Recently Intellivision released Amico Home, an attempt to bring the Amico console experience to mobiles, without having to release the hardware. Amico Home is available on Android with an iOS version to follow.

However, according to today’s news, the company – which will now rebrand following Atari’s acquisition of the Intellivision name – claims the Amico console is still “currently under development”.

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