44 years later, Atari's making a new Lunar Lander game

Whisper it, but decent things are once more happening at Atari. OK OK, it's got a bizarre interest in the blockchain (though hardly alone in that) and dreams up hotels that will never exist, but under the stewardship of CEO Wade Rosen the onetime colossus is gradually remembering it used to be more than a t-shirt logo: the recent 50th anniversary collection the perfect illustration of why.

A theme of Rosen's tenure has been returning to the back catalogue, either for remasters or in some cases new versions, and now here we are with the announcement of a new game based on an arcade cabinet from 1979. Lunar Lander was Atari's first vector graphics game and came from a decade-old lineage of early sims all about, well, landing on the moon. That's the whole game: you have to manoeuvre a craft to land safely on inhospitable terrain before you run out of fuel.

Atari's tapped up the studio Dreams Uncorporated to develop the successor to this, and the game's going to be called Lunar Lander: Beyond and will, per the press release, add "simulation and a deep narrative to the recipe along with precision gravity flier mechanics."

If deep narrative has you slightly worried, you're not alone. You play as the captain of the Pegasus Corporation and manage a crew plus the landers: "Brace yourself as you soar through the cosmos, delivering crucial cargo, extracting valuable resources, and conducting daring rescues across a celestial tapestry of enigmatic moons and captivating planets."

Celestial tapestry! "Dreams Uncorporated has a unique vision that transforms Lunar Lander into a game with a meaningful back story and deep, modern gameplay," said Atari CEO Wade Rosen. The Colombian studio's best-known for 2021's Cris Tales, a pretty beautiful JRPG-style adventure. The new Lunar Lander will launch in early 2024.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."