Microsoft launches free Atari Arcade for browser

Microsoft launches free Atari Arcade for browser
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

August 30th 2012 at 2:01PM

Games portal scalable to tablet devices and open to third-party developers

Microsoft is bringing Atari’s 40-year library of games to browser and tablets with the newly launched Atari Arcade.

Compatible with Internet Explorer, HTML5 versions of eight games will be available to play for free on the site.

These include Asteroids, Combat, Centipede, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Pong, Super Breakout and Yar’s Revenge.

The games have been slightly redesigned for modern hardware and are all compatible with touch-screen, and can be scaled to various sized tablet devices and PCs. It is not optimised for smartphones however.

Pong can be played by dragging the player’s bar, Missile Command uses mutli-touch whilst other games use a button press UI. Users can also keep track of their high scores and how many times they have played a game.

More titles will be released on the games portal over the next few months, and third party developers are being encouraged to bring their games to the site.

Developers will be able to earn revenue on the website through in-app purchases, although what revenue cut Atari would take was not disclosed.

Games can be developed for the site through an open source JavaScript library, built by Canadian studio Grant Skinner – whose owner shares the same name.

As well as being compatible with Internet Explorer, Atari Arcade can also be accessed via Chrome and Firefox, but these browsers will include ads on the sites as well as small video trailers when a game is accessed for the first time during each session.

Microsoft told Develop the website had been designed to “showcase what the new internet explorer was capable of”, and that the site had not been designed to be a multi-million dollar business.

Update: The Atari Arcade site is now working, you can check it out here.