Atari has partnered with Icelandic developer CCP to publish a boxed retail version of massively multiplayer online PC game EVE Online
The game will be made available in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions beginning in March 2009, with Atari also providing trade marketing services alongside CCP's existing consumer marketing. Previously the game was only available as a direct download.
Originally released in 2003, the game is a space trading title similar in concept to 8-bit classic Elite
. The game has an active subscriber base of almost 250,000, with users able to compete in space battles featuring up to 1,000 spaceships at a time.
The boxed version of EVE Online
will include the game client, 60 days of subscription time, all nine previously released expansions and unspecified "exclusive extras". A series of additional free expansions are intended to be released for the game throughout 2009.
"At Atari we're working to grow our relationships with the world's leading online gaming companies and to use our distribution strength to help grow the category for both consumers and retailers. This relationship with CCP is an example of how we can work commercially and creatively to expand the market," said David Gardner, CEO of Atari.
"I have spent time with the creative and commercial leaders of CCP in Iceland and they have built a world class group of dedicated internet game visionaries. I'm honored that Atari is entrusted with the mission of expanding the CCP universe on earth," he added.
The deal with EVE Online
, follows Atari's recent confirmation
that it would publish The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
and Ghostbusters: The Video Game
- after the two titles were abandoned by Activision Blizzard.