Atari has been an iconic name in video games for decades, getting its start in the late ’70s with the Atari 2600 and producing several classics over the past few years. Now, on the heels of its PC release Atari Vault (which celebrates its classic arcade legacy), the company is taking a unique step into the world of music.
The publisher has announced today in a press release that it has entered an agreement with producer and rapper RZA, who is also a member of the famed Wu-Tang Clan. Together, they’ll work to compose and record an album that celebrates the historic legacy of the company, featuring sounds and music from several Atari games.
Considering how much RZA is a fan of video games, this partnership seems like a logical step, and it allows him to show his appreciation for the brand. “I’m so excited to work on these iconic games to deliver what I believe will be one of my best albums,” he said in a press statement. “I am going to invite some of my friends to join me and it will be Game On with the first beat!”
In addition, Atari and RZA will look into various multimedia projects based on the company’s intellectual properties, with the album taking precedence.
“We are thrilled to partner with RZA, one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time,” said Atari’s CEO, Fred Chesnais. “RZA is a multi-talented artist and soundtrack virtuoso and we cannot wait to hear the new tracks he creates based on Atari’s iconic video game sounds and music.”
Atari’s Fred Chesnais and Stephen Belafonte are serving as executive producers.
Atari’s deal with RZA comes at just the right time, as more media companies are showing appreciation for the “retro” gaming scene. Last year, Sony Pictures released Pixels, an Adam Sandler comedy featuring nods to old-school favorites such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. Recently, a Tetris film was announced in China with a release set for sometime next year, and Pac-Man made a return to mobile gaming with Pac-Man 256, an endless runner game created by Crossy Road developer Hipster Whale.
RZA’s Atari album is expected to go into production over the next few months, and might give Kanye West’s rumored Turbo-Grafx 16 album a run for its money.