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Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!


jon_cybernet
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4 hours ago, deKay said:

So the email (from “Emilly Antstream”, really?) says Jack the Ripper is new on the service. So how does a text adventure work with joypad controls?

With a virtual keyboard.

Not the ideal way to play it obviously. But it's a core part of our offering that any game can be played on keyboard, gamepad and touchscreen. 

I'll post up a picture of Emily at some point. She's very cute. 

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1 minute ago, Anne Summers said:

So we have a 7-day free trial available now, if anyone is interested. You need to put card details in (like most free trials) and you can get it by signing up at our website. 

 

I wish this was on the Switch (I know it'll never happen) because I'd certainly give it a go.

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2 minutes ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

I wish this was on the Switch (I know it'll never happen) because I'd certainly give it a go.

 

It's on the Xbox One and the Atari VCS vapourware console, so why not? Rainway was "definitely" coming to the Switch too, and Nintendo were "very positive" about it. Oh, until they said no.

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5 hours ago, Anne Summers said:

So we have a 7-day free trial available now, if anyone is interested. You need to put card details in (like most free trials) and you can get it by signing up at our website. 

Just give me a one month code I can buy For £10 with no automatic renewal . I don’t want the onus to be on me to cancel . ( or to be exposed to the issues @Fletch describes)

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25 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

Just give me a one month code I can buy For £10 with no automatic renewal . I don’t want the onus to be on me to cancel . ( or to be exposed to the issues @Fletch describes)

It isn't anything to do with me or my department but I know we've also just (or are very soon) launching "gift card" memberships which I think work the way you describe. No reason you couldn't buy one as a gift for yourself!

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1 minute ago, Anne Summers said:

It isn't anything to do with me or my department but I know we've also just (or are very soon) launching "gift card" memberships which I think work the way you describe. No reason you couldn't buy one as a gift for yourself!

That would be perfect :)

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22 minutes ago, Dudley said:

Because streaming atari games on a £250 machine is so much better than a real VCS or for that matter any of the 6 or 7 official Flashback consoles that run the games locally.

 

"Atari" don't own the licence to most Atari games, but via Antstream, you can still play Atari games on your "Atari". Except of course, that you can't because the "Atari" console doesn't exist.

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On 12/04/2020 at 15:44, deKay said:

 

"Atari" don't own the licence to most Atari games, but via Antstream, you can still play Atari games on your "Atari". Except of course, that you can't because the "Atari" console doesn't exist.

This is a bit of a misconception.

"Atari" do actually own most of the popular Atari arcade games (Asteroids, Pong, Missile Command, Tempest, Crystal Castles, Centipede). What it doesn't own are a lot of games that people think of as Atari games (perhaps they were popular on Atari consoles?) but which aren't actually Atari games - like Joust and Defender. 

 

There are also the slightly later games like Paperboy and Gauntlet, that were originally owned by Atari and are now owned by Warner. (You also can't play these on Antstream/ the new Atari console, because they don't have the rights to them, either). 

 

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6 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

This is a bit of a misconception.

"Atari" do actually own most of the popular Atari arcade games (Asteroids, Pong, Missile Command, Tempest, Crystal Castles, Centipede). What it doesn't own are a lot of games that people think of as Atari games (perhaps they were popular on Atari consoles?) but which aren't actually Atari games - like Joust and Defender. 

 

There are also the slightly later games like Paperboy and Gauntlet, that were originally owned by Atari and are now owned by Warner. (You also can't play these on Antstream/ the new Atari console, because they don't have the rights to them, either). 

 

 

 

Yeah, I know. I posted this:

 

 

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Yes, it's quite complicated. When Warner Bros bought "Atari" in the early 80s, it then sold off the Atari consumer division to Jack Tramiel but kept the arcade division, known as "Atari Games". In 1985 Warner sold off it's controlling interest in Atari Games to Namco, but in 1987 Namco sold it back to Warner Bros. Warner also owned Midway, which is why you find "Atari Games" arcade games on Midway retro collections, like Midway Arcade Treasures which has Paperboy, Gauntlet, APB etc as they were all made by Atari Games, not "Atari", so are owned by Midway/Warner.

 

It also explains why it's the same handful of Atari arcade games that turn up on these Atari branded retro compilations, it's all the Atari developed arcade games pre 1985, but I guess the ones that don't have licenses like the Star Wars games. 

 

You can see the list of available arcade games here: https://www.arcade-museum.com/manuf_detail.php?manuf_id=1277&orig_game_id=8715&sort=3 to be blunt, there isn't a massive amount of memorable games in there and even then some of the games like Pole Position and Xevious were licensed from Namco for sale in the US. It's the confusing thing when you think of the many, great arcade games Atari made, but most of them were made by Atari Games, which was a separate company from Atari!

 

They do have the IP for original console games developed by Atari, but it's going to Atari 2600, 5200, 7800 Jaguar and Lynx - but not the arcade conversions post 1985.

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14 minutes ago, gone fishin' said:

Yes, it's quite complicated. When Warner Bros bought "Atari" in the early 80s, it then sold off the Atari consumer division to Jack Tramiel but kept the arcade division, known as "Atari Games". In 1985 Warner sold off it's controlling interest in Atari Games to Namco, but in 1987 Namco sold it back to Warner Bros. Warner also owned Midway, which is why you find "Atari Games" arcade games on Midway retro collections, like Midway Arcade Treasures which has Paperboy, Gauntlet, APB etc as they were all made by Atari Games, not "Atari", so are owned by Midway/Warner.

 

It also explains why it's the same handful of Atari arcade games that turn up on these Atari branded retro compilations, it's all the Atari developed arcade games pre 1985, but I guess the ones that don't have licenses like the Star Wars games. 

 

You can see the list of available arcade games here: https://www.arcade-museum.com/manuf_detail.php?manuf_id=1277&orig_game_id=8715&sort=3 to be blunt, there isn't a massive amount of memorable games in there and even then some of the games like Pole Position and Xevious were licensed from Namco for sale in the US. It's the confusing thing when you think of the many, great arcade games Atari made, but most of them were made by Atari Games, which was a separate company from Atari!

 

They do have the IP for original console games developed by Atari, but it's going to Atari 2600, 5200, 7800 Jaguar and Lynx - but not the arcade conversions post 1985.

They also own the rights to a bunch of Atari 400/800 stuff as well as (even more surprisingly to me) some ST stuff. 

Still, it's not as weird/interesting as how they also seem to have ended up with the rights to a lot of UK-produced Ocean games (via their previous incarnation as Infogrames I think) - although much of that has been sold on. 
Despite having worked for a company whose business model is built on sorting out these tangled licensing arrangements for three years, it's still all as clear as mud to me!

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

They also own the rights to a bunch of Atari 400/800 stuff as well as (even more surprisingly to me) some ST stuff. 

Still, it's not as weird/interesting as how they also seem to have ended up with the rights to a lot of UK-produced Ocean games (via their previous incarnation as Infogrames I think) - although much of that has been sold on. 
Despite having worked for a company whose business model is built on sorting out these tangled licensing arrangements for three years, it's still all as clear as mud to me!

 

 

 

It's the Infogrames history that causes a problem with other IPs they think they might own. Infogrames bought a load of game companies in the 1990s as part of a growth by acquisition campaign (which I guess was popular in the 90s, like Eidos merging US Gold, Domark etc). Infogrames bought  - Ocean, Gremlin Graphics, Accolade, Microprose, Beam Software, GT Interactive which then meant they owned Reflections, Humungous Games and others. 

 

But now you've got "Atari" , essentially the rebranded Infogrames, which also seem to think they own the IP to the games that those publishers developed and now selling them on to the likes of Piko Interactive. But then you start seeing issues like Way of the Exploding Fist being bought up by Piko, yet that IP is probably owned by whoever owns Titus, because Titus bought Mastertronic who had bought Melbourne House, the original publisher of Way of the Exploding Fist. Beam developed the game (and were really Melbourne House) but because Piko bought the rights to the unreleased NES version of Way of the Exploding Fist, developed by Beam, do Atari own it or does whoever owns Titus own the actual IP "Way of the Exploding Fist" name/brand?

 

I guess it's now in the days when there's not much documentation as to who owns the IP, but as there's more money to be made I'd imagine this will all be contested again. An example is Jon Ritman said he still has a contract stating he's allowed royalties from Head over Heels when Piko bought the IP from "Atari", but he had to bring it up on the atari age forum as a reply to Piko launching the Jaguar version of Head over Heels, when Piko's first reaction was that they owned the rights lock, stock and barrel.

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10 minutes ago, gone fishin' said:

 

It's the Infogrames history that causes a problem with other IPs they think they might own. Infogrames bought a load of game companies in the 1990s as part of a growth by acquisition campaign (which I guess was popular in the 90s, like Eidos merging US Gold, Domark etc). Infogrames bought  - Ocean, Gremlin Graphics, Accolade, Microprose, Beam Software, GT Interactive which then meant they owned Reflections, Humungous Games and others. 

 

But now you've got "Atari" , essentially the rebranded Infogrames, which also seem to think they own the IP to the games that those publishers developed and now selling them on to the likes of Piko Interactive. But then you start seeing issues like Way of the Exploding Fist being bought up by Piko, yet that IP is probably owned by whoever owns Titus, because Titus bought Mastertronic who had bought Melbourne House, the original publisher of Way of the Exploding Fist. Beam developed the game (and were really Melbourne House) but because Piko bought the rights to the unreleased NES version of Way of the Exploding Fist, developed by Beam, do Atari own it or does whoever owns Titus own the actual IP "Way of the Exploding Fist" name/brand?

 

I guess it's now in the days when there's not much documentation as to who owns the IP, but as there's more money to be made I'd imagine this will all be contested again. An example is Jon Ritman said he still has a contract stating he's allowed royalties from Head over Heels when Piko bought the IP from "Atari", but he had to bring it up on the atari age forum as a reply to Piko launching the Jaguar version of Head over Heels, when Piko's first reaction was that they owned the rights lock, stock and barrel.

It actually gets a bit more complex and convuloted than that ... Although I don't know all the ins-and-outs (although I know a few men who probably do) - for example I have it on good authority that whoever bought Mastertronic only bought the name and not the rights to the individual IPs - which actually seem to have been allowed to lapse. Which is why you haven't seen most of the Mastertronic games getting any sort of re-release. Which is why, although he may be a bit of a grumpy old git, I like Pickford's (can't actually remember which one it was...) Idea of the original creators taking back their old IP. I don't think there is anyone who could legitimately argue against them doing so. ("I am not a lawyer" etc). 

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Freemium - https://mailchi.mp/antstream/antstream-arcade-now-play-for-free-7870252?e=68ac9dc0b9

 

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Thousands of officially licensed retro games, tournaments and challenges NOW FREE TO PLAY !

Antstream Arcade has gone freemium. That means you can play your favorite retro games, challenge your friends, and climb the tournament leaderboards - all for free (with ads)!

 

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