The fallen ex-giant of video games is stepping up plans to keep his head above water and get back on track.
Atari has just announced the upcoming launch of a collection of NFT, non-fungible digital works protected by blockchain. A concept that has been on the rise for several weeks, and even months. For fans of the former video game giant, this is an opportunity to treat themselves to digital collectibles featuring two video game monuments; Centipede and Pong.
And they are not alone, NBA sponsored NFT’s have also launched since last year.
But this is not Atari’s only new project. The group, which became French in 2003, also plans to build several hotels and open a new kind of online casino. It should also be noted that Atari has already recently entered the cryptocurrency market by offering its own currency, Atari Token.
A relic of the golden age of video games
Launched in the 1970s in the United States, Atari is considered a pioneer and founder of the video game industry. It has made a name for itself in particular for its arcade terminals and home consoles, but also for its video games that have become cult; Pong, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, etc.
Unfortunately, as video games became more and more popular, the competition became fiercer and Atari failed to cope with the arrival of consoles from Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft, losing little. little of its splendor.
The American company, which passed under the French flag following its takeover by Infogrames in 2003, has tried on several occasions to return to the forefront of the video game scene, notably with a mini version of the Atari 2600 and more recently the Atari VCS., a “modern” and hybrid console, half console, half PC, which does not seem to match the PS5 and the Xbox Series.
But over the years, Atari has also tried to diversify its activities to go up the slope. The company has indeed multiplied the projects, but it has mainly relied on its most popular licenses to stay afloat.
Today, Atari no longer seems to want to focus solely on the video game industry. This is why the French group is multiplying unusual projects with all the same, as a backdrop, the world of video games.
At the beginning of March 2021, the French group Atari unveiled its plan to build several hotels, notably in Dubai, Spain, and Gibraltar, in partnership with the German holding company ICICB. A project that will ultimately be larger than expected since it is now a question of hotels in several countries in Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
The particularity of these hotels is that they will be designed to immerse customers in the world of video games. We can therefore imagine that the decoration will honor the manufacturer’s various consoles and the large Atari licenses. The hotels will also have Atari play areas where guests can obviously play the cult Atari licenses on the manufacturer’s consoles.
Another big Atari project is cryptocurrency. Last October, the French group indeed entered the digital currency market with Atari Token. A cryptocurrency a bit particularly since it is intended only to be used “in the areas of activity of the group: cryptocurrency casinos, video games or blockchain games”. For Atari CEO Frédéric Chesnais, cryptocurrencies are the future. “I firmly believe in blockchain, I think this technology is here for good,” he said.
Shortly after its rather successful launch into the digital currency market, Atari announced the opening of a “crypto-casino” on Decentraland, an interactive and open-source virtual reality platform based on the Ethereum cryptocurrency. The principle of the crypto-casino is obviously the same as a traditional casino. Cryptoassets – people with a virtual currency wallet – can gamble their money in virtual casinos without having to convert their dollars or euros.
But Atari’s launch into the crypto-entertainment market will not be limited to casinos. “Atari is about to move the gaming experience to the blockchain,” said CEO Frédéric Chesnais. The Atari casino will actually offer several online games reminiscent of the most legendary creations of the company. Players will then be able to earn Atari NFTs, but also MANAs – native tokens of Decentraland that allow the acquisition of LANDs, plots of land on the platform – as well as Atari Tokens.
However, it will take a couple of weeks before you can venture into Atari’s virtual casino. The launch date of the latter is expected to be announced sometime in April.
Finally, Atari announced that it will launch a collection of NFT, digital works protected by the blockchain. This Atari Capsule will consist of several digital objects bearing the image of Pong and Centipede which will be auctioned from March 30 to April 2. Some collectibles will also be associated with physical items, which should motivate retro gaming enthusiasts to participate in the auction.
Fans of Atari and lovers of retro-gaming games will be able to bid to acquire several digital works inspired by Centipede, but also a physical Centipede kiosk of original restored and functional accompanied by a limited Centipede digital kiosk bearing the digital autograph. by Dona Bailey, the creator of the video game Centipede.
The auction will also include a virtual Pong kiosk with the digital autograph of Al Alcorn – the creator of Pong -, 2D pixel art files from Pong and other similar items.
It’s hard to imagine that Atari could really go up the hill by betting on cryptocurrency and NFTs. However, its title exploded on the stock market with each of these announcements. The Atari Capsule Collection could also be a big hit. Retro gaming is still very popular today, and although it is in digital form, Centipede and Pong collectibles should easily find buyers.
In any case, one thing is certain, Atari has not said its last word, and it’s back in full force !