One of the most well-known gaming companies from the '80s is starting to invest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Atari is known for publishing video game classics like Pong and Asteroids, as well as more recent titles like Rollercoaster Tycoon and the first Witcher game.
Atari is the latest in what appears to be the making of a trend of old companies past their prime looking for a reboot in the cryptocurrency markets.
The game publisher has announced plans to launch a pair of Bitcoin competitors—the Atari Token and the Pong Token. Details are light, but it appears the Atari Token is meant to be used with digital gaming platforms, while the Pong Token will be used in online casinos. Atari says details of those crypto-casinos will be announced soon.
“Blockchain technology is poised to take a very important place in our environment and to transform, if not revolutionize, the current economic ecosystem, especially in the areas of the video game industry and online transactions,” said Frédéric Chesnais, CEO of Atari in a statement. “Given our technological strengths with the development studios, and the global reputation of the Atari brand, we have the opportunity to position ourselves attractively in this sector.”
Atari should expect that regulators will be closely monitoring its token sale/issuance, as the company doesn’t want to run into similar roadblocks that slowed fellow icon Eastman Kodak’s token plans.
Atari aren’t directly developing the platform themselves, instead acquiring a stake in Infinity Networks Ltd. to create the Atari Token, in return for licensing out the use of their brand.
Atari has changed hands numerous times since it was launched by Nolan Bushnell in 1972. It’s currently based in France. The company has had its name in the headlines a number of times recently—announcing a new console and a hat with built-in bluetooth speakers.
Atari’s crypto-push seems like another drive to pave a new path into profitability for the retro gaming company. However, Atari seem to be continually trading on their old-school popularity to get by, and surely that’s a precious commodity that won’t be able to carry Atari forever without new and popular products.