Atari remains one of the most perplexing brands in gaming, a shell of its former self, shuffled around between buyers for years, yet still trying to stay relevant by any means necessary.
Their latest plan? Hop on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. Yes, you heard that correctly, Atari is launching its own cryptocurrency called the “Atari Token,” and while I have to give them props for the name, everything else about this seems rather out there. Here’s Atari CEO Fred Chesnais speaking about the idea in a press release:
“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. 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. Our objective is to take strategic positions with a limited cash risk, in order to optimize the assets and the Atari brand.”
I think the key words there are “the Atari brand,” as like a similar push into cryptocurrency from Kodak a few months ago, this seems like a way to attach a well-known name to a popular trend in order to generate interest and perhaps boost the fortunes of a fading company. But the crypto market is still so all over the place, it could actually work. Like any company that starts talking crypto, Atari stock has jumped 60% since the news broke.
We don’t know all the details of this plan yet, but it seems more than a little likely that Atari as a company will have little to do with the day to day of dealing with the currency, but rather will mostly be lending its name to the idea while someone else runs it. There’s also a weird addendum about a phase of this project which will link Atari Token and a second currency, Pong Token, to casino gaming sites. Atari was able to escape financial turmoil a few years back by making casino games, so perhaps this links into that:
“The second project in progress is the strengthening of the partnership with Pariplay, Ltd in the launch in 2018 of casino platforms allowing players to bet either in real money or with most crypto-currencies currently outstanding. These casino sites will offer many Atari games. To broaden the appeal of these new casinos, and once the Atari Token available, Atari has the project to launch Pong Token, a second Token dedicated to crypto-asinos and usable on these gaming sites. The details of this launch of crypto-casinos will be announced soon.”
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