Atari Announces New Blockchain Bureau

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Atari is undoubtedly one of the most iconic brands in gaming, but blockchain? Some may raise their eyebrows at this notion, but it is full steam ahead for Atari’s new blockchain division.

Atari Splits Into Gaming and Blockchain Divisions

Following the news that Atari is launching its own crypto casino in Decentraland, the gaming company has announced that it will split in two. One arm will concentrate on gaming, while the other will be lead by current CEO Frédéric Chesnais and will oversee blockchain and crypto.

In an Atari press release, the company states that Atari Gaming (lead by Wade J. Rosen), will operate games, the Atari VCS and licensing. Thankfully, this news will not affect the forthcoming Atari VCS computer console.

Atari Blockchain will (as you have probably guessed) be managing the new Atari Token cryptocurrency, as well as investigating new blockchain opportunities, NFTs, and online worlds (presumably referring to Atari’s crypto casino and associated ventures).

These changes to Atari’s structure have taken effect immediately.

What Is Atari’s Blockchain Division?

Atari Blockchain, as mentioned, will look at a wide range of crypto-related assets owned or traded by Atari.

Talk of Atari’s own cryptocurrency, the Atari Token (ATRI), started as far back as 2018. Then, in November 2020, the Atari Token became available for purchase, meaning you can invest in the currency now, should you wish to.

You can trade the Atari Token for actual cash, just like Bitcoin, or you can use it to buy gambling credits in the Atari Casino (you can then trade any winnings in ATRI for cash). Atari also intends the Atari Token to be used within the new VCS ecosystem, paying for games and services.

The press release says:

Given the launch of the Atari Token, the primary goal of this division will be the continued development of the Atari Token through further use cases and integration into the Atari ecosystem (as payment for digital goods within the VCS, within Atari games on the blockchain, and within 3rd party games or applications such as opensea.io, Sandbox or Decentraland). Atari will also continue to evaluate opportunities in blockchain gaming, NFTs, and blockchain based online worlds.

So, plenty to look forward to in terms of crypto from Atari, but what about all those games?

What Is Atari’s Gaming Division?

atari vcs console and controllers

We’ve seen what Atari Blockchain will do and how that overlaps with the gaming side of Atari’s business, so what is Atari Gaming managing?

Atari Gaming’s responsibilities fall under three separate scopes; Gaming, Licensing and VCS. While the two are both ostensibly linked, Atari wants to treat them as separate entities. Talking about Gaming, Atari says:

Atari will continue to operate and develop its successful free-to-play mobile games. In addition, new development will be shifted to console and PC, with an emphasis on revitalizing classic Atari intellectual property for the modern era. These new releases will share the classics’ instant enjoyability, while introducing a meaningful single-player campaign, couch co-op/multiplayer, and online play.

So, it looks like Atari Gaming’s “Gaming” roadmap includes giving old Atari classics a lick of paint and bringing them into the modern day. Speaking about the VCS element of its responsibilities, Atari says:

Atari will continue to support the Atari VCS through meaningful third-party content and exclusive first-party content… Atari will work to support [creativity] by releasing tools that will allow creators the ability to design their own classic Atari games (beginning with the Atari 2600). With an eventual goal of making it easier to create, share and play retro gaming content in the modern era.

Not only will VCS owners be able to play classic Atari games, they’ll be able to make some, too. This really plays into the intended use of the VCS, aside from its obvious functions, as a device for “makers, hackers, and tinkerers” as Michael Arzt, Atari VCS’ COO said.

Finally, Atari Gaming will deal with Licensing. Atari says:

Atari, and its catalogue of classic games, continues to be some of the most recognizable brands in the world. Atari will continue to leverage this notoriety in both gaming and non-gaming related fields (including hotels and casinos). Most recently, Atari has seen a tremendous amount of success in licensing the Atari related brands for the use in NFTs.

As we can see, despite having two separate arms for Blockchain and Gaming, the intention is definitely there to have the two crossover under certain circumstances.

A Bold Move for Atari

atari casino

This is a brave move for Atari. However, the brand has weathered plenty of storms of late, especially with the forthcoming VCS console and the brand’s journey charting COVID supply chain uncertainties.

So, with that in mind, we’re excited to see where Atari’s intertwining paths lead us to next. Its crypto casino seems to have caused quite the stir, and hopefully the VCS console computer will, too.


atari vcs console and controllers
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