When we think of Atari, we immediately go back to the 70s and 80s in our mind, to the dawn of gaming, symbolized by the cult games such as Centipede Missile Command, Asteroids, Pac-Man, and Pong. Today, the company is launching itself directly into the heart of the modern gamer experience with its new partnership with Decentral Games and their new cryptocurrency-based casino.
This is a project that is not only going to potentially make a lot of money for its investors but also combine nostalgia with the latest trends in cryptocurrency and online gaming. And how exactly will Atari and Decentral Games attempt to do this? Let’s see.
According to Bloomberg, the two companies expect to make $150 million in bets during this year, and over $400 million during the next two years.
Some see the latest move by Atari as another attempt by its CEO Frederic Chesnais to make the company relevant again. He already in the past demonstrated his focus on cryptocurrency when Atari launched its own in 2018. But this new project will be based on Ethereum, the most actively used blockchain, and after Bitcoin the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Decentral Games is a part of the Digital Currency Group and is the team behind the Ethereum-based Decentraland metaverse, where their new casino made in partnership with Atari will be based. Their parent company also owns Grayscale Investments, a company that issues the world’s largest Bitcoin index fund.
The new casino is placed in the area of Decentraland called Vegas City, specifically in its Casino Quarter. This 20-parcel digital establishment will be based on Decentral Games technology, but it will offer nostalgia-tinged games, inspired by old Atari cult hits.
There will be plenty of games of chance, as we expect from a casino, some based on a combination of luck and skill, but also a special game based solely on skill – a nod to Atari fans. Not only that, but everyone who grew up with Atari games will immediately recognize the casino itself, as its facade will look like the company’s iconic A logo.
When playing, you will be able to earn $DG, Decentral Games’ token, by playing with MANA, DAI, as well as ATRI, a new Atari token. At the moment, a single ATRI is exchanging hands for $0.29 per token, has a circulating supply of 400,000,100 coins, and its market valuation was around $118 million in March.
The whole project is an attempt of Atari to become relevant again and cash in on the combined power of already immensely popular online casino games like Roulette, Poker, Backjack, or Baccarat, on the one hand, and cryptocurrencies on the other. All with a sprinkle of nostalgia – for an even more profitable effect.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are units of data stored on a digital ledger, but one that certifies that the digital asset is unique. This means that an NFT cannot be exchanged for another thing of the equal value. They can range from land plots in digital locations to pieces of digital art, and have become incredibly popular lately. They are seen as an alternative investment vehicle and function differently from standard interchangeable cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
The new Atari-themed casino will appropriately feature Atari non-fungible tokens. They can be used by players to earn more $DG.
This is a smart move by Atari, as the NFT market skyrocketed in recent months, and even attracted some big names in the entertainment industry like Lindsay Lohan or Mark Cuban. One example of this new development is a company called NBA Top Shot that releases “packs” of official NBA-licensed highlights in very limited numbers.
The opening of a new casino, and the hopes Atari has for it, is an example of how much the gaming market is rapidly changing at the moment and developing into directions that are often very hard to predict. But this also shows how new avenues are constantly being opened, even for some of the oldest players, such as Atari, who are now getting new opportunities to re-invent themselves.
Nostalgia is a highly valued commodity. In a constantly changing landscape, it brings back the sense of rootedness and familiarity. And NFTs are an incredibly powerful new tool available to companies, as they utilize the great potential of new digital technologies, but are at the same time, with their unique nature, perfect commodities for a nostalgia-based economy.
Atari itself is a very rare commodity in that sense – the market of nostalgia-induced companies is extremely limited. And their latest attempt to bank on their own historical impact combined with new markets and technologies, in their partnership with Decentral Games, is a very smart move.