Atari, the legendary arcade game developer of old, quietly confirmed earlier this month that it plans to create a digital currency known as Atari Token. The plan was first mentioned in December but the most recent press release brings some clarity and names a development partner.
Atari SA took a 17.5% stake in Infinity Networks Ltd and have licensed their brand to the Gibraltar-based firm. The companies will build a digital entertainment platform on the blockchain with Atari Token acting as currency.
Atari noted that it made no cash disbursement in the deal that will see virtual reality and game world creator veteran Ron Dimant, and pioneering derivative trading platform creator Daniel Doll-Steinberg advising. The Infinity Networks platform is still under development.
Stock prices for the Paris-based company spiked over 50% after the announcement.
According to Bloomberg, other companies have seen their stocks soar after jumping into cryptocurrencies. A formerly unprofitable company once known as Long Island Iced Tea saw its stock value shoot up 183% in one day in December 2017 when it rebranded as Long Blockchain Corp. The long-struggling Eastman Kodak Co., once the world leader in photography but unprepared for the disruption of digital imagery, saw their value go up in a bizarre twist last month as well. Kodak announced that it had partnered with a company to offer a service on the blockchain that pays for paparazzi photos. Kodak stock climbed 245% in two days on the news.
Atari also announced that it is expanding its partnership with online casino game developer, aggregator, and platform provider Pariplay to allow gambling with cryptocurrencies. The two companies began working together in late 2014 with the launch of Atari Casino which featured real money gambling games such as Asteroids and Centipede. Online video slots featuring Atari themes and images are now available to all operators using Pariplay services. The latest Atari/Pariplay release was Pong (pictured above) which the companies announced just a few weeks ago.
Some of the best online casinos found at leading UK review sites such as www.casinoreviews.co.uk, like NetBet, use Pariplay services. In October 2016 NetBet became the first UKGC licensed casino to accept Bitcoin transactions. Atari said that they will launch a variety of new online casinos with Pariplay that will all accept bets in real money or any of the currently popular cryptocurrencies. All of the new sites will feature Atari/Pariplay slots. After the first token is established they will launch a second currency, the Pong Token which will be ‘dedicated to crypto-casinos and usable on these gaming sites.’ A Reuters brief on the project states that details about the launch of crypto-casinos will be announced soon.
Atari Chairman and CEO, Frederic Chesnais said: “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,” according to a Nasdaq GlobeNewswire statement issued in French.
It’s unclear if the Atari Token will make much of a splash in a pool of more than 1,500 alt-coins already in existence with a total market cap of over half a trillion dollars, but it could well be the impetus the company needs to break out of being perceived as a relic.