The Atari brand has been around since the early 1970s and has been a huge name in the video game industry ever since, but after several years of financial trouble, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2013, which it later emerged out of and has remained rather quiet since then.
However, it looks like Atari is planning to make a comeback but this time it's tapping into the hotel industry instead of the gaming business. The arcade game company announced on Monday that it plans to open eight video-game themed hotels across the US, starting with Phoenix, Arizona.
Atari's video-game themed hotels
Atari, whose credits include cult classics like Pac-Man, Pong, Space Invaders, Asteroids and Q*bert, said the hotels will provide "a unique lodging experience combining the iconic brand with a one-of-a-kind video game-themed destination."
The video game company has partnered up with partnering up with the Shelly Murphy-led GSD group, True North Studio (a Phoenix-based real estate developer), and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniack's Woz Innovation Foundation. Apart from Phoenix, the other locations are San Francisco, San Jose, Austin (Texas), Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle, and two locations in California.
Features and Design
The Atari hotels will attempt to lure gamers by offering "fully immersive experiences," including the latest tech in VR (virtual reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). Select hotels will also feature state-of-the-art venues and studios to host esports events and gaming tournaments.
"Atari Hotels will offer consumers exactly that, marrying the origins of gaming and the future of the booming industry into a fun and unique travel destination," the company said in its press release. While the company has not specified when exactly the construction on the Phoenix hotel will commence, it did mention that it'll be "later this year."
The hotels will feature a "nostalgic and retro meets modern look and feel," according to Napoleon Smith III, who is a partner in the company, GSD Group, which has acquired the rights to build the video-game themed hotels. Smith, who has served as a producer on the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" reboot franchise, will be in charge of the hotel's design and development.
In the meantime, Atari is preparing to launch a new retro-themed console. The Atari VCS console is slated to start shipping in March this year starting at $249 and will let you play 100 classic pre-installed Atari games in addition to modern PC games.