Tetris inventor Atari Group’s shares soar over 60 percent after announcing cryptocurrency investments
Need a boost to your company value? Just rebrand or pivot your operations to something blockchain-related. Add Atari to the list of recently-christened crypto companies – one that includes former makers of tea, juice, sports bras and sofas, whose share prices have all skyrocketed following their respective announcements.
The legendary video-game company Atari, renowned for its classic games Pong, Tetris and Pac-Man, has announced it is embracing blockchain technologies and seeking to launch its own cryptocurrencies – the ‘Atari Token’ and ‘Pong Token’. And it’s working out well for the company – shares of the French-listed company have spiked over 60% since they announced their crypto initiatives on February 8th.
Atari’s Blockchain Strategy
Atari’s blockchain venture is underpinned by two key crypto-currency projects:
1. Acquisition of 17.5% stake in Infinity Networks Ltd., to facilitate the launch of the ‘Atari Token’
In a press release dated 8th February 2018, Atari Group disclosed an acquisition of a 17.5% stake in Infinity Networks, a company developing a decentralized platform to give access to digital entertainment, offering video games, movies and music.
Although details are scant, Atari has announced intentions to launch the Atari Token which will power the platform, and potentially be a medium of exchange used to access games and entertainment.
As asserted by Atari’s CEO Frédéric Chesnais,
(translated) "Blockchains 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" .
2. Launching the ‘Pong Token’ for use in crypto casinos and online gambling
Atari has additionally projected the launch of the ‘Pong Token’, dedicated to crypto-casinos and usable on online gaming sites. This venture is intended to synergize with the company’s existing partnership with Pariplay Ltd. and other crypto-casinos, which offer many Atari games and allow players to bet in either real money or with most crypto-currencies currently outstanding.
Context and Implications
Atari’s announcement comes around a month after Kodak decided to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon with plans to launch Kodakcoin, causing a 245-percent spike in the company’s share price, Bloomberg reports. The recent crypto craze has seen companies completely unrelated to the crypto world align themselves with cryptocurrencies and Blockchain. A well-known example in Long Island Iced Tea Corp, which rebranded to Long Blockchain and promised a move into cryptocurrency mining, saw a 458-percent trading range gain (they have since retracted on their promise).
However, Atari’s concrete investments into decentralized gaming platforms and cryptocurrency technologies seem to bear greater substance than its predecessors. Given the company’s strategy to pivot from its old-school joystick arcade gaming creations to embrace digital entertainment and gaming, a venture towards enabling decentralized transactions for online entertainment using blockchain technologies is not entirely irrational – and shareholders seem to agree.
Moreso, Atari’s legendary trademark brands: Pong, Pac-Man and Tetris still resonate highly with the Millennial generation – those that are most likely to embrace their nostalgia-backed cryptocurrencies. Similar to how Nintendo managed to breathe new life into its gaming empire through embracing mobile applications with the launch of Pokemon Go, it will be interesting to see if Atari will be able to revitalize its gaming creations through its latest play on Blockchain.
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Bloomberg – Atari is Jumping on the Crypto Bandwagon
Fortune – Atari Plans to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrencies
Cointelegraph – Gaming Company Announces Investment in Crypto
Coindesk – Game Maker Atari Is Planning To Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency
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