It has been quite a long time since Atari sat atop the gaming world. Its once top of the line titles and its well known Atari 2600 console seem like relics of the past to today’s gamer. While the company hasn’t seen much attention outside of its bankruptcy proceedings in 2013 and the New Mexico excavation of its legendary E.T. games, its new CEO Fred Chesnais wants to change all that.
Atari recently release an updated mobile version of its classic Haunted House title on iOS with more titles slated for later in 2014. Chesnais, who actually ran Atari as the CEO previously between 2004 and 2007, plans to revive the brand through various avenues including gaming, online gambling and TV. His first main step will be to allow experienced development studios to license Atari brands in order to make great new products.
When it comes to games, Atari has plans to continue to reboot its older classics for mobile platforms as well as create all new experiences. The company will be bringing back its popular Asteroids title from 1979 once again. The once retro space shooter will go mobile and multiplayer but also have something to do with the survival genre, according to Wired.
While it is illegal in the US, real-money gambling over the internet has picked up overseas in a big way and Chesnais wants Atari to capitalize on it. Some studies suggest that online casino games and things of that nature could garner up to 168 million users by 2018. The reviving gaming icon has already tapped two developers to begin work on Atari Casino, a casino style, social gambling game for mobile platforms that will come in two variants. One studio (FlowPlay) is handling the casual version of the game that only contains virtual currency gambling and the other (Pariplay) will handle the real money version.
Atari will also branch out to create original TV programming for YouTube and places like that. Its efforts will kick off with a video blog on TheRealPele.com set to cover famous soccer player Pele around the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Chesnais feels strongly that this type of content is another way for Atari to recreate itself for a new generation. Chesnais said “We’re not just competing against gaming companies anymore. At the end of the day, it’s a competition for the user’s time…We have to be there..We cannot ignore another revolution.”