Atari—once a giant of the video game industry—has announced their latest attempt to make a comeback in the gaming sphere, detailing their business strategy in a press release published yesterday.
The company, best known for their hits like Pong and Asteroids, said that they will be focusing on mobile platforms by bringing their old classics to iOS and Android devices. They did not specify what titles would be resurrected for the smart phone and tablet market, but let's pray to god that they weren't referring to E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.
The press release also stated, "[Atari] will aim at capitalizing on other rapidly growing markets and reaching out to new audiences—including LGBT, social casinos, real-money gambling, and YouTube with exclusive video content." The targeting of the LGBT market is an interesting move, and one that certainly deserves to be monitored. However, the "social casinos, real-money gambling, and YouTube" news seems like an obvious attempt to stack money fast via ad revenue and gaming profits.
Given that Atari has had a number of failed restarts over the past 40 years, it's difficult to fault the company for wanting to accrue capital by any means necessary. The release also stated that Atari will explore the wearable devices and hardware market, perhaps signalling the company's interest in upcoming VR technologies. Man, can you imagine playing Pong on the Oculus Rift?! That'd be so...underwhelming.
It will be interesting to watch and see if the company can finally find their footing after so many years of bad luck and bankruptcies. As of now, their most recent release is RollerCoaster Tycoon Mobile, which was released for iOS in April. The Android version will be hitting the Google Play Store in winter of 2014.
However, the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise seems like an expection to their other titles like Centipede, Missile Command, and Test Drive. If it is Atari's intention to revive franchises like these, than they'll need to find a way to make the mobile versions particularly compelling or unique from the original versions. As of now, you can find playable browser versions of any of these titles simply by Googling them. Atari will have to be at their most canny and creative in order to right the ship.