At the risk of making myself sound old, when I hear the name Atari, the first thing that comes to mind are the legendary video games that shaped my youth such as Space Invaders, Asteroids, Pac-Man and even the game where Donkey Kong made his first appearance way back in 1981.
Video games have undergone massive advancements and transformations since the days back when a giant yellow circle that would aimlessly eat dots while being chased around by ghosts for no apparent reason, now evolving into some of the most advanced space-age shooting and virtual reality games that we have today. While the gaming industry has been evolving, The Atari brand itself has also undergone some major transformations of its own, developing not just in the video game industry, but in the world of blockchain as well.
Atari has not sat idle as the world of blockchain technology has found its way upon us. They have successfully cemented themselves in each of the cornerstones and foundation of blockchain itself by creating their own cryptocurrency, crypto wallet, decentralized exchange (DEX) and DeFi platform while also getting involved in a big way into the metaverse. Atari has set up their very own Atari theme park in the Sandbox, and the Atari Casino in Decentraland, placing their stake in the two biggest blockchain-based gaming metaverses that exist today. Atari has also launched Atari-themed clothing NFTs and in-game items while partnering up with some of the biggest names in blockchain. Talk about keeping busy, and their impressive ambitions do not stop there.
Atari Chain Origins
While Atari is already well known for being one of the first and biggest video game creators and manufacturers in the world, first founded in 1972, they have remained a juggernaut in the video game industry for the next 48 years. It wouldn’t be until 2020 when Atari would make their leap into the world of blockchain technology with the release of its own cryptocurrency called Atari Token (ATRI). The Atari Token intended to be a means of payment within the interactive entertainment agency and was launched as an Ethereum based ERC-20 token. While ATRI still exists as an Ethereum based token, about 20% of the circulating supply have migrated to the Fantom Network where users can enjoy the benefits of the cheaper, faster and more scalable network while Ethereum is still in the process of undergoing its transformation to Ethereum 2.0. The news of the Atari tokens migration to the Fantom Network was incredibly bullish news for the token, resulting in an increase of 72% within hours of the announcement.
The Atari token is a decentralized cryptocurrency that plays an important role in the evolution of Atari’s ecosystem, fuelling not only their blockchain presence but also planning to be integrated with the token’s having functionality within their hardware gaming and licensing businesses. The goal for Atari is to have the token used as widely as possible across the interactive entertainment industry, providing benefits to developers and publishers as well as players and investors.
The Atari token can be easily integrated into games and blockchain-based applications, and Atari has stated that they are working on innovative games where players will be able to stake their Atari tokens in high stakes matches against other players where the winner takes all. While the Atari token is a utility token that powers the Atari ecosystem, it also has the ability to be an in-game currency token as well.
The Atari token has seen an impressive and steady rise since its launch in Q4 of 2020. The token launched at just under $0.25 then instantly sold off as early investors took profit as we often see following token launches. After the initial bottom at just under $0.10, the Atari token enjoyed a healthy adoption and gradual rise, peaking at $0.65 during the 2021 bull market before crashing back down with the rest of the market during the May 2021 correction to a low of around $0.04 where it remained steady for a number of months.
As the market recovers from the May correction, the Atari token has been one of the better performing crypto assets along with the rest of the blockchain gaming and metaverse tokens rising from the lows of $0.04 to an impressive rise of over $0.18 and nearing it’s all-time high at the time of writing.
Atari Blockchain Division
In April, Atari announced that they would be creating two divisions within the company, one to focus on gaming, while the other one would focus on blockchain. While the names for these divisions may be a little unimaginative, with one division being simply called “Atari Gaming,” while the blockchain division is aptly named the “Atari Blockchain Division.” Atari gaming will be in charge of operating games in the physical world, the Atari VCS console and licensing, while the Atari Blockchain Division will operate the Atari token and explore new opportunities in blockchain, NFTs and online worlds. In doing this, the gaming giant intends to develop all-new, next-generation blockchain gaming experiences.
Given the launch of the Atari token, the primary goal of the blockchain division will be the continued development, integration and adoption of the token through further use cases and integration into the Atari ecosystem as a means of payment for digital goods within Atari games on the blockchain and as a peer-to-peer payment method. The Blockchain Division will also work towards expanding on strategic partnerships expanding the brand into other crypto ventures and metaverses as well as working with other blockchain developer companies.
Atari has also stepped into the world of DeFi, giving users a place to stake and lock up funds for a period of time and passively earn ATRI tokens. To help promote the growth and adoption of the Atari community, Atari added the DeFi interface which allows users to connect their Metamask wallet and purchase ATRI tokens using Ethereum or Tether which can be locked up into the protocol for a period of 1, 3, 6, or 12 months to receive ATRI staking rewards.
Those folks over at Atari sure have been busy getting entwined and integrated into some of the best projects and working with the brightest teams that blockchain technology has to offer. I’m going to be honest, when I first heard about Atari making an appearance into the metaverse space I thought, “ah that’s cute, those little old retro games in a virtual world, sounds like a great idea, why not?” It wasn’t until I did more of a deep dive writing this article and going down the rabbit hole that I see just how ambitious their roadmap and vision is.
Atari is looking to go far beyond the 2D pixelated game consoles that are collecting dust in our basements and are making some big impacts in the major trends in the blockchain space. Atari seem to have a knack for getting involved in not just one, but three of the biggest sectors in crypto that are likely to continue for decades to come, looking to permanently cement themselves into the very foundation of the technology and platforms that are most likely to play a big part in our day to day lives in the near future. I for one, am going to be keeping a much closer eye on Atari and the Atari Chain token and won’t be surprised to hear it become a household name once again when we are all living in some crazy virtual universe.