Atari, the popular video game development company, responsible for pumping out video game classics such as Asteroids, Pong, and Missile Command, is trying their gamer hands in the tourism market now, too. They’ve recently revealed plans to build eight one-of-a-kind gamer-friendly hotels throughout popular U.S. cities throughout the country.
Unlike traditional resorts, Atari is looking to create a new experience, specifically geared toward gamers, that gamers won’t find staying anywhere else.
The Atari game-themed resorts are targeting family and business travelers that have a love for gaming. It will include immersive entertainment gaming options, such as virtual and augmented reality, with some properties featuring art studios and custom, high-tech venues to specifically host esports events.
Thanks to a deal struck with GSP Group, a strategy company focused on developing innovative, architectural design solutions, the first of the Atari Hotel group chain will debut sometime in the middle of this year, in Phoenix, AZ.
After Atari breaks ground in Phoenix, they plan to expand their reach to Las Vegas and six other U.S. cities, though a definitive timeline has yet to be set. The other planned host locations are Denver, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, and Austin.
“We are thrilled to partner with GSD Group and True North Studio to build the first-ever Atari branded hotels across the United States. Together we’ll build a space that will be much more than just a place to stay,” said Atari’s CEO, Fred Chesnais.
Esports Rising Popularity in Las Vegas
The announcement of the new gamer-themed resorts comes at an opportune time, during the esports boom not only in the country, but in Las Vegas specifically. Millennials being the prominent demographic of those who partake in esports makes it an even more exciting draw for local tourism authorities looking to draw in the younger crowd to Las Vegas.
This new-age spectator sport, that appeals to a generation hooked on video games, isn’t child’s play though. It’s a serious competition that fills arenas, easily granting top competitors with serious, seven-figure salaries to boot.
From underserved market to one that’s catching the eye of investors, esports is finally making its long-awaited splash in the gaming industry. According to Robert Rippee, director of the Hospitality and Esports Lab at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute:
“Esports is growing to the point that it’s approaching mainstream interest. When hotel companies and investors are building entire hotel products around the product line, it has grown sufficiently to catch the interest of capital investors and developers.”
Created in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, Atari is the original arcade game pioneer that has successfully branched into home video game consoles and home computer play.
The brand name itself means “Revolution, Entertainment and Technology,” and their applying their original, founding concepts to the groundbreaking efforts they’re continuing to make today.
According to their website, the Atari brand is developed with a multi-media approach:
“Atari is known as a globally recognized brand that transcends generations and audiences and for its multi-platform, interactive entertainment and licensed products… We own and/or manage more than 200 games and franchises including world-renowned brands like:
Asteroids®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, and hold the license for RollerCoaster Tycoon®.
Atari Games is the DNA of the Atari Group, exploiting more than 200 video games. This also includes Atari Casino, multimedia activities with Atari Studios, and Licensing.
In addition, we believe that blockchain technology is poised to take a very important place in our world and to transform the current economic ecosystem, especially in the video game world and in many aspects of the digital entertainment industry. We are working on a platform based on blockchain technology, which will have its own cryptocurrency called the Atari Token.”