Atari Looking to Make a Return as “a Hardware Brand”
Atari may be exploring new options to expand its operations as “a hardware brand.”
That, at least, is what Atari CEO Frederic Chesnais said speaking a in a recent interview. In a discussion about the company’s future following last year’s bankruptcy, Chesnais expressed a desire to expand beyond the company’s operations which are currently limited to “10 people working under the studio-production model” wherein it licenses its IPs out to “third party studios who make very good games” and companies that produce merchandise based on its franchises.
“I didn’t buy the company to make T-shirts and stuff like that,” he said.
That in mind, Chesnais described a potential future in which Atari re-enters the realm of hardware production, though not necessarily of the traditional console kind.
“I’m not talking about a new console … but, like, a watch. A gamified watch. It’s not what we are going to do, but think about [something like] that,” said Chesnais. “Like a new type of watch is something we ‘could do.’ A watch, branded, where you don’t have an ‘ordinary watch.’”
Beyond that example, Chesnais also discussed plans to produce “a replica of the initial 2600” as well as concepts such as a jacket with built in solar panels that could be used to help power a connected smartphone. It’s his hope that products such as these could help Atari grow into a “lifestyle brand” that appeals to fans and gamers on a different level than a console could. Whether or not this drive for expansion will lead the company to new success is something we’ll, of course, need to wait to see.