Can Social Gaming Save the Atari Franchise?


Some younger video game enthusiasts may not remember the name “Atari,” but you should. Atari was one of the pioneers of the video game industry. I grew up in that long ago time before video games changed our lives forever. I, and other children of my generation, used to spend our days climbing trees, fishing and exploring the world around us for entertainment.

Then in 1972 Atari was founded and soon released electronic video games that would spark the turning point and evolution of things to come. I will never forget visiting my cousins in the mid 1970’s and seeing an Atari game console for the first time. They were playing a game called “Pong.” Pong was an innovative tennis game that would eventually set fire to the video gaming world and lead us to where we are today.

Although Pong was very primitive in comparison to the video games of today when I hear the name “Atari”  it still takes me on a nostalgic journey to a time when one wave in time meant the shores of a new horizon.

In December of 2013 Atari filed for bankruptcy. Although they were very successful for over a decade or more they had trouble competing with the surging PlayStation and Nintendo brands. This past week Atari took a giant step in a different direction. They have partnered with FlowPlay, a video gaming company, to take their classic Atari themes into the explosive social gaming frontier.

Soon classic Atari games like Centipede and Asteroids will be available in the form of the Atari Casino. Don’t be fooled, these will not be the classics as we once knew them, but innovative casino pokies that will only use the visual effects of the originals. These pokies will be challenging and sure to offer unlimited fun on your favourite mobile devices.

It is too early to determine how well Atari will do with their latest venture into the social gaming industry. I was there to see the birth of the video gaming industry over 4 decades ago and I have witnessed its remarkable evolution. Perhaps it is nostalgia, the reflection of my own youth, but this pokie enthusiast is rooting for this video gaming pioneer to find some resemblance of their past glory.