Atari had highs and lows. But it survived. And today – well, not today, technically June 27th, 2022 – the company turns 50! Since 1972, Atari has been a synonym for fun. I had personally experienced it with the 800 and 600XL of a couple of friends, my Atari 1024STF, and many other systems and legendary games – Donkey Kong, Star Raiders, etc. – I acquired as a retro computer aficionado.
Today, Atari, founded by Nolan Bushnell, is led by CEO Wade Rosen. In a short dialog video, Rose and Bushnell talk about Atari and its legacy.
True, Atari doesn’t spearhead gaming or console innovation today but sits on a treasure trove of games and hardware portfolios. And over the years, we have seen several nostalgia-related releases. Of course, the 50th anniversary is an excellent opportunity for Atari to churn out a few perks for the fans. And some are cool, like the special edition cartridges – interesting ones are sold out and/or overpriced. I fell for the limited JK500 edition watch. Because of the Art of JK5 (Joseph Ari Aloi – here)
In addition to this obvious, I was surprised to learn that Atari, via Atari X, is in the Web3 movement. Today, the Internet is in Web2 and reached an unhealthy point where a handful of companies control everything. The pinnacle of centralized computing. Web3 is decentralization at its core, not to be confused with distributed computing, which always was – since the 70s – a key characteristic of our networks. It really means that you remove the middle man – the ones controlling the web today – and give the control back to the user/client. Potentially, you are being paid for your production(s) directly. You can apply decentralization to various domains, from Art to finance (DeFi, NFTs, etc.). All this is a good thing, and I hope we reach Web3 sooner than later (it is inevitable).
One of the critical technologies supporting Web3 is the blockchain. Unfortunately, with the Berezina and the crimes attached to crypto, Web3 took some lead in the wing. And it will take a while before the masses venture into this promissing land. Atari X does. Let’s see how the company will redefine itself in Web3 and turn this bet into a success. Maybe they will invent DeGaming, the same way Atari invented the Arcade in the 70s.