Atari once ruled all of gaming back in the 1980s. Now, it is working with diner-chain Denny’s to help sell some hash browns.
Atari and Denny’s are mashing up their products into promotional video games that feature classic gameplay and home-style cooking that you usually eat when you’re drunk and everywhere else is closed. The game company is taking its classics like Asteroids, Centipede, and Breakout and turning them into “Hashteroids,” “Centipup,” and “Take-Out” as part of a campaign Denny’s calls “Greatest Hits Remixed.” Yes, games and cheap diner food are together at last. To play the games, all you need is the free Denny’s app for iOS or Android. The interactive ads are in the Game On section. Millions of people have snartphones and tablets that they use to play games. Denny’s is trying to leverage that to potentially reach new customers or build a stronger bond with existing ones.
“Our ‘Greatest Hits Remixed’ menu celebrates a few of Denny’s most beloved dishes, by incorporating modern flavors for a fresh, new taste,” Denny’s chief brand officer Frances Allen said in a canned statement. “We’re constantly looking to provide a fresh take on tradition for our guests, and this partnership with Atari allows us to extend the fun beyond our menu, and add a new spin on classic gameplay.”
The three games are basic reskins of Atari’s back catalog, but they also feature a full Denny’s-approved narrative now as well. In Hashteroids, you pilot the SS Denny’s Condiment Transport ship, and you must survive to deliver ketchup to the 4th planet of sector 7d … really. Centipup has you squeezing a syrup bottle to turn items into fried eggs. Take-Out has you breaking down a wall of Denny’s breakfast items to get a bunch of to-go orders to their customers.
“We are excited to be partnering with Denny’s on this partnership. Transforming our classic and beloved games into a retro, remixed promotion will be a natural way to expose our brand to a new generation and resonate with our long-time fans in a fun and unique way,” Atari chief executive officer Fred Chesnais said.
Atari is not exactly the same company that built and sold consoles and games 30 years ago. After going through a number of owners, the brand now belongs to French publisher Atari, SA, which was previously known as Infogrames. The company recently went through bankruptcy proceedings and has emerged with a strategy to tackle new audiences with social casino and real-money gambling games.
Atari told GamesBeat earlier this year that it is looking to capitalize on its recognizable brands in ways beyond just putting logos on a t-shirt.