Today Atari is unveiling Atari Jackpots, a new social casino game with its classic video game brands. The move is part of the reborn company’s strategy to use its powerful properties in modern titles on mobile, social, and online game platforms.
Atari’s current owners brought the venerable video game company out of bankruptcy last fall, and they began commissioning all sorts of games to bring back the glory of classic titles like Pong. Developed by Atari and Flowplay over the last nine months, Atari Jackpots includes brands such as Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Tempest, Breakout, Lunar Lander, Gravitar, Crystal Castles, and others.
They were able to create the game quickly by using Flowplay’s Vegas World, an online gaming platform that is the underlying engine for multiple titles. Atari plans to add additional games and brands to Atari Jackpots in the coming months, said Todd Shallbetter, the president of Atari in New York, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Atari Jackpots features a full suite of virtual-currency casual casino games. In the Centipede-themed poolside area, players can chat in a giant indoor ball pit. In the Breakout dance club, players can socialize with each other and exchange Asteroids Bonus Charms, which can increase virtual currency payouts.
The Atari Jackpots game is a collection of single- and multiplayer titles, including blackjack, video poker, solitaire, and bingo. Atari Jackpots will be available worldwide in several languages, such as English, Portuguese, Romanian, and French.
“This first release of Atari Jackpots is a step into online casinos, leveraging the rapidly growing interest in social casinos to offer a fun experience,” said Fred Chesnais, the chief executive of Atari, in a statement. “We wanted to engage rapidly with our loyal fans, get their feedback in order to decide upon the additional features to be released to further improve the Atari Jackpots experience.”
“The entrance of an iconic gaming company like Atari into the social casino space speaks volumes to the direction of the gaming industry,” said Derrick Morton, the CEO of Flowplay. “Millions of people around the world are engaging in casino-style games through a virtual world environment. With Atari Jackpots, users can play the casino games they love, branded with the games they grew up playing.”
Atari Jackpots, where you can purchase virtual casino chips but cannot cash them out, is the first of several upcoming initiatives that Atari is pursuing in the online gambling space. The company has also partnered with Pariplay to develop a real-money gambling product, Atari Casino, which is currently in development and scheduled for release in late 2014. All told, Atari has more than 200 games and franchises.