Atari has divided itself into two parts, with one division that will focus on games and another that will be focused on blockchain.
The gaming brand will be called Atari Gaming, while the other will be Atari Blockchain. Fred Chesnais, former CEO of Atari, will become the head of the Atari Blockchain division, while Wade Rosen, previously acting chairman of the board, will become the company’s new CEO.
The blockchain division is developing the Atari Token cryptocurrency and third-party use of Atari content for things like nonfungible tokens (NFTs), blockchain games, and blockchain-based online worlds. This division might be spun off as a separate company. Rosen said he was honored to be Atari’s new steward.
“I would also like to thank Fred Chesnais for turning around the company, which is now well positioned for such incredible long-term success,” Rosen said in a statement. “When Fred stepped into the role of CEO, he inherited a situation burdened with debt. Since then, he has eliminated debt and enacted a meaningful turnaround. He had the foresight to push Atari into cutting edge markets like blockchain, the VCS, and the Atari Hotels. It’s because of him that the company is at its strongest valuation in seven years. We thank Fred for his leadership and are excited to continue working with Fred as he focuses on Licensing for the entire group and the development and growth of the exciting Blockchain Division created today.”
Chesnais brought Atari out of bankruptcy. While his Paris-based company turned itself around with a licensing strategy, there were some hiccups along the way related to the VCS console.
In a statement, Chesnais said, “Eight years ago, when I came back, the brand was given for dead. This spectacular turnaround is the result of solid teamwork and support from the shareholders, and I would like to thank each and every one of these individuals. We can all be proud of this outcome. The Atari brand is alive, more than ever, and this organization in two divisions will enable it to respond better to changes.”
Atari’s Games division will include all assets not included in the blockchain division and it will be focused on games, including the expanding retro game market. It will also license its name to hotels and casinos.
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