Video game developer Atari has entered into a license agreement with blockchain startup Animoca Brands to produce and publish blockchain versions of two popular Atari mobile games.
Founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, Atari was a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles, and home computers. The company’s products, such as Pong and the Atari 2600, helped define the electronic entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid-1980s. The best-selling video game of all-time on the Atari 2600 console is Pac-Man, a port of the arcade game of the same name programmed by Tod Frye.
Animoca Brands leverages gamification, blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to develop and publish a broad portfolio of mobile products, including games such as The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes, as well as products based on popular intellectual properties such as Garfield, Thomas & Friends, Ever After High and Doraemon. It is also the exclusive China distributor of CryptoKitties, a blockchain-based video game developed by Axiom Zen.
The license agreement between the two companies will Animoca to create blockchain versions of popular Atari mobile game titles Roller Coaster Tycoon Touch and Goon Squad globally, excluding China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. For the rights, Animoca will pay Atari “a minimum guarantee against future revenues of $250,000, payable in shares of the company’s stock.”
Roller Coaster Tycoon Touch allows players to create, customize and rule their theme park kingdom. Atari claims that the game has over 19 million downloads globally, and has reportedly seen a boost from new features that include a “Water Park” expansion, as well as a partnership with “Foodgod” Jonathan Cheban.
Goon Squad is a tactical strategy game where players face off in real-time clashes. Players can plot a path from lowly goon to all-powerful Godfather in the free-to-play title, collecting cards to rise through the ranks and build the ultimate criminal empire.
Based on the agreement, the blockchain version of the games will feature the integration of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Animoca Brands expects to publish the games in the latter half of 2019.
“This deal marks a special moment for me because I started my career working with Atari and using Atari computers,” said Yat Siu, the co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands. “The RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise is, like many of Atari’s properties, a true evergreen, having been around for two decades. Given the strategic and commercial elements of this incredibly fun simulation, it is a perfect candidate for blockchain adaptation.”
“We are proud and delighted to enter into this long-term and strategic relationship with Animoca Brands, which also allows us to become a shareholder in one of the most exciting innovators in the world of decentralized gaming,” said Frédéric Chesnais, the main shareholder and CEO of Atari. “We hope that this agreement paves the way to to further cooperation on other Atari products.”