There’s nothing better than getting stoned and playing console games. Tell me I’m a liar. Light up a fat spliff, pop some noise-canceling cans on your ears, fire up your Xbox or PlayStation and you’re instantly part of another world.
Here, the usual rules don’t apply. You can imagine riddling that a**hole bully with hot lead, stealing cars and selling dope for your gang, or getting your knee down like Marquez – and all without consequences!
OK, OK, you don’t need to get blazed to enjoy playing console games, but at least we got your attention!
Pioneering a new era
Back in 1972, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney pioneered a device known as Atari which set the scene for everything that came after. That’s right, your Xbox, PlayStation, or PC games owe a debt of gratitude to the now-jarring visuals of Pac-Man, Asteroids, Pong, Space Invaders, and Pitfall. (Which was the first side-scroller game that allowed your character to move left or right.)
You might think that Atari has been left in the space dust of the past, but you’d be horribly wrong. These dudes have embarked on something truly special – they’ve launched a crypto casino!
So what’s with a gaming company moving into gambling territory? Admittedly, the company’s diversification has come at a bit of a price: confusion.
In his first English-speaking interview since taking over the reins, newly-appointed CEO Wade Rosen said, “The market really wasn’t sure, or clear, on what we were doing. Atari had become synonymous with doing a lot of things, but not really providing a lot of clarity on why they were doing those things.” He added, “So the intent of focusing back on games is because that’s why people know us. Rather than trying to reinvent ourselves into a TV company, a casino operator, or all of these other things that we’re not, we’re known as a video game company.”
This need for clarity led to Atari being restructured along more siloed business lines. The company is now made up of Atari Gaming and Atari Blockchain. The latter division aims to look into opportunities around blockchain gaming, NFTs (that’s non-fungible tokens), and online worlds.
Their press release intimated that Atari Blockchain might even become its own company, by stating that they’re “[exploring] the potential restructuring of this division as an autonomous entity with a view to a possible spin-off to Atari shareholders by the listing of this new entity.”
Some very exciting stuff on the horizon then, but back to the matter at hand – their casino. As Rosen mentioned, Atari is not a casino operator so how did they pull this off? They’ve jumped into bed with Decentral Games.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
There will be rejuvenated Atari-themed games of old along with games of luck, others that also rely on skill, and some that only require skill to win. It’s said that these games have been created using smart contracts, making them provably fair.
Making use of Decentral Games’ branded wearables inside their virtual world will give players a 10% boost on their mining rate. So if you rock NFTs such as a T-shirt with matching slacks while playing roulette, you’ll get 20% more $DG, which are Decentral Games’ own tokens.
You’ll be able to buy these goods from their store, or marketplaces such as the Atari Storefronts on Rarible and OpenSea.
Players will be able to earn $DG tokens when they play with Ethereum’s stablecoin DAI, MANA (the token used to pay for goods and services in Decentraland), as well as with Atari tokens (ATRI).
Some 88% of the profits from the Atari Casino will go to the dgTreasury, to develop new features and the ability to share more rewards with their community.
Not only that, but Atari will stake their newly-swapped $DG in DAO Governance. These are decentralized autonomous organizations represented by rules encoded as a program, that are transparent, controlled by members of the organization, and not influenced by the central government.
It’s claimed that this move will help shape the future development of Decentral Games. Lastly, Atari and $DG hodlers, will share the rights to vote on decisions related to game development.
The casino launched virtually in April 2021, and the DJ for the event was the renowned Dillon Francis. He even teamed up with visual artist MERDA to create three NFTs. These were auctioned off on OpenSea, among others, and one of the items sold for 6.42 ETH. That’s €20,944 as of the time of writing this piece.
The casino will run on a two-year lease initially, and Bloomberg reckons that Atari and Decentral Games expect to see bets of $150 million in 2021, and $400 million over the next two years.