Atari has announced that its Atari Gaming label will now focus on premium games on consoles and PC in the future. This change in strategy will see them move away from the casino business in Africa as well as selling off some of its free-to-play franchises.
The reason for the shift in direction is the higher value that is seen in premium games and the fact that the free-to-play market is becoming increasingly competitive. Atari now intends to delve into its catalog of 200 proprietary games to create a strong lineup of premium games to be released in the future on consoles and PC. There are already a number of titles in development due to be released this financial year, so before the end of March 2022, although the publisher gave no clues as to what these could be. Atari had already stated they wished to make games “for the modern era” and this will involve revitalising some of their classic IPs.
The five free-to-play games that will be sold or discontinued are RollerCoaster Tycoon Story, Crystal Castles, Castles & Catapults, Ninja Golf, and Atari Combat: Tank Fury, all of which are on mobile. The publisher wanted to stress it will continue to support free-to-play titles “with a loyal user base”. Atari will also “exit its direct operations” of the Atari Casino in Africa and solely focus on licensing agreements for TV shows; they will no longer be producing their own TV shows.
Atari Gaming’s CEO Wade J. Rosen explained why the company was making these changes:
Our intent with any gaming experience is to provide accessible and joyful moments of meaningful play. That’s the core of Atari and what binds our history with our future. To that end, we feel that premium gaming is better representative of this type of gaming experience and the Atari DNA. Despite this new focus on premium gaming, we remain committed to growing and expanding our successful free-to-play games that we have in the market. […] This reorientation will give Atari a unique opportunity to be the bridge between the past and the future of video games, and I look forward to driving these changes.
These changes will have an impact on their financial turnover for the year, eventually generating a €5 million write off. The benefits of the changes should be seen during the following financial year, though.[Source: Atari]
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