When it comes to discussing some of the key names involved in the incredible history of video gaming, Atari simply has to get a mention somewhere along the line.

The company is regarded by many as a true icon of the industry and now the power of its brand is being utilized in a new project that will see it take a surprising leap into the world of travel and tourism.

A unique experience
Earlier this month, the strategy agency GSD Group revealed that it had hired the architecture and design firm, Gensler, to work with it on its planned Atari Hotels. There are proposals in place for two of the gaming-inspired hotels to open in Las Vegas and Phoenix, while it has now also been confirmed that GSD has the right to build further sites in locations including Austin, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle.

The project has been made possible following a licensing agreement with Atari and the official statement details how the hotels are being created to offer a “unique hospitality experience” to fans of video gaming culture. Considering Atari’s association with classic titles such as Pong and Asteroids, it is perhaps no great surprise that retro-style arcades are set to feature at the sites. Also, other common hotel elements like nightclubs, restaurants, and bars will be on offer too.

Major interest
News of the planned hotels is clearly intriguing and certainly seems to highlight how there is a major amount of interest in classic gaming brands and retro titles at present.

Evidence of this has been seen on several occasions this year, with some major names attracting plenty of attention as they celebrated big anniversaries. For example, Sega recently undertook a range of activities to mark its 60th anniversary, including giving away mini-games and offering discounts on titles. One of our favorite arcade game characters was also celebrating, with this year being the 40th anniversary of the launch of Pac-Man.

The growing appetite for retro gaming has also led to the release of a few new versions of classic consoles in recent years, with Nintendo for example launching the NES Classic Edition. The company’s site details how the mini version of the system, which was originally released back in 1985, includes 30 pre-installed games such as Super Mario Bros and Metroid.

Looking ahead
However, while it might be understandable if Atari Hotels looked to purely take advantage of the current popularity of retro gaming, the project does appear to still have one eye on both the present and the future.

The latest statement related to the project reference how there is an intention to offer high-quality features and amenities with eSports fans and content creators in mind. One element which may play a key role in this is the suggestion that hotels will include a multi-use gaming arena. GSD Group outlines how the hope is that it will be cutting edge, with it offering a new experience for both players and those watching.

Such a move certainly makes sense with eSports absolutely thriving in recent times. The industry has enjoyed an incredible level of growth and research suggests that it will continue in the future as well, with Newzoo predicting that it will generate revenues of $1,598.2 million in 2023. The industry’s rise to prominence has also led to the emergence of an offshoot betting scene and Asiabet’s guide to online gambling in Asia details how it now stands alongside the likes of soccer and baseball as a key area for bookmakers. The site also reveals how betting on eSports is becoming particularly big in Southeast Asia, with many people placing bets on games ranging from Dota 2 to Starcraft II.

A fascinating project
When all of that is considered, it is fair to say that the Atari Hotels project looks set to be a very fascinating one to follow.

While the sites look set to boast plenty of features based around video gaming’s remarkable past, there is a real sense that they will not just purely be a full-on nostalgia fest. It will be exciting to see what the hotels look like as work on them develops in the months and years ahead.