Developer inks deal with Atari for gaming-themed hotels

Miles Hurley Miles Hurley Uploaded 27 January 2020

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US: Famed video game console-maker and developer Atari has signed a contract with a developer to build the first of eight licensed hotels.

GSD Group and True North Studio, Atari's partners, have chosen Phoenix as the first site for development.

The designs will all be themed around the classic gaming aesthetic that Atari's consoles pioneered in the 70s. Arcade bars, fine restaurants, exercise rooms, e-sports studios, and central PC cafes with internet broadcast capabilities are all planned features for the hotels, which intend to tap into the rise of competitive gaming.

GSD founder Shelly Murphy said to Fortune: "We envision it to be the next evolution in the gaming and e-sports world. From the second you hit the door you have an immersive entertainment experience."

This is the latest effort by Atari, who filed for bankruptcy in 2013, to revitalise their brand for a modern audience. Under the leadership of French CEO Fred Chesnais, Atari posted its first profitable year since that bankruptcy in 2019.   

Speaking about his ambitions, Chesnais told Fortune: "It's something I've always wanted to do. I always wanted to make an amusement park, and hotels could be the first step."

Plans have not been revealed yet for the location, but the Phoenix Business Journal has uncovered a recent acquisition of three-quarters of an acre purchased by True North that may be a potential site.  Future hotels have been proposed for Austin, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco and San Jose. 

Atari isn't the only classic developer starting up a hotel business- Nintendo announced plans to refurbish its original headquarters earlier in the year. While less successful today than their Japanese counterpart, Atari's hotels may allow them to ride the continued popularity of gaming to renewed success.

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