Atari unveils new line of video game-themed hotels with VR, AR and eSports capabilities


Yesterday in extremely surprising news, the once legendary Atari announced its new video game-themed Atari Hotels. No it’s not April fool’s day yet, yes I have checked myself, yes it is in fact definitely real; there’s even an official website. So now we’ve gotten past that hurdle, let’s talk about what’s actually going on here.

The series (yes, they’re that confident they’re building eight of them) of hotels  are in development as we speak, with the first one in Phoenix, Arizona, opening later this year. The entire project is forged by a partnership between Atari itself and GSD Group – “a leading innovation and strategy agency, led by founder Shelly Murphy and partner Napoleon Smith III”. 

Surprisingly, the hotels won’t be focused specifically on Atari games. For some reason, Centipede and Missile Command aren’t the draw they once were.

“When creating this brand-new hotel concept, we knew that Atari would be the perfect way to give guests the ‘nostalgic and retro meets modern’ look and feel we were going for. Let’s face it, how cool will it be to stay inside an Atari?!” said Napoleon Smith III, one of the producers behind the most recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise reboot, and also proud owner of one of the coolest names ever). The hotels are going to incorporate both old and new games along with VR and AR technologies, as well as hosting facilities for eSports events.

If you’re like me, then your mind is absolutely racing thinking about how crazy a concept this actually is. On the one hand it sounds like a gamer’s dream: an entire building dedicated to all things gaming related with state-of-the-art technology and hardware. On the other hand I thought hotels were designed so you have a place to stay when on holiday, not to stay in all day drinking Mountain Dew and eating chips. The latter does raise a question on who these hotels are going to actually be for; certainly having a place to stay during a major eSports event is very handy, but what about the other times of the year? And will anyone really be willing to travel from far away just to stay there?

It’ll be an expensive endeavour it seems, so let’s hope this all goes well for Atari. I’d hate to see them try to bury eight whole hotels in the desert…

What are your thoughts on it? Would you stay in a video game-themed hotel? Or is your bedroom already the perfect gaming setup?