Atari is getting into the hotel business
. At first glance, this feels like Donald Trump licensing his name out for hotels, as Atari isn’t building these outposts. These hotels will have all kinds of tech toys – video games, esports facilities, and AR/VR installations. That makes sense, since it does have Atari’s name on it. I do wonder if the rooms will have themes, like Pac-Man or Centipede (hey, how about sleeping in a bed shaped like a bug!).
But after editing Jeff Grubb’s piece on this, I started to think about it more than just a way for Atari to make money off its name.
Atari Hotels will be the first of their kind in the U.S., offering gamers of all ages the ultimate in immersive entertainment and in every aspect of gaming,” GSD Group cofounder Shelly Murphy said. “We’re excited to be working on this project with such great partners and to bring a big win to Arizona.“
What this says to me is that the generation that grew up playing video games must have a lot of money now.
Now, it’s time to squeeze the money from the moms and dads that grew up on Pitfall and Asteroids. And while it’s easy to roll your eyes at an Atari hotel, I think that’s only because Gen Xers and Millennials aren’t used to shaping markets.
No one bats an eye at Hard Rock Cafes and Planet Hollywoods, but that’s just because markets naturally shaped themselves to the tastes of Boomers. But the rock-‘n’-roll generation has come and gone into retirement — and the Hard Rock Cafes and Planet Hollywoods are mostly going with them.
Now, what does this have to do with AR and VR? As I thought about this, I started thinking about the future of gaming. As AR and VR grows up, will it replace the entertainment of my generation, of the ones under me, just as Jeff is positing that video game-branded entertainment and leisure will replace those of the Baby Boomers? Case in point: We’re getting a Super Nintendo World at the Universal theme parks in Florida and Hollywood.
Or is AR and VR going to be an evolution, and not a replacement, for traditional consoles and PC gaming?
–Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor