Atari changes CEO and sets up separate Gaming and Blockchain divisions

Gaming brand Atari has split its company in two, with one division to focus on gaming and the other on blockchain.

Atari Gaming will focus on the firm’s retro gaming business with licensing and its VCS console. The firm also plans to ‘revitalise’ classic Atari IP with new releases that have ‘meaningful’ single-player, local multiplayer and online play. It will also continue to operate its free-to-play mobile games, the company stated in its release.

The firm has also announced that Wade J. Rosen, who has been acting as chairman of the Board, will become the company’s new CEO. Meanwhile, current CEO Frédéric Chesnais will focus on licensing and the new Atari Blockchain division.

The Blockchain division will develop the Atari Token as a currency that can be used within Atari products and third-party partner applications. The new area will also look at opportunities around blockchain gaming, NFTs and ‘blockchain-based online worlds’.

The firm is also considering structuring this division as an ‘autonomous entity’ so it can be potentially spun-off as a new entity in the future.

« I’m honored to be a steward of something as iconic and legendary as Atari, » Rosen said.

« I would also like to thank Fred Chesnais for turning around the company, which is now well positioned for such incredible long-term success. When Fred stepped into the role of CEO, he inherited a situation burdened with debt. Since then, he has eliminated debt and enacted a meaningful turnaround. He had the foresight to push Atari into cutting edge markets like Blockchain, the VCS, and the Atari Hotels. It’s because of him that the company is at its strongest valuation in seven years. We thank Fred for his leadership and are excited to continue working with Fred as he focuses on Licensing for the entire group and the development and growth of the exciting Blockchain Division created today. »

Chesnais added: « 8 years ago, when I came back, the brand was given for dead. This spectacular turnaround is the result of solid teamwork and support from the shareholders, and I would like to thank each and every one of these individuals. We can all be proud of this outcome. The Atari brand is alive, more than ever, and this organization in two divisions will help us adapt to the changes in our business line. »