Atari aims to "level-up" to the world of hospitality with a chain of video game-themed hotels across the United States. The retro gaming brand behind classic titles like Asteroids, Pong and Centipede announced a partnership GSD Group, which acquired the rights to build the gamer-friendly travel destinations with cutting-edge virtual and augmented reality experiences.
Select locations will also feature venues and studios to accommodate electronic sports events, a prescient move considering that esports are expected to have a global audience as large as 557 million by 2021.
Rooms could be styled with anything from retro decor to Ready Player One-like themes, Shelly Murphy, CEO of GSD Group, told CNN Business. Other spaces may boast as many as ten gaming consoles for larger parties. Murphy added that booking options will include a mix of affordably priced rooms and premium options.
GSD is set to break ground in Phoenix before the first Atari Hotel opens its doors as early as 2022. More locations are planned for Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Jose.
Atari's U.S. branch filed for bankruptcy in 2013, but the brand is survived by an undeniable demand for retro gaming. We've recently seen numerous old-school console comebacks in the Atari 2600 and Flashback, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is even loading his EVs up with Atari games.