As the founder of the legendary video game company Atari, Nolan Bushnell helped bring arcade games to the masses. Now with the advent of NFTs, he plans to bring those early machines into homes as digital, augmented reality collectibles.
Bushnell and NFT Marketplace’s MakersPlace announced the Arcade OG Collection, a set of ethereum-based collectibles.NFTs are tokens that can be used to prove ownership of verifiably scarce digital items – in this case, a display of Atari “Pong” or Syzygy (Bushnell’s Atari predecessor) “Computer Space ” video clips of 3D renderings of arcade game cabinets.
However, each Arcade OG Collection collectible is more than just a simple video clip: it also comes with an augmented reality experience that lets you view 3D renders of arcade cabinets in any real-world space. Owners will be able to put the digital cabinet into place and then walk around it to see it up close from all angles.
Augmented reality experiences typically use your smartphone or tablet’s camera and sensors to display your real-world environment and add digital elements to it. Some mobile apps use the technology for interactive games and shopping experiences. nFT marketplace Veve – which works with brands like Marvel and Star Trek – also offers 3D “digital statues” that you can view on a screen against a real-world backdrop.
The Arcade OG series is a collaboration between Bushnell and artist Zai Ortiz, a 3D designer who has worked on films like Iron Man 2 and Tron, as well as video games. The pair previously collaborated on “St. Noire,” a murder mystery board game powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
The NFT project spans five different collectibles, each depicting a different arcade cabinet. Some of the NFTs will be available as open editions to anyone who wants to buy them for a fixed price for the time frame available, starting October 12.
Others, meanwhile, will be single-edition collectibles auctioned off to the highest bidder, which includes bonus perks. For example, the single-edition red “Pong” NFT will come with a tour of the Two Bit Circus arcade and entertainment center in Los Angeles with Bushnell, while the yellow “Computer Space” NFT will come with an autographed and unopened Atari 2600 console.
Bushnell plans to explore the NFT space further in future projects, telling us, “I wish we could blow your socks off with a new sock blower-quote every six months.”
Atari’s cryptocurrency push
The Atari logo appears on the official website of the NFT project, although the extent of the classic gaming brand’s involvement is unclear at this point.
Since last year, Atari has charted its own course throughout the crypto world, launching a number of initiatives including an ethereum-based Atari token and a series of licensed NFT collectibles. The brand has also announced plans to launch a new crypto version of its online cryptocurrency casino and classic games, the latter in partnership with Animoca Brands.
However, Atari’s cryptocurrency plans may have taken a turn for the worse. Most recently, Atari Token’s Twitter account has focused on the upcoming Atari 3D online metadata experience, called Alphaverse. meanwhile, at its current price of under $0.06, Atari Token has dropped nearly 93 percent in value since peaking in May, according to CoinGecko. Unlike many of the top cryptocurrencies, Atari Token has shown no consistent signs of rebounding from the summer slump throughout the market.
Atari’s new VCS, a hybrid home PC and gaming console with blockchain and cryptocurrency tie-ins, launched this year to mostly lukewarm reviews from tech and gaming publications.
In its latest annual results report in August, Atari called the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, a “transition year” and said it took in more than $1 million in sales from NFTs for its partner platforms. The company also plans to launch its own video game-focused NFT marketplace.