Firmly in the category of News I Wasn’t Expecting To Read Today Or Ever, Atari has announced it is building a series of “game-themed hotels” across the United States. Do your parents complain you play too many videogames? Soon you’ll be able to leave your house, get on a plane, visit a new city, and stay in hotel where you can play videogames. Now everybody’s happy!
Described as “a unique lodging experience combining the iconic brand with a one-of-a-kind videogame-themed destination,” Atari hotels will apparently feature “fully immersive experiences for every age and gaming ability, including the latest in VR and AR” as well as serve as venues for esports events.
That includes playing Donkey Kong on the roof, if this concept art is accurate:
Is it weird that Atari is getting into the hotel business? Maybe! But there’s no need for skepticism because they’re being guided by a dude who produced films filled with CGI turtles:
“Hotel development and design is being led by Shelly Murphy’s GSD Group and Napoleon Smith III, producer of the wildly successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film franchise reboot. True North Studio, a leading Phoenix, AZ-based real estate developer—currently working alongside GSD Group with Steve Wozniak’s Woz Innovation Foundation—will develop the first Atari-branded hotel.”
I’m not really sure what kind of hotel know-how a film producer brings to the table, and while the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboots were indeed successful (the two films made a combined $750 million or so worldwide), they were also extremely terrible. So, I suspect the producer’s involvement is more about the box office profit and less about the lack of Oscar nominations for Tony Shaloub’s performance as a talking rat.
The first Atari hotel is planned for Phoenix, Arizona, with construction beginning this year, and there’s no lack of ambition in the enterprise as additional hotels are planned for Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Jose. And remember, if your electronic room key doesn’t work, try pulling it out and blowing on it.