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January 2015 Retro Gaming Article


January 27, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

How many push-ups does it take to unlock Missile Command? Ask Atari Fit

It looks as if the folks behind Atari have licensed some of their iconic game library to create a fitness app branded with the Atari name. They call it a gamified fitness app and it's coming to iOS and Android this month via Atari Fit.

Atari Fit logo Having bought an Atari 2600 in the early 80s and a Jaguar on launch day in 1993, my perception of Atari gets a bit skewed. I have to remind myself that the companies that made each of these products and the recent mobile games are all very different entities.

"Atari" is certainly an iconic brand, but it's only a brand. The founders and culture are long gone and that's an important component to any business - the employees! That means that Atari Fit is a company that has licensed the right to use the Atari logo - it may be part of the current partnership that owns rights to Atari's assets and brands. When you see a modern product with that amazing logo, remember... these aren't the guys who brought you Asteroids and Missile Command!

Atari Fit I'm not one to evaluate a fitness app since I'm far more likely to be sitting on the couch with a joystick that trying to unlock Atari mobile games via fitness achievements. None the less, I'm interested in anything with an Atari logo and have been curious to see how the company chooses to use it's IPs after it's collaboration with Denny's.
Atari Fit screen shots
The app is touted as being full of social features and compatible with popular wearable health & fitness devices. In exchange for your sweat, you build points that build toward unlocking classic Atari arcade games.

As reported by PR NewsWire:
"Atari Fit is the first fitness app to motivate and reward players with gameplay for being active in between gaming sessions," said Fred Chesnais, Chief Executive Officer, Atari. "It's a gamified fitness experience with an Atari twist. Players are motivated to work toward their fitness goals, while offering a fun, competitive experience where they earn coins and can unlock their favorite classic Atari games. The team and leaderboard components are especially unique to the Atari Fit experience, as players around the globe can exercise, play and get healthy together."

As I said, I'm not into fitness, so I can't speak to the benefits of any of this, but I am interested to learn more about "gamified fitness". Actually, I'm curious to know what else can be gamified. It sounds like a marketing or PR term that holds great meaning in a conference room. They're adding games as a reward for fitness goals.

Atari Fit screen shots Please excuse me while I indulge in the pizzafication of my stomach. If I were to use this app, I'm sure it would soon be teling me, "No Asteroids for you, Fatass."


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