Atari Cozies Up To Polymega According to FY2023 Annual Report

By Todd Russell Aug27,2023

If you want to know what a company is up to, just read their annual report. Being an owner of their most recent console, the Atari VCS 800, of course I”m curious. Here’s the report so, you can read it in full: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2023/08/01/2715473/0/en/ATARI-FY2023-ANNUAL-RESULTS.html

Let’s cover a few items of note:

Hardware – The year was primarily dedicated to the reorganization of the Hardware line of business which included the suspension of direct hardware manufacturing relationships, notably with regards to the Atari VCS, for which a new commercial strategy has been implemented as of the end of calendar year 2022 and that will continue in calendar year 2023. In July 2023, Atari announced a strategic collaboration with Playmaji Inc., the company behind the Polymega game console, to collaborate on innovative retro hardware and software initiatives.

Polymega (https://polymega.com/) is a multi-console system that allows playing the original carts and CDs for several systems, but the system is 100% emulated, so it’s not really playing the games on the hardware. This makes the system pricey to me when it weighs in over $500. Does the statement above mean there will be a Polymega hardware module that allows playing Atari 2600, 5200 and 7800 carts? The Atari VCS 800 software is digital distribution which doesn’t really fit what’s going on here, at least to date. There is a mention of wanting to get into non-physical game media on PolyMega’s official website, but it sounds like Polymega will include some sort of DRM (Digital Rights Management) to protect the games. If you’re going to copy your media to a system, why not just copy it to your computer and run the media throuugh a powerful PC, why use Polymega? Convenience? Sigh.

Ok, the Polymega parternship doesn’t sound encouraging to this gamer author. Let’s move on. What is Atari doing with software?

Gaming – Increase the monetization of the large back catalog of games and acquired IP, continue to invest in the development of a dynamic pipeline of new premium game releases of 12 new games scheduled over the next 18 months, and the successful integration of Nightdive Studios;

What’s the bottom line? Atari lost less money than in 2022 fiscal period (2021-2022) than the 2023 fiscal period (2022-summer 2023), but they still lost money. They are still in the red. We talked a fair amount about this on Episode 52 of the High Noon Hollywood Polo show.

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