Speaking to VentureBeat, newly appointed Atari CEO Frederic Chesnais revealed his plans to position the company as "more than a software brand."
Chesnais left his position as Atari CEO in 2007 before buying a 25.23% stake in the company in February 2013 in a bid to save it from bankruptcy. Taking over the company after years of mismanagement, Chesnais was dismayed to find that "there was kind of, uh ... no 'real' Atari."
Chesnais quickly reformed the company into a "10-person operation" focused on working with partners to create products based on Atari's large portfolio of strong IP.
Atari will keep producing new games, but Chesnais also thinks of it as "a hardware brand" too. "With new licensing with the right partners we build the brand not only in the software space but also in the hardware space," he explained, before asserting that he "didn't buy the company to make T-shirts and stuff like that. We are way, way, way beyond that."
Atari will "carefully announce" its new hardware plans over the next few years. In the meanwhile, Chesnais has offered a "close-enough" example. "I'm not talking about a new console ... but, like, a watch. A gamified watch. It's not what we are going to do, but think about [something like] that," he said.