atari blk logo-SSEPT. 23, 2010 • The Free-to-Play craze has now hit Atari. The publisher has launched Atari GO, which seeks to monetize its catalog across F2P networks, as well as attract more independent developers who have suitable game titles that can be distributed via F2P networks.

Impact: This scenario reminds us of movie studios that operate from the conceit that their IP is easily transferrable to other media. The reality is not so rosy. We’re not sure social network users are clamoring for catalog titles from any publisher. What would need to change in a classic title like Joust, to monetize it for F2P models, and what are the costs? Fronting for independent developers shows promise for Atari, but we would wonder how lucrative this model will be for the developers. Furthermore, this seems to have a great deal of potential to flood the market with even more inferior product.