In a staggering moment in “what the hell” territory, the producers behind the Atari movie have released a new cryptocurrency, named after Atari founder Nolan Bushnell. You know, the guy who lost his GDC Pioneer Award this year because of renewed interest in his shady behavior during the heyday of Atari. The backlash to the GDC’s announcement even spawned a catchy hashtag #NotNolan.
And because everything blockchain is cool at the moment, Atari film production company Vision Tree decided the best way to raise interest in the movie was to make a cryptocurrency for it, and then go ahead and name it after the controversial developer. Its almost like they wanted to make the worst possible decision.
Now, for those of you not immediately turned off by the name of the cryptocurrency, we do have some facts for you. The token is supposed to provide an innovative film funding model, and Vision Tree intend to launch a private pre-sale for the Bushnell Token in early Spring. The coin is an ERC-20 security token that gives holders access to pro rata earnings from the Atari movie, as well as some voting rights for things relating to the film.
Which is all well and good, but could we not have named it the “Atari Token”? That seems more accurate and a hell of a lot less controversial. Sure, the Atari movie is a biopic about Bushnell, but it focuses on his work at Atari, and we aren’t calling it the “Nolan Bushnell Movie” now are we? No, it’s the Atari movie. Like it should be. The currency should be the same.
The press release announcing the cryptocurrency included statements from Bushnell himself, the Director of the Atari movie, and the Co-Founder of Vision Tree. However, none of them are able to properly explain any bit of the absolute insanity they’ve cooked up.
However, in the interests of fair reporting, you can read those verbatim below.
Nolan Bushnell said: “With Atari, a paradigm shift began in the way people interacted with technology. Atari’s renegade approach resulted in it becoming the fastest growing company in the U.S. in its time. Blockchain represents a new environment that needs to be explored in all its dimensions: games, movies, books, art, etc. It is an innovative approach, fueling economic models and matching support with funding. The idea that we have a new way to fund things is fascinating and powerful.”
Brian Hecker, Director of the Atari movie, said: “Reflecting on how far we’ve come in our short-lived tech age, Nolan is a true unsung hero, having introduced the computer to the masses in ’72, before even pocket calculators hit the mainstream. Nolan’s work ethic, coupled with his rebellious spirit, has inspired me each day of our 10-year journey working with him and his family to get the story right. We couldn’t be more thrilled to engage with all tech-lovers, game enthusiasts, and dreamers who’ve been told ‘no’ to help bring this incredible underdog story to the big screen.”
J.D. Seraphine, Co-Founder of Vision Tree, said: “The option of an ICO has been very disruptive to the venture capital community and traditional financing methods, while it’s been very beneficial to us. Entertainment companies can engage directly with their audience and crowdsource financing at such a great scale now. We’ve seen success with our own films, namely Sirius, and we’re seeing many successful film projects continue momentum and traction through an ICO. We’re excited to be one of the first to utilize an ICO and a cryptocurrency to engage with audiences and finance a film in this way.”
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