Athena Worlds Debuts New Tech Headed by Atari Veterans

Athena Worlds has revealed its new "Athena" tech which promises to reduce game development time and costs by 40% while increasing graphics detail by as much as 10x.

Published: June 2, 2021 2:11 PM /


Athena Worlds Athena tech iPhone comparison revised

A new "Athena" technology has been revealed by Athena Worlds, a technology company headed up by Atari veterans — including Atari founder Nolan Bushnell — that aims to make game development easier.

Making video games takes a lot of work and a huge part of that challenge is content creation. Someone has to actually make all of the bits and pieces you see on screen such as the game world, the objects that decorate that world, and the characters who populate it. This is a labor-intensive process, and game developers both big and small are often looking for ways to become more efficient.

Enter Athena Worlds — this company has been working on a project for the better part of five years and now it can show off the results: its new flagship "Athena" tech. There are some powerful claims behind this tech, too — Athena Worlds says that it can make the game world 10 times more detailed while simultaneously reducing development time and costs by 40%.

Athena Worlds Athena tech slice

How Athena Worlds' New 'Athena' Technology Makes Game Development Easier

Athena Worlds' new Athena tech is a pretty interesting idea in practice: it uses shape recognition AI to redraw 3D objects on screen. The result: Athena allows game developers to add many more assets into a game without severely impacting performance.

A single example was provided by the company (which you can see in our header image). On the left is an example level built without Athena's technology. On the right, however, is a similar level created with Athena's technology incorporated into the development process. Both of these examples are on an iPhone; Athena's tech would be pretty impressive if it can manage to deliver that level of detail without sacrificing framerate.

The team behind the Athena tech includes veterans from Atari, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, King, and Konami, but the people on its board of directors are particularly notable — they include Unity's Senior Program manager Emily Amphlett (who led the Candy Crush team for 7 years), Atari developer Jane Whittaker (who also happened to work on the legendary Goldeneye 64), and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell.

"Athena Worlds' 3D technology blew my mind," Bushnell said in a press release."I believe that new technologies like Athena have a huge potential to shape the future of our world.  I am excited to help guide Jane Whittaker and the team towards what I believe will be a very bright future."

Athena is a tech that's intended for developers and aims to save them a lot of time, so the technology by itself isn't of much interest to the average gamer. If it works as promised, though, we could see shorter waits for new games and new content or redirection of resources to make virtual worlds even more detailed.

Update – We received additional details about how Athena's technology works following the publication of this article and have updated it to reflect this new information.

What do you think of the Athena tech? What do you think game developers would do if it really saves them 40% of their development time and costs? Let us know in the comments below

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A photograph of TechRaptor Senior Writer Robert N. Adams.
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One of my earliest memories is playing Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I… More about Robert N