As we near the 40th anniversary of Pong, the granddaddy of gaming, Atari has come up with a neat little contest for aspiring developers. The rules are simple – indie developers are invited to submit their reimagined concepts for Pong, and the winner will receive $100,000 and the satisfaction of watching their idea be turned into a real iOS game published under the Atari brand. Want to enter? Then get your idea submitted here no later than March 31st.
So who’s judging this thing, you ask? Why an all-star lineup if industry vets of course. First and foremost is Atari legend Nolan Bushnell, who probably hasn’t had to buy his own drinks since 1975. Rounding out the judging panel are Pocket God creator Dave Castelnuovo, Mike Schramm of TUAW, and a handful of Atari executives.
Entrants are asked to at the very least create a design document of their game, but they can also turn in a link to a playable build if one is available. Semi-finalists will be asked to make a playable demo and a short promotional video, and finalists will have the opportunity to complete their builds and offer submission candidates for review.
The only thing the contest doesn’t mention is if the creator of the winning entry gets any stake in the finished product. Typically in competitions such as these any materials entered become the property of the host company (in this case, Atari), and the creator relinquishes all rights. That means that the winner may get $100k, but they also likely miss out on any future revenue the game earns once it’s released in the App Store. But that’s still more money than you’ll likely ever make creating a Pong ripoff, not to mention all the cash you’ll save in lawsuits and legal fees.