Back in February we wrote about Atari’s challenge to developers to reinvent Pong on the eve of its 40th anniversary. That anniversary came and went back in June, and Atari has presented us with the three winners of the “Pong Indie Developer Challenge”. Each of the victors will receive a cash prize, as well as a three-year revenue-sharing agreement with Atari.
The third place prize of $15,000 went to Eppy Games and their game Fong. Its most immediate feature is the creepy, living paddles. But there also appears to be customization options, meaning the player could ostensibly make their paddle less frightening.
More important than all of that, though, is that it brought the gameplay of Pong to a circular playing field.
The second place prize of $37,500 went to Mad Ruse Games and their game Pong Tournament. Of the three, they definitely took the most liberties in redefining the Pong formula. Which is a good thing! Go big or go home, etc. etc.
I suggest downloading an app that plays a drumroll right about now, or maybe just drumming on your desk with your fingers:
The first place prize of $50,000 went to zGames and their game Pong World. Like Fong, it features anthropomorphic (and admittedly creepy) paddles, but it also contains a suite of varying worlds and levels for players to unlock. It doesn’t deviate from the original gameplay formula too much, but it manages to wrap it all up in a decidedly modern package.
We extend a hearty congrats to all of the winners, and a better-luck-next-time to the entrants that didn’t manage to make the cut. Chin up!