Pretty much everyone has played Pong. Admittedly, there's not much to the game—players bat a square dot back and forth in a primitive game of table tennis—but it represents a revolutionary moment in video game history.
But Atari, as much as the company's name evokes memories of arcades and one of the founding fathers of video games (Nolan Bushnell), isn't as nostalgic is you might think. They want up-and-coming game developers to try their hand at reinventing Pong, in many ways their crowning achievement.
The company plans to bring Pong to the Apple store, and in anticipation of the release, they're asking prospective contestants to share their own vision of the game as part of the Pong Indie Developer Challenge for a chance to win up to $100,000 and to make their concept a reality:
In addition to a full revenue-share publishing agreement including marketing and PR support, cash prizes include $50,000 for 1st place, $37,500 for 2nd place, $15,000 for 3rd place, and $5,000 to each of the remaining seven finalists … Finalists will launch their games on the App Store later this year under the Atari brand, along with a publishing agreement and full launch support.
The panel of judges includes Atari company members, Dave Castelnuovo (a consultant and entrepreneur who founded Bolt Creative in 2001), Mike Schramm (a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and gamar and a lead editor in AOL's Tech Media group), and the great Nolan Bushnell himself. Entries will be chosen for the following criteria: fun, originality, visual appeal, and marketability.
For more details and to learn how to enter, visit the Atari webpage for the Pong Indie Developer Challenge.