It seems the iTunes App Store is like a Valhalla for classic games. There, they are reborn, honored and often reimagined by other developers, finding new audiences among iPhone and iPad players.
Developer and publisher Atari has something like that in mind for the granddaddy of games, table-tennis simulator Pong. It’s offering $100,000 as the grand prize in a competition between iOS developers to create the best reimagining of the piece of gaming history, as well as a chance to publish the game in the App Store under the Atari label.
According to a press release from Atari, The Atari Pong Indie Developer Challenge started on Feb. 28, with developers submitting their ideas for a modern version of the game. Submissions are accepted until March 31, when Atari will pick finalists in the competition, all of whom will have their games published as Atari titles and released into the App Store. Entries can be made at at their website..
At the end of all the judging (roughly around June), Atari will pick three winners, handing out rewards based on their positions. Those three games will get published by Atari and receive marketing support and development resources. In addition, fans of Atari games also will be asked to pick their favorites, with the highest vote-getter being chosen as the Atari Community favorite.
Atari has seen some serious success lately with new takes on old hits. Old-school favorites like Asteroids and Breakout got new versions in Asteroids: Gunner and Breakout: Boost, and Atari launched its Greatest Hits collection last year. Obviously, there’s a pretty big market for nostalgic games, and that’s to say nothing of old hits getting new life among other developers. The App Store has a lot of players willing to let old things be new again, it seems.
It’ll be nice to see even more new developers getting a chance to take on the game that started it all. Some exciting ideas are likely to hit the App Store in the next few months; hopefully, most of them will make authentic boop noises.