Today, Atari’s Pong Indie Developer Challenge has wrapped up and three top indie developers have netted cash prizes and the chance to release their new interpretation of Pong on the App Store. Chosen from a group of 7 finalists, the top winners are zGames, MadRuse Games, and Eppy Games. Looking over the YouTube videos of their game ideas really gives you an idea of the creativity in the indie game development scene.
The 1st Place spot went to zGames for their Pong World version of the game. This interpretation includes multiple game worlds to play in and paddle creatures to collect and evolve. They’ll get $50,000 to put towards developing that game. MadRuse Games took the 2nd Place spot and $37,500 with Pong Tournament, a tourney version of Pong with some stellar competition concepts in play. League rankings and multiplayer battles form the core of this 3D version of Pong. Finally, Eppy Games took 3rd, winning $15,000 to develop Fong, a very casual games-style Pong with customizable paddles in a circular 2D battlefield.
Along with the cash prizes, all three winners will also receive Atari’s promotional support and a three-year revenue-sharing agreement.
The top winners were chosen from an original entry list of 90 submissions by a judging panel that consisted of Nolan Bushnell, one of the original founders of Atari, Dave Castelnuovo of Bolt Creative (Pocket God), David Whatley of Critical Thought Games (geoDefense), and Mike Schramm of TUAW. In addition, the Atari community weighed in on the final ranking, with over 200,000 total votes logged for the various finalists.
We’re looking to have a chat soon with the winning studios to get some feedback from them on what inspired their ideas and where they are headed now. So keep an eye, and ear, out for that podcast!