It seems there was some reason behind Atari's recent legal interest in the App Store.

Atari has released and official version of their brick breaking game called Super Breakout [App Store] tonight.

Move the paddle and deflect the ball. Super Breakout for the iPhone is a true evolution of Atari's classic. For the first time ever, players use the iPhone's tilt feature for a super power up, creating an exciting experience for this beloved game. Upload your favorite picture to create your own background. Chose to listen to your tunes while playing. Includes two player support.

The game offers both Classic and Super modes. Classic mode relives the novelty of the original game, while the Super mode adds powerups and special blocks. The game starts by using a touch control for the paddle which works well, and based on the description there is use for the accelerometer on later levels. The game is priced at $4.99.


[ Thanks Rocketman919 ]

  • Jon

    Looks like Atari's legal sabre rattling was just a stunt to clear the way for their own Breakout game. If that's the case it SUCKS big style - as a fellow indie hearing of others being bullied by the "big boys" really sticks in my craw.

    If Atari want to ensure that their game is a success then they should devote all their efforts to polishing it and making it the best it could be, not resorting to low tactics and scaring off students.

    I for one would tell any big publisher to "take a hike" if they tried that tactic on me - look it up "YOU CAN'T COPYRIGHT AN IDEA!", if the guy's had done a 100% direct copy then they might have had a case otherwise why didn't they go after Taito years ago when Arkanoid came out!

    Disclaimer : I'm actually (or was) a long time Atari fan right back to the 2600 days, although Atari now is nothing more than a name to be sold back and forth as a commodity - I'm NOT an Atari hater, in fact I'm not any kind of hater - unless you want to include bullies!


  • arn

    @jon - as much as I don't like legal scare tactics, I side with Atari on this one.

    They may have slightly misrepresented themselves in their letters ("copyright" claims), but marketplace confusion with respect to trademarks is one area they have clear rights in. The apps they threatened used the Pong or Breakout trademarks, potentially confusingly.

    all those apps are still in the app store but under different names.


  • cjelly

    Wow, a reasonably priced game from one of the big publishers!

  • Tim

    Not get us off topic or anything, but has anyone played the game yet and what do they think of it? Worth picking up?

  • Aaron Sullivan

    I don't get why you shouldn't be able to protect the name/franchise you create from the ground up? Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    The people who try to piggy back on the hard work of others by stealing another games name or strongly implying the knock-off is somehow officially connected to it (whether it's from a big company or not) are at fault. It's pretty straightforward.

    I think the tactics used need some refining, and a simple letter of intent goes a long way towards goodwill. "It's come to our attention... legal action will be necessary if you don't change the way the game is presented..."

    Any "student" or other independent programmer that is building a new IP would be furious if someone stole the name of their own product and made a competing game that stole sales from them.

    To get more direct on this game, it looks like a decent job done with the title and it's at a reasonable price, so... good on Atari (which is FAR from a stable giant company nowadays, btw!)

  • Raphael Salgado

    Isn't everything a knock-off or "reimagination" of everything else nowadays? This seems shady in my opinion. I'm hard at work creating some unique titles, but it just seems that if someone wanted to fill in a void that only the iPhone doesn't have at this very moment, such as a game already on the PSP, Nintendo DS, or a Palm or Windows Mobile device, as long as their not copying every little detail or even naming their product close to the original, what's the problem with that?

  • arn

    @Tim I played it briefly. it seems like a good game. Classic is classic. The super version of it plays well, good graphics. strangely seems like you are playing underwater. only played a few levels so far.


  • fluffy

    So I wonder if Jobs and Wozniak get direct royalties for this?

  • Skykomish

    This is a REALLY GOOD version of Super Breakout -- it's challenging, fun, and looks cool. I can blow hours in an afternoon playing this thing 🙂

  • Joel

    Talking about Gameplay, this one is not as good as the other Breakout style games on the App Store.

    If a name is copyrighted, then you can't use it, Period. The other games are still on the App Store, but with different names.

  • Rocketman919

    thanks for the shout out arn.

  • Nagromme

    I support small indie developers protecting their product name/brand/identity, and/or their gameplay concept, from copying by larger companies or smaller copycats, using whatever means they legally can use to protect themselves.

    Therefore, I must also support a BIG developer claiming those same protections.

    (This is why I want to buy Puzzloop: it came from the original developers of that concept, supposedly.)

  • Tim

    @arn, thanks for the info, I may pick this one up then.