Atari Announces the $100,000 Pong® Indie Developer Challenge

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Mattlab, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Mattlab

    Mattlab New Member

    Oct 6, 2011
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    Atari is very proud to have the pleasure of announcing a recent development within the Atari brand. The Indie Pong Development Challenge is calling on entrants to reimagine Atari’s classic Pong for a chance to win up to $100,000 and see their vision go from concept to market. #PongDevChallenge

    See http://atari.com/pongdeveloperchallenge for the official contest page and more information!

    Official Announcement from Atari
     
  2. BravadoWaffle

    BravadoWaffle Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    Game Designer
  3. schplurg

    schplurg Well-Known Member

    #4 schplurg, Feb 29, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
    Thanks for the quick heads up. As I read it I thought to myself, "Wow that's bad! I should quote that sentence at TA". Then I'd read something even worse, again and again.

    Every dev should read that link if they're considering this contest. If you make a game that is good enough to be considered even a runner-up, you would make much more just publishing it yourself, or finding another publisher. Well, maybe.
     
  4. SibaStyle

    SibaStyle Active Member

    Oct 19, 2011
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    schplurg, I think it's worth quoting. This is probably the first area where you thought "Wow that's bad!"

    c) All Entries become the sole and exclusive property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged
    or returned. Sponsor shall own all right, title and interest in and to eachEntry, including
    without limitation all results and proceeds thereof and all elements or constituent parts of
    Entry (including without limitation the Mobile App, the Design Documents, the Video Trailer,
    the Playable and all illustrations, logos, mechanicals, renderings, characters, graphics,
    designs, layouts or other material therein) and all copyrights and renewals and extensions of
    copyrights therein and thereto. Without limitation of the foregoing, each Eligible
    Entrantshall and hereby doesabsolutely and irrevocably assign and transfer all of his or her
    right, title and interest in his or her Entry toSponsor, and Sponsor shall have the right and may authorize others to use, copy, sublicense, transmit, modify, manipulate, publish,
    delete,reproduce, perform, distribute, display and otherwise exploit the Entry (and to create and exploit derivative works thereof) in any manner, including without limitation to embody the Entry,in whole or in part, in apps and other works of any kind or nature created, developed, published or distributed by Sponsor and to and register as a trademark in any country in Sponsor’s name any component of the Entry, without such Eligible Entrant reserving any rights or claims with respect thereto. Sponsor shall have the exclusive right, in perpetuity, throughout the Territory to change, adapt, modify, use, combine with other material and otherwise exploit the Entryin all media now known or hereafter devised and in any manner, in its sole and absolute discretion, without the need for any payment or credit to Entrant
     
  5. Foursaken_Media

    Foursaken_Media Well-Known Member
    Patreon Indie

    Definitely something to think about, but in all fairness, isn't that what they're potentially paying $100,000 for... your game?

     
  6. SibaStyle

    SibaStyle Active Member

    Oct 19, 2011
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    Yes, but only $100,000 to the winner. If you submit, you release all ownership of your product. Your 3+ months work could be for nothing. If you don't win, you don't get the $100,000 and you will get nothing from the future sales of your game.
     
  7. MikaMobile

    MikaMobile Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2009
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    This contest is exploitative to the max. Atari stands to gain a lot more than 100k if they got a quality submission, and risks nothing in the process. They're looking for suckers, plain and simple.
     
  8. dib

    dib Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2011
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    I think it's more likely a thin whitewash for the fact they normally sue developers for this exact thing: make a game too similar to some decades-old classic, win an autographed C&D letter!
     
  9. DistantJ

    DistantJ Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2012
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    Wow, it sounded good until I read the smallprint and the Gamasutra page. Forget it!!
     
  10. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    Berlin, Germany
    +1


    this is shameless extortion.. and honestly i find it very offensive. first atari lawyers go rampage on small indies who do not infringe on their copyright but are to small to fight back and then this scam.

    its that an obscure way to collect some plus points from the indie community?

    and this is a slap into the face for everyone who contributes.. we take your ideas thank you but we don't acknowledge who came up with them in the first place..

    so yeah atari is searching for complete idiots to exploit.. this is an all time low for them..

    also very sad imho is that there is not much integrity from the "free" judges either like shown here

    http://www.tuaw.com/2012/02/28/atari-announces-pong-contest-for-indie-ios-devs/

    the guy writes that rules are heinous but still wants to back this scam as a judge..

    apparently alot of people still get sparkle eyes when they hear atari..
     
  11. MrBlue

    MrBlue Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2008
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    iPhone Developer
    From the Gamasutra article:

    That $100k is not really $100k even if you are the "winner".
     
  12. suetmon

    suetmon Member

    Sep 28, 2011
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    Looks like Atari posted a reply on Kotaku

    Just saw this on Kotaku...

    http://kotaku.com/5889105/make-your-own-version-of-pong-win-100000

    I'll quote it so that its easier:

    In my opinion some valid points on both sides.

    And yes, my post count is low... I've been lurking and finally felt there was an issue I needed to post about. BTW hello everyone!
     
  13. DistantJ

    DistantJ Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2012
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    Eh, I guess it's only Pong... Couldn't hurt right?
     
  14. antireality

    antireality Member

    Mar 11, 2011
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    graphics driver monkey
    Kingston Upon Thames, UK
    'here's your opportunity to work with a pioneering video game company'

    Really? All I see is some washed-up shovelware mill masquerading as Atari...
     
  15. suetmon

    suetmon Member

    Sep 28, 2011
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    Meh for me there seems to be no real harm in entering. I plan to enter as honestly worst case scenario I put in an idea and don't get picked and best case I win 50k. The way I see it I can't use this idea anywhere else anyways since its pong and quite frankly the recognition I get from the industry of even making it to the semifinals is huge for me. Once they put my name out there on the semifinalist page I know I will get noticed more. So win win.

    It makes complete sense to me that they would own the idea since after all it is their trademark and copyright. I don't loose anything by entering since my idea is specific enough that it really would be considered Pong of some variation of it regardless of whether I use the name or not. Which is probably why Atari even put that line in their rules.

    So if my idea/design document has a chance of netting me 50k then I am absolutely sending it in. What do I loose maybe 1-2 days of work coming up with something at this stage and all i need to do is to create a design document? Seems completely worth it to me.

    I understand this is a contest and not a traditional publishing agreement so of course there is more risk, etc. I think the gamasutra guy kinda missed that point.

    Anyways I would say goodluck to those who enter but I honestly would love to win or at least make it to semi's so my name get's out there.
     
  16. suetmon

    suetmon Member

    Sep 28, 2011
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    I will add that the gamasutra guy did a good service of reading the rules and pointing out some key things but seeing the fact that I really loose almost nothing just by entering and the reward of making it to the semi's alone is huge for industry recognition I think he should have modified his post a bit. But he raises valid points nonetheless.
     
  17. schplurg

    schplurg Well-Known Member

    That's part of it I guess. It's just misleading all around - the ad is anyways. Buyer beware. I don't think it would be a smart business move for anyone who is more than a recreational game designer. I'm not hating on them (I didn't read my previous comment though, so maybe I did)
     
  18. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    Berlin, Germany
    #19 mr.Ugly, Mar 2, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
    no you miss the point , ALL ideas are getting picked, after submission its theirs.. no matter if you continue into the next round or not.. and if they wish they are free todo whatever they want with it.. for example merge your ideas with another ones and let him do the work.. since your NOT! acknowledged you won't be credited either..

    or maybe you work out a full app to their technical terms and end up with one of the 5k spots.

    and what exactly will get noticed? that you are easily exploitable by company x? its alot easier to get a job in the biz.. go to company x and tell them you make an 1 year long internship for free working 60h a week..
    you get the job, guaranteed.

    thats silly.. your idea is not their trademark.. you can call your game "ching chong ping pang" and release it without any problems.

    again apparently you did not even bother to read what the contest is about...
    your idea just gets you to the next step which is implementing your idea yourself in completly high quality form.. thats the work.. not writing something down on paper o_O

    the funny part is they do not need to get your "name" out there.. they only need to state what design documents made it into the semi.. not who made it.. :)
     
  19. DistantJ

    DistantJ Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2012
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    The way I see it, it's only Pong, which is something you can develop in 20 minutes. Sucks that something becomes their property whether they use it or not, but unless your idea involves spending hours putting something overly complex together, like Geometry Wars Pong or something, it could be something you just put together for fun.

    If it doesn't win, depending on the design, it might be possible to alter it just enough to not be recognisable as your entry...

    I wouldn't be entering to get my name out there, I'd be doing it for the chance to win money... :p
     

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