February 29th, 2012 | By Chris Priestman
You may or may not know that Atari set up an Indie Developer Challenge yesterday, one that offers up to $100,000 for re-imagining Pong as a hit for the App Store. To put it bluntly it’s a sham and you’d be better off not entering – here’s why.
The Pong Indie Developer Challenge may seem like a friendly gesture towards the indie development scene, but there’s no reason for anyone to enter, apart from if they are so cash-hungry, they’d roll over and do a back flip for any amount of money. You’re not going to gain recognition for this and you certainly won’t want to be associated with the disgusting practices over at Atari.
As spotted by Brian Robbins, by reading through the contest’s messily typed official rules you’ll soon come to notice that this event is nothing more than a well packaged deception. The likely chances of any of the winners actually receiving that $100,000 is very slim.
The “Prize”, it states, is actually half of what each winner could win. The rest is called “Prize Maximum” which is a revenue share agreement making up the other half of the prize. Furthermore, this share stops going to the winner after 12 months of the game’s release if they haven’t reached the maximum prize limit before then.
Atari have you sussed if you don’t win either. Just by submitting your game into the contest, you sign your creation over to them entirely so that they may do as they please with it, as is stated in Section 6. You want to put that game of yours on the App Store? You can’t because it’s Atari’s game now and they’ll probably sue you for everything you have.
Please, for the love of all that is good, do not enter your creations into this sham. Stay clear of it and make games your own way – not to fuel a company without shame, desperately trying to exploit honest indie developers. Yes, there’s a cash prize, but there’s a whole lot more in it for Atari who haven’t long beaten off the indie competition on the App Store as it is.
Atari need you, you don’t need Atari.