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Atari updates rules and deadline, adds judge to Pong developer contest


(Disclaimer: I am serving as a judge in this contest for Atari, though I'm not getting paid or compensated in any way for contributing my time.)

After Atari announced a recent contest to encourage iOS developers to come up with new ideas for a Pong-style remake, there was feedback among the iOS community in general that the terms for the new contest were a little too limiting. Specifically, Atari is basically offering a share of earnings from the final published app as prize money (in addition to a series of cash prizes, including $50,000 for first place), and some developers have said that's a bad deal to take.

Now, Atari tells TUAW that it has updated the rules on the contest, and as Atari says, "are intended to offer developers larger incentives for participation and increase their potential revenue as a result of their winning Pong submission." The biggest change is that winning developers will now share revenue with Atari for a longer period of time, from one year up to three years. That should provide a extra revenue for devs who win, and maybe encourage anyone turned off by the initial rules to reconsider.

Additionally, Atari will be putting all of the winners in a "Developer Spotlight" page on its official site, so everyone can see the fruits of the contest when they're announced in June. And finally, David Whatley (of Critical Thought Games, maker of Tiny Heroes and geoDefense) is going to join the judging panel, which also includes Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Pocket God's Dave Castelnuovo, and me, TUAW editor Mike Schramm.

Entries are now going to be accepted until April 15, 2012, so if you have an idea for a new take on Pong, be sure to submit it over on the official site. Yes, for experienced developers who already have the experience and ability to publish and promote apps on the App Store, this might not be for you -- aside from the Pong trademark itself, why go through Atari when you can do it on your own? But for devs with a great Pong-centered idea and not a lot of resources to back it up, joining up with Atari in this way could be a real windfall. Good luck to everyone who enters.

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