Atari Announces PONG RPG; No, It’s Not April Foolery

In recent years, game publishers and developers have been particularly fond of April Fools’ jokes- they’re great, cheap advertising that can help people remember your brand, and may offer insights into what your audience wants- case in point, Pokemon Go, which started as a joke and perhaps still is one.

Today, Atari announced PONG Quest, which I assumed was an elaborate joke until I realized that March has 31 days and I began to question everything I thought I knew about the game industry. Here’s the trailer for PONG Quest. It’s real.

I’m unironically hoping to see PONG Quest come out and succeed- in a lot of ways, this is PONG remixed, with customizable paddles, RPG-style battles and balls that do weird stuff. There’s also supposed to be a goofy storyline of some sort- I’m cautiously optimistic about that. The press release I received mentioned unveiling a mystery involving a “Spooky Door” but little else.

Atari as we tend to think of it died long ago- at this point, it’s pretty much been reduced to a name, logo and licenses for a few classic games that, while awesome in their own right for their historical significance, can only be repackaged so many times- such as in the Atari Flashback consoles which rather notably predated the Nintendo mini consoles by several years.

At long last, however, it seems that something creative’s being done with the world’s first video game IP. At the time of this article’s being written, it’s still March 31st- it’s not too late for Atari to unveil this as being an elaborate joke- but at this point, I don’t think it is as they’ve announced the developer, Chequered Ink, is working to bring PONG Quest to the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and PC this spring. Strangely enough, there’s no mention of this game coming to the Atari VCS, the Linux-based console that was supposed to ship its first batch this month but was delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.

What do you think of PONG Quest– is this a good use of a classic game that was, up until now, all played out? Hit us up in the comments below or @1RuleBeCool on Twitter.

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