The once-popular and prominent video game company is joining forces with veteran producer Scott Sternberg (Catch 21, Rock & Roll Jeopardy, Love Connection) to create a new game show based on the classic 1972 game Pong that helped jumpstart the arcade industry. Titled Million Dollar Pong, the show will be produced by Scott Sternberg Productions and Jeff Mirkin will serve as the producer for Atari. The show has yet to be picked up by a network.
Much like my initial reaction to the pending premiere of Candy Crush, I’m quite surprised by this move and it is going to be very interesting to see how this idea will transfer into a television game show. With a game show like Nick Arcade or Starcade, you have a lot more to work with in terms of variety. I’m afraid that Pong will fall in the same one-dimensional trap as Candy Crush and the viewer will be stuck watching multiple rounds of the same game – with little to no ability to play-along with the show – ad nauseum for an hour. And most of us has seen what happened with CBS’s Candy Crush quickly falling by the wayside. I have a strange feeling we might be seeing a unsurprising cameo of Super Breakout if or when the show debuts. I hope Million Dollar Pong won’t have Nolan Bushnell rolling over in his grave.