[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]
New York, NY (October 29, 2020) – KaiOS Technologies and Atari®ï¸, one of the world’s most iconic consumer brands and entertainment producers, announced today that PONG®ï¸, the first-ever commercially successful video game, is now available on KaiOS-enabled smart feature phones.
PONG and KaiOS devices are a perfect match, pairing nostalgic gameplay with a simple and easy-to-use keypad interface. It brings a classic and fun gaming experience for all ages to first-time internet users on smart feature phones. Available via the KaiStore worldwide, the PONG app is optimized for all KaiOS-enabled devices, with both 256MB and 512MB of RAM.
“We’re very excited to welcome Atari to the KaiOS ecosystem,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “The classic arrow and keypad format of KaiOS-enabled devices is perfect for old-school gaming, and PONG is the ultimate classic. I myself am eager to give this new KaiStore addition a try!”
“PONG introduced video games to an entire generation when it first launched in 1972,” said Jean-Marcel Nicolai, COO of Atari. “In partnership with Kai, we’re thrilled to introduce PONG to a new market of gamers, and we look forward to bringing more Atari games to KaiOS in the future.”
Since the first KaiOS-enabled device hit the market in 2017, KaiOS has gained widespread popularity. Over 135 million devices have been shipped worldwide, with their unique mix of capability and affordability breaking new ground for mobile devices. Designed to run on low-spec hardware, KaiOS is a light operating system leveraging open, web-based technologies such as HTML5 to create a rich, intuitive user experience and enable access to essential apps and other internet-based resources. Together with its partners, Kai aims to close the digital divide by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones.
Since KaiOS is built on open web technologies, developers can easily port their games and other apps to KaiOS, reaching a previously untapped audience of millions of smart feature phone users. Developers can also monetize their KaiOS apps via KaiAds, the first advertising software development kit (SDK) and supply-side platform (SSP) designed for smart feature phones. KaiAds offers brands (including Atari) and advertisers entry into new regions via KaiOS-enabled devices to reach new users previously not reachable through digital marketing.
Created as a simple-but-challenging table tennis simulation, the influential PONG arcade game debuted on November 29, 1972. It was the first commercially successful video game and an immediate smash hit that effectively established the video game industry. PONG was originally meant to be a simple training exercise, assigned to newly hired engineer Allan Alcorn by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell to acclimate him to creating games. Alcorn went above and beyond, adding appealing features such as segmented paddles that changed the angle of the “ball” and accelerating speeds as play went on. Alcorn also elected to retain a “glitch” that didn’t allow the paddles to reach the top of the screen, which added to the game’s difficulty. Lastly, Bushnell had Alcorn add cheering crowd noises and other sound effects. The game was so well-received that Bushnell and the team were able to rapidly grow Atari and an entire industry was born.
About KaiOS Technologies
KaiOS Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 135 million devices shipped in over 150 countries. Kai’s mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like the Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Google Maps.
Atari® is an interactive entertainment company. As an iconic brand that transcends generations and audiences, the company is globally recognized for its multi-platform, interactive entertainment, and licensed products. Atari owns and/or manages a portfolio of more than 200 games and franchises, including world-renowned brands like Asteroids®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, PONG®, and RollerCoaster Tycoon®. Atari has offices in New York and Paris. Visit us online at www.atari.com.
KaiOS Media Contact
Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
+852 9139 3746 / +1 (408) 286 2611
Atari Media Contact
Mario R. Kroll and CJ Melendez