Who Invented Pong?

One of the earliest forms of arcade video games, Pong is a two-dimensional tennis game. The primary aim of the game is to beat opponents by scoring higher. Released in 1972, this important development eventually led to a boom in the video game industry. With its rich and colorful history, it is but great to take a quick look at the start of this early video game form including who invented Pong.

The Invention of Pong

Who invented Pong? A computer scientist named Allan Alcorn invented this arcade video game. Atari Inc. released it sometime in 1972. Atari founder Nolan Bushnell assigned this task to Alcorn as a training exercise. According to Bushnell, the main idea behind the game was based on the electronic ping-pong game of the first-ever home videogame console called Magnavox Odyssey.

Additional Facts and Other Important Details

After the success of Pong, there seemed to be no turning back for the video game industry. Numerous efforts to copy the game play followed. In response, Atari asked its employees to conceptualize other innovative games. In December 1975, the home version of the game was launched in various Sears retail stores. The Pong arcade games were without a doubt a commercial success. Furthermore, the home version of the game earned solid revenues that were approximately four times more than the coin-operated arcade machines.


In 1973, Atari delivered 2,500 units. In 1974, it sold more than 8,000 video game consoles. In 1975, the company launched a special limited release of Home Pong, which eventually sold more or less 150,000 units for that particular Christmas season alone. Many game experts believed that the arcade phenomenon during that time was attributed mainly to the success of this video game.

In an effort to fight off the growing competition in the video game industry during that time, Atari released various sequels to the game. Some of the most notable titles were Pin-Pong, Quadrapong, Super Pong and Pong Doubles. Although the graphics were similar, the game play was improved significantly. For instance, Pong Doubles allowed four players to team up by pairs and compete against each group.

Atari launched another good game in Breakout. This game was an instant hit once again, which was then followed by a number of clones with similar game play. Among them were Break ‘Em All, Alleyway and Arkanoid. All these and more only prove the overall success of Pong as a video game. Today, it is still played as part of newer and more advanced video game consoles. These include versions for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable and Sega Mega Drive.