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Saturday, September 22, 2007

According to the official web site for Plasma Pong, the download link and information page for this freeware game had been taken down until further notice.

The forums are still up, while the game itself can be acquired from Download.com and CHIP Online. Both Washington Post and Gamasutra interviews had revealed that a multi-player version was in the works before this setback.

Apparently you can't do a Pong remake without approval from Atari it seems.


Anonymous Stwelin said at 9/22/2007 07:01:00 PM:  
Harsh! Sooo many pong remakes, yet they pick only a somewhat well known one to bust? Well who knows. Was it said it was removed due to a copyright issue?
Anonymous BenH said at 9/22/2007 07:02:00 PM:  
Lawyers suck. I guess Atari must be getting ready to release an amazing next-gen pong game ;)
Anonymous BenH said at 9/22/2007 07:07:00 PM:  

It would have been removed by request of Atari lawyers. Their job is to find things like this that would infringe on their trademarks and get them to stop. No thought goes into whether or not the item in question is damaging, they just make sure things like this get removed. If he removed "Pong" from the name, there wouldn't be an issue.
Blogger Shaheen said at 9/22/2007 07:34:00 PM:  
And the irony of it all is that Atari's Pong idea was initially stolen from someone else.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 9/22/2007 08:36:00 PM:  
Yep, two paddles and a ball...one hell of a concept. He should have called it tabletop soccer. Greedy lawyers.
Blogger Tunginobi said at 9/22/2007 10:02:00 PM:  
Maybe they could call it "Plasma Paddles"?
Blogger Gr.Viper said at 9/23/2007 12:32:00 AM:  
Up plasma creek without a paddle...
It would be nice if a company that failed to release anything decent under a certain trademark in some years would lose all rights to it. But that could leave so many lawyers starving to death...
Anonymous Anonymous said at 9/23/2007 02:34:00 AM:  
With Atari's profile going down the drain I guess they need to do something to keep the name in people's minds.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 9/23/2007 04:13:00 AM:  
This is ridiculous.

I'm sure Atari just happen to have the rights to the name "Ping Pong"? Because I'm pretty sure Plasma Pong could be seen as a riff on the name "Ping Pong".
Anonymous FireSword said at 9/23/2007 04:31:00 AM:  
Sounds incredible! I hope they removed it just beacouse it contains the name pong in the title.. otherwise they are crazy!
Anonymous Oddbob said at 9/23/2007 05:31:00 AM:  
Given the state of Infogrames finances for the past two years (fighting off their second NASDAC delisting notice, still massively in debt, reporting millions of pounds in losses AND unable to take out further loans) and their increasing reliance on the Atari name and IP it's not entirely unsurprising that they're resorting to C&D's.

T'aint going to make their problems go away though and considering the embarassing mess of their "updated" products, perhaps looking inwards might be a first port of call.

As to why Plasma Pong? Domain name or the fact it's had massive amounts of exposure. Depending on whether it's just the usual spiderbot job or someone really took the time to flag it and fire off a C&D. I know which one my money would be on though.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 9/23/2007 09:31:00 AM:  
Well I guess when you have a failing company going very much in the red you then have to start attacking anything you can hoping you find someone who resists so you can squeeze a few extra bucks out of them.
Blogger Jakob said at 9/25/2007 02:11:00 AM:  
You are also ocassionally asked to take stuff down when negotiating a distribution/publishing deal with someone who wants to sell what you are giving away for free. So unless confirmed, this is a possibility.
However, if Atari's lawyer's are on the warpath for Pong, that is regrettable.
Blogger Pip said at 9/25/2007 09:07:00 AM:  
Atari should acquire and release Plasma Pong on XBLA: everybody wins!
Blogger Prospero said at 9/25/2007 09:39:00 AM:  
This is nothing other than absurd. Silly Atari, very silly...

I hope Plasma Pong returns in some other form in the future.
Anonymous Ozzie said at 10/01/2007 01:38:00 PM:  
Ehm, since when are game mechanisms patentable!?
Sorry (or not), the graphics, the sounds, the programming is all new, and the main priniciple is as basic as it can get!

There were hundreds of freeware Pong titles before, the most with some unique twist (powerups, you can rotate the paddle a bit,...).
No company sued before about a Pacman, Boulder Dash or Tetris clone.
I guess the makers are afraid of the costs that may come with a court case.
Anonymous Taku said at 11/04/2007 09:03:00 AM:  
Totaly agree with Ozzie (wait didn't nintendo and Tengen [i beleive tengen was a part of atari] fight for tetris and nintendo won), pong is so freicken basic, how can you say "it's ours bitch." what, evertime a ball bounces of a wall do they sue. Screw atari.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/10/2007 08:16:00 PM:  
last I recall, "pong" was a trademark. Nintendo can't sue companies over using "Super" or "Bros." in a game title & Valve can't sue companies over using "Counter" or "Strike" in a game name.