“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” - Nolan Bushnell, Co-Founder of Atari
“Pong”, the first commercially successful video game, made its debut in arcades 47 years ago today. The most barebones version of digital gaming, “Pong” was a table tennis simulation developed by Atari, the company co-founded by two electrical engineers in California, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. Featuring basic two-dimensional graphics and deceptively simple gameplay, “Pong” was an instant smash-hit nationwide, selling more than 8,000 units less than two years after its release. After finding its way into nearly every arcade in America, “Home Pong” was released in 1975 to spectacular success, and the increasing demand for video game consoles at home made it clear which direction the industry was headed. Over the next decade, Atari released several hardware products for video gaming at home to middling results, and their lackluster sales eventually led to the splitting and selling of the company’s various properties in 1984. Nearly half a century after the release of “Pong”, the game is one of the few video games preserved as part of a collection at Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and Bushnell is considered one of the founding fathers of the video game industry.