Nolan Bushnell
Console 1972, Home unit 1975

Pong was one of the first computer games created. This simple "tennis-like" game features two paddles and a ball. The goal is to defeat your opponent by being the first one to gain 10 points. A player receives a point once the opponent misses a ball. The game can be played with two human players or one player against a computer controlled paddle. It was originally developed by Allan Alcorn and released in 1972 by Atari. Pong became the first commercially successful game. In 1975, Atari released a home edition of Pong (the first version was played on Arcade machines) which sold 150,000 units. Today, the Pong game is considered to have started the video game industry as it proved this market produced significant revenues.

Nolan Bushnell founded Atari in 1972 to create games and ideas and license them to other companies for mass production. Pong was actually a training exercise for one of Atari's employees - Allan Alcorn. Once it was finished, Nolan made a few adjustments to make the game more interesting (like changing the ball's return angle) and added simple sound effects. The first Pong Arcade machine was installed at a local bar and was so successful Atari decided to produce and sell the game by themselves, rather then licensing it to other companies. In 1973, the company finally secured a line of credit from Wells Fargo and started an assembly line. By the end of the year, Pong arcade machines were shipped all over the US and other countries. Like other famous games such as Pacman and Tetris, Pong became one of the symbols of computer gaming.

Atari sold more then 35,000 Pong machines. This figure is only about one third of the Pong machines sold globally, since many Pong clones appeared shortly after the debut of the original Atari Pong game. Atari chose to compete with the Pong game clones by producing more innovative games such as "Double Pong" which was a pong game with four players, two on each side and a bigger screen.