Breakout, Atari, 1976

From the founders of Apple

Pong's success made Atari long for more. Al Alcorn was invited to become project manager, and he subsequently asked Steve Jobs to develop a prototype for a one-player version of Pong. Jobs was promised a bonus if he used as few chips as possible for the game, which led him to ask his friend Steve Wozniak, who worked for Hewlett-Packard at the time, to help him.


Breakout - flyer of the arcade game - Breakout is an arcade game developed by Atari, introduced in 1976. Photo found on

Wozniak succeeded in all respects and later revealed that Breakout's design had been his inspiration for the Apple II. (Wozniak founded Apple in 1976 with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne.)

Originally, the arcade version was designed for a black and white screen. However, the top part of the screen, which had to be destructed using a ball, was taped off with transparent, colored strips, showing the bricks in different colors. Breakout became a very popular game, and clearly served as inspiration for Taito's Arkanoid from 1986.

We kindly thank Bonami for lending us the Breakout on display in the Arcade exhibition.