E.T. vs. the Atari 2600

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 6, 2007 in Videogames |

E.T. vs. the Atari 2600

By chance I came across the following video on YouTube which shows the Atari 2600 game based on the classic movie E.T.:

But what’s funny is that I don’t recall seeing this game when it came out, but my first reaction looking at the video was “that looks horrid!” So I knew there had to be a good story behind the game, and it turns out that E.T. was the start-of-the-end for the golden age of Atari:

Atari 2600 (1977-1984): “Atari made a bigger mistake later that year with the release of the E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial videogame. While E.T. was one of the most popular movies ever, the game was horribly frustrating and poorly designed. While the game sold over a million copies, over 5 million sat unsold in warehouses. Atari paid $21 million to license E.T., and needless to say, they lost a lot of money.”

…but better yet I found this quote from the designer of the game Howard Scott Warshaw:

“E.T. was one of the few cases where the game had to go out. They needed the game by September 1st to meet the Christmas market… they needed the game in five weeks… I spent the next few days just designing up the game and figuring out what I was going to do with it. [Then he and a few of the Atari big cheeses flew up to present it to Spielberg] And I lay out the design and we go through the whole thing and he looks at me and goes… ‘Couldn’t you do something like Pac-Man’?.. And I just said ‘You know Steven… no. Could you do E.T. again? Could you make the same movie again?… Everybody’s doing that!’ But then in retrospect… it may not have been a bad idea! But the game had to be done in five weeks so you did it. What you did was design a game you could do in five weeks… and, you know… well, they didn’t return all of ’em.”

Comments are closed.


Copyright © 2024 Fanboy.com All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek.