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Howard Scott Warshaw’s video game was blamed for single-handedly sinking a multibillion-dollar market. But the true story is more complicated.

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ET was not to blame.  Blame Warner if you are pointing fingers.  It was their decision to change marketing strategies.  Letting engineers have time to do what they do best was working in Atari's favor.  Someone didn't get it.  It made money because great care went into making sure what was being worked on was top notch stuff.  All Warner cared about was turning that ET license into quick cash and it bit them in butt instead.  Sadly, it took HSW with them for a while.

ET had flaws of course but its still not the worst video game of all time.  There are others I can think of that are far worse than ET ever thought of being.  ET is easily the ancestor to adventure type games that came long after it.  The multiscreens could be influence to Zelda which did a similar thing.  It was a puzzle game, you had to find and assemble a phone.  Once built you had to find the spot where ETs mother ship was going to land.  It had a lot going on for a 2600 game. Full of depth and no two games ever play the same.  I honestly believe that the design and the concept done in such short time is incredible.  I'd like to see modern game developers try doing a game in that same amount of time...just one developer let alone many.  I bet they couldn't.

Once I learned how to play it it became a favorite.  Tough as hell on skill 1 and 2 but still fun.  It is one of my most treasured 2600 games.

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This is a fallacy that keeps on getting repeated. The crash came for a multitude of reasons and ET certainly was not the worst games ever.  There are plenty other really horrid titles on the 2600 from companies that tried to get easy money from video games.  ET wasn't perfect but it could be played and it was rather involved for a 2600 game.  You just needed to read the manual.  A bit more polish could have made the game better and, in fact, someone has done this and fixed the issues with the game to make it more fun to play.

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13 hours ago, kamakazi20012 said:

ET was not to blame.  Blame Warner if you are pointing fingers.  It was their decision to change marketing strategies.  Letting engineers have time to do what they do best was working in Atari's favor.  Someone didn't get it.  It made money because great care went into making sure what was being worked on was top notch stuff.  All Warner cared about was turning that ET license into quick cash and it bit them in butt instead.  Sadly, it took HSW with them for a while.

ET had flaws of course but its still not the worst video game of all time.  There are others I can think of that are far worse than ET ever thought of being.  ET is easily the ancestor to adventure type games that came long after it.  The multiscreens could be influence to Zelda which did a similar thing.  It was a puzzle game, you had to find and assemble a phone.  Once built you had to find the spot where ETs mother ship was going to land.  It had a lot going on for a 2600 game. Full of depth and no two games ever play the same.  I honestly believe that the design and the concept done in such short time is incredible.  I'd like to see modern game developers try doing a game in that same amount of time...just one developer let alone many.  I bet they couldn't.

Once I learned how to play it it became a favorite.  Tough as hell on skill 1 and 2 but still fun.  It is one of my most treasured 2600 games.

hi k,

 

agreed, not as bad as they said it was. the xl version is a peach!  the problem with america starting in the 1980's, was people who never understood how to build planes, cars and just about anything, got a hold of these companies because they thought capitalism is about massive profits for a few, over the many. look at boeing today, a shell of itself, with most of the plane outsourced to communist china and countries like that.

 

lance

www.atarisales.com

 

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7 hours ago, TrekMD said:

This is a fallacy that keeps on getting repeated. The crash came for a multitude of reasons and ET certainly was not the worst games ever.  There are plenty other really horrid titles on the 2600 from companies that tried to get easy money from video games.  ET wasn't perfect but it could be played and it was rather involved for a 2600 game.  You just needed to read the manual.  A bit more polish could have made the game better and, in fact, someone has done this and fixed the issues with the game to make it more fun to play.

hi,

 

 yep, it was rushed for quick profits. that is americas O.S. now, and it ain't working at all.

 

 

lance

www.atarisales.com

 

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Superman on the N64 was a lot less playable than 2600's E.T.  Let's see...what else was there?  Two Worlds on 360.  Thought I was getting something good with this GameStop find for $3.  Limited edition set.  Complete for 360.  Yea.  Graphics suck, voice overs are amateurish at best, the damn story makes no sense, and there's no way to tell where you are suppose to go.  Nothing to guide or point you in the right direction.  Absolutely horrible.  The package is the best part of that game.

Warshaw blamed ET's demise due to putting players in a world where they became disoriented.  I was at first but once I read the manual it made sense.  Did the same with Krull, read manual first...love the game.  

The 2600 has done some impressive stuff but it still leaves the player having to use imagination to fully appreciate its more complicated games.  Modern games can present better visuals and sounds but there are still some that are worse than ET.  For some reason hearing ET is the worst game in history gets my blood boiling.  Its one of those things that was misunderstood...or someone popular with a lot of followers said his opinion about ET and then all of their followers did the same without having played the game first.

Personally I think ET is a positive milestone in the 2600's history.  It was a decent adventure game.  You had to learn the game before you could help ET.  A concept often missing nowadays. I'm glad to have it in my collection.  One of my top 10 favorite games of all-time.

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