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The Guy Who Made the 'Worst Game Ever' Has Nothing to Apologize For


Justin
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There's a new interview with Howard Scott Warshaw out this week. It's actually quite a nice interview and I wanted to share the article with you. This quote really hit home:

 


“But, you know, the funny thing about the whole ET situation is if I were to take two more days, and gone in and cleaned up the well thing, the falling in, and straightened out a few more things, it probably would have made it just an OK game and we probably wouldn’t be talking about it right now. It would have literally changed history in a way that would have been much less interesting to me.” --Howard Scott Warshaw
 

 

You can read the full story here:

http://www.playboy.com/articles/the-guy-who-made-the-worst-game-ever-has-nothing-to-apologize-for

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Thanks for sharing Justin.

Like I said on FB, I'm an E.T. apologist. Anyone that thinks this is the worst 2600 game, let alone video game of all-time, hasn't played many 2600 games.

 

I have fond memories of getting this for Christmas & playing it. It wasn't my favorite game in my collection but it was fun and I enjoyed. I had no idea it had this reputation until many years later.

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I monitor our social media trends quite closely, and ever since Atari: Game Over came to the public mind on Netflix and Showtime I have seen a measurable change in how people generally approach the ET / Howard Scott Warshaw story.

 

This story was posted to our Facebook page the same it was posted here. Since then, our post has been shared dozens of times and has been seen by nearly 10,000 people on our Facebook page alone. More importantly, most of the ET comments, which usually trend aggressively negative, this time have been overwhelmingly positive - particularly in support of Howard and the notion that ET as the worst game ever made is preposterous.

 

You can see the post here: https://www.facebook.com/cx7800/posts/968124696564348

 

The turnaround in public opinion is astounding. There's been a noticeable shift away from unfounded hatred and cynicism, and towards a more reasonable understanding of the story, what happened, and that while not great it certainly wasn't the worst game of all time. It's wonderful to see Howard finally get the recognition he deserves, I think after 35 years that's a wonderful development in Atari's history.

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I found E.T. to be one of the first adventure games where you had to pay attention to what you were doing.  It could have used a little bit more work in the collision detection area but what was done in 5-6 weeks was astounding!  It is also the only movie-based game that I have played that is true to the movie.  This is more than I can say for NES movie-to-game ports.  Warshaw did an awesome job and deserves and award for his programming talents.  Long live E.T. the video game!

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VCS wasn't the only game to have been developed in such a short time, although most of the other games were 2K or 4K.  For example, Ed Salvo cranked out a bunch of his games in short time: http://www.ataricompendium.com/archives/interviews/ed_salvo/interview_ed_salvo.html

 

Skeet Shoot - 4 weeks

Spacechase - 6 weeks

Racquetball - about 4 weeks
Lost Luggage - about 4 weeks
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - about 6 weeks
Mountain King - 6 weeks (very impressive, if true)
 
He also did Colecovision Gust Buster in 6 weeks.  
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Everytime I hear someone say that ET on the 2600 is the worst game ever, I have to cringe.  The game may not be perfect but, given the time he had to work on it, it is not a bad game.  I have always enjoyed playing it, despite the issue with the pits.  I think people just didn't read the instructions and had no clue what they were doing when they played it.  

🖖 Going to the final frontier, gaming...

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Everytime I hear someone say that ET on the 2600 is the worst game ever, I have to cringe.  The game may not be perfect but, given the time he had to work on it, it is not a bad game.  I have always enjoyed playing it, despite the issue with the pits.  I think people just didn't read the instructions and had no clue what they were doing when they played it.  

 

exaclty

The No Swear Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtJuo040EOCTVziObIgVcg

Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube

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It's a simple scapegoat for a complex situation.  There was a crash in 83 that was a culmination of many many bad decisions and situations.  E.T. wasn't a terrible game, but Atari certainly paid too much for the license, rushed the design process, and manufactured too many copies.  See?  Even that one game was a culmination of many bad choices.  Most people just go with the simple instead of digging for the truth. 

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