Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Gaming's Biggest Disasters: E.T. the Game

Last response: in Video Games
Share
March 5, 2008 3:52:08 PM

Article by David Konow

Tom's Games looks at some of the biggest black eyes in the history of the gaming industry. First up is the legendary fiasco E.T., the infamous Atari 2600 title that helped trigger the Video Game Crash of 1983.

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/03/05/biggestdisasters_et/
March 5, 2008 5:49:53 PM

I think this game gets a worse wrap than it deserves. I played the game for years trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing, sure, but, it was very different than other games I had played back then, and intriqued me as to what was possible in gaming. Maybe if I had one of the Swordquest games as a child I wouldn't have felt this way, but, you actually had to pay to get a copy of those! lol. My favorite part of the game was the fact that the kid looked more like Ernie from sesame street than anything else.
March 5, 2008 5:57:46 PM

Let's face it, even today any time a real gamer sees a game titled "(insert movie title): The Game" we automatically throw up in the back of our throats a little no matter what movie/game it is. Is it because these games are all really that bad or has ET scarred the psyci of gamers so severly that even 25 years later we have a mental block against playing these types of games?
Related resources
March 5, 2008 7:09:43 PM

I still have this game.... ;(
a b 4 Gaming
March 6, 2008 2:11:11 AM

Only games I've bought that were based off of movies (or TV shows) were various Star Wars games like the X-Wing/Tie Fighter series, KOTOR I & II, Jedi: Outcast, and Empires At War.

I also bought a couple of Star Trek games: Starfleet Command I & II.
March 6, 2008 4:09:22 AM

I hope Rygar (NES) and Super Pitfall make the list. Man, if I ever met the creator of either of those in a dark alley.
March 6, 2008 5:26:46 AM

Just because a film is good doesnt mean its a good idea for a game and vice versa... but of course it sucks even more when a really good film gets turned into a really bad game.
March 6, 2008 5:32:55 AM

It's fun to read the behind the scenes stuff now. I mean, when I was a kid, playing games on my Atari, I knew only that ET the game sucked. Even if I had been privy to the story behind the scenes back then, I probably would not have cared. Now, I find the trip back down memory lane a fun one. Reading this article brought back memories of going to watch ET at the drive-in theater with my family, and of countless hours burned with an Atari joystick in my clutches. Reading about the behind the scenes deal that may have been the straw that broke Atari's back 25 years later places much of what I saw, but did not consider back then into a new context.

Keep them coming, Tom's, I enjoyed the first installment, and I'm looking forward to more.
March 6, 2008 6:17:51 AM

Where are the god rays and POM? :lol: 
March 6, 2008 10:43:49 AM

Battlecruiser. What an arse-up of a game that was.
March 6, 2008 3:45:46 PM

function9 said:
I hope Rygar (NES) and Super Pitfall make the list. Man, if I ever met the creator of either of those in a dark alley.


Having played both the NES and the Arcade far too much, I have to say I like the NES version better than the original. Then again, I like Zelda 2 better than Zelda 1, as well... lol.
March 6, 2008 6:27:59 PM

randomizer said:
Where are the god rays and POM? :lol: 


If you right click on the E.T. icon, and then add "-mblur" then you can get motion blur, and I think you need DX10 to get God Rays in E.T. :pt1cable:  :hello:  :ange:  :bounce: 
March 7, 2008 3:57:08 AM

Trialsking said:
If you right click on the E.T. icon, and then add "-mblur" then you can get motion blur, and I think you need DX10 to get God Rays in E.T. :pt1cable:  :hello:  :ange:  :bounce: 

It works! :sol: 
March 7, 2008 7:06:49 AM

Look, Howard says he's sorry, ok? Can we move on now?
March 7, 2008 10:46:03 AM

I blame piracy...
March 7, 2008 11:01:47 AM

LOL i had the game when i was a kid and remember trying to figgure out what the heck i was supposed to do in it. from thining of ther game right now i still don't know what you were supposed to do. Unfortunetly all my atari games dissapeared like 4 yearss after so i don't have it anymore
March 7, 2008 12:00:45 PM

C'mon everyone! Let's all jump on our Matrix Online accounts, right after a nice PvP in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Then we can shoot 'em up in Terminator 2 Judgement Day and then round out the day with an intense session of Harry Potter and the Assless Chaps of Doom!
March 7, 2008 8:37:07 PM

Yeah, the only "movie" game that I can think of off the top of my head that was any good (IMHO) was Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. I dunno tho - does it count as a "movie" game? It was actually just kind of another chapter in the story.

A huge number of the old 2600 games were incredibly bad. E.T. was a stinker, but Raiders of the Lost Ark was crappy too.
March 7, 2008 8:48:07 PM

Chazwuzzer said:
Yeah, the only "movie" game that I can think of off the top of my head that was any good (IMHO) was Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. I dunno tho - does it count as a "movie" game? It was actually just kind of another chapter in the story.

A huge number of the old 2600 games were incredibly bad. E.T. was a stinker, but Raiders of the Lost Ark was crappy too.


Broken Record Time! Escape from Butcher Bay is one of the greatest movie spin-offs ever, and one of my favorite shooters of all time. Great game. It was a prequel to "Pitch Black," BTW.

The problem with E.T. and with 90 percent of movie adaptations for games is that developers/publishers spend all their money getting the license to the movie and then rush development to release the game in the same window as the movie, and hope that the association with a blockbuster movie alone with help them score sales, even if it is a crappy product.
March 7, 2008 9:51:08 PM

It's even funnier when both th movie and the game are bad.
March 7, 2008 10:35:27 PM

randomizer said:
It's even funnier when both th movie and the game are bad.


Balls of Fury, anyone?
March 7, 2008 10:50:26 PM

Spiderman 3!
March 8, 2008 4:10:14 PM

I've seen this story before. All in all, it is a pretty good example of how something can go horribly horribly wrong if you rush it. What would have been a huge seller ended up being an enormous money sink.
!