I’m not sure E.T. is the worst game ever, but its story is amazing. This is a piece featuring the designer of E.T., Howard Scott Warshaw. He also designed Yars Revenge, which I never understood. It was from another dimension, but a highly regarded dimension.
You know when you experience something crappy and then you wonder how the hell it got made and sold and all the meetings that happened and still the crappy thing shipped and was marketed and sold? That’s E.T. for me. I always wondered how Atari could release a crappy game when it seemed to be at its peak. Ms. Pac Man really took the Atari 2600 to another level, but E.T. was a major step backward.
This is a great personal story, all too brief, about one of the biggest flops in video game history.
“It was a day that will live in infamy in my life forever,” says Warshaw. “I was sitting in my office and I get a call from the Atari CEO. He said, ‘Howard, we need the ET video game done. Can you do it?’