DevelopmentHoward Scott Warsaw, the programmer of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, only had six weeks from July 23, 1982 to program the game and ready it for a September 1 release date.
Movies made about the game
- Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie was a science fiction comedy movie dealing with this game as the main focal point. The movie features a review by the Angry Video Game Nerd: (James Rolfe) of the actual game.
- Atari: Game Over was a documentary where a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico is excavated to find out if the rumors of a mass burial of unsold video game cartridges, consoles, and computers was true. The documentary also deals with the video game crash of 1983, and features an interview with Howard Scott Warshaw.
ReceptionAtari produced 5 million E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial cartridges. Most of the units that were sold were returned, and eventually Atari dumped the millions of useless copies still on hand into a New Mexico landfill.
On the 1st of December 1982, after it became clear that Atari would never sell the six million cartridges it had manufactured, executives announced that they were cutting their '82 revenue forecasts from a 50% increase over '81 levels to a meager 15%. In the end, the price of Warner (owners of Atari) stock dropped almost a third from 52 to 35. It was so bad Atari President Ray Kassar unloaded 5000 of his shares before announcing the cuts to the public.
- Issue #4 - #1 Worst Video Game of All-Time
- Gamers Europe
- January 2005 - Worst Game Ever Produced On Any Platform Nominee
- December 31, 2002 - #7 on the "Top Ten Shameful Games" list ( "Lots of people bought it at first, but gradually the word spread that the gameplay consisted mainly of E.T. falling into an endless series of pits, and the game was much too frustrating for the young kids for whom it was intended. The game is sometimes accused (not altogether without justification) of single-handedly causing the "crash" of the video games market in the mid-'80s.")
- November 17, 2006 - #2 Worst Videogame
- PC World
- October 23, 2006 - #1 Worst Game of All Time ("Everyone I spoke to who singled out particular gripes mentioned the pits that the player, as E.T., fell into and would then have to slowly levitate out of, which led to horrendously monotonous game play.")