Was ET the downfall of Atari?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DeathStar1, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Any articles on this infamous game? I still have it, along with my Atarai 2600 and about half the games, but I don't remember much of this game, except that it's un-winnable [​IMG]..
     
  2. Jeremy Allin

    Jeremy Allin Supporting Actor

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    Isn't there a rumour about scads of unsellable ET cartridges being buried somewhere in the Nevada desert? [​IMG]
     
  3. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    ET was the symptom, not the cause. Atari paid way way too much for a licence & had to get it developed in way way way too short a time to hit their marketing deadline. So it was developed on the cheap. It stank. They forecast it as a game that was capable of selling systems, so allegedly, they built more carts than there were machines in active use. Allegedy unsold carts were dumped into landfills out in the desert, yup.

    But it in itself didn't cause the demise of Atari & the games market in the US - it was the flood of cheap nasty games that caused that - game prices dropped as stores tried to sell unwanted games, new game sales/revenue dropped because of the number of cheap bargain basement carts etc.

    I believe Digital Press have some good articles on it.
     
  4. DavidAM

    DavidAM Second Unit

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    EGM had an article a month or 2 ago about bad games and they profiled the ET game extensively.
     
  5. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I think ET was profiled so much in that article because the development of it was so similar to the game the author of that article was referring to (they were both big movie licenses that translated into horrible games and weren't properly finished).

    ET was supposed to be this revolutionary game. Not only was it a big movie license, but it was lengthy. You could spend hours playing the game without finishing it, so in a sense it had replay value and you got your money's worth out of it. Unfortunately, it totally blew (and that's being nice about it).

    Oh, BTW, I was born in 1985. My dad told me the history of ET and how it was one of the big factors that killed Atari, and almost gaming as a whole.
     
  6. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  7. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  8. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    The way I heard it, parents complained that their kids would finish games in just a short amount of time, so Atari decided to extend that period of time with ET. The problem was that doing so meant making the game extremely boring and monotonous, removing most of the fun in the process. So every screen would look the same, but there were just so many of them that it took forever.

    I dunno, I haven't played the game (in a long time, if I ever did). All I know about it is what I've read or heard or seen in screenshots.
     
  9. Calvin Watts III

    Calvin Watts III Supporting Actor

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    Well, it could be, but man, it was not easy at all.

    E.T. was a big part of Atari's beginning of the end. But, like it has been stated many times before... it was just one of the problems.

    Atari's reliance on the VCS after newer things came out just helped kill it...& don't even get me started on the crappy 3rd-party games...

    Not no mention Pac-Man...
     
  10. Stacey_V

    Stacey_V Stunt Coordinator

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    I had not heard about any of this prior to reading this thread. I did a quick search and came up with this LINK
     
  11. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Stacey-

    Thank you for that. It was quite interesting and entertaining.
     
  12. Michael St. Clair

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    If any thing, the HUGE glut of really crappy 3rd-party games is what led to the console crash of the early 80s.

    Did Atari release any turkeys? You bet. But the shelves were absolutely loaded with 3rd-party crap, and consumers that got burned several times on lousy titles just stopped buying games all together.

    Nintendo used this as part of their rationalization for heavy restriction of third-party content with licensing and 'lockout chips'. This and other anti-competitive business practices got them into a little legal hot water.

    The truth is, there were a lot of crappy NES games; the real reason the big N wanted such tight control over 3rd-party software was all about the very high royalties they charged and forbidding publishers from releasing the same licenses on competitor's sytems (like the SMS).
     
  13. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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  14. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Raiders of the Lost Ark was a pyschological expermiment seeing how long someone will play a game that cycles itself over and over again without getting any further.
    *damn that parachute landing*
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    It's been years, but if I recall correctly, to win ET you had to get all the pieces of the phone. Then your POS ship came down, sucked you up, and away you went.
     
  16. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    We never got past the parachute [​IMG]
    Basically they needed ET in 6 weeks, so they paid the guy $100,000 to give them something that played in that time. He delivered [​IMG] Next Generation did a great article on it. lots of interviews
     
  17. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    It would be interesting to see how different the gaming landscape would be now if Atari would have accepted the deal this japanese card company wanted to make with them.
     
  18. Joe michaels

    Joe michaels Second Unit

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    The reason games crashed in the 80's was a flood of bad software, many hardware choices and the dawn of the home PC.
    Not only were people facing the choice of Atari, Colecovision, Intelliivision, etc. but computers were just becoming affordable such as the Commodore, Timex 994A, and radioshacks infamous line of computers. Arcade games were also way ahead of what could be done in a home console so when terrible versions of Donkey Kong and pac man were churned out on the Atari alot of people gave up. At least until NES.
     
  19. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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  20. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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