The Game That Killed Atari

Out of sheer madness I asked my brother today if he still had any 2600 Atari games.  He had a box full of the cartridges —around 80 to be in the ballpark.  He even has a copy of the infamous E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Game.  This is the game that probably harpooned and killed Atari. They sunk 22 million to claim the licensing rights from Universal to bring E.T. to gaming, rushed the project and sold the disaster to disenchanted consumers in the Winter of 1982.  E.T. for 2600 initially sold for $35 and up.  According to my bro:

The object of the game was to find three parts or pieces to assemble your inter-gallactic telephone (E.T. Phone Hooooome).  When all three parts were found the completed phone would appear in the banner at the top of the screen.  But watch out!  A scientist and an FBI agent chased after you (E.T.)… The big problem with the game was E.T. kept falling into these wells… Level 3 was the easiest… But, here’s what happened… In Christmas ’82 lot’s of people did not like the game and returned them back to stores… You could then get E.T. real cheap for a few bucks…

Anyway, I’m a Pitfall guy.  Here’s the first pages of the E.T. guide…

Robert P. Wickler and Jason W. Brassard. 2008. Classic 80’s Home VIdeo Games Identification & Value Guide. Collector Books.

One Response to “The Game That Killed Atari”

  1. Oh man, I totally remember playing this game as a little kid and experiencing my very first moments of video game rage. Those freakin’ wells were the worst, there’s no way out! Give me the game Break-Through any day.

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