E.T. – najgorsza gra świata

When Steven Spielberg’s movie E.T. appeared in May of 1982, it was an instant hit. Ray Kassar, the CEO of Atari, decided that Atari must have an E.T. game for the Christmas 1982 season. (…) The VCS people were aghast at this. In order to have a game cartridge ready for Christmas, the game program had to be completely finished by September 1. This was because the process of manufacturing the ROMs was slow and required long lead times. (…) They had eight weeks to design, develop, test, and debug a major game. Typical development cycles in those days took nine to fifteen months. Kassar’s demand bordered on the physically impossible. Nevertheless, Howard Warshaw, one of Atari’s best programmers, endowed with a better-than-average dollop of self-confidence, volunteered to tackle the impossible task. His plan, fully supported by management, was to modify a previous design in such a way as to get an E.T. game. He reworked the gameplay slightly, replaced all the graphics, and jammed E.T. into the game. (…) Like any licensed product, this game had to be approved by the licensor, in this case Steven Spielberg himself. Due to the tight timing, it was impractical to take the game to him; he would have to come to the lab in Sunnyvale and witness the game being played on the special development system there. (…) After the introductions, Howard began his presentation by declaring, “This is the game that will make the movie famous.” Despite this inauspicious beginning, Spielberg approved the game and off it went to the ROM factory. Certain that it would be a huge hit, Kassar had millions of cartridges built. (…) Word quickly got out that the E.T. game was a turkey, and sales drooped, then plummeted. Kassar was a man ahead of his times; like any good Enron or WorldCom executive, he dumped his stock in the company before word of the disaster got out.

Chris Crawford on Game Design