Is E.T. on Atari 2600 really that bad?

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scotland
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Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: Is E.T. on Atari 2600 really that bad?

Postby scotland » October 8th, 2016, 6:46 pm

goldenband wrote: Under the circumstances I think HSW did a fine job; any fault in the situation belongs to Atari, whose corporate arrogance at the time was legendary, and fully deserved the fate it met.


The more I read about Atari executives, the more that 'arrogance' does stand out. I will have to learn more to better informed, but I am growing in my opinion to match goldenband's above.

Its funny though that a company where execs did not seem to respect those below them did not have requirements for the game. Why did they let the programmer do what he wanted? That is a corporate failure. A game can be a work or art, but its also a business product. This needed to be lowest common denominator fun for lots of people, age 5 to 50. Say what you want about pong, but pong was instant fun for all ages - avoid missing ball for high score. A puzzle game does not fit.

Gleebergloben123
Posts: 142
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 12:06 am

Re: Is E.T. on Atari 2600 really that bad?

Postby Gleebergloben123 » October 9th, 2016, 3:12 pm

scotland wrote:
goldenband wrote: Under the circumstances I think HSW did a fine job; any fault in the situation belongs to Atari, whose corporate arrogance at the time was legendary, and fully deserved the fate it met.


The more I read about Atari executives, the more that 'arrogance' does stand out. I will have to learn more to better informed, but I am growing in my opinion to match goldenband's above.

Its funny though that a company where execs did not seem to respect those below them did not have requirements for the game. Why did they let the programmer do what he wanted? That is a corporate failure.


This is puzzling, I'll admit. Atari had such a haphazard way of assigning programmers to do games. The guy who did Space Invaders for the 2600 came from Fairchild F, but it was his 1st 2600 game. And Atari knew it was going to be a big hit. Why give the game to a programmer new to Atari? Pac-Man for the 2600? It was put on a bulletin board, and Todd Fry, also new to Atari, took on the game.

If I were to guess on why this was done, Atari execs didn't care who made the game any more than they cared who took the boxes of games off the pallets at the warehouse. They saw the programmer as just another employee and gave them no credit and hardly any respect. That's why 4 programmers left Atari to start Activision. That's why when Trip Hawkins started EA, he treated programmers like superstars. Atari was viewed, as all companies, on their product or service, bottom line. Programmers made the product and were extremely important. I guess Atari Execs didn't see it this way.

lynchie137
Posts: 82
Joined: November 15th, 2016, 6:46 pm

Re: Is E.T. on Atari 2600 really that bad?

Postby lynchie137 » November 16th, 2016, 8:20 pm

I have to say no. It's certainly no lost classic and parts of the game are pretty frustrating and down right irritating. But there are far worse games on not just the 2600 but also on other consoles that came out later.


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