Inside the Worst Video Game Ever
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Inside the Worst Video Game Ever

September 7, 2019


– Okay, so let’s just, let’s just put it on
the table, here, okay, E.T. is frequently cited
as one of the worst video games in history. I got to read a magazine that said that my game was single-handedly
responsible for the crash of the video game
industry in the early 80s. (laughing) That’s a good one. People are reticent to ask me about it, they think I’m very
sensitive about it, you know, “Oh my God, you did the worst
game of all time, you know, don’t you wanna hide?” and it’s like, no. – [Narrator] Howard Scott Warshaw. He was a video game programmer
for Atari in the early 80s. He made some of the most beloved
games for the Atari 2600. – [Howard] I made Yars’
Revenge, then I followed that with Raiders of the Lost
Ark, I had had two very successful games, both million sellers. I truly believed everything
I touched, hopefully, was gonna turn to gold
because I was gonna put everything I had into it. – [Narrator] One fateful
day, Howard received a call from the CEO of Atari, asking
him if he wanted to take on their highest profile game ever,
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. – [Howard] And I said, “We
definitely can do that.” – [Narrator] But, there
was one major caveat. – [Howard] It had to be something
that related to the movie, and it had to be doable in five weeks. I mean, I had five weeks to do the game, so I was working all the time. (digital beeping)
(upbeat music) E.T. was gonna be a basic puzzle game, with some challenges that
you run around to solve, and if I redistribute the
pieces among enough different, random places, it makes a fresh
challenge each time around, and bingo. – [Narrator] When it
was released, E.T. was an immediate success, selling
over a million copies. But a few months later,
things started to turn. – [Howard] Retailers are
starting to find that the game is not moving, it’s coming
back, a lot of people are disappointed with it. – [Narrator] Because of the poor planning and tight production schedule,
Howard failed to catch a fundamental flaw in the game’s design. – [Howard] There are too many
times where you make a move, you do something, and suddenly
you wind up somewhere else, now suddenly you’re somewhere else, and there’s too many places
in E.T. where the user is disoriented, and that’s
a sin of which I am guilty, and I have been serving penance. – [Narrator] Shortly after E.T.’s release, the video game crash was in full swing. Disappointing sales and mismanagement forced Atari to restructure. – [Howard] And in the
next couple of months, Atari went from 10,000
employees to 2,000 employees. – [Narrator] During the turmoil, Howard left the gaming industry for good. He didn’t think much about E.T.
until nearly a decade later. – [Howard] Well, by the early 90s, people started coming out
with what a bad game E.T. was. I was just kinda surprised
anybody was actually even talking about it. – Good afternoon, some
of those E.T. Atari games unearthed at a New Mexico
landfill are now up for sale. Beaten up cartridges on
eBay are going for hundreds of dollars a piece. – So we had a poll online– – Yeah. – Where fans could choose
what game they wanted to see you play. – Okay. – They chose this. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. – Even 30 years later, this obscure thing that I did so long ago in just five weeks, it’s still generating
excitement, enthusiasm. I get emotional just talking about it now. Because I just felt I was
at the center of something that is still meaningful. And that is a huge success. So when people ask me, you
know, “Was E.T. a failure?” I don’t mind when people call it that, but it’ll never, it’ll
never be a failure to me. (cheerful music)

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  1. Honestly I don’t understand it. There are way worse games out they such as cheetamen, and Superman 64. If E.T just had a little more time put into it it could have been one of the best movies tie-ins of the time.

  2. Superman 64 and pacman (2600) complete the HOLY TRINITY 😁 but let's not forget Chuck Norris superkicks….

  3. This is my favorite game of all time!!!!
    I also love:
    Sonic 06
    Superman 64
    Hotel Mario
    Cdi Zelda games
    Custers revenge
    Bubsy 3D
    Fortnite

  4. My mom returned Raiders of the Lost Ark because it was such a terrible, nonsensical game. Kind of funny that you could do that back in the early 1980s. Today you wouldn't be able to ask for a refund just because a game sucks.

  5. Man I hate how did they say that when you can't barely make a game in a week also you don't even how to make a game

  6. It wasn’t even Howard Warshaw’s fault, the CEO only gave them 5 weeks because ET was trending. It’s the CEO’s fault for rushing them and because it was so short a production period, they didn’t take many breaks from making it, so they were also tired. I don’t blame the game designers one bit.

  7. Makes E.T game in 1980s: What a trash game! This ruined Atari!

    Game in the 2000's: Holy cow! It's so cool!
    Me: Are you guys ok?

  8. This guy was treated as a scapegoat for the game's failure. 5 freaking weeks to make a full (functional) console game? That is f**king insane. You might as well ask someone to build a NASA rocketship with only 2 pebbles and a paperclip. Not even MacGyver himself would be able to pull that off smh

  9. There is a difference between a terrible game and a rushed one.
    A terrible game dies off in obscurity.
    A rushed one has a chance to come back and be fixed.

  10. It by far is not the worst game ever.. Actually I think that if he was given enough time to correct it's flaws, E.T probably would of been a hit.

  11. the worst game is that one that was just a cashgrab for a more popular thing,where all you could do is go left and right in a forest

  12. I have ET for the atari 2600. My grandma gave me all my uncles old atari 2600 games. Well technically they were also my moms and my aunts too. They all played the atari together. I played ET on the atari 2600 on my TV. It is a horrible game haha. But it is short when you beat it. I have considered maybe selling the cartridge of et since it's in perfect Mint condition and I might get some money off of it. Not sure how much the et game goes for though.

  13. I mean I could think of more terrible games like Superman 64 Big rigs over the road racing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Aquaman battle for Atlantis Plumbers don’t where ties Hong Kong 97!!

  14. They made more E.T. cartridges than Atari systems sold. Probably the real reason why it stopped selling. Rushing games in 5 weeks. Yes bad management pushing quantity vs quality. Sadly lots of business push this model. Wells Fargo anyone?

  15. E.T is more or less just confusing, Not bad. There are far more worse games that i have seen with my two eyes. Bubsy 3D is a big example of bad games. Phoenix games is a other example. There are many other examples that people just gloss over and think that "E.T is the worst game ever" when its not however.

  16. It’s not Howard’s fault, it’s the CEO’s fault because the CEO said to finish it in just FIVE weeks which is short if you’re making a video game

  17. I don’t think the et game is the worst. A little bit. I think superman for the N64 is the worst game because of the camera movements added to the game

  18. If you actually believe ET is "the worst game evah!" then you have admitted that you have played very few video games and have no idea what you're talking about.

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