Howard Scott Warshaw, programmer of Atari E.T. mentions AVGN: The Movie

James / January 24th, 2012

Howard Scott Warshaw made some of the most well known Atari 2600 games such as Yars Revenge, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the infamous E.T. He is also the director of the documentary Once Upon Atari which you can find on his site. Lately, there’s been some news concerning him with AVGN: The Movie. I’ve been waiting to tell you all about it, but it’s better to hear it from the man himself. He wrote an article which was published recently in issue #116 of GamesTM magazine on page 132. I think it says it all. Give it a read!

UPDATE: Just to be clear, it’s not 100% locked and confirmed yet, but we have a scene for him. We’ve spoken about it. He likes it. So stay tuned.

____________________________

Ha! You’ll never live /that/ down.” This is a phrase usually associated with pub crawls, panty raids (if anyone still knows what those are) or the best intentioned public moments gone horribly awry. We all have one or two. Remarkable nights of debauchery, stunning flashes of stupidity and the occasional confusion between thinking and saying. That’s the stuff of which Never Live That Down moments are made. Oh yes, and there is one other category that appears to fit the bill: video games.

The funny thing about Never Live That Down moments is how they evaporate into the ether quicker than we ever thought possible. Not mine though. I made E.T. for the Atari VCS. Whatever one might say about that game and the dubious circumstances surrounding it (most of which has already been said several times over 30 years), one salient fact remains crystal clear to me: I will never live it down. How do I know this? Simple. They sent me the script.

Over the years there have been many allusions to and discussions of the great Alamogordo, New Mexico dump site and its substrata of E.T. game cartridges. There have been reports, songs, investigations, articles, YouTube videos, infrared analysis, folk lore/mythology and literally hundreds of interviews on this subject. The New York Times, Snopes, Wall Street Journal, Wikipedia, IGN and uncountable forums and blogs opine about it. All this activity principally comes down to ‘Is it true? Are there millions of your game cartridges buried in the desert?’ I’ve been hearing, speaking, reading, seeing and joking about this for nearly three decades. But just when you think there couldn’t possibly be anything new to say about the E.T. fiasco, someone comes along with something new to say about it.

This time, that someone is James Rolfe of CineMassacre Productions (creators of the Angry Video Game Nerd video series). He and his cohorts are putting together a movie about the E.T.-carts-buried-in-the-desert controversy (http://www.indiegogo.com/Angry-Video-Game-Nerd-The-Movie) and, as I said before, they sent me the script.

Why did they send me the script? Well, it turns out I’m actually IN the movie. So they figured since I’m a real person and I’m in the movie and I’m actually me and they wanted to use me as me in the actual movie and I didn’t even know yet that I was me in the movie although I did know I was me but I didn’t know I was in the movie, they had better let me know that I was in the movie as me and let me see if after I knew I was me playing me in the movie that I would be okay with being me in the movie as myself now that I knew there was actually a movie with me in it. Maybe that’s too much legalese, but that’s what movies are all about.

I read the script. I’m not issuing any spoiler alerts here because I’m not issuing any spoilers, but I do have to say one thing: this is the freshest take I’ve heard on the subject in 30 years, and I’ve heard a LOT of takes on this subject. After all these years, someone surprises me with a script that redefines my relationship with E.T. Astounding!

This reassures me I will never live E.T. down. I don’t regret it. I enjoy its infamy. Between E.T. and Yars’ Revenge, I have the greatest range of any game designer in history. I still get a kick knowing I made the worst game of all time and it feels cool to be powerful enough to have brought a billion dollar industry to its knees with just 8K of 6502 assembly code. People frequently ask me: How can you be so happy knowing you made the worst game of all time? I tell them it’s merely pragmatism. I’ll never live it down so I might as well live it up.

-HSW

Comments

  • metalcommand

    January 24, 2012 at 2:24 am

    At least he’s proud of the abomination he made.

    • FinalBoss1

      January 24, 2012 at 5:55 am

      @metalcommand He was under a major time crunch and put the game together in a couple months, and made 200k. Id be okay with that.

      • metalcommand

        January 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

        @FinalBoss1Making so much many on the Atari E.T. game is like earning money by selling blood diamonds, or slaves. It’s so dirty.

  • mixounette

    January 24, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Now I’m just even more excited about the movie!

  • landstanderese

    January 24, 2012 at 3:25 am

    SoAwesome

  • BillyHW

    January 24, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I so can’t wait to see this movie. :)

  • supmandude

    January 24, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Holy fucking shit fuck fuck ass fuck shit cock ass fuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • FinalBoss1

      January 24, 2012 at 5:50 am

      @supmandude …whatever

  • ChristopherAllenWallace

    January 24, 2012 at 3:31 am

    this is the first time I’m aware of that a porson involved with one of AVGN’S shitty games has responded to it, history in the making

  • ChristopherAllenWallace

    January 24, 2012 at 3:32 am

    this is the first time I’m aware of that a person involved with one of AVGN’S shitty games has responded to it, history in the making

  • Gladicrowe

    January 24, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Yeah, my excitement level for the movie just grew another parsec.

  • Doogrisa

    January 24, 2012 at 4:56 am

    I have ET. Maybe I will go bury it.

  • JayRed

    January 24, 2012 at 5:10 am

    sweet

  • jktomas

    January 24, 2012 at 5:54 am

    God, that’s amazing. Umbelievable. I don’t know what else to say. Just brilliant. This movie is going to be great.

  • logoshunter

    January 24, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Now here’s hoping AVGN movie will be in HD with an actual appearance of E.T. somewhere in the film.

  • crocodilius

    January 24, 2012 at 6:56 am

    i dont know, Blizzard has a pretty good range from Sc64 to Diablo2.

    • OfficialJab

      January 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      @crocodilius

      I think SC64 was hardly in their hands, most of development was handled by a separate company who does re-releases for new consoles. The only thing fundamentally wrong with the game was its platform limitations.

      • StilesCrisis

        January 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm

        @OfficialJab@crocodilius I actually own Starcraft 64 and there’s nothing wrong with it. Obviously 2 player mode isn’t as deep or fun (since you can see what the other guy is doing), but playing versus the AI is still fun. They did a good job of making the controls usable given the limitations of a controller, by doing things like removing the 12-unit selection limit and letting you press Z to toggle between selecting all your marines/SCVs/firebats/whatever. Obviously a mouse and keyboard are ideal, but it’s still a good port for what it is.

      • OfficialJab

        January 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

        There was definitely no problem with content since it included Brood and an extra mission, or controls per se.

        I believe the compelling element was the fps, which was complete murder, even when you weren’t in multiplayer, but especially in multiplayer. I owned it and enjoyed it, but it was so much fun to make fun of, it became like a slideshow when carriers showed up!

      • crocodilius

        January 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm

        @StilesCrisis@OfficialJab

        im guessing youve never played it on PC or are insane.

      • StilesCrisis

        January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

        @crocodilius I can say with almost 100% confidence that I have more Starcraft 1 experience (on PC/Mac) than you. Don’t take that the wrong way, I’m not bragging, just saying I went through college back when Starcraft was new. I stand by my original statement: the N64 port was about as good as you could expect given the hardware and input constraints. Obviously it’s better with real networking; obviously it’s better with a keyboard and mouse; obviously it’s better in higher resolution or with a super fast CPU. The N64 being what it is, they did a good job with it.

  • KristinaHuehnerhoff

    January 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Oh my god, I live an hour away from Alamogordo! Now I must scour White Sands for the burial site!

  • Kyh

    January 24, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Oh my god, I live an hour away from Alamogordo! Now I must scour White Sands to find the burial site!

  • DanConderman

    January 24, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I need to go play this game again. I can’t believe it is that bad. I clearly remember playing and beating this game on a couple times. Is it really that bad?

    • NightStarX

      January 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      @DanConderman No, not really. But the landfill story adds a lot of real-life mystery and interest to it. The game’s legacy is far more interesting than the game itself.

  • smoefer

    January 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Conclusion, is he going to be in the movie with him playing him or is he not going to be him as him i the movie and will he let someone else play him as him in the movie?

    Himhim?

    • metalcommand

      January 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

      @smoefer He sure likes H.I.M.

  • JonathanRayRogers

    January 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I don’t think E.T. is really that bad… as long as you read the instructions… That pretty much goes for all Atari games though.

    • metalcommand

      January 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

      @JonathanRayRogers It isn’t that bad indeed, but it’s the hype around it’s ‘assness’ (is that even a word?) that makes it so hilarious.

  • RossWilson

    January 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

    i dont really want to know anything about the film before viewing it, but i can’t help reading this articles and watching the video updates.

    rock and a hard place

    looking forward to it though, despite how long it may be till i can see it living in the UK

  • James Sunderland

    January 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I dind´t play E.T. the game yet and i wont going to play it until i see the AVGN movie

    • firewarrior2112

      January 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      @James Sunderland i personally think its as bad as its alluded to be. no spoilers, but its one of the wost “wtf, w-t-f, WTF?!?!?!” kinda games ive ever played…

      • NightStarX

        January 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm

        @firewarrior2112@James Sunderland Actually, I have to disagree. It’s totally not even close to being as bad as it’s always made out to be.

        Once you actually know how to play E.T, what the object is and how to complete it, the game can be completed easily in 12 minutes. And then it’s done.

        If anything the game’s biggest fault is that it’s too damn easy, boring, and a big let down. It’s essentially, run around, find the pieces to put the space phone together, avoid the guy that takes away the phone and makes you start over, avoid that guy that keeps dragging you back to the lab, go into the forest in the proper spot, and call the aliens to come get you.

        Sure, it’s a bad game. But in that it was obviously rushed out in a few months with little thought put into it, but it’s far from “wtf”. It’s a boring, totally overblown game, really.

        But that “landfill” story is the only part of the game’s mythos that adds some intrigue and keeps the mystery alive.

      • firewarrior2112

        January 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm

        @NightStarX@James Sunderland well my thing about the game is if you dont diligently read the manual, just watch the movie and expect what your playing to have any connection to it or follow it in any way, it drops a ton of bricks on you. i had no idea what i was picking up or what i was supposed to do or where to go, and i hated the game on top of that so i just stopped playing, amid my friend’s hysterical laughter at my frustration. but ya i see what your saying. from what i see in james’ videos, dark castle for the cdi is the worst game.

  • Captain N

    January 24, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Wow, this really says a lot about your writing and creativity! If you get the dude who created on fire for it, then it must be something special.

  • Captain N

    January 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Wow, this really says a lot about your writing and creativity! If you get the dude who created it on fire for it, then it must be something special!

  • Snejku

    January 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Just don’t let him bring cinnemassacre to a financial hault too :P

  • Nanofuture

    January 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Hopefully he brings his Yars’ Revenge A-game to the movie.

  • firewarrior2112

    January 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    wow thats badass. i wasnt keeping my hopes up too high for the movie so i didnt feel dissapointed, but the man himself says its the freshest take he has seen! well THAT scores in the avgn movie department, for sure! can’t wait!

  • BradCunningham

    January 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I am so excited for you James! I can’t wait to see it!

  • Melchor

    January 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    oh gee!

    and me was thinking i could not get any more exiting about your Movie !

    thanks for posting this!

    can`t wait to see!

  • GoNinty

    January 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Woah!! Mr. Warshaw is actually going to be in the movie himself :D Can’t wait!!

  • January 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    That’s awesome I wonder how many other people might make guest appearance’s? If anyone has somewhat of a brain and common knowledge they should know this movie is going to make a mark in cinema history, (at least that’s how I feel in my heart). I believe James’s career is going to skyrocket in the mainstream from this movie. Also like to point out nobody else in the entertainment industry deserves to achieve ultimate success than James and everyone else in the cinemassacre family. We all are here for you James, and I can promise you I am going to do my best to spread the word of the nerd is coming to theater’s.

  • MarlonPJManalese

    January 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    LOL what a modest dude. He fully acknowledges his made one of the worst games of all time.

  • Roklie

    January 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I’m just worrited I’ll never get to see it if the only way is seeing in a cinema (I don’t think it will ever be shown in my country). :(

    • OfficialJab

      January 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      @Roklie

      He already releases the show on DVD, as well as other Cinemassacre projects. You don’t think he’ll do the same with his biggest project ever? It’s not like they’re region-coded either.

  • jigglyclops

    January 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    WHOA PLOT REVEAL! I kinda knew it was gonna be about E.T. or Polybius anyway, but whoa, who could have guessed the game designer himself would be in this? MAJOR KUDOS!

  • Lady Lolita

    January 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Wow! That is SO COOL! Have you guys sent the script to any other prominent figures in the video game industry?

  • OlaviPössi

    January 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    so fucking awesome. so fucking awesome. oh sorry, i said it twice, this is just so fucking awesome!

  • TerrifyerX07

    January 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    A raging, fiery boner just shot out of my trousers and my balls exploded into my pockets covering my belongings in bloody shizz. this is awesome man. i only get more and more excited the more i read, now lets get this fucker in the can man.

  • TerrifyerX07

    January 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    A raging, fiery boner just shot out of my trousers and my balls exploded into my pockets covering my belongings in bloody shizz. this is awesome man. i only get more and more excited the more i read, now lets get this fucker in the can man.

  • waldfield

    January 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    He is a witty guy :D I like him already

  • TrevorBall

    January 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Ah Ha! It is about E.T! I knew it! We all knew it! I can not believe the game designer is in the movie! This is fucking amazing!

    • Nanofuture

      January 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      @TrevorBall Of course it’s about E.T. He told us it would be in the Star Wars episode.

    • Nanofuture

      January 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      @TrevorBall Of course it’s about E.T. He told us it would be in the Spielberg game episode.

  • inatspong

    January 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    From his babbling, I can only really make out “I’m a character in this movie and they want me to play myself. The least they could do is ask.” IT doesn’t really confirm if he’s playing himself or not. I really hope so. That would be amazing.

  • January 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Man, if I didn’t have enough reasons to want to see this movie already… This is going to be epic! Maybe you could also hunt down those guys that tried to collect and destroy every copy of the game Shaq Fu. And if you do, thank them for me. Seriously though, this movie will be awesome and I can’t wait to see it!

  • lunaraccents

    January 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I’m assuming they chose New Mexico as the cartridge burial site because of Roswell Crash? Well that would make sense right?

    • Hummingway

      January 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      @lunaraccents From what I’ve read, the site was chosen for two reasons: it was one of the only places around that would accept the multiple truckloads of cartridges (some sources say between 10 and 20 semis were needed, and even then the city wasn’t too happy about it), and that particular garbage site didn’t allow scavenging and crushed items nightly. That’s one way to get rid of ‘em.

  • Marvipe

    January 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I’m probably gonna cause a few head explosions, jaw drops, and face palms with this statement, but………I’ve never actually heard of precisely WHAT is so god awful about the E.T. video game. I know it’s horrible, but I don’t actually know what makes it so horrible. I was gonna wait for this movie, but now I think it might assume the audience already knows, since so many people seem to. I mean……exactly what’s wrong with it? (an no, I’ve never played it, nor have I seen any of it’s content in videos. I’ve only heard about it, mostly on this site)

    • GaryAKing

      January 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      @Marvipe You just have to play it to know, although I didn’t grow up with it and probably am not the best person to tell you but I have played it and it SUCKS! Although not the worst game I’ve played, It’s up there, but as I said you have to play it to know.

    • Big McLargehuge

      January 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      @Marvipe It’s kind of hard to explain. It’s not so much that the game itself is horrible, but it can be impossible to play unless you know HOW to play it.

      It’s more infamous due to it’s history. it was rushed in and out of production and it was anticipated to be a huge hit (which it was, it sold quite well at first), so a abnormally huge amount of cartridges were produced… much more than it was anticipated would be sold. Enter the whole “landfill” situation for all those extra unsold carts.

      Check out the wiki page on it. It’s actually quite interesting and they could explain it better than I ever could.

    • Mistertoast

      January 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      @Marvipe

      1) ET drops in his starship

      2) ET makes a weird sound

      3) ET falls into a hole

      4) ET extends his neck and flies away

      5) ET dies.

      I just explained the whole game to you.

      Now you can go watch a video about it if you want.

    • penguin

      January 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      @Marvipe watch spoonys review of it at spoonyexperimentcom

    • nowhere4321

      January 25, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      @Marvipe Just try playing it. Without the instruction book. Perhaps it helps if you are 9 years old (like I was). It’s kind of epic.

  • JessAdamDebord

    January 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I am just happy that avgn is finallly making his movie, and I wish him all the luck in the world. When I finally get to watch it, I think I will cried.

  • Mistertoast

    January 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    My theory: James will go back in time in the movie and help Howard to develop a GOOD ET game.

    It results in a catastrophe.

    The plot takes on.

  • NekoJirusuke

    January 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    What a great build up! :D

  • reviewEager

    January 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Very cool James, your movie is getting some nice buzz these days….

  • maddmaxstar

    January 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I grew up with ET, it’s a horrible horrible game, but I think to blame HSW for it’s failure is misplaced. It was the marketing climate at Atari in 1982, management pushing unrealistic expectations on their programmers to deliver, management who just didn’t understand how programming worked, as well as the over-the-top thinking that went into marketing a huge movie tie-in game being produced in time for Christmas. HSW didn’t have the time to make a good or even functional game of it, and the end product nowhere near matched the hype for the game. The same fiasco happened to Atari 2600′s Pac-Man. In the end, consumer confidence was ruined and Atari sank like the Titanic.

    When I think of Howard Scott Warshaw, I think of the guy who made Yars’ Revenge, my all-time favorite 2600 title. This man is my hero.

  • Johnathan Cook

    January 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    e.t finds lost games!!!!

  • Michael Kalembkiewicz

    January 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Awesome article. Seems like a cool guy.

  • Brian Allen

    January 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Yars’ Revenge is awesome

  • Ole Sámmol Buljo

    January 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Great read, can’t wait for the movie!

  • Samuel Henninger

    January 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    “I still get a kick knowing I made the worst game of all time and it feels cool to be powerful enough to have brought a billion dollar industry to its knees with just 8K of 6502 assembly code”
    I lol’d

  • Dylan Paul McGinn

    January 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    That would be funny if the movie was about AVG on a quest to find the lost dumpsite and destroy it.

  • Anthony Byrne

    January 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Limited theatrical runs in at least North America is mandatory.
    In places like Toronto, nudge wink.

  • Matt Baldwin

    January 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    and in lincoln

  • Christoffer Sätre

    January 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    THIS IS FUCKING AWSOME JAMES ! i just jizzed all over the screen

  • Deannie Martin

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I like that he has such a great attitude about it. :3

  • Jeremey Stevig

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    wow, I’ve been through Alamagordo NM, who knew I was so close to a goldmine. all I knew was White Sands

  • Steven Pujols

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Go AVGN!!!

  • Zack Sangley

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Now track down the guy who programmed plumbers don’t wear ties.

  • Gilbert Cortes

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    If an evil crappy corporation gives a guy just 40 days to create their christmas blockbuster, they deserved to be ruined lol

  • Danny Haskell

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Will it be a paid movie? I have no problem with that but will it be available in Québec? =)

  • José Torspecken

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    You can buy a DVD after it’s release.

  • Ivan Poon

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    heck yeah

  • Eric Coelho

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Nice! Awesome to see James this far!

  • David Hoh

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    This makes me both excited for the movie, forgetting all about the desert-cartridges, and loving the way this article was written and how it was climaxed. Well written.

  • Rian Yirkah

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    WHY ISN’T MOTHERFUCKER MIKE GOING TO BE IN THE AVGN MOVIE??? It makes no sense whatsoever. He’s a good actor (despite being an amateur) and he’s been an important part of the AVGN character.

  • Nick Lombardo

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I got to meet Howard Scott Warshaw at Philly Classic years ago and got my copies of ET and Yar’s singed by him. He’s a really nice guy and his “Once Apon Atari” doc is really good too!

  • Lewis Sheller

    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I want mother fucker Mike and Bad luck bootsy to be in this film.

  • djruden

    January 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    LOL hilarious article

    I had ET as a kid, it was always kinda cool to put in and mess a round a bit since the graphics were pretty decent for Atari 2600. Once you got stuck in a hole tho meant time to switch to something else for a bit.

    I went back and beat it after the internet was invented and I had a guide to know what to do.

  • Kiminara

    January 24, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    that is awesome James! I’m glad he loves your take on it, and I can’t wait to see it :D

  • DaveMcGrath

    January 24, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    The 5th paragraph is fucking hilarious! THIS is why James knew it was best to save the best for last. THIS is why he did not listen to the masses of goober-snoobers trying to tell him how to do what he does best. I wish you guys the best of luck in seeing this part of the movie come to fruition!

    • TerrifyerX07

      January 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      @DaveMcGrath lol goober snoobers

  • relic

    January 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Funny that he made both one of the worst and one of the best video games of all time

  • John Stiles

    January 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Bad Luck Bootsy has never been in any AVGN, and honestly MFM is pretty scarce as well. They are interesting but I don’t think they need to be in the film. And really, Mike is just not much of an actor. I appreciate that MF Mondays are better than nothing, but Mike just doesn’t have the talent for appearing on camera the way James has.

  • Rian Yirkah

    January 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    The glitch gremlin is gonna be in the movie. He was in one episode, correct me if I’m wrong. The only conceivable reason for
    Mike’s exclusion (at least give him a cameo!) is that he runs Cinemassacre when James is away. If he’s in California with James, who will run Cinemassacre? But still…put him in the film, James. Find a way. Mike deserves it.

  • Brian A. Campbell

    January 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I knew it! Very cool of James to save the E.T. review for something extra special, like a movie!

  • itscmillertime

    January 24, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Great Press!

  • Josh Terry

    January 25, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Reminds me of Bob Clark. He made one of the best movies of all time and then went on to make one of the worst of all time.

  • Jeff Hodges

    January 25, 2012 at 2:28 am

    That was a great read.

  • January 25, 2012 at 3:24 am

    might as well live it up, nice, im lookin more an more forward to this movie , along with marilyn mansons new album and the coming of christ. (im serious)

    • DanConderman

      January 25, 2012 at 8:21 am

      @m0desty New Manson?!? Sweet!

  • MarcusAlexanderRickardHolmström

    January 25, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Awesome!

  • Nicholas Patrick

    January 25, 2012 at 7:49 am

    The thing about ET and Pac-Man 2600 is that they are largely considered not only the 2 worst games of all time, but the two most responsible for both the video game crash of 1983 and Atari’s reversal of fortune. Both games were only given 5-6 weeks of development time (by comparison Pitfall took 2-3 years incorporating new technology) but Pac-Man was released as a test version. Atari made 10 million copies of Pac-Man but were only able to sell 7, and flooded with returns (imagine that, you could return a video game for being bad back then) and a warehouse of unsold Pac-Man and ET Atari had them crushed and buried in Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill! For those wondering, asking someone to dig up a smelly old landfill for some old video games is not something that is ever going to happen without a lot of legal clout and money, so that’s why AVGN The Movie has to fake those scenes in California.

  • Alexander Rezashki

    January 25, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I bet James is gonna beat up the atari programmer in the movie :D

  • January 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    “I still get a kick knowing I made the worst game of all time and it feels cool to be powerful enough to have brought a billion dollar industry to its knees with just 8K of 6502 assembly code.” Best line ever

  • APM

    January 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    He’s actually going to be in the film? This is going to be incredible.

    To be fair to the guy, he got stuck working on a game and only had like 2 weeks to get it done, so I don’t blame him too badly.

  • nowhere4321

    January 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Awesome.

    Yar’s Revenge is one of the few games on 2600 worth playing.

  • WolffKingMorrow

    January 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

    E.T wasn’t really the cause of the industry crashing. Rather it was Pac Man. I grew up during the 2600 era, and everyone felt very burnt at how terrible Pac Man was on the Atari. We paid $50 even back then for games, and this piece of garbage Atari offered us was what started the downfall. E.T. was just an after-thought on the way out the door.

    I didn’t get back into gaming until 1987 when the Nintendo hit it big. Zelda was what pulled me back into home gaming.

    • poshko

      January 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      @WolffKingMorrow Yeah, the whole ET thing is overblown. Market saturation was the real reason the industry bombed. ET’s release just happened to coincide with the beginning of the end.

      By 2600 standards, it wasn’t actually that bad of a game.

    • jarjarboy

      February 1, 2012 at 8:42 am

      @WolffKingMorrow If I’m not mistaken, the thing with the Pac-Man game for Atari is that it wasn’t actually the finished version. The version Atari got was an “alpha” version so to speak, not even close to finished. However, thinking it was finished they shipped the game as it was.

  • January 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Hey, if somebody didn’t make E.T., somebody else would have had to make the worst game of all time!

  • January 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I bet James goes back in time to find the guy and bury him in the desert before he makes the game.

  • FinalBoss1

    January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Thing is ET isnt even close to the worst game of all time.

  • January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Just posted a new trailer review at http://limitlessreviews.blogspot.com/ read it andlet me know what you think! ;)

  • RosinaLucyCalypso

    January 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Wow, that’s awesome :)

  • bk994

    January 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Got it for my 8th birthday. Wasn’t that bad …on the other hand, expectations were lower then.

  • jvmh

    January 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I enjoyed this article.

  • BenjaminOstermeier

    January 27, 2012 at 2:10 am

    That was a great article. Thanks for sharing. It’s great to hear from the man behind E.T. the game, himself! I hope you manage to work him into the movie like you planned!

  • garou1911

    January 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Yar’s revenge was one of my earliest games (I think I started playing it at age 4 or so) and definitely my favorite until Mario came along and redefined what a game was. I can still recall that fateful day my friend down the street got E.T. We excitedly plugged it in, expecting to run through the government compound or perhaps play as Elliot on the bike trying to get E.T. past the government officials. The next two hours were spent trying to make E.T. do anything but stretch his neck out and fly through different colored backgrounds. Finally, we got frustrated and tossed E.T. into a dusty corner never to be mentioned again aside from jokes (“If you can’t beat King Hippo you have to play E.T. for an hour!”). Amazing to think that the man behind one of the most infamous bad games ever is also the man behind the game that likely got me started on my video game obsession. Cool article.

  • thistrailersucks

    January 27, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Ive got a new blog http://thistrailersucks.com/ please check it out! I will love you forever!!!

  • LicaWolf

    January 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Every new update makes me wanna watch this movie more and more…

  • Psykhophear

    January 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Now I REALLY can’t wait to see this movie!

  • Psykhophear

    January 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    The programmer has no regrets over making E.T.? Fascinating.

    Now I REALLY can’t wait to see this movie!

  • playmp1

    January 30, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Five bucks says Howard Warshaw is the villain.

  • Azathoth

    January 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Neat. I’m intrigued to see film even more now. And I love his one sentence paragraph about being in the movie. Haven’t seen that type of word wrangling in a long time.

  • Perri Bourke

    January 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    AVGN do E.T

  • Blujay1524

    January 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Now we know what the film is going to be about eh?

  • kasper798

    January 31, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I know this is gonna sound farfetched…but I REALLY hope there’s a scene with Steven Speilberg…

  • Ragnar0kZ3r0

    February 1, 2012 at 12:37 am

    I think it is truly awesome that he has a since of humor about it, as he said ” I can’t live it down, so I might as well live it up!” I also have to appreciate his comment about bringing the industry to it’s knees with 8kb of code. Because that is what it boils down to, 8kb of data, written in a generations old assembly language, was SO notoriously influential in the the most harmful of ways to the gaming industry, and yet 3 decades later,in this age of far superior hardware,software, and programming techniques, E.T. still is remembered in infamy.

  • February 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    cool, something to look for.

  • Freaknut

    February 3, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Awesome

  • Mechamortal

    February 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    That’s how it is! Don’t regret it, embrace it! I know I’d be laughing my ass off looking back and knowing I created one of the crappiest games ever.

  • Bearby

    February 10, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Superman 64 was the worst game of all time. ET didn’t even come close

  • Bearby

    February 10, 2012 at 5:43 am

    ET did unique things with a Nintendo system at the time. Superman 64 vomited on the like and has ZERO redeeming factors or excuses

    • Timmifutzelchen

      March 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm

       @Bearby Exept it wasn’t a Nintendo system, it was the Atari 2600 made by Atari :P

  • JaysonGeronca

    February 11, 2012 at 8:54 am

    The worst game for me in the last decade is NBA 2k12 iPad…its honestly too difficult and it sucks!

    Xbox Live Gold Membership (12 months) now available on G-Jays Productions: Game Zone!

    (Wii, PS3, Xbox, and PC games also available.)

    Visit G-Jays Productions at http://g-jays.blogspot.com/2012/02/g-jays-gameone.html

  • gourmetguy

    February 16, 2012 at 5:16 am

    Fantastic he sounds like a character

    should be good

  • CaseyStroud

    February 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I hope this movie goes out to theatres all across the United States! I’m really excited to see this movie and I hope that it recieves good reviews by movie-goers and critics alike.

  • March 1, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Man, I can’t wait to see what this movie contains. Will it be a short film? Feature-length? There has to be more than one game in it, ET just seems like too short and dated a game around which an entire film can revolve… This wait is agonizing.

  • Steven

    April 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I hope he plays it and goes on a full AVGN rant like he forgot its his game

  • Brandon Marquardt

    January 31, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    when is the movie comming out

  • April 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    OHHH I see it. E.T. Its like taking a huge shit and then looking back at it, smiling and saying “Yeah! I did that!”

  • Angry Toad

    April 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    He acuttly got the idea for E.T. form his chid.

  • Slyjay

    June 11, 2013 at 4:50 am

    LOL

  • June 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    What a terrific article. Mr. Warshaw, my hat’s off to you and your influence.

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