Atari Reminded of E.T. Flop

The 1982 blockbuster, E.T., directed by Stephen Spielberg accompanied by a gorgeous score from John Williams was a knock out success. To this day, the film remains a family favorite. What people do not remember, though, is that the electronics pioneer, Atari, in an attempt to ride the movie’s success, created a video game based on the extra terrestrial movie.

The video game was quite awful. The whole industry was new and, at that time, in its first slump. To hide their blunder with the quickly cobbled together E.T. video game, Atari decided to bury the unsold games in a landfill in the middle of the desert in New Mexico. By putting the game out of sight, they could forget the whole thing and move on. The game became and urban legend and many forgot it even existed, until now. Over thirty years later a documentary film crew, accompanied by a few hundred onlookers, is digging up the Atari cartridges. Larry Hryb, who worked on created Xbox with Microsoft tweeted “Urban legend CONFIRMED” as he watched at the dig site. He visited because Microsoft is one of the backers of this documentary so that they can offer it on their Microsoft Xbox Entertainment Studio. The documentary has a tentative title, “Atari: Game Over.”

However, this story goes far beyond E.T. The dig found many more games. It turns out that Atari discarded over 700,000 game cartridges in 1983 that consist of over 20 titles, and only a fifth of those are the E.T. games. Atari was struggling at the time in a market that had too many arcade games. Burying them was there course of action and with this dig and documentary, it is a myth no more.

from Douglas MacFaddin’s Video Game and Media Page http://ift.tt/1pX7xiv

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Published by: Doug MacFaddin

Douglas Willis MacFaddin was born June 16, 1961 in the Miamisburg Hospital to Patricia Ann MacFaddin and Richard Willis MacFaddin. My mother’s maiden name is Morrison and she is the youngest of seven children who were raised in Lycippus, PA. My father was the second of four children and was a twin. He was raised in the town of Viola, DE. At the time of my birth, my father worked at the Mound Laboratories in Miamisburg, Ohio in research. Mound was an Atomic Energy Commission facility for nuclear weapon research during the Cold War. My mother made a home for our family. My father passed away in 1991 and my mother is currently living in Avon, CT. Doug MacFaddin is the oldest of five children (Doug, R. Stuart, Anne Marie, Megan and Mary (Heather)). I lived in Ohio for two years, spent the next seven years in Murrysville, PA (outside of Pittsburgh), moved to Little Silver, NJ and relocated my senior year in high school to Avon, CT. My four siblings currently live with their families in Avon, CT and are members of St. Ann’s Church. I attended Mother of Sorrows School in Murrysville, PA. In NJ, I attended Little Silver Point Road School, Markham Place School and Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) in Lincroft, NJ for three years. My senior year, I attended Avon High School and I then spent the next four years at Union College, Schenectady, NY. I received a BS in Industrial Economics and graduated in June 1983. While at Salomon Brothers, I was asked to attend a two-week seminar for Public Finance at the University of Michigan in 1986. In Little Silver, I was involved in Troop 126 where I achieved the rank of Life Scout and was both a Patrol Leader and a Senior Patrol Leader. I also was an alter boy at St. James Catholic Church and spent summers a the Ship Ahoy Beach Club in Seabright, NJ and caddying at the Rumson Country Club. At Christian Brothers Academy, I wrestled for the varsity squad for three years. I took second in the districts my junior year and went on to the regionals. I also ran on their cross country team freshman year and was part of the CBA Colt team that hasn’t lost a duel meet since 1973. My senior year at Avon, I won the wrestling States (S). I went on to wrestle at Union College and qualified for the Div III nationals twice (1981, 1982) and was co-captain both years. My senior year at Avon, CT, I also won the States (S) in pole vaulting. It was the first time Avon High School had a state champ in two sports in the same year. During my four years, I earned nine varsity letters between wrestling, track and football. In 1979, I was accepted into The National Honor & Merit Scholars Society. Upon graduating from Union College, I accepted a position at Salomon Brothers Inc in August 1983. I was an analyst in their Public Finance department at One New York Plaza. I lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn and spent the next four years working at Salomon Brothers. As a result of Black Monday, October 19, 1987 the Public Finance Department of Salomon Brothers was jettisoned to conserve capital. By November 1, 1987, I was working at Dean Witter Reynolds in the new Public Finance Department made up of many of my former Salomon Brother’s colleagues. The new Department was located on the 57th floor of 2 World Trade Center.

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