Friday, 1 December 2017

Video Game Character of the Month - December 2017 - E.T. - E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

Video Game Character of the Month
December 2017
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

If infamy was a measure of success, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial game would be the most successful game of all time. Not only did it start the trend of awful movie tie-in games, it nearly single handedly destroyed the video game industry. But I guess the greatest tragedy is that E.T. never got home... At least he has the Video Game Character of the Month to keep him warm. Sadly, it's not a phone. 
And now some more information on E.T.: 

He is sometimes 2D
He is sometimes fully green
He can levitate by moving his neck
He falls into pits a lot
He just wants to get home
Collecting phone parts is his primary purpose
These phone parts are, weirdly enough, located in wells
Adults don't like him
He can heal his energy via eating Reese's Pieces
His first game is considered one of the worst commercial failures in history
728000 copies of his first game are buried in a New Mexico landfill
He can gain an extra 4th life if the player is lucky enough to find geranium in a well (first game)
The rights to the character were purchased by Atari for $20-25 million 
His first game was created in less than 2 months...
...By one person
He has recently grown to like Lego

Origin of E.T.:
The CEO of Warner Communications (Atari's parent company) Steve Ross started negotiations with Steven Spielberg and Universal Pictures to acquire rights to E.T. the film. Even though the CEO of Atari at the time (Ray Kassar) thought the idea of making an action game out of a movie was a 'dumb idea', he was tasked with getting a developer on board and asked for Howard Scott Warshaw, creator of Yar's Revenge. Warshaw considered it a good challenge to create the game in the time frame of around 6 weeks and accepted due to Spielberg's own recommendation of him. After the original pitch, Spielberg asked for a game more akin to Pac-Man, but Warshaw ignored the request believing his version captures the sentimentality of the film. In retrospect he has said that Spielberg's request might have had some merit.

Evolution of E.T.:
After the video game crash of 1983, with E.T. the Extra Terrestrial being attributed as one of the major factors for the crash, E.T. didn't return to the gaming lands until... 1983. OK, I didn't say that humans learn their lesson. Alien's Return is considered one of the weirdest games ever made, and I'd have to agree - just look at the artwork. After this there have been a couple of games released in line with anniversary's of the film until finally E.T. became Legofied in Lego Dimensions in 2015

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: released (North America) in December, 1982 on Atari 2600
E.T. Go Home: released (World Wide) in 1983 on Atari 2600
E.T. Phone Home!: released (World Wide) in 1983 on Atari 8-bit Family
E.T.: Digital Companion: released (World Wide) on October 18th, 2001 on Game Boy Color
E.T.: Escape from Planet Earth: released (World Wide) on November 28th, 2001 on Game Boy Color
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: released (World Wide) on December 14th, 2001 on Game Boy Advance
E.T.: Interplanetary Mission: released (North America) on March 27, 2002/(Europe) on March 29th, 2002 on PC/released (North America) on December 30th, 2002/(Europe) in 2002 on PlayStation
E.T. and the Cosmic Garden: released (World Wide) in 2002 on Game Boy Color
E.T.: Away from Home: released (World Wide) on March 27th, 2002 on PC
E.T.: Phone Home Adventure: released (World Wide) on March 27th, 2002 on PC
E.T.: The Green Planet: released (World Wide) on October 9th, 2012 on iOS
Lego Dimension: released (World Wide) on November 18th, 2015 on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U

Well, that's it on E.T. but, as always, if I have made a mistake or missed something, please don't hesitate to comment! Also, if you can think of another character that is worthy of winning the Video Game Character of the Month Award, then please comment as well!

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

My own knowledge

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