Atari's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Gets The HD Treatment (April Fool's)

With all of the excitement surrounding Capcom's HD Remake of DuckTales, it's not surprising that other classical video games are looking to get in on the action. The most recent title to toss its hat into the ring is one of the most infamous games in the industry's history.

If you were alive when Gerald Ford was president, you're probably old enough to remember the notorious tale of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Atari's 1982 adventure game. E.T. is one of the video game industry's most prominent catastrophes, partially because the game's designer, Howard Scott Warshaw, was reportedly forced to complete the title in under five weeks. And partially because Atari is rumored to have buried millions of unsold cartridges in a New Mexico landfill.

But Atari's recent bankruptcy has placed many of the company's historic titles on the auction block. Pong, Asteroids, Centipede, Tempest, Test Drive, and Backyard Sports are historic mainstays for classic game lovers, but E.T. has always been a black eye on the company's back catalog, so it was surprising when the E.T. was among the first titles sold.

"We're excited to get our hands a property that has been such an important part of video game history," said John Haines, president of Cosmopolis Interactive, E.T.'s newly minted publisher. "Now we'll finally get to create a version of the game that won't get buried in the middle of the desert," he joked.

Haines wouldn't comment on the price that Cosmopolis actually paid for E.T., but dodged the question by adding, "It'll be worth it."

Cosmopolis' developers have already been in contact with Howard Scott Warshaw, who now works as a licensed psychotherapist in Cupertino, California. They're hoping to create an HD version of Warshaw's original vision for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which, at the time, would have been groundbreaking.


I must admit, I'm a little skeptical about an HD remake of such a notoriously terrible game. But if Warshaw is actually going to be involved in the project, it'll be interesting to watch everything unfold.



Josh Engen
News Director
Date: April 1, 2013


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