Did E.T. cause the collapse of the video game industry in 1983?

atari-game-over-documentaryIf you grew up in the early 1980’s, video games were at the center of your home entertainment and almost all of your friends either owned an Atari 2600 or knew someone that owned one. The games were more simplistic than today’s complex movie-like games. It was more about strategy and high scores in those early days.

In 1983¬†suddenly the video game market collapsed. There were several reasons for the collapse, one theory in particular was the production of the video game “E.T.” and it’s failure to sell copies of the millions of cartridges that were released but never sold. The game tied in with the release of Steven Spielberg’s movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”.

An urban legend of millions of E.T. cartridges being buried deep into a landfill in New Mexico became a mystery that had to be solved.

This documentary explores this legend and also tells the story of the creators of the game. To get the answer to the question of whether or not this one game destroyed the Atari empire…you will have to watch the documentary (no spoilers!). Atari: Game Over does a great job of interviewing the game developers and hearing the stories of the glory days of creating Atari games and what happened behind closed doors.

I find the story fascinating and a nostalgic look back at the classic Atari 2600.  

You can watch the documentary on Netflix or rent it from Amazon.

Watch the trailer below:

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