E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Atari 2600) is generally considered one of the worst video games of all time. Plagued by a short development window, with just 5 weeks (!) in which to create the game, E.T. fell far short of expectations. No one could even figure out how to play the game, as demonstrated well by this YouTube video that has accumulated nearly 2 million hits (warning: language).
When combined with Atari's over-production (more units of the E.T. game were produced than actual Atari 2600 systems produced by that time), E.T. became the perfect storm and collapsed Atari completely, taking the rest of the industry with it in what became known as the Video Game Crash of 1983. Eventually, the massive surplus of E.T. cartridges would be taken en masse and buried in a New Mexico landfill, becoming a mythical final chapter in a legendary story of gaming's yesteryear.
Fast-forward 30 years later, and video games are bigger than they have ever been. Mobile devices, personal computers, home consoles, and hand-held video game consoles are everywhere. Video games are ubiquitous and an accepted part of our culture.
As gaming has grown, the interest in learning about the history of the video game industry also has grown, both from older gamers who have a sense of nostalgia and from younger gamers who want to learn about gaming's roots. Video games have been around long enough now to where they are bringing entire generations of people together to play and have fun.
We had the idea to "roast" the E.T. video game and want to share it with you, the gamer, the collector, the fan. This game truly deserves the best of the worst treatment we can dish out, deserving a giant 24"x36" poster to parody the worst game of all time and capture the humor in full detail.
Our concept for this artwork is to imagine the E.T. box art, progressed 30 years into the future. Elliott lives in his mom's basement, is somewhat overweight, enjoys liberal amounts of World of WarCraft, is a regular at comic book conventions, loves his "wolves howling at the moon" shirt, and has E.T. exasperated at how their shared 80's-era idealism has now given way to the cold, hard reality of the 21st century. Things haven't quite gone as planned. Even E.T.'s glowing finger doesn't work right anymore - it's fizzled out.
They are still together, using Elliott's phone not to "phone home" but instead using the GPS to locate the landfill where all those un-sold and un-wanted E.T. video games are buried!
You may notice the background of the original box art is quite busy, with various random things going on - Reese's pieces strewn about, the mothership in the sky, the shadowy government agents in the bottom left, and more. We've updated these with some hilarious additions:
- the bottom left features silhouettes of Atari stockholders watching the value of the company plummet as a result of this E.T. disaster
- on the moon, a silhouette of a dump truck full of new, sealed E.T. Atari 2600 games is heading to the nearest landfill
- the binary number up at the top, which was inserted to look like the outline of the mothership from the original, is actually 365 million - the number of dollars Atari lost from the E.T. game
This is our interpretation of the art, anyway. Maybe you have a different one. We'd love to hear what you think is happening in the picture!
The posters will be printed on thick, high-quality poster stock and coated in a protective UV gloss treatment. They will be shipped in cardboard movie poster tubes for the utmost protection. We will come up with the precise final number of posters as we approach the end of the Kickstarter project window, but once it ends, that will be the final total, forever. We know all of these posters will find good homes all over the world, which is a dream fulfilled for us.
One poster is $25 (or $35 shipped anywhere in the world) and there are a limited number of autographed posters available for $45 (or $57 shipped internationally). The autographed posters come with another little bonus: a replica "cartridge label" sticker that could be used to replace the original cartridge label on an Atari 2600 cart! How cool is that? Only a very limited number of these are being made, and will ship with the autographed posters.
Other reward levels are available as well for the mildly-passionate observer ($1 minimum helps fund us, lets you stay up-to-date on the project with updates emailed directly to you, and you receive a high-resolution wallpaper JPG upon successful completion of the project) along with the E.T. super-fan ($250 for all rewards, including poster autographed by the three project creators, limited edition cartridge label, and a hand-written thank-you letter from Roasted Games founder Bradley Metrock thanking you for being a true patron of our work).
The funds raised will be used to cover the production of the poster and cartridge label, and funding up to and exceeding our stretch goal will be used to fund successive Roasted Games projects and marketing. We want to keep bringing you guys awesome, hilarious new projects to enjoy.
This E.T. artwork and concept will be discussed at the upcoming ScoreCon 3 video game convention in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 27-28, where we will also announce this project as the first of many "Roasted Games" that we will parody. Days later, this Kickstarter will conclude and we will begin fulfilling orders for the E.T. poster in May as soon as they arrive from the printer!
THANK YOU to all who back us - we are as excited as you are to deliver something awesome and fun.
(The team behind Roasted Games and this E.T. artwork)
Risks and challenges
Printing will be handled by an amazingly-talented print house, with a 1-2 week turnaround time. Printing will not begin until AFTER the project is fully funded, so expect to receive your posters and/or cartridge stickers by the end of May.
Shipping requires you to fill out your backer survey at the end of the project. Just make sure your address is 100% accurate, or that will delay the shipping process.
Thanks for all of your support and enthusiasm for this project - you are going to love the finished product!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, at the same time the $1 backers receive it via email. We just couldn't update the reward info at those levels as they had already received backers, and Kickstarter won't allow editing of rewards once backers have pledged.
Aren't the Atari logo, along with E.T. characters, protected intellectual property? Even though the company itself may be bankrupt?
Yes, they are. This, however, is a work of parody/satire, and use of these properties for a project of this nature is considered fair use.
Yes, that would be very nice of you. Just add an extra $30 to your pledge ($40 intl.) for each extra poster you want, or $45/$57 for autographed poster + cartridge label.
Approximately 2.75" x 3.4". A picture of the cartridge label will be made available soon after we publish the final artwork to this page.
Roasted Games is the new company devoted to mocking past, present, and even fictional video games through satirical re-imaginings of box art, in-game art and music, and more.
Surplus funding of this Kickstarter project will fund future projects of Roasted Games to come throughout 2013.
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