5 Games Recalled, Then DESTROYED – Fact Hunt

While modern games can easily be patched to remove conflicting content, earlier games didn’t have such a luxury, whenever a controversial topic, or worse a legal threat was brought forward, they not only had to recall all copies on sale, but also literally destroy them. This episode Larry looks at five such cases!

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13 comments

  1. I really need to dig in the attic because I had and played the ET game. Yes, it was horrible and hard, but not as bad as the Superman game. Superman was a red stick figure, Lois a yellow one, and you had to grab her and fly her away from bad guys. Whenever you were “killed” Lois would appear on screen, touch you to heal you which made a “dinging” noise. So if you grabbed Lois it was constant “Ding ding ding ding ding….”

  2. lilith_ascennding

    I actually found a copy of the E.T. Atari game at a vintage game/record shop in my hometown on sale for $5. I’m still kind of kicking myself for not purchasing it and displaying it like the masterpiece of shit it is.

    • I remember playing the game when I was a kid. It wasn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It’s definitely not great by any stretch, even by Atari standards of the time, and it does get boring pretty quickly. I think that its role in the Great Video Game Crash has led to a great deal of exaggeration of its craptitude.

      • Basically. Most experts nowadays agree that ET wasn’t that bad game as people claim, but it definitely was most well know flop. Also here it is worth to mention that its role in video game crash is also exaggerated (people seriously believe that Atari bankrupt because they couldn’t sell stack of those). This crash has many reasons and experts even today not exactly agree which was most important:
        1) Oversaturation of underdeveloped hardware and rise of home computers what make things even worst.
        2) Oversaturation of shovelware games and rise of third party developers what make things even worst.
        3) Bad and greedy decisions of largest video game companies. Atari commit basically both previously mentioned bad practices and Packman, ET, Atari 5200 are just most famous, but not only. Bushnell predict that would happen and as result ws fired.
        4) General lack of information and unreliability of already existing media.
        5) Many companies simply concluded that video games has ended and stop producing and obtaining products. It was largely result of lost of trust. A direct result of two previous points.

        Anyway crisis ended because Nintendo has still good reputation on Japanese market and provide strict control over own products and solid media support.

        • TragicGuineaPig

          ET was more of a symptom of the problem, not the root cause of it.

          But I would add to it another issue: the faddish nature of video games had run its course, and the novelty of them had worn off. I remember the early 80s, and to us kids at that time, the idea of being able to play these games had its own certain intrigue. But as time went on, and the other issues you cite had their effects, we began to lose interest in video games. We still played them, but we were no longer nearly as excited to play them. It wasn’t until the heyday of the NES that we really started to be excited about them again.

          • Exactly, though I didn’t bring that factor because it is bit illusive. After all people tend to forget that there was also earlier crash in 77’en related to pong clones. And both cases could be easily described as result of popping of the market bubbles.

  3. I freaking remember Unirally…WTF did I play when I was a kid?

  4. Wow, I actually had World Class Track Meet on a multi-cart with Duck Hunt and Super Mario Brothers! I wonder if we still have it in the attic somewhere?

    I also have a friend who had Uniracers. I thought it was kind of meh.

  5. Well.. that IT stuff is in fact a myth. Yes they did find buried Atari storage hardware, but it was mostly composed from random promotional materials and in fact quite low quantity of random games. Yes, including IT but it wasn’t in any way majority. As such myth was in end debunked.

    Huge reason for creation of myth was fact that, yes.. Atari did ordered 5 mln. copies but they didn’t produce them when seals went off hill. When people start returning products also large part of that was resold so overall number of real copies was much lower then even sold ones. Also processing of unsold cartridges in other games wan’t uncommon practice back then and game itself never was really pull from sheaves.

    Also speaking of Tetris spreading like wildfire over Eastern Europe.. on what? Yes, game was most likely shown on several universities what in 80’ties have computers. But I should remind that communism was so f*k up that people get Commodore 64 and clones of Famicon in the 90’ties.. and that was after fall of Soviet Union when normal part of world has at that point PS1 and N64. That is why PC gaming is popular here though to be clear, it also was a insanely pricey trash until normal market was fully established.

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