I was reading this January 1983 issue of Electronic Games, when I stumbled across this letter from a reader from Newark, CA asking about the rumored E.T. video game.
They confirm the release and talk about the only details they could reveal at this point. That Steven Spielberg is involved in its creation.
The publication date of January of 1983. Which is a month after the game was released. This is a fascinating look at how game journalism used to work.
For years magazines had to put together their issues months in advance. In that time many details could change. In this case a game could be rushed into development and released.
I went back to the December of 1982 issue and not a mention of a game that was getting a huge marketing push in so many other places. Then in February of 1983, they do a small article where they basically reiterate was was said in this January letter.
I browsed a few months into the future and couldn’t find a single mention of the E.T. game. Which is pretty mind-blowing when you consider the energy that went into its release and the mania around it. It is a shame the magazine was not able to get their hands at least on some of those E.T. advertising dollars.
Maybe I am just reading into this short letter, but I can almost sense the excitement and enthusiasm for this particular tie-in. In both the question and the untimely response.
I would put myself into that enthusiastic group of people. When I heard that this game was going to be available on Atari, I could think of little else and would not shut up about it.
You will read a lot about what a terrible game E.T. is and how everyone hated it. I was not one of those people. It was a difficult game and I was terrible at it, but I spent countless hours revisiting the world of E.T. in my living room.
Even now, knowing what I know, I cannot summon negative feelings about the title. I am forever Paul Valdez from Newark, Ca.