Howard Scott Warshaw was a video game programmer in the classic Atari 2600 days. He produced games under the Atari and Sears labels. Below is a list of games credited to this programmer. Unfortunately, some of his games were never released. (Please /msg with any additions).


  • A-Team
    This was an unreleased prototype title based on the television series of the same name. You got to control the floating head of Mr. T in a mission to save Hannibal. This game was largely based on the code to Saboteur.
  • E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    This was a horrid adventure game based on the movie of the same name. This title is notable because there were more copies of this game made, then there were Atari 2600's around to play it on. Over a million copies were buried out in the desert, just so Atari could write them off on their taxes.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
    This is a rather uncommon adventure title. It is also based on a movie, and is a bit more fun than E.T. was. This is also one of the first games to have an Easter Egg in it (not the first, but a very early example), as Warshaw hid his intials as an inventory item.
  • Saboteur
    This was another unreleased title. It had nothing to do with the Spectrum game of the same name.
  • Yars' Revenge
    This is a classic title. You control a bug like spaceship, and attempt to blast away at a cannon located inside a force field. This is very similar to the arcade title Star Castle, but the controls feel very different.
Howard Scott Warshaw is a really strange guy. Though, you would be if you were any good at writing 6502 assembly for the Atari 2600. I met him in 1997 at a game convention in Philadelphia. He autographed my Yars' Revenge cart as well as the Yars comic book that came along with the game.

Howard was one of Atari's most well known programmers. He said that he made a million dollars by the time he was in his mid twenties, but ended up going into an insane amount of debt with the IRS. He really liked to talk about what went on at Atari behind the scenes. He directed and produced a cheesy but cool home-grown video series called Once Upon Atari, where he interviews with many of the old Atari programmers and talks about plenty of Atari antics.

Howard was given six weeks to program E.T. for the 2600. Considering how hard it is to program anything at all for the 2600, the end product is stellar.

Howard told me about when he and a couple of Atari's other star coders were considering leaving the company. Their boss called them all into a room one afternoon and told them he thought they might be thinking about leaving, and passed each of them an envelope with a check inside. He said the check was for $50,000 ....

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