"We'd like you to produce a game by controlling electrons in a vacuum tube with less RAM than it takes to hold your grandmother's recipe for boiling water...when compressed. It has to sell a lot of copies because a bunch of people are depending on it for their livelihood...no pressure. You'll be on your own, no training, no manual, primitive tools and zero market research explaining what a good game is, no testers, no focus group. It has to be done in about a lunar cycle. Can you do it?"
I'm pretty sure all 2600 programmers back then were arrogant. Some hid it better than others.
I'd bet cash when Kassar was told by Ross to do E.T. that Kassar and his team had a discussion about what programmer would even try. Meaning, who's the most arrogant programmer we have? And I'll bet Howard fostered that rep so he would get such calls.
I will always prefer to work with engineers who are a bit arrogant, opinionated, lacking tact and even smelling a bit bad...if they deliver. I've worked with engineers who were the most capable in the group, and understood in detail why something couldn't be done. They would refuse to even try. That's not how products get shipped. You have to take chances and be prepared to fail. You have to be arrogant. Of course if you deliver then you weren't actually arrogant. Won't stop people who called you arrogant from recanting. Arrogance is the logarithmic measurement between a person who should be able to accomplish some task but can't, and someone who accomplishes the task.
For me anyone who shipped a 2600 game gets my respect. You can rate members within that small club but they're still in that unique club.
And this was a movie. Characters welcomed. Of all the footage shot of Howard I'm guessing the dull vanilla opinion stuff was cut. Howard understands entertainment. A movie about digging up some trash in a landfill...pretty sure was going nowhere without characters. I liked the suit from Warner too. "Hey, you want to buy a company? Sure." Got a kick out of him.