One man's garbage is another man's treasure, and so it goes with roughly 100 Atari 2600 cartridges dug up from a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico that are now available on Ebay. Following decades old reports that trucks would use the cover of night to dump unsold games, system hardware, and peripherals into a dump site, Microsoft recently financed a documentary in which the disposed items were unearthed.
An urban legend in video game lore turns out to be true!
After sitting in a landfill covered with concrete for 30 years, numerous unsold "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" cartridges for the Atari 2600 console have been dug up, confirming reports of their fate form the 1980s. Largely considered by many the worst game of all time, legend had it that truckloads of E.T. cartridges, along with other Atari 2600 hardware, were dumped in the landfill, but the story was never confirmed until now.
The search for millions of unsold copies of E.T. will proceed
Environmental regulators in New Mexico have given Microsoft, Lightbox Entertainment, and Fuel Entertainment the green light to dig up a local landfill that might contain millions of unsold E.T. cartridges for the Atari 2600, along with other games, peripherals, and even consoles. The proposed dig had been put on hold when the New Mexico Environmental Department deemed that the initial excavation plan was too vague, but whatever concerns the agency harbored have now been settled.
Red tape stands in the way of finding out if millions of E.T. cartridges are buried in New Mexico
E.T. may have hitched a ride to another galaxy after phoning home in the 1980s, but the search for unsold Atari 2600 cartridges loosely based on the Extra-Terrestrial's Hollywood hit continues. Legend has it Atari dumped up to 20 truckloads of cartridges, consoles, and other electronics into a New Mexico landfill site, which is where many believe most of the 3.5 million unsold copies of E.T. for the Atari 2600 ended up. After all these years, production company Lightbox Entertainment decided to dig up the landfill as part of a documentary, but environmental concerns could delay the project.
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 is widely considered the worst video game of all time, and legend has it that it was so bad, millions of unsold copies ended up being buried in a small town in New Mexico. Whether or not that's true, Microsoft Studios aims to find out in the first episode of a new documentary series that will debut exclusively on Xbox in 2014, the company announced in a blog post.