Gamers will finally know the truth behind the gaming legend of whether or not Atari buried millions of video games cartridges of the epic flop E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in a New Mexico landfill in 1983.
The legend goes that after the success of the Steven Spielberg film Atari snatched up the rights for an astronomical $22 million to release a game. The game was shoved out the door in just five weeks and was one of, if not the worst commercially released games ever made and is often blamed for the game industry crash of 1983. It was a complete flop. It was still one of the Atari 2600's best selling game however – purchased before anyone knew how bad it was – with 2 million copies solf but that left another 3 million copies left unsold. According to reports in The New York Times and others, “The company dumped 14 truckloads of discarded game cartridges and other computer equipment at the city landfill in Alamogordo, N.M. Guards kept reporters and spectators away from the area...as workers poured concrete over the dumped merchandise.”
So clearly Atari really didn't want anyone uncovering what it dumped, possibly 3 million E.T. cartridges, surely trying to hide the company’s biggest failure and mistake right? Now after 31 years, several production companies including Xbox Entertainment has permission to dig up Ataris' skeletons and it is making a documentary about the whole thing.
Microsoft is welcoming spectators to come to the dig site that is set to take place Sunday, April 26 starting at 9:30 am.
But please, don't make us play this game again. Here's some of the hot Atari E.T. action:
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