5 years

Copies of Atari 2600 E.T. game found buried in New Mexico desert

An excavation in Alamogordo, New Mexico has uncovered buried copies of the 1982 Atari 2600 video game, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

In what is probably the most strangest news story the gaming industry has ever seen, copies of the E.T. game for the Atari 2600 console have been found buried in the New Mexico desert.

As part of an upcoming documentary – produced by Xbox Entertainment Studios, directed by Zak Penn, writer of X Men: The Last Stand and The Avengers – an excavation has been underway today to uncover a great mystery that originated back in the 1980s.

According to news reports, including a New York Times article from 1983, Atari Inc, a leading video game manufacturer allegedly dumped 14 truckloads of game cartridges at a city landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Included was copies of the Atari 2600 game, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, which was based on the E.T. movie directed by Steven Spielberg in 1982.

Upon release the game was universally panned by critics and gamers due to it’s rushed release in time for the holidays of 1982. It is widely considered to be one of the worst video games ever produced and is also considered to be one of the contributing factors to the video game crash of 1983.

The game’s sales were so bad that Atari remained with tons of unsold copies of the title and allegedly decided to dump the titles in the New Mexico desert. Employees for the company denied that the dumping ever occurred.

Now, 32 years later, the excavation taking place today – being covered extensively by IGN – has uncovered copies of the game.

A representative at the site, in a video by IGN, told the press: “We’ve found something … We’ve found an intact E.T. video game.”

No official number of exactly how many copies of the game, or any other game or equipment, has been released but in the video the representative told the press that there is “a hell of a lot more games down there”.

The documentary will be available exclusively for the Xbox One and is scheduled for a release in 2014.

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