Buried E.T. cartridges to be excavated

Buried E.T. cartridges to be excavated

E.T. is one of the most infamous titles in video games history and marks out the video game crash of 1983.

Millions of copies of the Atari 2600 game E.T. are to be dug up from their landfill resting place in New Mexico.

According to KRQE, a news station in New Mexico, the landfill site that the cartridges are allegedly buried on is to be excavated by film production company Fuel Industries. The company has been granted access to the site for six months by the Alamogordo city commission and intends to make a documentary about the dig.

The infamously terrible E.T. game along with the Atari 2600 port of Pac-Man were apparently buried in the desert in 1983. E.T. has been if not widely blamed for the North American video game crash then at least recognised as its major landmark.

However, some consider the cartridge burial to be an urban legend with reports at the time being unclear as to what exactly Atari was burying. An official statement claimed that the burial only concerned broken and returned materials.

Speculation by the press suggested that most of the 3.5 million unsold copies of E.T were crushed, encased in concrete and consigned to the landfill site. Other reports also suggest that prototypes for the Atari Mindlink controller also found their way to the site.

The game of E.T. involved making E.T. find three pieces of a telephone by climbing into pits and levitating back out again without being caught by FBI. Before its release, investors considered the licensing deal that Atari had procured with the E.T. intellectual property to be incredibly positive and several sources expected this to be the first of several successful video games based on films.

Despite the 3.5 million unsold copies of E.T., the game is still estimated to have sold 1.5 million units, however this still lead to a loss of $100m thanks to the expense of the license agreement and the cost of producing the millions of unsold cartridges.


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Kasvain 3rd June 2013, 11:25 Quote
Watch E.T. review here, if you haven't seen the (worst) game yet:
Xir 3rd June 2013, 12:15 Quote
the Atari 2600 port of Pac-Man
I have Atari 2600 with it's Pacman game. Last time I checked it still worked (though that's been 10 years.)
mi1ez 3rd June 2013, 12:36 Quote
I can't wait to find out the result of this. I've always wondered if the myth is real!
LordPyrinc 3rd June 2013, 13:09 Quote
It's always been such a bizarre story. I'd be surprised if they actually find any of the cartridges at the landfill though. Who knows, they might find Hoffa instead.
Gareth Halfacree 3rd June 2013, 13:26 Quote
While you're waiting for the site to be excavated, here's a great read about a guy who patched the bugs in ET to make it a considerably better game.
David 3rd June 2013, 13:40 Quote
I was completely oblivious to this game being billed as the worst game ever - but I was never interested in playing it at the time. I feel like I've missed out. :)

On the other side on the coin - the best 2600 game, for me, was River Raid. The amount of time I spent on it probably rivals that of heavily addicted WoW gamers.
Dude111 3rd June 2013, 13:50 Quote
Originally Posted by Kasvain
Watch E.T. review here, if you haven't seen the (worst) game yet:
Thanx for that...

I dunno if i have ever played that game or not.. I LOVE ATARI 2600!!
SinxarKnights 3rd June 2013, 16:29 Quote
Great link there. I hated that game for the exact reason stated in the video, I got it second hand and it had no manual. No clue what to do except fall in pits and die over and over.

@Spreadie - Pitfall! was a great game too. Sometimes I actually miss those old games, well not really. Still play my NES though lol.
sub routine 4th June 2013, 09:00 Quote
maybe they`ll dig up E.T. himself?
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