Success, Buried Atari “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” Cartridges Unearthed At New Mexico Landfill

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You may recall our reporting on the Atari documentary which is being exclusively produced by Microsoft for the Xbox.  The documentary team ran afoul of the New Mexico state government which put the planned excavation on hold.  But these issues how now been cleared up and the public is invited to see the dig.

An Xbox original documentary series is telling the story behind Atari’s alleged burial of millions of unsold “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” game cartridges in a small town in New Mexico three decades ago. An excavation to find those games was carried out April 26. Spectators were invited to watch the unearthing to see whether the burial is urban legend or fact. The story goes that in 1983, Atari, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to the game, buried those cartridges in the Alamogordo Landfill in the middle of the night.

In the process, workers unearthed Atari game cartridges as expected.

Today’s excavators went to Alamogordo hoping to provide closure to this legend, perhaps make history and get some awesome documentary footage for the upcoming original film by Xbox, “Atari: Game Over” (working title).

And, lo and behold, they hit paydirt. The findings started out very promising, with an old, dusty Atari 2600 joystick buried in the landfill. Then an “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” cartridge. A box. An instruction manual. And the confirmation of “a lot more down there.” How many more, we don’t know just yet — but at this point, we can safely report that those long-buried cartridges are actually, 100 percent there. Crazy, isn’t it!? And it sounds like some other games are down there, too: Centipede, Space Invaders, Asteroids, and possibly more. “Lots of boxes” is what we’re hearing.

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