Legendary Atari Landfill Dump Unearthed for New Documentary

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Does a New Mexico landfill contain truckloads of unsold, now valuable, Atari video game cartridges? KOB-TV's Lauren Hansard reports. (Published Thursday, Jun 6, 2013)

    "E.T." the movie may have been a blockbuster hit, but E.T. the video game was such a commercial flop that Atari supposedly buried the copies in a New Mexico landfill to be forever forgotten.

    A Canadian film crew is now trying to exhume the buried video game cartridges from the Alamogordo landfill and the excavation will be part of a documentary about the history of the gaming industry, according to local news station KRQE.

    The game was widely seen as the the final straw that took down the video game industry in 1983 when the market was inundated with low-quality games, which led to an industry-wide crash that bankrupted several computer and game console makers.

    "E.T. was one of the first video games based on a licensed property, and one of the earliest and most poignant examples of mass over-hyping in digital entertainment," Mike Burns, CEO of Fuel Entertainment, told the BBC.

    The game was full of glitches that rendered it unplayable, according to Mashable. Bad reviews from critics and consumers left Atari with an excess of 3.5 millions copies.

    Urban legend has it that Atari needed to get rid of the cartridges and consoles when the industry crashed, so the company took nine semi trucks full of merchandise to the landfill and buried it under concrete.

    Alamogordo's City Commission on Tuesday approved a deal with Fuel Industries to dig up the site. The filmmakers will have access to the site for the next six months, just in time for the 30-year-anniversary of the purported landfill dump.

    Check out this video to see why E.T. the video game was named the "worst game of all time."