It has always been a myth that video game pioneer Atari buried their disgraced E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial title in the New Mexican desert after it nearly left them depleted. The shame was brought on by the game notoriously being ranked as one of the worst game of all-time and thanks to the due diligence of construction workers employed by Microsoft XBox, the myth has also been debunked.
Via The Verge:
According to urban legend, a massive stockpile of Atari gear — including truckloads of the notoriously awful game E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — has laid buried in a New Mexico landfill for over thirty years. Today, that story is no longer a myth. Construction crews have uncovered copies of the Atari 2600 game at a landfill deep in the New Mexico desert, near the city of Alamogordo.
Back during the so-called video game crash of 1983, a struggling Atari was stuck with truckloads of the game and other unsold hardware. With little recourse and a crashing interest in video games in North America, the company decided to dump its excess merchandise into a landfill, according to reports at the time. The story was never confirmed, however, and it’s carried on as a legendary tale from a time when video games were near worthless. It reportedly cost Atari millions to get the rights to produce a video game tie-in to the incredibly successful Steven Spielberg film, but the resulting E.T. game was a massive flop and it’s considered one of the worst titles of all time.
Atari bet the house on that E.T. struggle and they lost big time, eventually opening the doors from companies like Nintendo and Sega to rub them out of contention for relevance.
Check out the pictures of all the trash and treasure that was found in the New Mexican landfill. If you’re an 80s baby or a video game enthusiast, this will hold a strong cultural significance for you.
Photo: Twitter/Larry Hryb, IGN