For years, stories of a legendary video game disaster remained buried in a New Mexico landfill and this past weekend, they were officially confirmed as excavation crews unearthed the massive stockpile of unsold E.T. cartridges for the Atari 2600.
If you’re not a game-head or know why anyone would hold such a massive amount of hatred for anything having to do with the supremely lovable E.T., let’s recap this insane video game legend. Back in the 80s during the Atari 2600’s heyday, Atari wanted to release a video game version of Steven Spielberg’s classic family movie about an alien who gets stranded on Earth and a misunderstood boy who befriends him. So they did a rush job on the game and released something that was totally unplayable and made no logical sense whatsoever. The game sold so poorly that Atari had truckloads of unsold cartridges buried in a landfill in Alamorgordo, New Mexico.
Earlier this month, Microsoft hired an excavation crew to dig up the landfill site to see if they were still there. The urban legend was officially confirmed as fact last Saturday as crew members started pulling copies of the game out of the ground before a crowd of 200 witnesses. A film crew also recorded the project for a special documentary that will air on Xbox Live sometime in the coming weeks. That means it’s only a matter of time before some of the destroyed cartridges and game boxes start showing up on eBay and other auction sites where they will be sold to gamers with more money than common sense or friends to tell them that spending a lifetime of money on a piece of video game garbage isn’t a good idea.