Documentary Makers To Dig Up Atari Cartridges Of E.T Game Labelled Worst Ever
When Steven Spielberg's E.T: The Extraterrestrial was released in theaters in 1982, it became one of the biggest hits the genre of science fiction had ever seen. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the accompanying video game that was released on the Atari platform. The game has subsequently been labelled the worst video game ever made. In fact, the E.T game was so bad that many believe its release marked the beginning of the end for the 1980's video game giant. Indeed, Atari had so many spare copies of the game that they literally couldn't give them away, instead opting to bury millions of the cartridges in a New Mexico landfill.
Now, 31 years after the epic burying of sins, two companies are aiming to recover the lost treasure trove of crappiness in an ambitious plan to dig up the Alamogordo landfill site at which the cartridges were laid to rest. Fuel Entertainment and LightBox Interactive are the organizations behind the proposed dig, which is all part of a documentary being produced for Microsoft's Xbox One Entertainment arm.
The documentary will chart the rise and fall of Atari, a beloved video gaming pioneer that was ultimately unable to keep up with beast it had helped to create. While E.T may have been symbolic of Atari's downfall, the 1982 release was just one of a series of failures centering around overly optimistic sales outlook. It was this blue-sky thinking that landed the company in trouble; after lower than normal sales of titles like E.T and Pac-Man led to Atari finding themselves in possession of millions of unwanted games cartridges. The decision was eventually made to bury the cartridges in the Alamogordo landfill in southern New Mexico.
Atari chose the New Mexico site because of its strict rules prohibiting scavenging, that hasn't put off Microsoft and LightBox who are moving full-steam ahead to excavate the site any day now. Local news outlet Alamogordo News has reported that the dig hit a snag last week when State authorities put a freeze on the project while they waited for certain administrative paperwork to clear, but all involved remain confident in the mission's success.
So if you have a secret stash of classic Atari cartridges, it may be time to dust them off. Not just because they can take you on a historical trip through the beginnings of gaming excellence, but also because their value may be getting ready to shoot up before the year is out.