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Film crew wins right to excavate E.T. landfill

Film crew wins right to excavate E.T. landfill

Fri 04 Apr 2014 8:44am GMT / 4:44am EDT / 1:44am PDT

Alleged resting place of Atari's disastrous game to be uncovered for Xbox-backed documentary

Atari

Atari group is a global creator, producer and publisher of interactive entertainment for interactive...

atari.com

A documentary film crew has been given clearance to excavate a fabled cache of Atari's famous flop, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

According to a report in the Alamogordo News, the New Mexico Environmental Department (NMED) has granted permission for three companies - Fuel Entertainment, LightBox Entertainment and Xbox Entertainment Studios - to excavate a landfill in the local area, as part of a documentary about the industry crash of 1983.

The decision was delayed due to testing of the site by the NMED, which found chemicals in excess of federal limits. Happily, the NMED found that the chemicals in question would not cause a person to "drop dead" in such small quantities, though they could pose health risks with prolonged exposure.

Atari's adaptation of Steven Spielberg's immortal crowdpleaser was released in 1982, and is now regarded as one of the biggest commercial failures in the history of the industry. Indeed, it is widely - and somewhat hyperbolically - cited as a key contributor to the industry-wide market crash of the following year due to its impact on Atari, which was hugely influential at the time.

In any case, the ultimate fate of millions of unsold game cartridges - compressed, encased in concrete, and used as filler for a giant hole somewhere in the New Mexico desert - is one of gaming's most enduring urban legends.

4 Comments

Jess Kappeler Game Designer, Pipeworks Software

16 30 1.9
Like digging up gold.

Posted:8 months ago

#1

Edward Buffery Pre-production Manager

149 96 0.6
Man, it'll be great to see them finally get unearthed after hearing about it for so long!

Posted:8 months ago

#2

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,196 1,176 0.5
I'd imagine this will be HUGELY disappointing as I can only imagine what the chemicals in that concrete and time have done to whatever they'll unearth. Hopefully, this won't have consequences down the road like the filming of the movie The Conqueror, but we'll see, I guess...

Posted:8 months ago

#3

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

956 185 0.2
Can't wait to hear how this turns out!

Posted:8 months ago

#4

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