Want to own a piece of gaming history? Soon you'll have the chance, as 700 of the 1,300 copies of failed movie tie-in game E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial recovered during a recent excavation of a New Mexico landfill will be sold. These cartridges will be appraised, certified, and put on sale at the New Mexico Museum of Space History, the Alamogordo City Commission announced this week.
"We have been working with the space museum for curation, both for displaying and selling the games; they are now artifacts," Alamogordo mayor Susie Galea told Polygon. The remaining 600 games will be distributed to local museums, she said.
First, the recovered games will be appraised to determine their value, though no figure--not even a ballpark figure for what they might go for--was disclosed. Once they are appraised and sent to the museum, some of these games will be registered and then sold with a certificate of authenticity. There's a chance that some will be sold online, but Galea said this is not yet determined.
The Polygon report also states that more than 700,000 games (E.T. and other titles, like Centipede) remain in the landfill; only 1,300 were excavated because the dig--held April 26--proved more challenging than originally thought. Workers had to dig to a depth of 30 feet to find the games, compared to their previous estimation of 18 feet. The excavated landfill has already been filled back in.
Galea went on to say that she hopes Alamogordo can create a tourist attraction at the landfill site. It's possible that proceeds from the sale of the 700 copies of E.T. could help fund a sign for the potential attraction, but this has yet to be determined, she said.
Microsoft comissioned a multi-part documentary series about the E.T. landfill dig, which will appear exclusively on Xbox platforms sometime later this year.