Soon we'll know if Atari buried millions of copies of failed movie game E.T. in a New Mexico landfill

Rumored burial site for millions of copies of the failed video game will finally be excavated on April 26 and you're invited to attend.

by

Are millions of copies of failed movie tie-in game E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial buried in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill? We're only two weeks from finding out. Microsoft, which has commissioned a documentary series about the dig, announced today that the excavation of the rumored burial site will take place on April 26 and it will be open to the public.

Whatever happens later this month will be documented by film crew Fuel Entertainment and spun into a documentary series that will debut on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Zak Penn (X-Men 2, The Avengers) is directing the movie.

In attendance at the dig will be E.T. game designer Howard Scott Warshaw and a team of archaeologists, as well as representatives for Microsoft and Xbox Entertainment Studios. Microsoft says attendees might even be interviewed for the film.

The final excavation of the site is a long time coming for Microsoft. Alamogordo city commissioners approved the search in June, but the project was later put on hold because a waste excavation plan needed to be finalized before the digging could begin. Microsoft got that approval just last week.

Alamogordo Landfill Excavation Details:

  • Saturday, April 26, 2014
  • 9:30 a.m. -- 7:30 p.m.

Alamogordo Landfill

  • 4276 Highway 54 S
  • Alamogordo, NM 88310
  • (Near First Street and White Sands Boulevard)
Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

104 comments
kirk2n25
kirk2n25

They were buried for a reason. Please do not disturb them!

terrariafan247
terrariafan247

ET is better than many Microsoft (and Sony) exclusives!

wallacom
wallacom

Its a lie, they are searching for oil now... jk jk. On a serious note, I do want to know if they did. 

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

Why are they always polluting New Mexico? It's such a beautiful state, yet they gotta test atom bombs and dump crappy games there, wtf America!

rarson
rarson

I've long wondered why it wasn't done sooner, especially since those carts would probably be worth a pretty penny. But I would find it pretty hilarious if they go to all this trouble only to find nothing.

soulless4now
soulless4now

I can't wait to find out the results. xD 

deadpen
deadpen

So will EPA make them pay to clean up the contaminated site, since it wasn't properly disposed of? You can't just bury huge amounts of stinking shit in the ground, otherwise CoD would be easier to get rid of.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

I'll wait for AVGN: The Movie for those answers.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

I know they are making a documentary, but why Microsoft? Why not Nat Geo?

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

So badly should have left it another 1000 years... Imagine just how screwed up that episode of TimeTeam would be, "we can only imagine how retarded our ancestors truly were."

lorider25
lorider25

History will repeat itself, the next one will be:


"Did Microsoft bury a million Kinect games and cameras in a landfill?"


Calling it.

tweekendx
tweekendx

reminds me of when geraldo rivera opened al capones vault on live tv... sad that I remember watching it, but even more sad is how much time I spent playing ET2600.

jerusaelem
jerusaelem

Less "documentary", more half hour Special Edition of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. 

Evamorgana
Evamorgana

God that's funny. Pretty sure Danny played it on random encounter? It was truly woeful. It's funny how the passage of time can makes things cool. This game though- it was broken and will always be!

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

ET back from the dead. Oh the joy of staying in a hole that you can't get out of.

xthelastbaronx
xthelastbaronx

Sooooooo, They're Selling Each Cart For Charity, Right???


Millions Of Carts x 1$ A Cart = MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO CHARITY

plus each person gets a piece of history...


I Mean Come On...This Is Really Writing Itself!!!

CAN WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN?!?!?!?!

RainIsMyDrug
RainIsMyDrug

" ET: The Extra Trash " freakin classic right there 

DrKill09
DrKill09

Like I said before; it makes NO logical sense to bury games when you could flash the ROM chips with a new game and recoup some losses.  Cartridges were expensive as hell to produce.  I doubt they were buried.


Also, all anyone ever talks about is ET on the 2600 when Pac Man (2600) was worse, and was another contributing factor in the crash of 83. 

Vodoo
Vodoo

Atari must be sweating bullets.

People ask why this is a big deal? Maybe because Atari buried, and then denied it, millions of PLASTIC carts in the ground. I'm pretty sure plastic carts aren't biodegradable. Who knows what other corrosive materials oozed out of E.T.'s tomb and into the ground.

I don't think recycling was around back then, but Atari should've went back and cleaned up their mess. When you have garbage, you dispose of it properly. You don't go to a remote location, dig a hole and bury it. And on this scale of littering I wouldn't be surprised if the EPA gets involved.

xcollector
xcollector

It would be interesting if they can make a documentary about digging up trash exciting.

So is this another one of those things you need a Gold account for?

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

yeah I get to relive old gaming memories on my birthday. I mean the point of the game was to murder ET in unique ways oh wait no that is the violence that game made me want to do.

DARKSPACE
DARKSPACE

Microsoft leave New Mexico Alone.. and build your American console in America. Before Geraldo Rivera does an investigative documentary on you..  LOL

Moonco
Moonco

Bury those crappy Kinect games when they seal everything back up

themc_7
themc_7

wow. who cares? We're talking about a shitty game that may or may not have been created like 25 years ago. move on with your lives

bouff
bouff

I hope they rig up an Atari 2600 so if they find one in one piece they can test to see if it works

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

They were. It was answered years ago.

PHOENIXZERO
PHOENIXZERO

The question we've already known the answer to for years... Yes they did along with a lot of other shitty games that didn't sell but they didn't just take boxes/carts and dump them, they were destroyed (crushed IIRC) beforehand.

enoslives7
enoslives7

Fucking sweet! Once they remove all those old cartridges, they can use the space to throw millions of worthless kinects in. Makes sense, right??

hystavito
hystavito

@tweekendx  Remember all the times they thought they had found the location of Hoffa's body?

hystavito
hystavito

@xthelastbaronx  If I remember correctly they were damaged somehow, crushed I think, before being buried.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

@DrKill09 ET was way worse than Pac Man I'm sorry I played it and it's awful, also aAtari made so many copies it was insane to think they could sell that much, I think they made almost as many games as there were Ataris in US homes.

It definitely helped contribute to the gaming crash but like the guy said above me there were a lot of factors that killed the industry back then including the huge amount of games being made by 1 or 2 people that flooded the market and were mostly bad rip offs of other games.

TheKeef
TheKeef

@DrKill09

The real factor was the decline in the single pay, single play style of arcade games. Most people from the earlier days of the arcade disdain the "continue for a quarter" feature of later arcades.

And the advent of home gaming, even though sometimes terrible, fueled an "arcade at home" movement that shifted many game makers away at least temporarily.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

@BamaGoatt LOL I hear ya man, the worst part was when you were in those pits and hat to boost up to the top to get out but if you didn't let go at exactly the right moment you would fall back down, so damn frustrating even as a kid that game wasn't fun.

quakke
quakke

@themc_7
It's the shitty game that helped crashing videogame industry back in 83. We have now similar situation starting to happen thanks stuff like CoD significantly lowering the quality level of videogames in general. CoD Coats and Bafflefeel 4 are latest representatives of Shovelware. Bafflefeel 4 was released unfinished and Coats is also using 14 years old engine. Those two are just the climax, there are plenty more games that are just following the "big boys".

RossRichard
RossRichard

@themc_7 It was created, that is a fact. It was created 32 years ago, in fact.

DrKill09
DrKill09

@bouff  If they were BURIED, they most likely would not work.  Heating and cooling would warp the boards.  Especially if they were there for 30+ years.


Lets say that wasn't the case;  At the very least, you would have to take the cartridge apart and deep clean it with rubbing alcohol.

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

@bouff Afterwards, they'll list them all on eBay as collector's items.

devilwing86
devilwing86

@Mr_Big_Boss @bouffha, could you imagine some lucky sob making a mint off selling a bunch of copies of the worst game ever created?