Atari E.T. carts found in New Mexico landfill

News Aaron Birch 27 Apr 2014 - 05:59

It's officially more than a mere myth, and Atari E.T. cartridges have been found in the New Mexico desert...

It's pretty much universally agreed by anyone who's picked up a joystick or gamepad that the Atari 2600 videogame adaptation of Steven Spielberg's seminal classic, E.T., is one of the worst games ever made. In fact, some would argue it's the worst, it's that bad.

As well as being one of the most critically panned games ever made, the title was one of the things responsible for the video game crash of the 80s, which almost killed off the now mammoth industry. In fact, the game was so terrible, with so many unsold copies, that Atari didn't know what to do with them, and so the fabled story of the gaming company burying stocks of the game in the New Mexico desert surfaced. This fantastical story became something of an industry urban legend, with no one really knowing if it was true or not. That is, until now.

Thanks to official approval, an excavation (part of an upcoming documentary) has gone ahead, and finally, after all this time, it's been proven that Atari did, indeed, dump a plethora of E.T. game carts in the desert. Some proof was provided by Microsoft's Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb via twitter.

Apparently, other games were also found at the dig site, and these will be featured in the aforementioned documentary by screenwriter, Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand, The Avengers, Last Action Hero). This will air via Xbox later this year.

"What would have sucked is if we'd have dug up some stuff, and there's no ET games. I'm glad that didn't happen." Penn told Polygon.

So, that's that, then. The truth was out there, and the New Mexico desert really did have extra terrestrial activity, only not the kind we usually see grainy photos of.

Here's a video of the actual dig, via KOAT Action News.

Polygon

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