Crew to Dig Up Tomb of Worst Video Game Ever
Vast trove of ET Atari games supposedly buried in landfill
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 3, 2013 11:31 AM CDT
A screen grab from YouTube video of the game.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – ET left an indelible mark on video game history—as the protagonist of its worst game ever. The game was so terrible that some say it nearly destroyed the industry, which was in big trouble in 1983, the year after the launch of ET for the Atari 2600. Millions of copies of the game were returned, and millions more weren't sold at all, KRQE notes. So where did they all go? According to gaming legend, Atari dumped nine or more semi truckloads of the crushed cartridge and consoles in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Thirty years later, in connection with a documentary on the story, the rumored tomb is set to be excavated by a film production company, says KRQE in a report picked up by Time. Will the legend turn out to be true? A former garbage company boss says he saw the burial, and an Atari rep told the New York Times the site was full of gaming gear, Ars Technica notes. But how much garbage there was—and how much of it came from the game itself—remains a question to be answered by the excavation.

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
njguy54
Jun 4, 2013 10:58 AM CDT
I was in high school when the ET game came out. I remember it being the must-have game during that Christmas season, and it was really hard to find. My girlfriend at the time managed to get a copy, though (someone in her family must have had connections with Santa). Sure enough, neither she nor I, nor any of our friends could make heads or tails of the game. Shortly after, I remember seeing it in a 99-cent bargain bin somewhere. I probably should have bought it, as I hear they're highly collectible these days.
$28919642
Jun 4, 2013 9:36 AM CDT
I owned a copy, & it was so buggy that even Mom swore at it.
HMD-SMD-ITY
Jun 3, 2013 9:57 PM CDT
It it was such a bad gaming system, why did I buy a $29.99 100-game console at the grocery store last week with most of the games. Now, I would like to find a good Sea Wolf game. Dave and Busters have a sit down version I love but I would like to find a home version.