Crew to Dig Up Tomb of Worst Video Game Ever

Vast trove of ET Atari games supposedly buried in landfill

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 3, 2013 11:31 AM CDT

(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.

A screen grab from YouTube video of the game.
A screen grab from YouTube video of the game.   (YouTube)
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