The assumed landfill in which millions of unsold copies of E.T. lay buried in concrete is set to be excavated. Despite a series of setbacks, Microsoft, sponsor of the documentary filming the excavation, has confirmed with the local newspaper that it is “finalizing plans as we speak.”
This excavation can bring closure to one of video gaming’s most cherished urban legends. E.T. for the Atari 2600 is a game heralded by many as the absolute worst ever made, and while that is not even remotely true, it is a proper poster child of an age when Atari saw fit to capitalize on crummy shovelware.
The company rushed to develop E.T. in the shadow of the popular movie and made millions of copies, hoping that customers would be so touched by Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece that they would want to continue their experience by playing the game. In fact, just the opposite happened, and people respected Spielberg’s work too much to scar their precious memories of the film with such filth.
E.T. bombed spectacularly, plunging Atari into financial ruin and contributing greatly to a video game crash in 1983-84. Millions of unsold copies were believed to be submerged in concrete and buried in the New Mexico desert to help offset the loss.
The New Mexico Environmental Protection Division Solid Waste Bureau has been opposed to the excavation for worry of chemical waste, but all has been set to make this dream come true. Microsoft and Lightbox Software will be on hand filming as we uncover the fate of Atari’s first major disaster.
The documentary is expected to air as an Xbox One and Xbox 360 exclusive sometime this year.