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A long-standing legend was confirmed at last over the weekend when a crew of construction workers finally dug deep enough to uncover the remains of “E.T” in a New Mexico desert landfill.
Remains of the video game, that is.
In 1983 famed video game maker Atari acquired the rights to make the official video game for the hit Steve Spielberg movie “E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.” Problem was, the game was terrible (some say, the worse ever) and turned out to be a huge flop for Atari. As the story went, Atari, now with thousands upon thousands of these game cartridges that they couldn’t sell, decided to get rid of them by burying them in a New Mexico landfill 31 years ago.
A new documentary from Microsoft’s Xbox studio profiling the rise and fall of the company named “Atari: Game Over” wanted to find the cartridges. So, it hired local contractor Joe Lewandowski to excavate the Alamogordo landfill rumors had long said the cartridges were beneath.
As CNET reports, Lewandowski had one shot: he could only dig one 400 square foot hole in the landfill. After that, the search would be over and the cartridges could be lost forever.
But around 1 p.m. Saturday, Lewandowski’s crew found the games buried in a 100-by-40-foot hole in the 300-acre landfill. Talk about a needle in a haystack.
The next step will be figuring out just how many of the cartridges are buried down there. Oddly enough, in addition to the “E.T.” cartridges, there were several other much more successful games buried too: Centipede, Space Invaders, Asteroids, and maybe more.
It’s unclear what will happen to the cartridges, but they’re definitely a big part of video game history.