A well-known video game urban legend has just been confirmed to be true, as thousands of copies of Atari’s infamous ET game have been found buried in the New Mexico desert.
It’s long been claimed that Atari was forced to bury a sizeable stash of its ET tie-in game back in 1983 following disastrous sales. Part of this was said to be due to the video game crash of the time, and part of it was down to the quality of the game.
Quite simply, ET for the Atari 2600 console is alleged to be one of the worst games ever made. It was developed in just six weeks in a bid to cash in on the success of the Stephen Spielberg film, and it shows.
However, the original report claiming that Atari had been forced to bury its unsold stock of the ET game was never corroborated, and Atari itself always refuted such claims.
Now, a film crew has uncovered the truth of the infamous horde. As part of a series of documentaries commissioned by Microsoft, approval was sought from – and approved by – the New Mexico Environmental Department to go digging for ET in a landfill site near the town of Alamogordo.
As tweeted by Xbox community spokesperson Major Nelson, that dig has been successful, and copies of the doomed game have been unearthed.