Microsoft to dig up millions of failed 1980s ‘E.T. The Extraterrestrial’ Atari video game cartridges

“A planned excavation of an old Alamogordo landfill to search for what has been called the worst video game ever has cleared a hurdle with the New Mexico Environmental Department,” John Bear reports for the Alamogordo Daily News.

“According to a letter from the NMED Environmental Protection Division Solid Waste Bureau, the NMED has approved a waste excavation plan for the project with some conditions,” Bear reports. “Three companies, Fuel Entertainment, Xbox Entertainment Studios and LightBox Entertainment plan on digging up portions of an old Alamogordo landfill located near First Street and White Sands Boulevard to search for Atari ‘E.T. The Extraterrestrial’ game cartridges purportedly buried there in the 1980s… A spokesman from Microsoft; who is producing the dig with Lightbox Entertainment — said his company is ‘finalizing plans as we speak.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“Atari paid director Steven Spielberg tens of millions of dollars to license the wildly popular 1982 movie’s name, and game developers completed the project in just six weeks,” Fox News reports. “In the game, the player takes on the role of the titular alien and tries to elude FBI agents while collecting pieces of a telephone to call E.T.’s spaceship.”

“The end result was a huge commercial dud that caused the troubled company’s worth to sink even further,” Fox News reports. “Atari purportedly disposed of millions of game cartridges and other equipment by the truckload at the landfill. The area’s supposed role as a gaming burial ground has taken on urban-legend status over the years.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: We assume it’s for environmental reasons that they’re digging up these old 2600 cartridges, although neither article really explains the “why” very well.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]

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