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E.T. Video Games Discovered In New Mexico Desert

Submitted by on April 27, 2014 – 1:56 pm2 Comments

Reuters/Mark Wilson

One of the biggest urban legends in videogames has been proven true. A trove of Atari E.T. video games, often called the worst game in history and blamed for sparking the industry collapse of the 1980′s, has been discovered in a landfill in Alamogordo, NM.

A team of documentary filmmakers sponsored by Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios led the dig, which found the cartridges and other Atari paraphernalia after three hours of excavation with backhoes.

The E.T. game was rushed through production in just weeks to coincide with the release of Steven Spielberg‘s 1982 blockbuster of the same name. But the game was a complete flop, leaving Atari saddled with millions of unsold copies.

Gaming site IGN writes that Atari would soon go under, which then caused the whole industry to collapse. Though the home console gaming industry had been suffering from consumer trends and subpar games, the E.T. debacle was seen as an immediate cause of the collapse.

IGN also posted a video of their correspondents attempting to play a copy of the game on an Atari console. It seems nearly un-playable, as the onscreen E.T. avatar falls into a hole at almost every step.

Though news outlets including the New York Times reported at the time that around a dozen dump trucks filled with Atari gear were brought to the desert, high-level Atari employees disputed the story. So the existence of the trove was in doubt- until today.

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