Company searches landfill for awful “E.T.” game

June 5, 2013

A city in New Mexico has agreed to allow a Canadian multimedia company to search a landfill where old, terrible Atari games are rumored to be buried. Commissioners in Alamogordo have agreed that the company, Fuel Industries, can search the landfill for games, according to the Alamogordo Daily News.

Alamogordo has a population of 30,000 and lies 200 miles south of Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico.

One sought-after cartridge, the ET video game, is thought by some to be among the worst video games of all time. Atari paid film director Steven Spielberg tens of millions of dollars to license the name of the wildly popular 1982 movie.

But the dud of a game caused the troubled company’s worth to sink even further at the time. And the game has since developed a cult following because of how bad it was.

The rumoured Atari graveyard has long fascinated some who consider the commercial flop a part of video game history. It is believed that nine articulated lorries full of ET games and other Atari toys delivered their shipments to the landfill in 1983.

Alamogordo commissioner Jason Baldwin said he played the Extra-Terrestrial game and it was “horrible”. There are listings for the game on eBay that run from under a dollar to more than $30 (£20).

Fuel Industries has been given six months to search the landfill and will document the search.

An Atari game system

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