The Hunt for E.T. Begins

Here Be Dragons | 02 June 2013 | 0 Comments   

It’s a game so bad it’s almost legendary: “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” for the Atari 2600 tops every critic’s list for the worst game of all time.  It was so bad, in fact, that it caused a massive crash among the gaming industry, resulting in the bankruptcy of multiple companies and the end of consoles such as the ColecoVision, the Odyssey, the Astrocade, and the 2600 itself.  The event was the darkest period of video game history, and for a time it seemed that the industry would never recover.  Thankfully the success of the original Nintendo Entertainment System resulted in the world we know today.

But what of the leftover, unsold and returned “E.T.” cartridges?  The rumour was that Atari  arranged for the leftover games to be buried somewhere in the New Mexico desert in the dead of night, a plan better suited to the disposal of a body rather than some video games.  

While this story has been almost universally accepted, it was never quite confirmed and retained an official “urban legend” status.  But it was a story that stuck in the imagination of every gamer.  So much so that the Angry Video Game Nerd‘s self-named movie will be built around the story and his eventual review of the game.  Such an epic and legendary tale that one of the greatest gaming icons of our age is basing his greatest work so far on it.

And now someone’s trying to confirm it.

A film company called Fuel Industries has petitioned for and been granted position from the town of Alamogordo to dig up the nearby landfill.  Their goal, to find the cartridges that Atari supposedly buried so long ago.  The permit was granted Tuesday night, and excavations could begin anytime.  One can only assume they plan to film and televise the search.

As of yet, it is unknown when the search will begin and what the resulting film will be like.

You can find more details in the Alamagordo Daily News.