E.T. Cache Found in Landfill

Documentary Makers Solve Mystery

By Andy, Posted 28 Apr 2014

Throughout our lives we hear various urban legends: Mr. Rogers was a Vietnam vet, Bloody Mary is in your mirror and baby Floridan alligators were discarded by New Yorkers and now live in the sewers. There are many urban legends, and sometimes one will become ingrained in popular culture and it may seem as though the tale will last forever. One such legend in the world of video games is that Atari dumped thousands of copies of E.T. into a New Mexico landfill, covering them with concrete to protect them from looters. Well, it looks as though that story is true.

As a part of a documentary called Atari: Game Over, film makers traveled to the deserts of New Mexico and have unearthed copies of E.T. at the landfill where Atari reportedly dumped excess copies in 1983.

ET Found in New Mexico landfill

The genesis of this legend is that after the success of the motion picture E.T., Atari rushed to produce a licensed game of the E.T. property.  As popular as E.T. was, Atari had to contend with a short development cycle to meet the holiday rush of 1982 in order to sell all five million copies to break even on the project.

Unfortunately, sales of E.T. did not work out in Atari's favor, and the game is considered the catalyst of not only a downturn of the home video game market in the early 80's, but ultimately the downfall of Atari as a whole.

With the past few years giving closure to stories such as Duke Nukem Forever and now the E.T. landfill mystery, it seems that the number one remaining mystery concerning video games is: Where is Half-Life 3?

Andy Bayless (@workgamesleep), NoobFeed

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Publisher(s): NoobFeed
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Genres: Video Games
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Release Date: 2009-02-14

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