Atari E.T. Cartridges Dug Out From Under New Mexico Landfill

Legend has it that in the early 1980s, a cash-strapped Atari dumped thousands--if not millions--of unsold copies of its widely panned E.T videogame in a New Mexico landfill. 30 years later, we finally have proof that this longstanding legend is in fact a reality.

Legend has it that in the early 1980s, a cash-strapped Atari dumped thousands--if not millions--of unsold copies of its widely panned E.T videogame in a New Mexico landfill. 30 years later, we finally have proof that this longstanding legend is in fact a reality.

On Saturday, filmmakers working with Microsoft's Xbox Entertainment studios were on hand as workers excavated a portion of New Mexico's Alamogordo Landfill. Their mission? To uncover the rumored, long-lost cache of game cartridges. And sure enough, crews found them--"a lot" of them, according to Microsoft.

And while finding E.T. was the focus of this dig, it wasn't the only discovery the crew made: It also found copies of other Atari games, including Centipede, Asteroids, and Space Invaders.

The boxes are pretty thoroughly mangled as you might expect, but from the looks of things, the cartridges appear to be largely intact.

The excavation project is for an upcoming film with the working title, Atari: Game Over, a documentary that will be released on Xbox One and Xbox 360 later this year.

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