Construction workers unearth legendary cache of Atari games in New Mexico desert | The Verge

Construction workers unearth legendary cache of Atari games in New Mexico desert

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According to urban legend, a massive stockpile of Atari gear — including truckloads of the notoriously awful game E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — has laid buried in a New Mexico landfill for over thirty years. Today, that story is no longer a myth. Construction crews have uncovered copies of the Atari 2600 game at a landfill deep in the New Mexico desert, near the city of Alamogordo.

Back during the so-called video game crash of 1983, a struggling Atari was stuck with truckloads of the game and other unsold hardware. With little recourse and a crashing interest in video games in North America, the company decided to dump its excess merchandise into a landfill, according to reports at the time. The story was never confirmed, however, and it's carried on as a legendary tale from a time when video games were near worthless. It reportedly cost Atari millions to get the rights to produce a video game tie-in to the incredibly successful Steven Spielberg film, but the resulting E.T. game was a massive flop and it's considered one of the worst titles of all time.

Today's dig became a reality thanks to an upcoming documentary, produced by Microsoft's Xbox Entertainment Studios. The documentary, which will focus on the changing landscape of the video game industry, is expected to come out next year, and it is part of a broader push by Microsoft to produce original video content for Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners. Its biggest project is a live-action Halo TV series connected to Steven Spielberg.

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