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Were truckloads of 'E.T.' Atari cartridges buried in New Mexico? A film crew is about to find out

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Decades ago, Atari produced a legendarily awful video game based on E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. According to reports from the time, the game was such a flop that Atari was left with millions of unsold and unsellable copies, marking a fatal turning point in both the company's fortunes and the larger industry. Unable to get rid of the games, Atari allegedly dumped truckloads of them in a New Mexico landfill, covering them in cement and leaving them for the ages to destroy. But although The New York Times and others described some kind of Atari disposal effort in 1983, the E.T. burial has reached the status of an urban legend in the gaming community — one that Snopes considers true and the developer suspects is false. Now, according to New Mexico's KRQE, a Canadian documentary team will be excavating the site to put all doubts to rest.

KRQE reports that New Mexico's Alamogordo City Commission has approved a deal with entertainment company Fuel Industries, which will produce a documentary based on the story. Fuel has apparently gotten the right to explore the landfill for the next six months, covering the 30-year anniversary of the dumping. Fuel didn't immediately return a call or email from us to confirm the news, but if it's true, the company will have help: former garbage company operator Joe Lewandowski has said that he both knows where the trucks dumped their payload and what was inside.