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Urban legend confirmed as E.T. Atari games are exhumed

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 26 Apr 2014 15:53 User comments (13)

Urban legend confirmed as E.T. Atari games are exhumed After lying buried for 30 years, a documentary film crew has dug up copies of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for Atari 2600 from an Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill.
The 1982 E.T. title was developed for the Atari 2600 games console and is considered to be one of the biggest commercial failures ever in the video games industry, and one of the worst video games of all time. The game itself was developed in only a matter of weeks after the rights were secured in order to be available for sale during the busy holiday season.

Atari suffered massive financial losses during the next two years and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial has been cited as a major source of those losses, and for contributing to an industry slump throughout 1983.

For the past 30 years, it was understood throughout the industry that millions of copies of the failed game were buried in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and later covered over with concrete. In 2013, plans were revealed to dig up this piece of video games history.

Today, those copies of that terrible video game have finally seen light again. Fuel Entertainment (the documentary crew), Xbox Entertainment Studios and LightBox Entertainment were given permission to excavate the site several weeks ago, and that digging is currently underway.

So here it is, the first E.T. cartridge exhumed after three decades.








Images by Larry Hryb: twitter.com/majornelson

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13 user comments

126.4.2014 17:07

I feel a little old as I remember actually PLAYING this game.

226.4.2014 17:33

Originally posted by ivymike:
I feel a little old as I remember actually PLAYING this game.
You're not alone. lol

326.4.2014 22:47

Quote:
I feel a little old as I remember actually PLAYING this game.

You feel old cause you remember playing that game... I feel old because I currently own that game, it's rotting in my closet hahahaha.

426.4.2014 23:29

Originally posted by ivymike:
I feel a little old as I remember actually PLAYING this game.
Yeah....I remember playing this game when it came out. LUCKILY, neither my mother or I bought the game. I borrowed my nephew's game.....and it did suck big time!!

527.4.2014 7:27

i assumed the buried E.T thing was a joke i didn't actually think they'd seriously find buried copies of it.

I never did get to play it,i played ghost busters and mario bros in 80s but don't think i played E.T or if i did then i don't remember it.

hmm atari 2600? wasnt there an older model that played all the same games.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

627.4.2014 7:36

Why do they WANT to dig up a crappy game?

I don't get it?

It is not like it was a great game or anything. So why un-bury it?

727.4.2014 11:24

Quote:
Why do they WANT to dig up a crappy game?

I don't get it?

It is not like it was a great game or anything. So why un-bury it?

Same reasons why we un-bury dinosaur bones bro XD and to also to remind developers what-not to do when creating games, as more and more games are becoming really bad copy-pasta modern warfare nowadays >.>
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Apr 2014 @ 11:24

827.4.2014 13:59

I have to point out that, in context with other games published around the same time, E.T. really wasn't as bad as people are saying today. It was, in many respects, an updated Adventure, the game that shipped with new Atari VCSs (what they were called before they were renamed 2600). It had some similarities to Superman and a few others, and I quite enjoyed playing it as a kid.

The reason for the bad reputation wasn't the game itself, but the massive overproduction that led to the game's huge commercial failure. The game itself certainly wasn't any worse than other games of the period, and it had some redeeming play characteristics that actually made it better in many ways.

...but then you kind of had to be there to really "get it".


Automation is thundering in like an army from the east.

928.4.2014 0:13

I was "there" and I still didn't get it back then. Mind you being 4 years old and used to other hits such as Frost Bite, Plaque Attack, Donkey Kong, heck even Frogger. My mind just couldn't calculate what the game wanted me to do; the manual made even less sense. The only reason I could tell it was a licensed game was because everyone saw E.T. Worst yet, I was so mad at the game and unable to figure it out back when; I remember actually yelling at my mother for it. I wasn't a spoilt brat, just that was one of those moments like, why did you even bother trying to buy this kyfe..?

I eventually beaten over time - but it definitely was as bad as people choose to remember it. True there were worst games, and the only reason this was considered the worst failure of all time was because of the millions lost; but you know what, that's EXACTLY why it should claim worst failure. When consumers are telling you the game is bad, don't print off more....

1028.4.2014 1:08

Originally posted by Mysttic:
I was "there" and I still didn't get it back then. Mind you being 4 years old and used to other hits such as Frost Bite, Plaque Attack, Donkey Kong, heck even Frogger. My mind just couldn't calculate what the game wanted me to do
Well, as your average twelve-year old, it was pretty simple:

- Gather three pieces (if I remember right)
- Assemble them
- Phone home
- Win

Not a whole lot different than Adventure:

- Gather the keys to the castles
- Get the chalice
- Return to the yellow castle
- Win

Superman, an arguably more popular game, had the same basic thing going:

- Assemble the bridge pieces
- Catch Lex and his gang
- Save Lois
- Win

As E.T. one could fly, fall into pits, and gather Reese's Pieces. How could it go wrong?

Seriously though, none of these games had enough variation to label one horrible and other very similar titles good. It's all a matter of bias and perspective. I remember enjoying E.T. probably because I hadn't read any of the hype that surrounded it at the time.

Automation is thundering in like an army from the east.

1128.4.2014 23:32

Originally posted by navi11991:
Quote:
Why do they WANT to dig up a crappy game?

I don't get it?

It is not like it was a great game or anything. So why un-bury it?

Same reasons why we un-bury dinosaur bones bro XD and to also to remind developers what-not to do when creating games, as more and more games are becoming really bad copy-pasta modern warfare nowadays >.>
This is HARDLY "dinasour bones"..... come on! Nor would it have the historical significance of real Dinosaur's.

It was a crappy electronic game and it sold badly....so what?

There are plenty of games that have sold badly since then....I do not see people taking them out of the trash and trying to "learn" from them?

1229.4.2014 12:27

Yeah I gotta say they could find better random stuff in that landfill. I mean I could see if there were a bunch of people clamoring to buy it. It seems to me they knew it was trash but dug it up anyway. Now they are saying hey look at this trash. Who cares?


Just my $0.02,

dEwMe

135.5.2014 14:11

gonna rub mine in the dirt and trash and sell it on eBay as one of the FOUND carts.

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