Atari Landfill Excavation To Exhume Millions of Bad Video Games

Wednesday, 05 Jun 2013 09:22 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Canadian film company has been granted permission to dig up the legendary Atari landfill in New Mexico where it's rumored that millions of terribly bad video games, like the infamous "E.T." game, were buried in the '80s.

The Alamogordo, N.M., city commission decided last week to allow Fuel Industries to search the landfill for old Atari games and capture the dig on film for a new documentary, The Alamogordo Daily News reported.

A New Mexican and video game industry urban legend, the Atari landfill was reportedly the dumping site for at least nine truckloads of video games in 1983.

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As the story goes, Atari shelled out tens of millions of dollars to Steven Spielberg for the licensing rights to the wildly popular 1982 movie, "E.T." But the game was a flop and millions of copies went unsold, so Atari supposedly dumped the excess merchandise in a landfill in southern New Mexico.

No one has ever confirmed what exactly was buried in the Atari landfill, but one man claims it wasn't just the "E.T." games.

"It was the game systems, actually the game systems themselves it was actual cartridges and games, 'E.T.' and so on," Joe Lewandowski, who ran a garbage company at the time, told KRQE.com.

According to the contract with the city, Fuel Industries has access to the landfill for the next six months, which would cover the 30-year anniversary of the alleged dump.

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City officials are hoping it brings Alamogordo some attention.

"I hope more people find out about Alamogordo through this opportunity that we have to unearth the Atari games in the landfill," Alamogordo Mayor Susie Galea, told KRQE.com.

Related stories:

Atari Bankruptcy Filed, But It's Not Game Over for Iconic Video Game Brand

Iconic Atari Turns 40, Tries to Stay Relevant

Trash to Gas: Landfill Energy Projects Increasing

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