E.T. Found In New Mexico Landfill As Atari 2600 Cartridges Of Game Uncovered

There’s been a story circulating games industry lore for many decades involving the Atari 2600 E.T The Extra Terrestial game, the video game crash of 1983 and the burial of the game cartridges. The legend goes that back in 1983 that video games were not popular, and the E.T. game was stacking up at Atari as interest dwindled. The bosses of Atari looked at this stack of bad gaming, decided that it should never see the light of day and buried it. The story was never confirmed as a real event, but now this legend has been proven as true.


Over the weekend a dig took place at the alleged burial site of Atari’s E.T, funded by Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. This dig is part of filming for a documentary being produced by the studio looking at the history of the video games industry. Who knows what will happen to these cartridges now, or how many there actually are buried. I’d guess some will be shipped to museums, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if a few end up on sale.

Source: Xbox Youtube



  1. My brother has our copy of the game in his loft along with our original 2600. I remember liking the game, although I never completed it because it was difficult and obscure.

    • I’m pretty sure I finished at least one version of the game. I also remember quite liking it back in the day :) I’m half tempted to go dig out my 2600 & give it a bash, but I’m supposed to be packing not unpacking. Besides that would mean I’d also have to pack the intellivision away :D

  2. Sounds like a really traumatic experience. After all that time in a land fill… I bet he just wants to go home! (BOOM! BOOM!)

  3. S.E.T.I, The search for extra terrestrial idiocy.

  4. And a new legend is born,that Major Nelson was hit over the head with a shovel and buried in the landfill.

    • Now that is something i would pay to see.

  5. I started watching Angry Video Game nerd videos on youtibe after a comment i saw on TSA, he’s doing a film based on this story too. Should be fun

  6. xbox division digging themselves a big hole? This is old news :-p

    • I think they must have been digging a hole for all the unsold “Shipped”
      Xbox ones out there when they stumbled across this, what are the chances eh??!!! ;)

  7. I played that game many times and don’t recall it being a bad game. I noticed Centipede was also on the table. I have been quoted as saying that my entire video game childhood now fits on a few anthology discs. Hey remember when you could play a game and roll the score!

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