It’s an urban legend 30 years in the making. You’ve probably heard from a friend who heard from a friend who knows a guy who worked at Atari, and he said that a long time ago, a little game called “E.T.” cost the company a lot of money, so they went ahead and buried millions of copies somewhere in New Mexico. Yesterday, Xbox Entertainment Studios in collaboration with Fuel Entertainment set out to uncover the truth behind this myth, and they managed to dig up just that.
At about 1 p.m. local time, the myth was confirmed as the dig crew discovered the first “E.T.” cartridge with many more to follow soon after. Other Atari assets were also uncovered during the dig, including joysticks and copies of Centipede, Space Invaders, and Asteroids. Buckets of games were uncovered during the dig and there’s speculation that many, many more boxes of games still rest below. The conditions of the game varied from being just the cartridge to fully pack in shrink-wrap. Considering they were buried in the dirt for 30 years, a lot of them came out in surprisingly good condition, probably due to the rather dry conditions of the area.
The entire excavation is being chronicled in a documentary series produced by Lightbox and directed by Zak Penn (“Avengers,” “X-men 2”) for Xbox Entertainment Studios. “Atari: Game Over” will be aired exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 sometime in 2014. Until then, Xbox Wire will continue to cover the dig as more information becomes available.