The Atari E.T. landfill documentary is about to commence. Xbox Entertainment Studios is set to start filming the process of unearthing the alleged evidence of the most terrible game in the history of the hobby.
Do you remember the Atari E.T. game? If not, consider yourself lucky: The game was so horrible, it literally caused the crash of the video game industry in 1983. It took Nintendo and a genre-defining game called Super Mario Bros to bring video games back as a viable hobby and pave the way for nearly 30 years of interactive entertainment.
The Atari E.T. game seemed simple enough, as you took control of an oddly phallic sprite and wandered around in a seemingly impossible landscape of massive craters, massive craters, and more massive craters to find pieces of a phone to “call home.” Most of us turned it off and never looked back after the second crater, content to stay as far from what it called “home” as possible.
The excavation of the Atari E.T. landfill in New Mexico is the moment gaming historians have been waiting for, to see the worst game of all time finally removed and disposed of more properly, or possibly handed out as souvenirs. “The Angry Video Game Nerd” James Rolfe even has plans to make a movie out of his own search for the Holy Grail of terrible games, but it seems Xbox Entertainment Studios will beat him to it. It could easily be the year of the Atari E.T. game for general historians.
Why is there an Atari E.T. landfill? At the time, Atari had put a lot of money into a game tied in with the blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie, thinking it was going to be a big hit. They made way too many of them, and after its release, word got out about how bad it was. Legend says that they buried all of the unsold cartridges in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico and covered them in concrete, though the theory has been called a myth and a publicity stunt.
The ET dig is about to begin! This is console gaming’s equivalent of the king Tuts tomb dig! :) http://t.co/ZTPwETePCH
— The Gazebo (@Gazebo_ezine) April 10, 2014
The Atari E.T. game was such a failure that it destroyed any chance that Atari would sell the copies they had, and landed them in ruins. No other game in history has ever been such a massive crater of failure, though Nintendo could probably tell you horror stories about the Virtual Boy that might come close.
The Xbox Entertainment Studios documentary is scheduled to take place on April 26, and gamers everywhere are invited to come and see what could be a hidden piece of history literally unearthed. Get your travel arrangements in order if you plan to witness the Atari E.T. landfill documentary in person.