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What happened to Atari’s unearthed E.T. cartridges?
Earlier this year we reported that copies of 1982′s Atari 2600 atrocity E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial really were buried in the New Mexico desert. So, what happened to the game after they were dug up?
“The primary goal is that they go into museums and the story be told,” said, dig site manager Joe Lewandowski. “The second is that they go into the city inventory for whatever we decide to do with them. The balance is what we will sell.”
The story about the alleged burying of the Atari game cartridges in the New Mexico desert dates back to the 1980s and the unsuccessful release of the now legendarily bad E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial game. Now the stuff of urban legend, the gaming world was happily surprised a few months ago with the news about the discovery of the cartridges alongside a number of other games.
Commenting on the variety of games found Lewandowski said: “There are a limited number of those. We thought we were going to get 30,000 or 40,000 games, there’s 792,000 down there, but we got 1,300 and one hundred of them went to the film company so that’s increased their value.”
The decision of the New Mexico city council on how to deal with the evidence confirming the myth simply cements the story as one of the most amazingly quirky stories in the history of gaming.