06/05/2013 12:12 EDT

Legendary Atari E.T. Video Game Landfill To Be Dug Up For Documentary


A Canadian company will soon have access to one of the world's coolest graveyards — a massive landfill said to contain unknown numbers of the worst video game Atari ever released.

Atari's E.T. video game, based off the popular movie, was reportedly so bad the game maker dumped at least nine semi trucks-worth of the game cartridges in a Mexican landfill in 1983 after millions of copies were returned or unsold.

According to a New York Times report from Sept. 28, 1983, "guards kept reporters and spectators away from the area as workers poured concrete over the dumped merchandise."

The landfill, in Alamogordo, Mexico, had never been dug up for the elusive cartridges, until Canadian film company Fuel Industries sought permission from the city to excavate the area to search for them.

The exact location of the cartridges in the 100-acre landfill, and the number that exist, is the subject of an urban legend.

Fuel Industries plans to make a documentary about their quest. The dig was approved last week by Alamogordo's city council. The company will have access to the site for the next six months.

The massive dump in 1983 marked the beginning of the end for Atari, which was sold off the next year. The E.T. game was only one of many low-quality games put out by game makers, which led to rock-bottom sales and the crash of the North American video game industry in 1983.

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