Back in April, we reported that filmmaker Zak Penn helped lead an expedition to the New Mexico desert to unearth hundreds of unsold E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial video game cartridges that were buried decades ago in a landfill. That journey is chronicled in the first trailer for the upcoming documentary Atari: Game Over.
Zak Penn directs this film that explores the meteoric rise of video game pioneer Atari, and their colossal failure that was the E.T. video game, which was rushed into production to be available for purchase by Christmas time, after spending a massive $21 million for the rights. The game is widely considered to be the worst of all time, selling just 1.5 million copies, leading to the urban legend that Atari literally buried 14 dump trucks of E.T. cartridges in an Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill in 1983, the remains of which were dug up just a few months ago. Take a look at the first footage from this documentary, debuting on XBox sometime this fall.
Atari: Game Over explores the fabled Atari mystery, dubbed "The Great Video Game Burial of 1983." As the legend goes, the Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to the E.T. video game, disposed of millions of unsold game cartridges by burying them in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Fuel Entertainment took an interest in the legend, and in December 2013, with help from local garbage contractor Joe Lewandowski, acquired the exclusive rights to excavate the Alamogordo landfill. Fuel Entertainment then brought the opportunity to Xbox Entertainment Studios. The team will head to the landfill in question to determine if the story is true, interviewing a cast of characters related to the game and its mystery along the way.