UPDATE: See Microsoft dig up landfilled E.T. Atari cartridges – video

Monday, 28th April 2014 10:53 GMT By Phil Owen

Today is the day that some enterprising folks are visiting that landfill in New Mexico where legend says millions of Atari E.T. game cartridges were buried after the game flopped and the video game market crashed in 1982. And according to photos taken by a few tweeters at the dig, at least one E.T. cartridge has been found.

UPDATE 2: Microsoft has published a clip from its documentary The Dig, showing the excavation crew unearthing the first E.T. cartridges. Here it is:

Via Eurogamer.

UPDATE 1: pictures of a few more cartridges from the dump are circulating now. Only a few million more to go. See for yourself below.

et cartridge


Those pictures were taken by Major Nelson, but Wired’s Chris Kohler and Microsoft’s Jeff Rubenstein also took pics.

So it seems the urban legend is at least a little bit true.



  1. Tiucaner

    Well, I guess every legend does have a grain of truth in them after all…

    #1 8 months ago
  2. SlayerGT

    I feel stupid because I always thought this was true..I never realized that it was an urban legend or whatever. When this was announced my reaction was, why would they want to dig them up? Not, are they really out there? :-/

    #2 8 months ago
  3. Obernox

    Oh? pretty cool.

    #3 8 months ago
  4. ddtd

    @SlayerGT Ha, same here!

    #4 8 months ago
  5. salarta

    I’ve mentioned before, I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually find out that the E.T. cartridges were planted by Microsoft.

    That sounds conspiracy theory-ish, but frankly, I think many companies would react to hyping up an excavation only to find nothing by planting something. Many companies would feel it’s embarrassing if they didn’t find something, and they’d worry people that tuned into the documentary would feel like they wasted their time and money to watch something with no payoff.

    That doesn’t mean my suspicion is true, it’s only a suspicion. I think Microsoft is definitely the kind of company, and in the exact circumstances, that they would do something like plant a few cartridges for the sake of good impressions.

    #5 8 months ago

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