The Search For Lost Atari Games, “E.T.” Phone Home?

ET Atari 2014

In 1982, Atari made a major agreement to make the exclusive movie tie-in game for the surprise blockbuster. The publisher forced its lone developer, Howard Scott Warshaw, to rush the game. The final product ended up so unplayable that Atari couldn’t sell the game to retailers. The cartridges were just taking up warehouse space, so — according to legend — the company decided to pack nine semitrucks full of E.T. and other Atari equipment to dump in the desert. – Jeffrey Grubb, VB

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Organizers say a planned dig into a New Mexico landfill for a rumored cache of what some consider the worst Atari video game of all time is expected to proceed despite state environmental regulators’ concerns.

Fuel Entertainment and LightBox Interactive are seeking to excavate an old Alamogordo landfill that reportedly was a dumping ground for “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” game cartridges.

Jonathan Chinn, an executive producer at Austin, Texas-based LightBox, said Thursday that the search hasn’t been halted.

Chinn says a local waste-management consultant who filed an excavation permit is addressing questions raised by the New Mexico Environmental Department.

A department spokesman has said the agency was waiting on a revised waste excavation plan.

“E.T.” the video game, inspired by the hit 1982 movie, is said to have contributed to Atari’s decline.