Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Company to comb landfill for buried Atari video game treasure

Fuel Industries, a Canadian multimedia company, has been given permission to comb through a landfill where it is rumored a number of old Atari games lie buried. The deal was approved on Tuesday.

It might seem like a strange move, but apparently there may be gold hidden under the debris at the so-called "Atari graveyard," which is in Alamogordo, N.M. Legend has it -- and it is indeed, reportedly, a legendary site -- that in 1983 the company, stuck with millions of unsold and returned copies of the Atari 2600 version of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," dumped at least nine semi-trucks full of the merchandise at the landfill.

The games were unsold for a quite mundane reason: The game sucked. It sucked so badly that some went so far as to say it nearly took down the gaming industry. That, of course, is hyperbolic.

Despite the fact that the game sucked, it has become a cult hit. There are listings for the game on eBay that run from under a dollar to more than $30. New, boxed versions of the game could be worth a mint. Or not.

It's possible that other unwanted games or merchandise may be buried there, as well.

The deal gives Fuel Industries access to the landfill for six months, including the 30th anniversary of the alleged dumping event.

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