Four Letter Nerd

The Legend of the Atari Grave

Myth Confirmed. After nearly three decades the legend of the Atari Grave has been solved.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, over thirty years ago Atari’s E.T. was rushed through production in order to be out in time for Christmas, which left the game designer a mere five weeks to come up with a game. The rushed production schedule led to the release of a broken game that is considered one of the worst video games ever made. The game was so bad that it is thought to have contributed to the demise of Atari. Legend has it that while Atari was about to shut it’s doors for good they took the remaining unsold E.T. games and dumped them all in a landfill somewhere in New Mexico.

Lightbox Entertainment teamed up Xbox Entertainment Studios to become the modern day Hardy boys and film a documentary about their search for the missing E.T. cartridges. On April 24, 2014, they unearthed the Atari grave in a nondescript landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico.


A former Atari manager named James Heller was invited to the dig site by the production team and said that the finding of the site didn’t surprise him. According to Heller, the company asked him with finding an economical way to dispose of over 725,000 games located at a warehouse in El Paso, Texas. This led to truckloads of cartridges being transported to an undisclosed landfill, and after there was word of scavengers taking the games and the media began asking question they poured it over with concrete. When asked why he never spoke out on the legend, Heller stated, “because nobody asked.”

The documentary is supposed to be released later this year on the Xbox Marketplace.


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Cam Clark

Cam is a husband, father, and a fan of many things. In college, he wrote his senior thesis on Mythological, Philosophical, and Theological Themes in Star Wars, and now spends his days causally specializing in Star Wars, Tolkien, and cubical work. No relation to Bill Clark.

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