Nostalgia For Sale: Recovered Atari Games Will Be Auctioned

Nostalgia For Sale: Recovered Atari Games Will Be Auctioned

Copies of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and other Atari games cartridges recovered from a New Mexico landfill will be auctioned this fall, just in time for Christmas.

A landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico was excavated earlier this year, confirming the urban legend that Atari had dumped unwanted copies of games there in the 1980s. The Alamogordo City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, September 9 to auction off 800 of the 1,300 cartridges recovered from the landfill. The games will be auctioned through eBay and the City Council's website.

Joe Lewandowski, who supervised the dig site, told Reuters that the sale is expected to begin in two weeks, and should be complete before Christmas. Some of the remaining 500 cartridges will be kept by the city, and the rest will be donated to museums. "We've already heard from the Museum of Rome, which has a section for video games," says Lewandowski. The cartridges are currently stored at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, by the Tularosa Basin Historical Society.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 was rushed to market to coincide with the release of the film. The game is widely considered to be the worst video game ever released, contributing to the video game crash of 1983. Atari produced many more copies of the game than were ever sold, and disposed of some of the cartridges in the Alamogordo landfill. Copies of Centipede, Space Invader, Asteroids, and other Atari classics were also unearthed in the dig, which was sponsored by Xbox Entertainment Studio. A documentary of the excavation, Atari: Game Over, is slated to air this fall on Xbox platforms, as part of a six part documentary series.

Source: Reuters

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I just want to imagine a couple of parents will buy a copy for their kids for Christmas, so they can share the same pain they felt one Christmas morning 30 odd years ago.

Now I'd they want to be super rad they should have all the money from auctions given to charity for kids to have a decent Xmas or such.

So...the key to making a shitty game worth money is to bury it in a landfill for several years, then dig it up and sell it? Interesting.

I can imagine right now someone at EA is trying to figure out how they can exploit this "aging process".

"just in time for Christmas."

Imagine; your mom ruined Christmas once for you 30 years ago by buying this for you... and now she can do exactly the same again!
Because, yes, if she does this, she reallllly hates you! :P

I remember reading they found copies of Centipede down there as well. Not a very expensive game, but I don't have a copy yet, hmm. I presume the proceeds are going to charity or something.

Avaholic03:
So...the key to making a shitty game worth money is to bury it in a landfill for several years, then dig it up and sell it? Interesting.

Yeah, that immediately struck me as well.

But, you need them to be underground for a long time to...oh, wait, it would have worked for DNF.

To be fair, maybe they're only trying to sell the asteroids, centipede, space invaders, and other atari classics.

Because who in the hell would ever buy E.T 2600? Except maybe the angry video game nerd for reviewing purposes, but other than that I still don't think they'd be worth much.

Then again, there are plenty of fetch quests in games these days, so maybe all you'll have to do is reclassify the phone pieces as epic loot and you might actually make some money back.

I wonder if any of these cartridges still work. Atari 2600 cartridges are amazingly resilient.

Racecarlock:

Because who in the hell would ever buy E.T 2600? Except maybe the angry video game nerd for reviewing purposes, but other than that I still don't think they'd be worth much.

E.T. is a piece of gaming history (albeit a bleak part). And the landfill is one of gamings most popular myths proved true, I totally get someone wanting to own one.

Avaholic03:
So...the key to making a shitty game worth money is to bury it in a landfill for several years, then dig it up and sell it? Interesting.

Wouldn't really work nowadays. The only reason the E.T. case is interesting is because it was such a legendary failure that they chose to toss them all rather than sell most of them. And when I say legendary I mean that literally. Until they were actually dug up no one but the people involved were 100% certain the story was even true. We're talking about games buried in 1982. No one kept the records of it ever happening and there was no internet, social media, or smartphones that someone would have bothered using to commemorate that shameful day.

On the legal side of this, Atari still exists right? Wikipedia told me that they are part of Hasbro now (please do correct me if I'm mistaken). I have a feeling they won't keep quiet unless they can get part of the profit...

Sillarra:
On the legal side of this, Atari still exists right? Wikipedia told me that they are part of Hasbro now (please do correct me if I'm mistaken). I have a feeling they won't keep quiet unless they can get part of the profit...

It's not the same company anymore, the Atari that buried those went bankrupt a long time ago. The current atari was renamed to that after they bought the rights to the name.

No, just no. Put that stuff back in the ground where you found it.
I was one of the poor souls that had that game way back in the day, they would have to give me money to want to own that again.

Captcha: dalek asylum
Yeah they are probably there cause of having played E.T.

 

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