Xbox Entertainment Studios to show documentary on Atari's "E.T." game burial

Microsoft is finally going on the record with specific plans for its Xbox Entertainment Studios, which will offer original video programing for owners of Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles. Today, it revealed that it has commissioned a documentary series from the newly formed Lightbox production company, with the first film slated to look back at one of the oddest events in video game history.

The Xbox Wire site reveals that the currently untitled documentary will examine the burial of millions of Atari 2600 game cartridges in a New Mexico landfill in 1983. All of them were unsold copies of the 1982 game "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial", which is widely considered to be one of the worst games ever made. The landfill will be dug up early in 2014 and the documentary crew will be filming those efforts as part of their movie. The film will be shown exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles later in 2014.

The only other show that Xbox Entertainment Studios has confirmed is in development is a live action TV series based on the Halo sci-fi game franchise. Other shows that are rumored to be in development, but have not been officially confirmed by Microsoft, include a soccer reality show series called Every Street United and an untitled comedy series about a group of ex-pro skateboarders living together in Los Angeles.

Source: Xbox Wire | Image via Atari

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>>Also E.T. gets blamed for the crash for some reason but it wasn't to blame

TV/Movie tie-ins for video games rarely made developers and publishers a lot of money during that era unless it was a major hit. Today, there is success in those markets.

Wasn't it more than just ET cartridges? I've read they buried lots of other unsold titles and even consoles after the video game market crashed. I'm not sure what the point of digging it up is though, they crushed everything up first and no doubt mixed in with tons of other trash.

Also E.T. gets blamed for the crash for some reason but it wasn't to blame, it was the massive amounts of horrible games being released for the 2600 by everyone under the sun, even dog food companies. People got tired of paying good money for terrible games.

It is a historic entertainment industry moment marketing a video game and movie together at that scale. The movie people just had no idea how to handle the development part of it.

The gameplay itself was a flop, but they still sold a LOT of copies.

Trouble is, rumor has it they manufactured more ET cartridges than there were Atari 2600 VCS units!

I also hope nobody on the documentary crew is getting their hopes up that they will find playable collector's items. Supposedly they poured concrete onto the dumped games.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,

Thanks for sharing.

You say it as if my comment is nowhere relevant..or you're trying to pull off a "cool story" moment on me.

Well don't watch the enhanced version they released on DVD. It's a great film though, if you liked Super 8 you'll probably like E.T.