A weird but true story this one, basically Microsoft is searching for a burried batch of E.T. copies for the Atairy 2600 back in the 80'ies. The company is making a documentary of this all. A planned excavation of an old Alamogordo landfill to search for what has been called the worst video game ever has cleared a hurdle with the New Mexico Environmental Department.
According to a letter from the NMED Environmental Protection Division Solid Waste Bureau, the NMED has approved a waste excavation plan for the project with some conditions.
Three companies, Fuel Entertainment, Xbox Entertainment Studios and LightBox Entertainment plan on digging up portions of an old Alamogordo landfill located near First Street and White Sands Boulevard to search for Atari "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" game cartridges purportedly buried there in the 1980s.
The burial is somewhat of an urban legend among video game enthusiasts.
A spokesman from Microsoft; who is producing the dig with Lightbox Entertainment — said his company is "finalizing plans as we speak."
The project had been held up after the NMED determined that the initial excavation plan was too vague.
The approval letter states that the NMED must be notified five working days before any excavation begins and the companies who haul the waste must register as certified or commercial haulers of waste with the NMED before they can remove any waste from the site.
City Attorney Stephen Thies said in December that a complaint by a resident led to a recommendation by the NMED for further testing of the site.
Thies said the recommendation for further testing delayed the planned excavation.
A 2004 study of the site found certain chemicals that exceeded federal thresholds.
Brian Cesar, Director of Public Works for the city of Alamogordo, said the chemicals found would not make a person "drop dead" but could be hazardous over a "very extended amount of time."
Xbox Entertainment Studios is commissioning the project, which will debut as a multi-part documentary series exclusively on Xbox platforms later this year. E.T. was released in December 1982 for the Atari 2600, with millions of copies produced under the assumption that the link to the hit Steven Spielberg movie would guarantee sales success. The failure of the game is believed to be one of the main contributing factors to 1983's crash of the video game industry.
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