881 E.T. cartridges buried in New Mexico desert sell for $107,930.15


PREMO Member
Last April, a film crew and a dig crew hired by Fuel Entertainment and Xbox Entertainment Studios dug up an old garbage dump outside of Alamogordo, looking for Atari cartridges dumped in the fall of 1983. The dumping was precipitated by the North American Video Game Crash of 1983 and the total bomb of a game that was E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, which was written on a rush schedule and quickly gained a reputation among Atari players for being too punishing and complex. When Atari shut down its El Paso, Texas, factory that year, the company had a variety of its game cartridges—not just the E.T. ones—thrown out.

While a brief New York Times clip from that year confirmed that Atari had dumped the games, Atari itself never confirmed or denied the dump of tens or hundreds of thousands of its game cartridges. So naturally, rumors grew, with doubters and believers on each side, until the Atari E.T. dump became stuff of urban legend. But Joe Lewandowski, a garbage contractor in the Alamogordo area, remembered pieces of the event, and decades later he used some careful detective work to pinpoint just where in the vast desert the trove was buried (see the video below for a description of how Lewandowski found the dump location decades later).

A small sample of the cartridges was exhumed and used in the Xbox documentary. In September, the city of Alamogordo decided to sell hundreds of those cartridges on eBay, including Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pele's Soccer, Yar's Revenge, Baseball, Centipede, and Warlords.

Last edited:


Well-Known Member
I still have every one of those games but Ms Pacman.

ET also had a bug in it that made it almost impossible, didn't matter it was a major turd of a game. Good thing I only paid $2 for it some time around 1985.