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Atari 'E.T.' cartridge dig put on hold over waste excavation plan

By Shawn Knight
Mar 22, 2014
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  1. A group of filmmakers from LightBox and Fuel Entertainment were eager to begin excavation of a New Mexico landfill in search of millions of copies of Atari's commercial flop of a video game that was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
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  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Haha this is pretty funny. Digging for the worst game ever.
     
    spectrenad and SalaSSin like this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,155   +1,430

    Dig deeper guys, and you might find the E.T. cadaver ;)
     
  4. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,163   +197

    One man's waste is another man's treasure! but I suspect the diggers were in just for the publicity in order to lunch digger 2014 touch edition for windows 8.1 :)
     
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,556   +2,900

    The only thing that would make this more hilarious, is if the gaming cartridge was "Dig Dug".
     
    misor likes this.
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,752   +1,107

    How on earth did they lose $500 million on a game that was created in a matter of weeks? Even if they paid 'tens of millions' to Spielberg that still leaves a lot left over for making and marketing the game. You could buy every commercial on Super Bowl Sunday and not spend a few hundred million bucks. I almost wonder if those cartridges aren't filled with the lost cash, ha!
     
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,509   +2,056

    Bah. It sounds like the New Mexico Environment Dept. are just trying to turn a quick buck. A WEP probably wasn't even in existence when the landfill was first opened. I think they made up that rule 10 minutes ago.
     
  8. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,191   +590

    Rights to the movie, the cost of production of the cartridges/game, and advertising among other things to that degree. Basically they made a pitiful game and thought that the hype would win out but of course back then that kind of thing was way overestimated.
     
  9. Fbarnett

    Fbarnett TS Booster Posts: 206   +30

    Ea needs to do this with bf4
     
  10. AlvinTheNerd

    AlvinTheNerd TS Rookie

    In 1982, rewritable flash was insanely expensive. If you were to sell more than a few 100,000 copies, it was cheaper to pay for a custom chip design that imbedded the game's data directly into the chip and then for a bare minimum amount of flash to store saved games. However, you have to pay for the chip to be made and then order the right amount of silicon at the chip foundry. If you order too few chips, customers are angry that they can't get the game. To many, and you destroy your margin. In this case, Atari paid for millions and millions of E.T. chips and their cartridges to be built but sales plummeted. The legend is that no price could move the cartridges already made and Atari was paying warehouse fees. It was cheaper to pay for landfill space than warehouse space, so they took that route.

    The loss was at the chip foundry, not to programmers. And during the 1980's, it was very common to pay more for cartridge manufacturing than program development.
     
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  11. Definitely NOT the worst game ever. Pitfall was infinitely worse. I actually enjoyed playing ET at the time. It wasn't that bad. It was better than Tanks too, come to think of it. Yawn.
     
  12. lmike6453

    lmike6453 TS Enthusiast Posts: 100   +6

    Lmao what? Pitfall was awesome!
     
  13. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 6,603   +335

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