Buried E.T. Cartridge Sells for $108,000 at Auction

By | 1 year ago 

When it comes to the worst video games of all time many titles may come to mind for personal reasons, but in the general zeitgeist it’s hard to top E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. Released in 1982, E.T. is one of our earliest examples of how video game adaptations of movies can go horribly wrong. How wrong? So wrong that Atari decided to dump numerous copies of E.T. into a New Mexico landfill rather than try and sell them.

It’s that curious detail, and E.T.’s notoriety as one of the worst games ever released, that has helped the title develop a cult following. The game may not be worth playing, but for some reason gamers are still curious to play it regardless. Not to mention, the game is now part of history.

Hoping to capture a slice of that history, one very wealthy gaming fan has just spent $108,000 on a copy of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. The copy was one of over 900 unearthed from the landfill a few years back.

While the idea of someone paying over $100,000 for a copy of a bad game is interesting all on its own, what takes this story even further is the fact that the copy was buried for several decades. Here was a game that Atari couldn’t pay people to play, and now someone wants to pay an inordinate sum just to own a single copy. Proceeds from the sale will go to benefit the city of Alamogordo – where the landfill was located – and the Tularosa Basin Historical Society.

However, it’s worth mentioning that although this one video game historian paid $108,000 for a copy of E.T., many more got their own unearthed copies for far cheaper. After the excavation – which was set up, in part, by Microsoft – many copies of E.T. ended up on eBay and the most they went for was $1,535.

e.t. atari landfill

Some copies lacked packaging, and others were visibly damaged, whereas we can assume this one must have been far more intact, maybe even playable. Moreover, there are still 297 copies being held in archive by the excavators, but the crew expects to sell them at some point. So presumably, there could be an even higher price tag on future E.T. auctions or sales, all for a game that is so bad it needed to be buried.

While the saga of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial may not have much more legs, chances are this isn’t the last we’ve heard of people paying crazy sums of money for copies. Then again, we didn’t actually think the urban legends about copies being buried were true. But they were, and someone just paid $108,000 for one.

How much would you pay to own a copy of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial? Do you consider the game a part of video game history?

Source: Rolling Stone