Due to the success of the movie E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial in June 1982, Atari decided to make a game based of the movie to be sold for the Christmas season, thinking they would achieve high sales. The game had huge marketing campaign towards it's release date. Upon release of E.T. in early December 1982, many players at the time, criticized the game's terrible quality which led to many people returning their copy of the game to the stores or the game simply not selling as well as Atari thought it would. Due to this and as Atari were the leaders in the video game market in America in the early 80s, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial is considered to be one of the major causes of the video game industry crisis of 1983.
Contributed By: 91210user.
The commercial failure of this game also led to possibly the most heard-of legend in videogame history; with millions of copies unsold, Atari saw no other soluton to the problem other than burying them all in a landfill in the New Mexico desert.
While most people probably shrugged it off as just a myth ("they would've recycled them instead" was a common thought), it garnered much attention among gamers and in April 2014, a documentary film team located the landfill and started digging - and found the cartridges. Along with the filmmakers, several other people attended the excavation, among them the original programmer and the Atari manager in charge of the burial, who said that the exact amount of buried copies weren't in the million-range, but rather "just" 728 000.
Contributed By: Donald Love 87.
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