Atari games buried in landfill net $37,000 on eBay

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

11 PHOTOS
Atari 'E.T.' - landfill - video game
See Gallery
Atari games buried in landfill net $37,000 on eBay
FILE - In an April 26, 2014 file photo, film director Zak Penn shows a box of a decades-old Atari 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' game found in a dumpsite in Alamogordo, N.M. Joe Lewandowski, a consultant for the film companies that documented the dig, says the online auction of 100 Atari games, which ended Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, generated $37,000. The "E.T." game, still in its original box, sold for $1,537. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca, File)
This game, once in a landfill & now @amhistorymuseum is a crucial part of video game history http://t.co/Tu4MU4n55M http://t.co/0CmpT6I5zr
An E.T. doll is seen while construction workers prepare to dig into a landfill in Alamogordo, N.M., Saturday, April 26, 2014. Producers of a documentary are digging in the landfill in search of millions of cartridges of the Atari 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' game that has been called the worst game in the history of videogaming. A New York Times article from 1983 reported that Atari cartridges of "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" were dumped in the landfill in Alamogordo. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
FILE - In this April 26, 2014 file photo, workers sift through trash in search for decades-old Atari 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' game cartridges in Alamogordo, N.M., Producers of a documentary dug in an southeastern New Mexico landfill in search of millions of cartridges of the Atari 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' game that has been called the worst game in the history of video gaming and were buried there in 1983. Officials in Alamogordo, are working on a plan under which film companies, museums and the public could get Atari video games that were dug up from the old landfill last month. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
Alamogordo residents Armando Ortega, left, and Raul Ruiz pose for a photograph with a cartridge they found buried in a landfill in Alamogordo, N.M., Saturday, April 26, 2014. Producers of a documentary dug in an southeastern New Mexico landfill in search of millions of cartridges of the Atari 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' game that has been called the worst game in the history of video gaming and were buried there in 1983. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
A man takes a photo of an E.T. doll in Alamogordo, N.M, Saturday, April 26, 2014. Producers of a documentary dug in an southeastern New Mexico landfill in search of millions of cartridges of the Atari 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' game that has been called the worst game in the history of video gaming and were buried there in 1983. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
Film producer Jonathan Chinn and Alamogordo Mayor Susie Galea pose for a photograph in Alamogordo, N.M., Saturday, April 26, 2014. Producers of a documentary dug Saturday in an southeastern New Mexico landfill in search of millions of cartridges of the Atari 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' game that has been called the worst game in the history of video gaming and were buried there in 1983. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
E.T.: Atari 2600
Das Spiel, das Atari verschwinden ließ.
ET Phone Home Cartridge2
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - What some have called the worst video game ever made has fetched thousands of dollars for a New Mexico city.

An old "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" game cartridge drew the highest bid among 100 Atari games auctioned on eBay by Alamogordo officials.

The games were part of a cache of some 800 Atari video games buried more than 30 years ago in a landfill and dug up in April.

Joe Lewandowski, a consultant for the film companies that documented the dig, says the online auction, which ended Thursday, generated $37,000.

"It's really gratifying to see that happening because again to everybody it was a bunch of garbage in the landfill. You're kind of nutty to go dig it up," Lewandowski told KRQE-TV.

The "E.T." game, still in its original box, sold for $1,537 to a buyer in Canada. The interest in the games has gone global. According to Lewandowski, online bidders from other countries including Germany and Sweden snapped up items. Earlier this month, a museum in Rome opened an exhibit on the dig that includes dirt from the landfill.

"I keep getting messages from people around the world asking me if there's any more left, it's crazy," Lewandowski told the Alamogordo Daily News. "The people that lost the bids are demanding more but I keep telling them they have to keep checking."

Reports that truckloads of the game were buried in the landfill have been urban legend since the early '80s. The "E.T." game's poor reception when it came out in 1982 was seen as a factor in Atari's demise.

City documents show that Atari consoles and more than 1,300 games were found, including "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." Some of the other discovered titles include "Centipedes," ''Warlords" and "Asteroids."

After months of planning with state and local regulators, crews discovered numerous game cartridges on April 26. The dig cost more than $50,000, Lewandowski said.

LightBox Entertainment and Fuel Entertainment pursued the dig for a documentary that is due to come out Thursday.

Alamogordo owns the cartridges because they came from the city's landfill. The revenue will go to the city and the Tularosa Basin Historical Society. Both groups will meet Dec. 1 to discuss how to spend the money.

The remaining game cartridges will be sold on eBay over the next few weeks.

More from AOL.com:
Jennifer Lawrence: Privacy loss takes heavy toll
Lawyer: Bill Cosby won't address allegations
AT&T pulls 'supercookie' tracking code after backlash

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners