Unearthed cartridges for the Atari gaming system from a landfill in New Mexico, the subjects of a popular and now finally confirmed urban legend, have gone for over $100,000 in auctions
Joe Lewandowski, a film company consultant which was part of the project to retrieve the buried games, announced at an Alamogordo City Commission meeting that the final sale results from the eBay auctions of the unearthed Atari games came to a total of $107,930.15.
Of the total sales, $65,037.78 will be given to the city of Alamogordo, where the games were discovered, while the Tularosa Basic Historical Society will receive $16,259.44.
According to Lewandowski, there are still 297 cartridges being held in an archive. What will be done to the remaining cartridges will be decided at a later date.
The unearthed Atari cartridges were featured in several museums all over the world, including the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., the Hamilton Toy Museum in Ontario, Canada, the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan and the Deutsches Film Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.
The auctions sold 881 of the Atari cartridges, with over 752 being shipped within the United States, 54 to Canada, 22 to France, six to Australia, six to Brazil and three to Singapore, among other locations.
The title that fetched the highest price was a copy of the Atari 2600 E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, purchased for $1,535. The game, based on the blockbuster movie by Steven Spielberg, was released back in 1982 after just 34 days of being in development. It gained notoriety as one of the worst video games that was ever made, with it being considered the final blow that led to Atari's collapse.
The Atari 2600 E.T. The Extra Terrestrial was a major subject in the documentary Atari: Game Over that included Lewandowski and was directed by Zak Penn.
More than 60 titles were purchased through the eBay auctions, including Asteroids, Centipede, Defender, Missile Command, Phoenix, Star Raiders, Super Breakout, Swordquest and Warlords.
Lewandowski and his group made the discovery in April, 2014, as they put to rest a 30-year-old myth on the final resting place of truckloads of copies of the Atari 2600 E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.
The documentary, which was premiered for the Xbox Live network on Nov. 20, took a look at the rise and fall of Atari and the video game industry in the 1980s, in addition to the unearthing of the buried Atari titles in the landfill in Alamogordo.