Legendary Atari Games Unearthed In New Mexico Landfill Being Sold Off

It was the stuff of gaming lore, but after being unceremoniously buried in an Alamogordo, NM landfill in 1983 after selling poorly, a multitude of Atari cartridges were dug up this spring. It was a lark for anyone remotely keyed into the story, but then--what exactly is supposed to happen with 1,377 unsold Atari game cartridges from over thirty years ago?

You sell them, that’s what. (And give some away.) The city of Alamogordo has decided to distribute the cartridges to film companies and museums, as well as the general public, according to the Alamogordo News.

atari landfill

Diggers found some 60 different titles in the hole, including E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (171), Centipede (190), Defender (116), Warlord (99), Missile Command (59), and Asteroid (53). There are more down there, too.

It’s not clear how much these old games are worth, but several museums (including the Smithsonian) have expressed interest, not to mention throngs of average folks wanted a Berlin Wall-style piece of history.

Make no mistake though; the folks in charge are bring savvy about distribution both from the donation standpoint and the revenue angle. "If we run out, there are 790,000 more in that hole out there now that we know where they are at," said Joe Lewandowski of Operation Consultants. "But they are worth more. The less there is — that is why we didn't keep going."