Have you heard the tale of The Atari Corporation and their massive flop E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
? Over 30 years ago, a game was developed where players had to control E.T. as he travelled across a variety of environments in order to find three pieces of a missing phone. When the pieces were reunited, the character was able to contact his home planet. After a lengthy amount of time trying to secure the rights to make the game and market it alongside the film of the same name, the developer Howard Scott Warshaw was given just over five weeks to create the title in time for the lucrative Christmas market of 1982. The game was a flop and is rumoured to have contributed to Atari's massive financial woes during the following two years. In September 1983, rumours began to circulate that millions of the game's cartridges were being buried in a landfill site near Alamogordo, New Mexico. These rumours have since become an urban legend.
Next month, Fuel Entertainment will begin to excavate the landfill site. The excavation will be recorded for the first episode of an original documentary series that will air exclusively on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The series will be the creation of Lightbox, a company formed by Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man
and Man on Wire
) and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (30 Days
and American High
). Zak Penn (X-Men 2
) will be directing the affair.
Xbox Entertainment Studios' President Nancy Tellem stated:
Jonathan and Simon Chinn are the perfect team to spearhead this series for Xbox. They are consummate story tellers and they plan to match their creative sensibility with the best talent in the industry. These stories will expose how the digital revolution created a global democracy of information, entertainment and commerce, and how it impacts our lives every day.
The documentary series will be shown next year and will be available for console owners in all regions that support Xbox LIVE. One of gaming's biggest conspiracies seems like an appropriate place to start although the remaining episodes in the series remain shrouded in mystery.