Last year, a stockpile of Atari game cartridges was dug up in a New Mexico landfill, and has now generated more than $100,000 in the last several months. Joe Lewandowski, a consultant for film companies that documented retrieval of games, announced the figure at an Almogordo City Commission meeting, last week.
About 850 games were sold on eBay, and the total amount was close to $108,000. Atari games such as “E.T. The Extraterrestrial,” based on the 1982 Steven Spielberg film, and several other titles were unearthed during the time of the documentary. The game developed in over 34 days, is known as the worst game ever created. Buyers came from over 14 countries and 45 states. Lewandowski is now regarded as the city’s Indiana Jones.
Out of the total revenue, Alamogardo will receive about $65,000, the Tulorosa Basin Historical Society will get $16,000 and $26,000 will go towards shipping fees. Twenty three games will be showcased in museums across the world, including the Deutsches Film Museum in Frankfurt, Germany and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Lewandowski added that there are 297 cartridges in an archive, and they will plan what to do with them later.
Lewandowski said in a statement:
“I have a bunch of stories in this story book I hope to use some day and I have all their addresses and contacts. If it works out it would be fun to cruise around with a movie camera and film all these people. I’m hoping that if the second movie ever comes out, I can release some more games. It would increase their value for the city.”
Lewandowski adds that he might sell the cartridges if a second movie comes out. About 60 titles, including Super Breakout, Asteroids, Missile Command and more were sold on eBay. Lewandowski is also planning to go before the City Commission on Sep. 22, to receive recommendations on what tot do with the money.
City Commissioner Nadia Sikes thanked Lewandowski for the sale, and said that she was impressed with the sale. Sikes said that under no circumstances did she ever think that he was going sell over $60,000 worth of games. Lewandowski mentioned that he is more surprised than anyone, and he was proud to do and call Alamogordo E.T’s final resting place.[ Source ]