Back in April, a documentary crew dug up a New Mexico landfill in hopes of finding a buried stash of E.T. video games. The cartridges were buried after Atari, the publisher, realized it would never be able to sell them due to the fact that E.T.—even at the time—was considered one of the worst video games ever made. Since things that are buried don’t tend to get up and walk around, the documentary crew found them right where they were supposed to be, and now we can see a trailer for the fruits of their efforts.
The film, Atari: Game Over, looks like it’s going to use E.T. as a jumping-off point to describe the crash of the video game industry in the early ‘80s, and while that was certainly an important event in gaming, this trailer builds it up like it’s the most important event in human civilization. One person in a voiceover compares seeing them dig up the cartridges to “a religious pilgrimage,” and another says it’s “like opening the Ark Of The Covenant.” We don’t want to spoil the story, but no, ghosts don’t shoot out of the box and kill everyone. It’s just a bunch of terrible video games.
Atari: Game Over is directed by Incredible Hulk screenwriter Zak Penn, and it will premiere on Xbox Live later this year.