How the ET Video Game Ended Atari

Perhaps you’ve heard stories of the mythical Atari landfill in New Mexico full of unsold E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial games. Well, there’s actually nothing mythical about it: the E.T. game landfill is very much real. In fact, it’s not just the universally panned game based on the beloved Spielberg film that’s hidden beneath the earth in Alamogordo, NM. Atari dumped a number of their garbage games in this infamous spot, and they tried to cover it up – literally.

Much like the question “What happened to the G4 network?,” people are still wondering what happened to Atari. For years, the company was at the forefront of arcade and in-home gaming innovation. They’re responsible for Pong and the first video game Easter egg. Plus, they were one of the first consoles to play Tetris, even if they technically didn’t have the real rights. But the early ’80s got ugly in a hurry for the once-legendary creators of Pac-Man.

#E.T. #Atari2600 #WeirdHistory


  1. Life Changer on April 30, 2021 at 12:27 am

    My parents still have a functioning Atari with the ET game and many others. I used to think there was something I was missing in the game. Apparently not.

  2. Queen Renee on April 30, 2021 at 12:27 am

    At that time it was fun and exciting for me.

  3. Jose Flores on April 30, 2021 at 12:28 am

    There was a company called "Nutting Associates"….. whoever let that name
    die is the biggest idiot to ever live.

  4. JsRetroVideoGames on April 30, 2021 at 12:28 am

    Good video but I disagree with the ending. First of all, ET only made up 10% of the games in the Landfill and there were over 700,000 games (that was even said in the documentary Atari : Game Over. And I think Atari would’ve ended with or without the creation of ET. After the Video Game Crash, Other video game companies such as Coleco and Mattel had something to fall back on. They went back to making toys. Atari started as a video game company and had no where to turn after the crash.

  5. Weird History on April 30, 2021 at 12:29 am

    Hey everyone – Timeline and the 2nd half of the 80s will be coming back Aug 30th

  6. Deserted Dave on April 30, 2021 at 12:30 am

    Yes, ET sucked. Now, Chopper Command…that was a game!

  7. T Wash on April 30, 2021 at 12:31 am

    It was the atari game I hated the most

  8. Re Publish on April 30, 2021 at 12:32 am

    Even WORTS 🙁

  9. Victory Lane on April 30, 2021 at 12:34 am

    All these years later and it’s still the worst game I ever played but at least it didn’t require a day 1 patch to even play. I don’t blame the developer though. It was greedy suits then and now that are the true demons.

  10. IanGorton on April 30, 2021 at 12:35 am

    Had the misfortune of playing the E.T game. It crapped the bed

  11. RED SEA GAMING on April 30, 2021 at 12:36 am

    This is why I’m under the impression that quality takes time they had six weeks did develop market and ship they should have waited a year

  12. Family Made Films on April 30, 2021 at 12:38 am

    The rumor is they buried all the ET games in the land fill, but it was all the Atari games not just ET. There were Yars revenge in there, pacman centipede. Atari folded, and buried all it’s left over cartridges. Really, they just threw them out, and the landfill buried them.

  13. peter papadimitriou on April 30, 2021 at 12:39 am

    Yeppers my brother Chris and I had that for our 2600 and man it was so bad, I’m surprised that it didn’t effect even Steven Spielberg or anything or there won’t have been other great films like jurissic park, back to the future trilogy and so forth. Great video

  14. Leopold Taylor on April 30, 2021 at 12:39 am

    Gamers when they are failed in 1980s: starve the entire Gaming industry to near extinction as punishment
    Gamers when they are failed in 2020: aM i ThE oNlY ONe wHo EnJOed tHiS GaME? LeT’s ForGIve thEM aNd gIve uBiSoFT ONe mORe cHanCe EveN tHoUgH iT hAs LIeD tO Us hUnDreDS of TiMeS aLrEaDY

  15. Ryder Griffin on April 30, 2021 at 12:41 am

    When your teacher makes you watch this.

  16. 6923973 on April 30, 2021 at 12:42 am

    Nutting associates?

  17. King Kong Fan on April 30, 2021 at 12:42 am

    "Nutting Associates"

  18. Bill Jr on April 30, 2021 at 12:43 am

    I remember walking through Sears during Christmas. They had a screen set up playing Atari ET on an endless loop with the base around it decorated with Reeses Pieces. My family never had an Atari, so I did all my gameplay when I was allowed a turn at neighbors or relatives homes. I remeber looking at the demo loop thinking, OMG I’m going to have to watch 100s of hours of others playing this mindless game.

  19. Kendall Jenkins on April 30, 2021 at 12:47 am

    Todd Rogers scored 16 billion on E.T. Played for 8 years straight. A true high score legend.

  20. icy liquid on April 30, 2021 at 12:47 am


  21. JolliAllGenGamer on April 30, 2021 at 12:49 am

    That’s a lot of 8 bit consoles at 8:38

  22. Traci Francisco on April 30, 2021 at 12:50 am

    Yep I remember playing that game when I was a kid. I remember it being excedingly boring

  23. soulsey on April 30, 2021 at 12:51 am

    My brother and I were the only kids I knew who got the Atari 5200. We loved it, especially Super Breakout. After some time, the controllers broke, and Atari fixed them for free, but then they broke again and Atari fixed them for free, and then they went out of business, mostly do to the money pit of the Atari 5200. I think my brother may still have it, even though it hasn’t worked since way back when.

  24. HellFish on April 30, 2021 at 12:51 am

    The developer behind ET had to do this in 5 weeks

  25. harshhologram1111 on April 30, 2021 at 12:52 am

    Fun fact, E.T. Was a plant……no joke. Hence the telepathy with the flowers

  26. Bittles The cookie aka Cait Cat Skull on April 30, 2021 at 12:54 am

    Is it just me or is yars revenge looks identical to polybius

  27. Justin Fencsak on April 30, 2021 at 12:55 am

    E.t. was superman 64 before superman 64

  28. Phrogman 46 on April 30, 2021 at 12:55 am

    My brother and I use to laugh at ET getting an erection after falling into the "hole". That noise ET made was our off to get some noise in Highschool 🤣.

  29. Connex on April 30, 2021 at 12:55 am

    Some people say that raiders of the lost ark for 2600 was a worse game.

  30. Eddie G. on April 30, 2021 at 12:59 am

    Can you imagine how much this game is worth if you have it

  31. Brian Erzen on April 30, 2021 at 1:01 am

    Looking forward to the sequel report with Cyberpunk 2077….

  32. Florida Man Explains on April 30, 2021 at 1:01 am

    No joke, got my 2600 and E.T. Christmas of 85. Game resides in my memory as lamest game I’ve ever had

  33. Nate The Great on April 30, 2021 at 1:03 am

    I played it as a kid. I figured it was a more difficult game and I was not understanding how to play it. Lol

  34. nostradamus on April 30, 2021 at 1:05 am

    atari E.T. it was not bad as they said, it’s like if 3090 rtx new graphic card is bad, so in that time it was good, i remember playing ATARI,

  35. Explorat on April 30, 2021 at 1:06 am

    Dammmn E.T u made urself a boss

  36. Micheal Kelly on April 30, 2021 at 1:07 am

    Imagine digging in a garbage pit and going back in time

  37. Aaron’s Collection on April 30, 2021 at 1:08 am

    Yes im a 44 year old gamer since Atari till now. I played ET and its was super lame. As a kid i didn’t understand what to do. There was no indicators or hints. Just a random map of rooms you visited.

  38. Dannmcg on April 30, 2021 at 1:10 am

    I spent weeks of lunch money on this and I can confirm it was the worst video game ever, EVER!

  39. Honey Pie Gaming on April 30, 2021 at 1:11 am

    For some reason YouTube keeps unsubbing me from this channel 😡

  40. koga nja kru on April 30, 2021 at 1:12 am

    do a weird history of the next gaming crash cause of the scalpers with ps5’s and xboxs 🤣🤣🤣

  41. CHANGE_YOUR_OIL_REGULARLY on April 30, 2021 at 1:12 am

    Loved my Atari as a kid. Frogger lolz

  42. pianokeyjoe on April 30, 2021 at 1:12 am

    oh wow! They really DID trash that game lol! And I am NOT a gamer! LOL! What the?! Well comes to show ya..Blah blah blah, crappy game..

  43. Travis Wendel on April 30, 2021 at 1:13 am

    I kind of like the game.

  44. Howie on April 30, 2021 at 1:15 am

    E.T. was not that bad. You just have to read the instructions.

    I played the game a year or so back. I can still beat it after 40 years.

  45. Blazing Bros on April 30, 2021 at 1:15 am

    If only cyberpunk devs watched this
    and learned to not rush games

  46. the TV baby 83 on April 30, 2021 at 1:20 am

    I still have my 2600. And that game was total crap.

  47. 奇妙なボイ34 on April 30, 2021 at 1:21 am

    can you do the video game crash of 1983

  48. geistchapel on April 30, 2021 at 1:21 am

    A good deal of the "history" in this is completely wrong. Atari did not have ANY licencing deals with 3rd party developers. Activision was the first 3rd party and was made up of disgruntled former Atari programmers. In fact, Atari tried to sue Activision and lost.

    Get your facts straight and do your research before posting this stuff. It ruins your credibility.

  49. Montana Banana on April 30, 2021 at 1:23 am

    This was a good topic

  50. Rich Tygart on April 30, 2021 at 1:24 am

    I got that game for Christmas at 11 and after a couple weeks of trying to play it I started thinking that I was possibly retarded. I was imagining all the other kids around the planet successfully playing the game all the while wondering what on earth was the matter with me 😂 I guess I was just too much in denial that what I saw was all it was. I was expecting an entire story and long game like Atari Venture. I spent 20 odd years wondering why it was that I couldn’t figure out where the rest of the game was. I would have never expected that there were basically just two play screens and that was it. It wasn’t until the 21st century that I saw a story on TV about the ET game explaining that I wasn’t the idiot. It was the game that was ludicrously dumb.

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