The uncovered horde of the legendarily atrocious Atari 2600 game E.T—among other Atari titles from the period—will find homes in either private collections or institutions.
During a city council meeting, excavation site manager Joe Lewandowski said the intent was for the collection to be put in museums. This chunk will probably be made up of the remaining carts not sold. The bulk of the games will be sold in three auctions with eBay being first up in line in the coming weeks.
The 1,300 uncovered games—100 were taken by the Micosoft-funded documentary team—are rumored to be part of a larger 792,000 mass grave of gaming history. Lewandowski’s team was hoping to unearth 20,000 games. Finding over 1,000 games is nothing to sneeze at as it’s very possible that there are more buried elsewhere.
The excavation took place in April and contained a good amount of titles that were responsible for Atari Shock—better known as the Video Game Crash of 1983. One of the main reasons for the crash was a number of titles were simply of bad quality and poor versions of arcade hits in some cases. While there were multiple different titles buried, the game E.T became most identifiable with the Crash.
The crash almost resulted in the American console market ending until the Nintendo Entertainment System hit American shores in 1985.