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Atari's Landfill Adventures, I now have the proof it's true.

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What I don't understand is why the media is paying so little attention to Curt & Marty's book which pretty much clears all this up? The amount of disinformation around the dig is embarassing.

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Those were released in late '83 so I doubt they'll find games from that particular era there.

You're right, just checked the dates. The dump happened at the end of September 1983 and Battlezone and Joust were manufactured in the first week of November 1983.

 

Kinda odd to dump overstock just to manufacture more overstock one month later. So we can only assume that Atari had still no idea how bad the market already was.

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Kinda odd to dump overstock just to manufacture more overstock one month later. So we can only assume that Atari had still no idea how bad the market already was.

Except it was nothing to do with overstock or ET. It was just a warehouse/factory being cleared out prior to retooling. We already know this, why is it even being debated on this site of all sites?

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Except it was nothing to do with overstock or ET. It was just a warehouse/factory being cleared out prior to retooling. We already know this, why is it even being debated on this site of all sites?

So just because Marty wrote this in his book all discussion has to end? No company would destroy 728k games if they think they can sell them over the holiday season. Unfortunately the Atari manager did not say why Atari tasked him to dispose those games. And obviously Marty didn't ask him either. So how good is a book if they couldn't find the responsible manager? And please don't tell me they dumped that many cartridges just to clear out a warehouse and it wasn't overstock.

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What a horrible clip (the CNN one) with many inaccuracies. Plus they didn't show the other games found, just E.T., implying only E.T. was found. It's things like this that make me not trust all of the news. If there's a story I know nothing about, how do I know it's not just as slanted or inaccurate?

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One could argue that pretty much anything could be considered "overstock" at the time...retailers' interest was falling (IMO this is where the "nearly all of them came back" quote was referencing - outlet preorders NOT involving consumer returns in any way). The "millions" number was always suspect, because that came from second-hand info (where things can get stuck out-of-context..."millions" makes more sense if one is referring to the potential value of the dumped inventory, yes?). Thanks for the correct number...I guess this means there are NO "valuable artifacts" to be found at all there (protos, test equipment, etc). Even under the cement. Now I wonder how long until fake "dig site cartridges" start popping up for sale? :P

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Someone already posted a bogus shit-encrusted ET on Gaame Gavel, claiming to be a "landfill replica." Oh well, at least they weren't lying about it. Here's the real kicker: they wanted a million dollars opening bid, and low and behold, there is a bidding frenzy. Current bid: 999 million! Trolls will be trolls... :ponder:

 

http://www.gamegavel.com/item.cgi?show_item=0000940332

Edited by stardust4ever

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Might have been posted, but have any of the carts been tried yet?

 

I would think so long as temp/humidity wasn't too extreme they should be OK.

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What I don't understand is why the media is paying so little attention to Curt & Marty's book which pretty much clears all this up? The amount of disinformation around the dig is embarassing.

The media is not interested in facts. This whole thing is just some kind of publicity stunt.

 

What's sad is people are going to take their MIB games, bury them in the dirt for a week, then try and pass them off as games from the landfill on ebay.

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So how good is a book if they couldn't find the responsible manager? And please don't tell me they dumped that many cartridges just to clear out a warehouse and it wasn't overstock.

Given the book was based on interviews with people involved at the time and referenced Atari's own documentation and local newspapers, I'd say it was pretty solid. To quote the NYT at the time "The company has dumped 14 truckloads of discarded game cartridges and other computer equipment at the city landfill in Alamogordo, N.M. Guards kept reporters and spectators away from the area as workers poured concrete over the dumped merchandise. An Atari spokesman said the equipment came from Atari's plant in El Paso, Tex., which used to make videogame cartridges"

You could argue if this was overstock of cleaning out a site using the cheapest method but it seems pretty clear to me.

Edited by ilaskey
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One could argue that pretty much anything could be considered "overstock" at the time...retailers' interest was falling (IMO this is where the "nearly all of them came back" quote was referencing - outlet preorders NOT involving consumer returns in any way).

 

I don't conform to the reasoning for clearing out the warehouse. Even just 728,000 games is a huge number. That's not a number a local manager decides to throw in the dumpster because they need to free up some space. I'd be surprised if the upper management didn't decide to reduce the manufacturing capacities and overstock of games. And in that context it is odd that just 1 month later they made so many copies of Battlezone and Joust that the supply will last for another 100 years.

 

But no matter how you turn it, it seems that they had no idea how bad the market was at the end of 1983.

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Might have been posted, but have any of the carts been tried yet?

 

I would think so long as temp/humidity wasn't too extreme they should be OK.

Yes, I saw something in one of the articles saying they tried a ET cart on site and it worked.

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Someone already posted a bogus shit-encrusted ET on Gaame Gavel, claiming to be a "landfill replica." Oh well, at least they weren't lying about it. Here's the real kicker: they wanted a million dollars opening bid, and low and behold, there is a bidding frenzy. Current bid: 999 million! Trolls will be trolls... :ponder:

 

http://www.gamegavel.com/item.cgi?show_item=0000940332

 

I took the description as more of a joke than anything.

 

I'm not any kind of expert (nor even that smart), but it seems strange that a company would simply bury so much stock to make room, or even if it wasn't selling. It would be one of the first times I have ever really heard of a company just throwing out that much of any product because it was overstocked, warehouse needed emptying, etc. To me it seems there's more to the story that we may never know.

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What I don't understand is why the media is paying so little attention to Curt & Marty's book which pretty much clears all this up? The amount of disinformation around the dig is embarassing.

 

 

You can talk about something all day long and nobody will really care. When literally breaking ground VS writing down other peoples words is compared there is a clear winner and it's the backhoe not the back page.

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One thing I don't get.

 

If Atari dumped all this inventory for tax reasons, how is it that they had warehouses full of 8-bit and ST systems and parts for some time after they'd stopped supporting them? Different management, different attitudes to tax?

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Didn't they have shredders back in the early 1980's?

It woulda been much easier for Atari to destroy those games if they used a giant shredder.

 

 

 

NOOOOOOOO!

 

What did that poor Asteroids machine do to you?

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One thing I don't get.

 

If Atari dumped all this inventory for tax reasons

I don't know that this is anything other than something I mentioned years ago as a reason the myth of the millions of ETs was started.

As far as I know, and I could be wrong. No-one has verified Atari wrote off millions of E.T. carts that year. Would be very interesting to see that information though.

They for sure probably would have wrote something off, the question is, how much.

 

Also contrary to what some people have said in the past, the myth never changed. It pretty obvious when you read the "news" articles on the dig, all they are focusing on is E.T. and they still ask the burning question, "How bad was it?" LOL If anything now the myth is going to spread. These people that really don't care one way or the other, are going to skim the headlines and yes now they know for sure that the story they head many years ago was true. Atari did bury million of ET carts in the desert and the reason why was because it was so bad it destroyed the video game market.

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Ran across this, I didn't read through everything, but at a quick glance it doesn't look like anyone else has posted the link yet:

http://readwrite.com/2014/04/28/atari-et-dig-alamogordo-game-list#awesm=~oCLooMcnZvZCst

 

There is also a link to their flickr site with higher-res photos.

 

EDIT- I don't see any consoles, but there is a video touch pad amongst the debris.

Edited by MayDay
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Ran across this, I didn't read through everything, but at a quick glance it doesn't look like anyone else has posted the link yet:

http://readwrite.com/2014/04/28/atari-et-dig-alamogordo-game-list#awesm=~oCLooMcnZvZCst

 

There is also a link to their flickr site with higher-res photos.

 

EDIT- I don't see any consoles, but there is a video touch pad amongst the debris.

 

Great link, thanks much! Interesting to see so many other games, peripherals, and paper products along with the ET carts. So it was more than just ET carts that got dumped? I wonder why...

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NOOOOOOOO!

 

What did that poor Asteroids machine do to you?

What a waste. Even if the system was irrepairable, they could have parted it out. If the vector monitor works, great. They don't make those anymore. PCBs, coin door, and other parts could be reused. Even if the inside was trashed, the cabinet could have been converted for use with another game. :_(

Edited by stardust4ever
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