news\ Dec 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

Xbox-exclusive documentary series kicks off with a look at Atari's E.T. game burial


While Steven Spielberg's E.T. was a smash hit, Atari's 1982 video game spinoff is widely regarded as the worst video game ever. Ever.

Released for the Atari 2600, the adventure game was slammed by reviewers. Although the E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was met with initial commercial success -- reaching the top four on Billboard magazine's "Top 15 Video Games" sales list in December 1982 -- millions of copies of the game also went unsold. It's believed that Atari, as a result, buried millions of unsold game cartridges in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico during the middle of the night.

Kicking off a new documentary series from Xbox Entertainment Studios, Fuel Entertainment, Lightbox, and Xbox will investage the events surrounding the video game burial in 1983.

"Fuel Entertainment, an innovator in cross-platform content development, secured the exclusive rights to excavate the Atari landfill and approached Xbox. Lightbox will document the dig, which is planned for early next year," Microsoft revealed today. Zak Penn (X-Men 2, Avengers) will direct the documentary which will not only document the excavation, but will also "place the urban legend of the burial in the contenxt of the precipitous rise and fall of Atari itself."

Xbox will produce the series with two-time Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man and Man on Wire) and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX’s 30 Days and PBS’s American High) through their new multi-platform media company, Lightbox. 

As for the documentary series on the whole, Simon Chinn said, "Our collaboration with Xbox offers an unparalleled opportunity to make a unique series of films around the extraordinary events and characters that have given rise to the digital age."

“Our goal is to produce a series of compelling and entertaining docs which will deploy all the narrative techniques of Simon's and my previous work. It's particularly exciting to be partnering with filmmakers like Zak Penn who come to this process from other filmmaking disciplines and who will bring their own distinctive creative vision to this,” added Jonathan Chinn.

Shooting will begin in January 2014 and the series will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014. It will be available globally in all markets where Xbox LIVE is supported.

[Xbox Wire]

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