Xbox documentary series to unearth Atari's E.T. urban legend in 2014
Everyone loves a good urban legend. Now throw Atari, E.T., filmmaker Zak Penn, and a small, ancient town in New Mexico into the mix, and you have the roux for a great television series. Or at least that's what Microsoft is hoping.
A few days after confirming it would definitely launch original programming for the Xbox platform in 2014, Microsoft has decided to also shed some light on an upcoming documentary series. It doesn't have a name yet or a specific release date, but it does hit a sweet spot for gamers, naturally, and will begin shooting in January.
The series plans to focus on gaming lore. Specifically, it will investigate the events surrounding 1983 Atari video game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The legend goes something like this: Atari, faced with the negative response of E.T., massive financial losses, and the 1983 game industry crash, buried millions of E.T. cartridges in the middle of the night in a small town in New Mexico.
That town, Alamogordo, is a place where humans have lived for at least 11,000 years, and it will serve as the filming location for the documentary series. Cross-platform content developer Fuel Entertainment secured the exclusive rights to excavate the Atari landfill. Lightbox will thoroughly document the dig, while filmmaker Zak Penn will direct the episode.
"This episode will not only document the excavation, it will also place the urban legend of the burial in the context of the precipitous rise and fall of Atari itself," explained Microsoft in a blog post.
The series will air on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014, and it will be available globally in all Xbox Live markets. It is being produced by two-time Academy Award-winning Simon Chinn and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn.