ALAMOGORDO, N.M. — New Mexico environmental regulators are blocking two companies from digging up an Alamogordo landfill in search of a rumored cache of what some consider the worst Atari video game of all time.

Game cartridges for “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” based on Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster hit film, were reportedly dumped in the landfill in the 1980s, according to the Alamogordo Daily News.

Alamogordo city commissioners approved the search in June. But the New Mexico Environment Department said Wednesday that an approved waste excavation plan is needed before any dig can begin. The two companies plan to record the dig for a documentary to be released by Microsoft Corp. for the Xbox One console.

Atari paid Steven Spielberg tens of millions of dollars to license the wildly popular 1982 movie’s name, and developers completed the game in just six weeks. But it was a huge commercial dud.

Atari purportedly disposed of millions of game cartridges by the truckload at the landfill.

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