For 30 years, gamers have wondered exactly just what went down in the New Mexico desert back in September 1983. Are unsold E.T.: The Extraterrestrial Atari 2600 cartridges stacked a mile deep underground, or is it as empty as Al Capone’s vault under the earth? Next year, an excavation team will head to that notorious Alamogordo, New Mexico, landfill and finally find out—and a new Xbox-based documentary series will capture the event.
Xbox Entertainment Studios announced today that cousins Jonathan and Simon Chinn (who count two Oscars and one Emmy between them with Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man, and American High) will produce a series of documentaries available exclusively on Xbox platforms. Zak Penn (Incident at Loch Ness) will direct the first film, which will focus on the events surrounding gaming’s most famous mass burial, but he’s not just a filmmaker and screenwriter—he’s also a gamer who’s penned the story to several licensed games over the years, including X-Men: The Official Game and The Fantastic Four.
“When Simon and Jonathan Chinn approached me about this story, I knew it would be something important and fascinating,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting to be handed the opportunity to uncover one of the most controversial mysteries of gaming lore.”
The documentary begins shooting next month, and it will be available globally on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One sometime in 2014.