Hey, remember last month when a sealed copy of Super Mario 64 sold for a record-breaking $1.56 million? The previous record of most expensive video game was set just days earlier, when an ultra-rare copy of The Legend of Zelda on NES reached a (then) record-breaking $870,000 at auction. That copy of Zelda beat out the previous record, which was set in March 2021, when a copy of Super Mario Bros. sold for $660,000, which in turn beat the previous record of $156,000 set by Super Mario Bros. 3 in November, 2020.
You can probably guess what's coming next. The record has been set once again by a never-been-opened copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES, which was sold on collectibles site Rally for a moustache-watering $2 million — which, for anyone keeping track, is over ten times the amount that was world-record-setting in 2020.
But this auction was a little different. Rather than one seller, and one buyer, Rally operates a different system, letting investors buy "shares" of the physical product, who then vote on whether or not to sell, reaping the profits as a proportion of their share in it.
Last year, Rally bought the game for $140,000, and the investors voted against selling it for $300,000. This year, an anonymous $2 million bid was accepted after three-quarters of the investors voted to sell.
This kind of rapid skyrocketing of prices is a little worrying, though, as they certainly can't climb forever. Maybe we're just jealous because our retro game boxes are less "never-been-opened" and more "chewed up by dog and dropped in bath". Ah well — at least we've actually played the game.
Rally's other offerings, in case you want to get in on this physical-part-ownership thing, include a copy of the Declaration of Independence (no, really) and an Apple I computer signed by creator, Steve Wozniak.
Are you nervous about this video game investment bubble, or do you think it's all financial mumbo jumbo anyway? Let us know in the comments!
Wow, another record and... Wait, what!? $2 million?! Well... I don't know what to say. I'm confused.
Money > sense.
Such is the Power of Nintendo!
Jesus f***ing Christ, make it stop. Buying ‘shares’ of 1 object which is then sold onwards, is that where we’re at as a society?
Wonder what will break the record, next week.
The grading companies have made collecting a lot less fun. Baseball cards, comic books and now video games are getting too expensive.
Does Mario Mario or Luigi Mario get any of the profits from this sale? How about the Plumber’s Union?
Okay 😅 if I had $2 million and I had to spend it on video games, I think I would get the entire super Nintendo collection, nice condition in box but not sealed and I’d still have money left over for every single game that came out on the Nintendo Switch brand new 😂
I genuinely don't get it. Especially with a title that has officially been repackaged time and time again. I mean I guess I get it from the perspective of, this stuff is worth as much as we deem its worth. But while I can look at the first copy of Superman and recognize that, OK, a digital version of a copy of that comic is going to be a different experience from the physical version. But when it comes to video games, once that cartridge is in the slot, the experience is no different from the digital ones you can easily experience today at little to no cost.
Of course, I'm aware that a mint condition game of this kind is never going to even leave its packaging, which to me is all the more of a case of, I simply don't get it. You buy this specifically for the collector's value that we've collectively given it, but it all just cycles back to me not understanding why it has any real collector's value to begin with.
So this is how Professor E. Gadd is funding his paranormal research. It is all connected.
Wario as the seller would also make sense.
remember when collectors bought games because they loved playing games? instead of just having money pile measuring contests?
Then people complain about $60 Switch ports 😜
@sanderev I laugh at those complaints because I just reserve new Switch ports from the local library as soon as they release. In fact I just got an email today saying my copy of Skyward Sword HD is available to pick up, and I have 2 full weeks to play it for free at that. When it's a big brand new game that I want to play, I'll happily buy them, but when it's a Wii remaster or something similar, then the public library is my best friend lol.
As a collector, I hate grading and the impact it's having on many communities. So many people will see articles like this and assume their beat up loose cartridge of SMB will make them a millionaire (Note that I'm not blaming the article, I'm blaming the people involved in grading, these auctions, and the people who assume their games have a much higher value than they really do). Collecting has already gotten more expensive since the pandemic hit, this isn't helping.
mumbo jumbo, mumbo jumbo, mumbo...jumbo
The rich elite looking for status symbols, falling for the people that started this whole thing at WATA Grading and Heritage Auctions. It's a scam. Market manipulation.
@duffmmann I actually used to do that a lot when I was younger. Borrowing a lot of PC games from the local library.
This wouldn't be that much of a problem if it hadn't increased the price of vintage games altogether. Now it's way too expensive of a hobby if you want to actually play retro games on their original consoles.
At least emulation exists...
@duffmmann the library?!! 🤯 that’s genius!! I never knew they still existed!
Waiting for the guy at the local carboot hike his prices.
"sELLs fOR 2MilllIoN oN ebay!"
This all sounds so scammy.
I just completed a complete in box, mint collection of Australian rated N64 games, all 243 +some variants, all complete and I told my wife then that it was an "investment"
Now I will show her this story to win my argument 😁
And yes, they have all been opened and all have been playtested.
All will be played.
I have played some games I never would have and found some real gems doing so.
It has taken over 10 years and I have made some wonderful friends out of collecting them
Grading games bugs me, it hikes prices for those of us actually collecting them to play.
WTH? these copies are most commonly available, this is beyond ridiculous!!
@idork99 That's the dirty little secret about why the wait times are never very long even with 2 week checkout times... everyone has forgotten the library exists. And of those that do remember that they do, few recognize the full reach of the things they can do at their library. It's soooooo much more than books.
@Mr_Zurkon yeah it is! no one is willing to buy this unless they have less common sense, hell they can have my gb colour copy of super mario bros deluxe cart for half the price LOL
@Nin10dood I totally agree with you. I have beem collecting DS/3ds and some GBA games for the last few years, and all will be played by me.
The tough part is that some games I am really interested in getting are no longer worth it, because the prices are so insane, including for a loose copy.
Yeah game collecting has become increasingly harder and this sort of thing doesn't help us at all.
I love the feeling of finding a copy of a game you've been hunting down but sadly game grading, stories like this where games sell for ridiculous amounts have only made some games increase to prices that make it impossible.
I was lucky in that the higher priced games for my 64 collection I got early before prices jumped, some prices now I would never pay.
I hope the people reacting badly to this don’t ever look into the world of art dealing/auctions. Makes $2 million sound like some kid’s allowance.
Another thing I want to add to the discussion is why American copies tend to be so expensive?
Most people in my city ask for $35-$40 for beat up loose cartridges of Mario Kart 64 and Super Smash Bros., meanwhile I got my Japanese copies in much better conditions for slightly little less money. Though they're also loose cartridges.
I consider myself lucky to have gotten a loose original copy of Conker's Bad Fur Day from a friend for 350 Mexican pesos back in 2006, which is somewhere between $30 back then, about $17 if I were to pay that price again today, which of course I won't due to this nonsense.
@Nin10dood I feel your comments so much. I'm not a serious collector at all, but I've hunted a few things down because I wanted them. And even when you just want to buy a game a few months later, many times you find the price has already jumped. Everyone buys more with the intention of flipping later on, limited editions are sold out in minutes. The whole scene is becoming very piratical. It's a bummer.
So in other words, this sale is even more of a scam than Heritage Auctions. Got it.
Collectors are wowing the masses with these factory sealed Nintendo games... I’m sure it’s all worth it for them, lol
Wow, and I picked up a virtual copy of it on my Wii U for $5 this week. I would advise people do some comparison shopping so you don’t make the same mistake and overpay. How embarrassing! 😉
Jeez... for $2million you can buy the entire NES catalogue, and probably the SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii and Wii U as well... Just... I cannot even process the amount of stupidity it takes for someone to spend that much on a single game and one that is not even that rare. "But Wexter it is graded and SEALED!!!!" Sure, that still does not make it "rare" either.
I remind people this same kind of nonsense is what lead to the Comic industry crashing in the mid-90s and the scene has never recovered from it. So for those spending ridiculous money on this stuff thinking it will be "an investment" take a look at copies of 'Death of Superman' on ebay... that investment sure paid out well for those people.
@HammerGalladeBro Game collecting in Japan is not as much of a hobby as it is in the US. When you live in a country where shelf space is far harder to come by you tend to be very particular with what you collect. There are still people over there that collect video games and other otaku memorabilia, but it still is not as prevalent as it is in the US so the prices stay a fair bit lower.
@Wexter That particular run of the game -is- kind of rare.
Maybe not $2M rare, but nowhere near as common as the "SMB+Duck Hunt" cartridge that breeds like rabbits.
I understand people collect things, but that is a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a video game. I own the same game somewhere in my basement, any takers? If you have a million bucks it can be yours lol
@Asaki True! But, it is also not a Nintendo World Champion gold cart either. I'd say a Super Mario Bros. black box is more uncommon than rare. The thing still sold in the hundreds of thousands. The reason I put this in the same category as the comic crash of the 90s is that this is the same non-sense that created speculators in the first place where people assumed every comic has to be as valuable as Action Comics #1 and drove the prices on every comic to just insane levels. Then when publishers got into things and started actively marketing to these speculators it created an unhealthy ecosystem that collapsed under its own weight... and sadly it seems video game publishers are already doing just that...
Great, now I regret not buying Radiant Silvergun for the Sega Saturn back in the days when I actually spent stupid amounts of money (like... at most $120) on games.
edit: No wait, I've always regretted it, but reading an article just serves to remind me that now I'll NEVER own it.
@TonyNin maybe the person who bought this already had every nes game boxed which is why they are now buying sealed. Makes sense .. if they have 2 million dollars to spend on one game im sure they would have a great collection already
Sometimes I wish I could go back to the past. I would buy a load of these and put them in hard plastic cases. Also I wouldn't have sold my entire Pokemon card collection from Gen 1 through the early generations for $20 at a Garage sale. I could have been riccchhhh!
These people are saying that these games are worth as much as they paid for them. Why is a sealed super mario bros. Worth 2mil? Well, it's because he bought it for 2mil. In other words, because he said so.
Thats the point they want to get across and it's the mindset that they plan to force on us. If they call a black object white then that means it's white. We have zero say in anything. We don't need our own will or any capacity to think for ourselves. So a sealed game copy sells for a fortune randomly next the price of old games skyrocketed everywhere.
Since they bought an old game for 1-2mil they're effectively saying that old games are worth much more money. Whatever they think to be true is true and we will do as they tell us to do and we will be happy this way. It's not an old game he paid for, he bought himself future authority. These people ultimately bought an idea by demonstrating it themselves.
This was just a silly thought which popped in my head, pay no heed to it. They must love video games, but man these people are rich. Did they all win lotteries or something?
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