A vintage Super Mario Bros. video game. sold for $ 2 million, a collectibles company said on Friday, breaking the record for the most expensive video game sale that was set just a few weeks ago.
The 1985 game, made for Nintendo’s original console, was never opened – a rarity for old video games, said Rob Petrozzo, one of the founders of the collectibles site, Rally. An anonymous buyer bought it, he said.
Demand for collectibles has increased during the pandemic, along with many other forms of investment, as people trapped at home seek ways to spend their money. People have spent millions of dollars on digital artwork – known as non-fungible tokens – like internet memes and video highlights of National Basketball Association players. Physical goods, including vintage cars and sports cards, have also increased in value over the past year.
But video games are still an emerging market, said Petrozzo. Interest in buying older games has grown in recent years, but many vintage games have been opened and played, causing them to lose value, he said, and investors are often intimidated by them. ‘enter an industry they don’t know.
Recently, however, two exceptional sales have sparked interest in the gaming space. A 1987 Legend of Zelda game cartridge that sold for $ 870,000 in early July was considered a record, until ‘a 1996 Super Mario 64 game sold for $ 1.56 million a few days later.
“I think we’re starting to see the natural progression of ‘What else? What are the things that have grown in value since I was a child that have this nostalgia? ‘ Said Mr. Petrozzo.
The last two record sales were made through an auction. Rally uses a different system. The company buys physical collectibles, like comics and cars, and invites people to invest in stocks of individual items just like they would a stock. When someone makes an outright offer to buy one of the items, Rally presents that offer to investors, who vote on whether to sell and take their share of the profits, or decline.
Rally bought the Super Mario Bros. game. for $ 140,000 in April 2020, and investors rejected an offer of $ 300,000 last year. The $ 2 million offer from the anonymous buyer – a collector who “makes big bets in the video game space” – has won the approval of three-quarters of the game’s investors, Petrozzo said.
Ed Converse, a law graduate student from Green Bay, Wisconsin, invested $ 100 in the game last year and said he made $ 950 from the sale.
“I’m very excited about this,” said Mr. Converse, 32. “It’s pretty crazy to think I made an investment in this because of nostalgia for playing video games as a kid and now it sells for $ 2 million.”
Mr. Petrozzo thought the boom sale might just be the beginning for game collectors.
“In my opinion, it has not reached the masses,” he said. “You’ll start to see a lot more people paying attention and doing research. “