Got a spare $114,000 down the back of the sofa? If so, you could have snapped up a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES this weekend courtesy of an auction via Heritage Auctions.
The 1987 game is now the most expensive video game ever sold. The previous record was also for Super Mario Bros. with a copy selling last year for a mere $100,150. This time round, the game is in near perfect condition. It has a Wata Games certified rating of 9.4/10 which made it the highest-quality version of the game ever sold by Heritage Auctions. Previously, lower quality versions such as an 8.0/10 sold for just over $40,000.
What makes it so pristine? Besides the fact that someone has clearly really looked after this game, it's still sealed, and includes the original cardboard hang tab underneath the shrink wrap. What's a hang tab, you ask? It was originally used on the US test market copies of black box games before plastic was used to seal all games. There are four different sub-variants of the plastic sealed cardboard hang tab box out there with each only enjoying a production period of a few months. It's a simple sounding concept but one that due to its scarcity is sure to have helped the value of this game. That's before you consider the fact that very few people will own a game for over 30 years without unsealing it?
Granted, the fact it's such an iconic game is sure to have helped its value. Super Mario Bros. was the all-time best-selling game for the NES and set a lofty standard. It's still a game that a surprising amount of people return to on a regular basis such is the power of nostalgia. So, for collectors, the idea of having a pristine copy of such an important part of gaming history is an attractive proposition.
While you'd think whoever has spent this obscene amount of money would be keen to never part with the game, this may not be the case. A quick look at the completed auction at Heritage reveals that it's already possible to make an offer to the owner. While the statement points out that they won't respond to most offers, we're guessing whoever's purchased the game is seeing it as an investment that will grow in value over the years.
Fancy a punt? Good luck with the lottery win first.
October 15 2020 | 14:00