Last week, a The Legend of Zelda sold for $ 870,000, the highest price ever paid for a video game at auction. Until that moment. The record was in fact disintegrated only a few days later when over the past weekend a sealed copy of Super Mario 64 was sold at auction for a staggering $ 1.56 million to Heritage Auctions.
As Polygon points out, in the last two years the video game auction market has grown enormously, with many works that have been the protagonists of important sales. The figure collected by Super Mario 64 a few hours ago is, however, almost unbelievable. Video game history and conservation experts were in fact surprised to see Super Mario 64 violate TLOZ’s record with a large detachment, despite the pristine quality of the copy.
Super Mario 64 is not a particularly rare game, and this is a factor that the auctions do not neglect; Nintendo has sold millions of copies since it was first released in 1996 – the most concrete figure we have is 11 million as of 2003.
It should also be said, however, that the conditions of the copy sold are practically perfect. Retailer Heritage Auctions, who awarded the copy in question a rating of 9.8 Wata (the special grading scale for objects of this type), said it was the best-preserved copy ever to be auctioned.
To give you an idea, last year a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. with 9.4 Wata sold for $ 114,000, a record so far. A few months ago, another copy of the same game but with a rating of 9.6 was purchased for $ 660,000, more than five times the previous record.
Experts argue that the insane $ 1.56 million price tag for the Super Mario 64 auction might be suspiciousbut they also admit that prices are generally and rapidly rising for video game auctions, and that they even expect this trend to continue smoothly for the foreseeable future.
Co-director of the Video Game History Foundation and video game retailer Kelsey Lewin, for example, shared a curious anecdote last week: a matte Mario sticker sold for “only” $ 3,600, a figure considered low by experts. The boom in auctions in such a rapid way could have important implications on the market, and now organizations intend to better investigate what concerns the market and its evolution.
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