December 2, 2022

A vintage Super Mario Bros. video game sold for $ 2 million, a collector’s company announced on Friday, breaking the record for the most expensive video game sale set a few weeks ago.

The 1985 game, developed for Nintendo’s original console, never opened – a rarity for old video games, said Rob Petrozzo, one of the founders of the collectors’ site Rally. An anonymous buyer bought it, he said.

The demand for collectibles has increased during the pandemic, along with many other forms of investment, as people stuck at home look for ways to spend their money. People have spent millions of dollars on digital works of art – known as non-fungible tokens – such as internet memes and video highlights from National Basketball Association players. Physical goods, including old cars and sports cards, have also appreciated in value over the past year.

But video games are still a nascent market, Petrozzo said. Interest in buying old games has increased somewhat in recent years, but many vintage games have been opened and played causing them to lose value, he said, and investors are often intimidated into an industry with the they are not familiar.

Recently, however, two high-profile 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 just days later.

“I think we’re starting to naturally develop ‘what else? What are the things that were cherished in my childhood 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 each item as they do in stocks. When someone makes an offer to buy one of the items directly, Rally accepts that offer to the investors who vote on whether to sell and cash out or decline their share of the profits.

Rally bought the game Super Mario Bros. for $ 140,000 in April 2020, and investors shot down an offer of $ 300,000 for it last year. The anonymous buyer’s $ 2 million offer – a collector who “makes big bets on video games” – garnered approval from three-quarters of the game’s investors, Petrozzo said.

Ed Converse, a law student from Green Bay, Wisconsin, invested $ 100 in the game last year and said he made $ 950 from its sales.

“I’m very excited about it,” said Mr. Converse, 32. “It’s pretty crazy to think that I invested in it out of nostalgia for playing the video game as a kid, and now it sells for $ 2 million.”

Mr Petrozzo thought that sparkling sales might just be the beginning for game collectors.

“In my opinion, it didn’t reach the masses,” he said. “You will see that a lot more people are paying attention and doing research.”