If you thought paying $80 for next-gen games was astronomical, you might want to sit down for this one.
This past Friday, a rare version of Super Mario Bros. on NES was auctioned off for a record-breaking $660,000. This price makes it the most expensive video game ever paid for. There was a 1985 version that sold for $100,000 last July, and a sealed variant of Super Mario Bros. 3 broke that record in November, selling for $156,000.but even those prices now pale in comparison.
According to the Heritage Auctions press release, the unidentified seller says the game “stayed in the bottom of my office desk this whole time since the day I bought it, I never thought anything about it.” Honestly, who does that?
If you’re wondering why this particular version of the game is so rare, it’s because Super Mario Bros. originally went on sale in 1986. Nintendo changed the packaging though in early 1987, so only a relatively small number of these were sold. Heritage Auction’s Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie says that,
“This particular copy was produced in late 1986, and it was one of the earliest copies produced that had plastic shrink wrap, rather than sticker seal. By early 1987, Nintendo was producing a version that had another new variation to their original packaging (an additional “code”). Since the production window for this copy and others like it was so short, finding another copy from this same production run in similar condition would be akin to looking for single drop of water in an ocean. Never say never, but there’s a good chance it can’t be done.”
While paying six figures for a video game sounds insane, this isn’t the only time it has happened. A 1987 Mega Man cartridge sold for $144,000 and a buyer paid $102,000 for a copy of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!. I couldn’t imagine paying that. Yeah, video games are awesome, but I’m not sure they’re “$660,000” awesome.
Now that I think of it, I’ve probably spent that much on Roblox and Fortnite for my kids. Excuse me while I go cry in a corner.