BREAKING NEWS: Halloween Night Video Game Auction Set to Break Multiple World Records and Change Video Gaming Forever
Historians, collectors, investors, and gamers are divided on what the event in Dallas on All Hallows Eve means for the future of gaming. Some see it as a historic disaster, some a moment of renewal.
On July 9, 2021—approximately 100 days ago—Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas set the world record for the highest amount ever spent by a human being on a video game.
The amount? $870,000. The game? A third printing of 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System classic Legend of Zelda, in “excellent” condition according to Heritage and the grading house that graded it before it was put up for auction, WATA.
You might have expected that the most expensive video game in world history would be sold in mint condition, or—surely—in at least near-mint condition. But it wasn’t.
You might also be surprised to learn that that July 9 record stood for under 48 hours.
On July 11, 2021, the July 9 record wasn’t just superseded, it was obliterated. July 11 saw a copy of Super Mario 64—a game released nine years after the vintage-era NES Legend of Zelda—sold by Heritage Auctions for $1.56 million. The condition of the game? This one, at least, was in mint (if not the vanishingly rare gem mint) condition.
Just a month later, the New York Times reported that a copy of the original Super Mario Bros. had sold for $2 million—a nearly 33% increase on a world record that had only stood for 30 days.
What happened on July 9, and then again on July 11, and then again in early August—three world records that changed how we think about the market value of video games, about video games’ status within the fine arts, and about alternative asset classes and the precarious markets they’ve now created across a range of products, from sneakers to Magic the Gathering cards to NFTs—involved only one game at a time, however. Even the stunning rise of companies like Rally, Otis, and MasterWorks, which recently launched “fractional-share” operations that purchase and then sell shares in everything from video games to NFTs to physical artworks, only see one product brought lucratively into the corporation’s ambit with each transaction.
What’s about to happen on Halloween is, compared to those single stones causing a ripple in the sprawling sea of the entertainment industry, something more akin to a tsunami.