Should you be investing in Rare Video Games?

The Value of Rare Video Games

The video game industry is only going to grow in terms of value and size, but what about the worth of the games themselves? It may not be high culture, but the nostalgic and intrinsic value of rare video games as digital assets, would be foolish to ignore. Most industries produce historic artifacts that gain value with time and the gaming industry is no exception, with several video games iconic of the trade already becoming worth several thousands.

The value of certain retro consoles and games can be attributed to a lot of things ranging from the feelings of nostalgia locked away in their story, to the feeling of achievement gained from overcoming a boss or time trial. For some these digital assets have even become collectable trophies, not unlike pieces of fine art or first editions. But as with all assets, it’s the combination of the exclusivity of ownership, the joy you can gain from its usage and the story that it’s imbued with that makes up a rare video game’s value.

Are Rare Video Games a Safe Investment?

While rare video games have undoubtedly become a lucrative asset, are they a safe investment? When investing in any industry you should know it almost inside out before you decide to make a purchase. When it comes to obtaining video games as an investment, you need to consider the fact that replicas can be easily produced and played on emulators, illegally for free online. A game could even be reproduced and re-mastered, such as Final Fantasy 7 which saw a decrease in value when a version became available on Steam. While this won’t take away from the exclusivity of owning an original copy or the unique user experience according to the platform, it will take away from the exclusivity of the video games content. But as with all collectable video games, it’s not for opening and playing. The market should stick around as long as there are generations from the 80s and 90s in the world, however there is no guarantee. Another issue is within investing in rare video games is that there are no quick wins. It’s a long term investment if you really want to see the numbers rise.

Rare Video Games Price List

Here are some examples, curtesy of the website Racketboy, to give you an idea of the worth of rare video games. When it comes to retro video games, they don’t come more expensive than Nes and Atari.

Nintendo World Championships – Gold Edition $100,000 (1)

nintendo world championships gold nes cartridge

A game cartridge containing Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer and Tetris. It was made especially for a tournament held in 1990, the winner of which took home $10,000. The gold edition of the game was a prize of a Nintendo Magazine’s monthly promotion. 26 lucky individuals who entered the competition were sent a copy of the Nintendo World Championships Gold edition. 

Gamma Attack: $20,000 – £50,000

gamma attack atari

This game has been identified to be one of the rarest video games to exist. Only one copy of was ever produced by the company Gammation. Here’s a peek at its gameplay:

I’m sure shooting those tiny black block tanks would be worth every penny…

Stadium Events: $13,000 – $41,000

stadium events nes

An early version of Wii fitness. The box this game came has known to of sold for $10,000 alone. When Nintendo bought the rights to the game and re-released it as World Class Track Meet, they went on a mission to attain all previous copies of Stadium Events and destroy them, just to avoid confusing consumers. Only 10 – 20 copies of the game are said to of survived the purge.

Birthday Mania: £15,000 – $35,000

birthday mania atari

A personalized birthday treat, but a terrible game. The highlight was a game in which you could blow out birthday candles. It did, however, come with its very own personal title screen tailored for whoever it was order for. Only a couple copies of the game are known of, one of which sold in 2009 for $6500.

Rare Video Games to Invest in

As with all markets, investing into an item is usually always a gamble. Although some video games have been made worthless through the production of ROMs and re-mastered editions, the value of a sealed original copy of a classic video game cannot be denied. Here are three examples of video games that have seen an increase in value over the years and in time, could potentially become a collector’s most prized possession.

Sealed Pokémon Red

pokemon red

(http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/POKEMON-RED-Rare-BRAND-NEW-FACTORY-SEALED-Hard-to-Find-Super-nice-/320986333184)

The game that fueled that rise of Pokémon in the 1990s. A factory sealed copy is only currently worth $500, but who’s to say that won’t rise in the decades to come. There may be many copies of the game still in circulation, but a factory sealed copy is still a rarity.

Sealed Final Fantasy 7

final fantasy 7

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PS1-PSX-PLAYSTATION-ORIGINAL-BLACK-LABEL-FINAL-FANTASY-VII-7-NEW-SEALED-Y-FOLD/171487751927?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D25217%26meid%3D228d5aafe79f4cb28b43473e44732cff%26pid%3D100011%26prg%3D10629%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D170890592149

This particular copy of the renowned Final Fantasy series stands out from all the rest. Due to a misprint on the game cover it’s currently one of the rarest copies of the game known. It’s currently on Ebay for nearly $7,000.

Sealed Ocarina of Time

Zelda Ocarina of Time

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=469551 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Legend-Zelda-Ocarina-Time-Collectors-Edition-Nintendo-64-VGA-90-/130676304848?_trksid=p5197.m1374&_trkparms=algo%3DUPI.GIROS%26itu%3DI%26otn%3D8%26pmod%3D160749277117%26po%3DLWI%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D7586225153313446630

A Nintendo classic and a turning point for the Zelda franchise as it entered into 3D. This factory sealed copy of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has only risen in value in the last couple of years, even though it has seen a few re-mastered editions converge onto some of Nintendo’s more recent consoles.

While these rare video games values have risen in price, it is essential to bear in mind that the market is unpredictable. Who knows if there will even be a market for them in the years to come?

 

Borro offers short-term loans against rare collectibles. Make an inquiry today.

 

References

(1) http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&_trksid=p2047675.l2565&rt=nc&item=281253143194

http://mentalfloss.com/article/24237/9-very-rare-and-very-expensive-video-game-cartridges

http://www.racketboy.com/guide/the-rarest-and-most-valuable-video-games

About the Author:

Adam is a freelance writer that focuses on luxury asset trends for Borro Private Finance.