If you’ve kept around old video games from when you were young, don’t be surprised if you’re sitting on a small fortune.
Auction houses are clamouring for rare games and vintage consoles, with nostalgia driving up prices among collectors. And the money being thrown around is eye-watering.
Whether it’s a near-perfect condition of a 1996 Nintendo 64 copy of Super Mario 64 which sold at auction for $1.12 million, or a recent title such as a first production copy of the 2012 Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition game going for $17,300, there are loads of collectables waiting to be sold for serious cash.
It’s big business, so big that Goldin Auctions will soon have its own Netflix series.
Goldin’s gaming expert and Video Game Consignment Director, Jared Mast, says now more so than ever, “nostalgia” is a driving force and key motive to start searching through your old stuff.
“Nostalgia is a massive part of video game collecting,” Mr Mast told Nine.
“For some, it’s a game they played on repeat, or it was the start of the journey down a long line of games, such as the first Pokemon or Mario game(s). The reasons for collectors picking certain games is vast.
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“Some games are even collectible because they’re so bad that they become memorable/collectible.
“Anything and everything you can think of that you might connect with during your video game playing journey becomes a reason for ownership and adding to one’s collection.”
And even if you didn’t play games from decades ago, a modern title such as Fortnite – which exploded in popularity in 2017 – could be worth serious cash.
“The video game market is certainly not driven solely by year,” Mr Mast said.
“Some of the older games, such as Atari, have little value due to their production level versus actual playability on the console. Fortnite (2017), is a recent title that demands a premium on the market, similar to Minecraft.
“The prints, condition and game popularity will outpace the year in terms of hammer price and value for the most part.”
What to do if you find your old gaming collectables?
And should you stumble upon something vintage, Mast has a simple guide for you to follow.
“If those games are sealed and unopened, obviously step one is – don’t open them!” he said.
“Step two is to contact an expert, like myself, for a fair evaluation and chance to understand what the best steps are for you as a collector or possible seller of the game.
“There are quite a bit of different options depending on the condition of the game, system and value that will be important when speaking with an expert, for this reason, I would not recommend a local game shop as a point of reference.”
Local Australian collector, Nick Maver, says nostalgia drives his collection.
“Nostalgia is massive… it was all started by my dad buying me (2009) Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition – that’s what started it all,” he said.
“There’s always that memory of that edition, which I still have, and I will never sell that.
“To me, it’s all about having that [collection] there, I’m not one to take it (the collectable) out of the box … I leave everything as it is and try not to touch or damage anything.
With a collection of more than 250 individual gaming pieces across PC, Xbox, Nintendo and Playstation, Mr Maver is well-aware of the investment he sits on.
Mr Maver’s collection includes the iconic Street Fighter series, with a collectable from that series worth well over $1000. Many of his investments are unopened or kept in near-perfect condition.
“I collect everything … the console doesn’t turn me off anything, it’s more so whatever is going to be collectable and hold its value in the future,” he said.
“I’ve got a few rare ones – I’ve got Project CARS 2 Ultra Edition and there’s only 999 of those in the world, a valuable item.
“I’ve got a remake of Street Fighter II, which is a Nintendo 64 cartridge, so they did a remake of that and they made 1500 of those. Out of those 1500, and it was by absolute random choice through the packaging machine, that there were 500 translucent cartridges that were packaged – nobody knew what they were in, you just had to open it like a golden ticket and find out if you had it.
“Turns out I have one of those.”
Mr Maver keeps his hands on many vintage collectables, but he’s cashed in on some too.
He purchased the $900 copy of Assassin’s Creed, waited two years and then sold it.
“I sold the Assassin’s Creed Origins Legendary Edition, there was only 999 of those made … sold it for just over $2500.
“The Project Scorpio Edition Xbox, when that first came out – I picked that up for $600 [in 2017] and sold that for $3000.
“I love going into my [collection] room… it’s full now.”