Many people these days are bringing in cash with video games. Celebrities on YouTube, such as PewDiePie for example, have earned millions by posting footage of themselves playing newly released games. There are professional players who earn 6 figure sums in eSports events. If you’re not inclined to being an Internet celebrity and you don’t have the same reflexes you did as a teenager, you might still be missing out on a money-making opportunity.
Classic games are readily obtainable since they are frequently reissued electronically. Despite this, a market still exists for those who collect the original products, similar to comic books. Vintage games in mint condition, and limited releases in particular, can be sold for high profit on websites like eBay.
Here’s a sample of games recently sold.
Final Fantasy VII (Black Label)
With a 1997 release, this game was the second highest selling title on the earliest Playstation. Since that time, it has been designated as one of the best games of all time. This has heightened interest from collectors. A copy of the game fetched $280 towards the end of March.
Sonic the Hedgehog
The most famous character from Sega will be 25 years old this July – which is fueling a fascination with his first introduction. Early this month, a pristine copy of the original Sega Genesis game sold for $525.
The Legend of Zelda prototype
Collectors are interested in much more than just retail copies of early games. If you are fortunate enough to own an extremely rare title or a prototype, chances are you’ll make more than a few hundred dollars in profit. Tom Curtin made $55,000 in 2012 selling a test cartridge/prototype of this Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) classic title. While that’s a substantial amount, it’s nowhere near his original $150,000 asking price.
Launched in 1985 as a title with the original NES, Ice Climber features two players as they scale up a cliff and try to successfully pilfer a vegetable from a variety of enemies that range from an upright walking polar bear who wears sunglasses and pink shorts to a condor. The game was unique, and for most, long gone from memory. However, for a factory sealed copy of the title sold for $2561 in March
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. turned 30 last year and has never truly been out of the market. It is perhaps the most popular video game ever made. There is an edition of the game for practically every gaming system Nintendo has made, and one can easily download a digital copy of the first version from the assortment of legacy games available on the “Virtual Console” of the Wii or Wii U. However, like first-edition books, collectors prize the original most. Last month, a copy of this 1985 game, still sealed from the factory, sold for $450.
World of Warcraft Collector’s Edition
Immense online multiplayer game from Activision, World of Warcraft had more than 5.5 million players last year, proving that while it is nowhere near the height of its success, it is still a massively popular game. Free copies of the game will be given to fans who go see the Warcraft movie at participating United Artists Theaters, Edwards Theaters, and Regal Cinemas. So it’s somewhat unexpected how high the demand for the initial collector’s edition has become. A number of sealed collector’s editions of the game’s expansions fetched from $300-$400. Two sealed copies each sold for over $2,300.
It was thought only 12 copies of this Atari 2600 game existed until 2010. None of the 12 were believed to have an instruction manual or a box. However, a 13th game that did have a box surfaced after CNN.com released a story regarding the game. A 14th copy with both the instruction manual and the box emerged two years later. That copy allowed its owner to pocket $33,433 from the sale.
One of the earliest exercise games in the industry, Stadium Events from Bandai was released in 1987 but was recalled shortly thereafter. For some collectors, the copies remaining in circulation are somewhat of a holy grail. A factory-sealed copy went for $35,100 in 2015 and just this year, a man who purchased a less than perfect copy for $2 at a garage sale, was able to resell it for $7,500.
This game was bad enough that thousands of copies were buried by Atari in a landfill located in New Mexico. Considered to be the worst video game ever made, copies purchased from the store don’t have much value. However, in 2014, landfill copies were unearthed and are plenty valuable. In 2015, a copy from the landfill was sold for the price of $1535. One of the landfill’s employees, who recalls burying the games, Joe Lewandowski, also assisted in locating them. He says he’s keeping 297 of the recovered cartridges, to some extent with the hope that Hollywood will recreate the classic film.