An unopened copy of Super Mario Bros has sold for $2 million to an anonymous buyer, a record-breaking price for a single video game.
The announcement was made by collectables website Rally on Friday.
The $2m item dates back to 1985 and was created specifically for Nintendo’s original console. It has never been opened which, one of Rally’s founders Rob Petrozzo told The New York Times, is a rarity for old video games.
Its sale follows a demand in collectables, with its high price beating the record of a Super Mario 64 game that sold for $1.56m in July on Heritage Auctions. A few days prior, a copy of The Legend of Zelda was bought for $780,000.
Rally operates differently from the usual online bidding platforms. The company purchases the physical collectables – these can range from vintage comic books to baseball cards and cars – then sells shares of the items to investors. Shareholders must agree to the sale before it is made and can make net profits on the sale.
In April 2020, Rally bought the Super Mario video game from 1985, for $140,000. In 2020, an offer of $300,000 was turned down by investors, according to The New York Times. When the offer of $2m arrived, three-quarters of the game’s investors approved of the bid.
When it comes to vintage video games, it is rarer to find ones that have been unopened and unplayed, making their value higher.
The 1985 Super Mario Bros video game that sold was not only factory-sealed, but also professionally graded and part of a limited print run. The latest sale, and its huge price tag, could pave the way for more gaming investors.
Released in 1985, the Super Mario Bro game was developed by Nintendo as a successor to the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. The game, which involves the character Mario – and sometimes his brother Luigi – tasked with saving a princess from the antagonist Bowser, was played on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
It remains one of the best-selling games of all time, having sold 50 million copies worldwide.