A new contender has run into the arena of extremely high-priced games and it’s none other than Mario’s long-time rival, Sonic the Hedgehog.
Another clash: On Sunday, Goldin Auctions tweeted an image of a Wata-certified copy of the 1991 video game “Sonic the Hedgehog” stating that it sold for $430,500 and set an all-time record for the highest price for any Sega Genesis game.
- Yuji Naka, the former head of Sonic Team, was baffled by the astronomical price and took to Twitter to ask if it was a “scam.”
- Ken Goldin, Goldin Auctions’ founder, answered back in a lengthy thread, stating that it was “a genuine sale to a real buyer.” He claimed that the company thoroughly vets bidders and that the high final price was due to the video game market “heating up.”
- Naka’s followers and retro game enthusiasts fired back, accusing Goldin of lying and joining forces with Wata Games, the vintage video game grading company who gave the copy a high rating of 9.4, to inflate its price.
- “This was a sale of a very early copy, sealed in mint condition from 1991 that is from the original release and is rare in sealed mint condition,” Goldin wrote. He later included that there is a “thriving market for rare first release video games” and that the current achieved prices wouldn’t affect games’ standard retail value.
The controversy: Suspicions over the incredibly high prices of retro video games surfaced in July when sealed copies of an NES 1987 “The Legend of Zelda,” rated 9.0, and a Nintendo 64 1996 “Super Mario 64,” rated a near-perfect 9.8, sold for $870,000 and $1.56 million respectively.
- Although those games were purchased through Heritage Auctions instead of Goldin, Wata Games certified them.
- In August, an even rarer copy of a 1985 “Super Mario Bros.” for the NES sold for a whopping $2 million on the collectibles site Rally and completely shattered every record for any existing video game on the market, according to the New York Times.
- YouTuber Karl Jobst was among the many who had their doubts, and he published a nearly hour-long video breaking down what he believes to be dishonest dealings, according to Kotaku.
- Wata Games and Heritage Auctions have also denied allegations of fraud.
- The buyers for all four games have not been identified.