Arts & Entertainment | August 7, 2021 6:00 am

A Copy of “Super Mario Bros.” Just Sold for $2 Million

Collectible video games are becoming a big deal

Mario
A cartoon figurine of Super Mario Bros. stands in front of a Nintendo Switch store in a shopping market.
Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

In those bygone days of mid-July, a rare unopened copy of The Legend of Zelda made headlines for selling for $870,000. That wasn’t even the biggest sale made in that particular auction; instead, that distinction went to a copy of Super Mario 64, which someone bought for over $1.5 million. Less than a month after those sales, they’ve both been left in the dust like one of Sonic’s opponents — different platforms, I know — by yet another rare video game sold at aution.

This one, an unopened copy of Super Mario Bros. in “exceptional” condition, sold for $2 million. That’s slightly more than a Koenigsegg Gemera, for those keeping track at home.

Writing at Engadget, I. Bonifacic has more information on the sale. The transaction took place via the platform Rally, which describes itself as “a platform for buying & selling equity shares in collectible assets.” Bonifacic writes that Rally had purchased the copy of Super Mario Bros. in 2020 for the sum of $140,000. Reselling something for over 10 times what you paid for it is a notable achievement.

As Kellen Browning writes at The New York Times, this sale and the earlier auction point to a growing market for video games as collectibles unto themselves. The Times also gives a sense of how Rally’s business model works for investors — one man who contributed $100 to buy the copy of Super Mario Bros. is taking home $950.

Perhaps for sales of video games as collectibles, this is the power-up a host of investors have been waiting for. And it has plenty of people curious to see where the market might go from here.