Considered one of the rarest games in existence, if not the rarest in the world, an auction for Stadium Events on the NES wrapped up this week. The winning bid? $55,093 ($US42,077).
Stadium Events was released in North America 30 years ago, and it was originally designed to work with the Family Fun Fitness control mat. The game itself consisted of four Olympic sporting events: triple jump, long jump, the 100m sprint and 110m hurdles. Only a few hundred copies of Stadium Events were sold in North America, before the game was pulled from sale and rebranded as World Class Track Meet.
The game's rarity was covered in the Nintendo Quest documentary, where a cartridge of the game (no box or materials with it) was purchased for $US4050. (Skip to 28 minutes.)
For reference, the mat itself was developed by Bandai and looked like a crappier version of a DDR mat, with twelve pressure sensors wedged between two bits of flexible plastic:
But because the item on eBay this week was a factory sealed version, it was worth substantially more. Bidding started at $US9000, and within four days the bidding had already soared to $US15,000.
According to the seller, the game was found by his mother in a thrift store in Queens, New York. He and his partner then told the story behind the game on YouTube: his mother bought Stadium Events not knowing its value, thinking he would have some fun with it, and left it in his room when he and his partner came to visit.
"My mum always buys things for me, and she thought that [Stadium Events] this might be something that I would like, probably would open it up and play it. But she also knows I like video games, and I would be happy if this had no value, I'd say thanks Mum, but at the same time this one did have value."
That exact value: $55,099.83, or $US42,077.
That copy of Stadium Events surpasses the last auction for the super-rare game, which sold for $US35,100 back in 2015. A factory sealed NTSC version of the game fetched $US41,300 back in 2010.
Good job, Mum.