While making my rounds this morning, I noticed a story over on Seven about how prices on retro games had leapt in the last few years. The piece talked about a site called Price Charting that tracks the ups and downs of the retro games market like a stock market ticker. Some of the prices in the article surprised me, given that some titles involved were of relatively recent vintage.
It made me wonder: what are the prices on all my retro games actually like?
Like a lot of gamers in their late thirties, I have a ton of old games stored in boxes out in the garage. They are the collected treasures of a lifetime. Most of them were bought when I was a kid, and many were procured second-hand. The vast majority are boxed and still have their manuals. Most of them I hadn’t thought about in years. I’ve hauled these boxes, sometimes unopened, over numerous moves across many years. Despite them being an extra hassle on moving day, I’d also never considered selling them.
I decided to look into retro game prices to satisfy my own curiosity. What could a Mega Drive game possibly be worth in 2022? Ten dollars?
Look, some of them actually are ten dollars. Take Columns, for example, Sega’s tilt at a match-3 version of Tetris. The cartridge for Columns alone is now worth ten bucks. If boxed copies with manuals are going for as much as $35.
I bought my copy from Cash Converters Coolangatta for $3 in 1995. Even with inflation, I’ve still come out ahead by a huge margin.
This gave me pause. True enough, $35 doesn’t seem like that much. The thing is, at the time I bought Columns, retailers nearly couldn’t give it away. Every second-hand store had 15 copies of it in the cabinet. A game that no one wanted had climbed in value that much.
I wondered what I’d find if I went looking for something slightly rarer.
Oh my god
A few hours of googling and scouring various marketplaces has confirmed something for me: retro game prices in 2022 are absolutely bananas.
Asterix and the Power of the Gods has several listings up to $240.
And then I saw one that knocked the wind out of me. A brand new copy of Earthworm Jim 2 is going for (deep breath) $3,986.
I haven’t even gotten into games on the seven or eight other platforms I have in storage. There’s an absolute fortune in classic games tucked away in my garage and I had no idea.
I need to lie down.
Rummage through your old games. Cross reference retro game prices on eBay and other sellers against your collection. If you can bear to part with them, you may find you’ve been sitting on a goldmine and not realised it.