A sealed cartridge with The legend of Zelda sold for $ 870,000 on Fridaymaking it the most expensive video game ever sold at auction. The sale broke the previous record held by the sale of a sealed copy of Super mario bros. that went for $ 660,000 in April. Both games were sold by Heritage Auctions and the price includes a buyer’s fee of 20% each.
The deal dwarfs previous sales of The legend of Zelda carried out from the auction site. Previously, another high-end cartridge of the game was sold for $ 50,400 in September 2020making that sale roughly 17 times the previous one.
What was responsible for the exorbitant price increase? Well, this one is factory sealed and sealed by Wata at 9.0A (with ten being the highest possible rating). But aside from its condition, much of its value depends on it: it is the only example from one of the earliest production runs that the auction house was able to offer and, as the listing says, potentially will offer for many years.
“It is widely believed that the copy sold on Friday is one of only two sealed ‘NES TM’ copies that have been rated by Wata,” said a press release. The cartridge is a rare variant edition of The legend of Zelda that was only produced a few months in late 1987 before it was replaced by another. “In essence, this copy is the earliest sealed copy that one could realistically hope for,” Auction description said.
This, coupled with the widespread interest from fans and the cultural significance of the The Legend of Zelda franchise in general, made this an extremely desirable item. You can read a detailed description of the auction here:
The Legend of Zelda – Wata 9.0 A Sealed [No Rev-A, Round SOQ, Early Production], NES Nintendo 1987 USA. Truly, the term “Grail” only scratches the surface to describe this game. Of all the games we’ve had in our auctions, this sealed, early production copy of the first game is the groundbreaking one Legend of Zelda Series is undoubtedly the apotheosis of rarity, cultural significance and collection focus. A proverbial trifecta of collector’s perfection that only one can have the honor of calling his own.
While it’s a harsh truth, it’s a truth nonetheless – none of the copies we’ve previously offered of this title could even try to beat it due to its incredibly rare variant that has an early production status. This matter is completely undeniable. This is the only copy from one of the earliest production runs that we have ever been able to offer and possibly will continue to offer for many years to come. When you consider that this variant was only produced for a few months at the end of 1987 before it was finally replaced by the “Rev-A” variant in early 1988, this statement should come as no surprise to collectors. Only one other variant precedes the “NES R” variant on offer and that is the “NES TM” variant, which is the true first production. However, it is also widely believed that there is only a single sealed “NES ™” example, and there is no telling whether or not that copy will ever hit the market. In essence, this copy is the earliest sealed copy one could realistically hope for.
So if you happen to be the lucky one with $ 870,000 then congratulations, you just got a really nice, really rare Zelda. Just don’t open it!