Is The Recent Rise In Value Of Classic Video Games Here To Stay?

Power-Drive-Game-GearOver the last few years, both retro gamers and collectors have seen their favourite past time go through both ups and downs. As the very games we know and love have begun bordering a fine line between titles to enjoy and fragile investments, it's no surprise to see a Sega Game Gear release fetching a massive near four figure sum on eBay.

While the argument of where our hobby belongs will never be settled between those who play and those who collect, we can all agree on the fact that those hoping to secure full libraries individual consoles have to offer are in for a tough ride.

Although many are familiar with the Sega 32X's 'big three' - a trio of elusive PAL titles worth considerable amounts - few of us have expected similar pricing to be applied to other video games. 

Sure, we have the likes of the incredibly valuable Nintendo World Championships (a strictly limited cartridge used officially by Nintendo to host competitions) and a market testing fitness game Stadium Events commanding huge price tags in America, but did we ever expect such prices to be applied to standard retail releases, and on European soil for that matter, so soon?

Then again as Super Nintendo collectors will no doubt tell you, this is nothing new. Regardless, this is unfortunately the reality we may all be having to face as of now. Old video games are worth money and unsurprisingly people are making a living by exchanging them online.

Power Drive for the Game Gear may be an extreme exception at this point in time, but it leaves us with an unanswered question...

Is this the beginning of an inevitable pricey future for our hobby, or is the classic video game market due to crash any time soon? What do you think?

Link: Power Drive (Sega Game Gear) Complete on eBay


Last Updated ( 27 June 2013 )  

Cauterize

Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

Other recent articles:

Comments 

(Link to this comment) Britmod 2013-06-27 20:30
I think when new consoles come out you get, some games for previous consoles will go extremely cheap. Overall though are our collections that expensive? Most Dreamcast, gamecube, megadrive, ps 1 and 2 games in very good condition cost less than £5. It all depends on quality or quantity even then though quality needn't be expensive.
(Link to this comment) chocklo 2013-06-27 20:53
Over recent years, The only consistancy with prices has been that they've been on the rise. Just been looking at jp Mega Drive games. Pulseman which was £40 a couple of years ago is now £100. Gleylancer which was worth around £80 last time I looked is now £200. Eliminate Down which was around £130 last time I looked is now £400-500!!

If a worldwide recession didn't put a curb on prices, I'm not sure what will. They're only getting scarcer and with each ebay sale, one more box gets pancaked in a Jiffy bag and games in decent condition get scarcer.
+3 (Link to this comment) markymark 2013-11-03 08:59
I too am an collector/gamer and aged 48 now i have given away games and things in the past that would now fetch silly money BUT the issue i have and i the biggest problem is.................. wait for it E BAY yes because everybody who is looking to make money and has seen the prices paid by collectors now thinks they can put a manual missing no box rare game on there and get mega money for it. I think the problem is the auction sites, would it not be better if we just dealt games between ourselves as collectors and therfore might help slow the madness on the auction sites.
(Link to this comment) chocklo 2013-06-27 21:01
I'm not talking about all games, mostly the the rare and desirable ones. More and more people are now discovering which titles fall into this description and hence more people going for smaller availability of games = Price hike
(Link to this comment) JonnyQ85 2013-06-27 21:06
I think that it's inevitable that as more people get into retro gaming and the ease of researching the rarer games (such as with retro collect!) prices will always go up. It only takes two or more people to really want a game on eBay to push the price up high. Also another important factor is that the people wanting to buy the games from their youth are the ones with a disposable income as they're aged 20s upwards. The days of getting a mint rare game on eBay are long gone. The good thing is though that of all the things to collect its definitely the most fun as you can actually play on them and its an investment!
(Link to this comment) Tinsair 2013-06-27 21:58
I've started to get really annoyed at alot of auctions, where the bidding goes over Buy It Now prices that have been there for months, and a fair bit to boot. It's probably shill bidding, but if it isn't are they just morons or doing it out of spite?
+2 (Link to this comment) Megatrons_Fury 2013-06-27 22:10
What annoys the absolute hell out of me is that so many people who whine and moan about games prices on the rise are the exact people who make up all sorts of reasons to justify buying the games, its a self fulfilling prophecy situation, more retro collectors need to simply stop paying the prices, its that simple, stop doing it, theres tons of other formats to collect for, i appreciate you want complete format collections and i respect that but you cannot do that without paying big bucks, your harming yourself.

Retro prices will continue to get high until they reach a magical choke point they can only ever go so high until they become absurd and everyone falls away, for me its all about moving from format to format, i remember like Gunstarhero does megadrive and snes games being a fiver in games shops and there were tons of them, eventually dreamcast and gamecube and ps1 will take over, its a natural movement of new retro people......
(Link to this comment) Mr.Oakley 2013-06-29 23:00
Quoting Megatrons_Fury:
What annoys the absolute hell out of me is that so many people who whine and moan about games prices on the rise are the exact people who make up all sorts of reasons to justify buying the games, its a self fulfilling prophecy situation, more retro collectors need to simply stop paying the prices, its that simple, stop doing it, theres tons of other formats to collect for, i appreciate you want complete format collections and i respect that but you cannot do that without paying big bucks, your harming yourself.


This is exactly where I'm at.
I'm 30odd short of a full SMS set, I know there are some high priced games in there but there are others that have really shot up in price over the past 6-12 months.

I'm taking a break from SMS for the moment, having a look at the Dreamcast and a few others, I'll go back to SMS when its calmed down a bit. I just have to keep telling myself theres no rush :-D
+2 (Link to this comment) Megatrons_Fury 2013-06-27 22:16
....Joining the scene, each generation will want to collect things they grew up with, in 20 years time very few newbies will give a rats bum about NES games, they will have no knowledge or emotional attachment to them, they will want ps2 games, you think im mad, wait 20 years and we will all have another conversation about all this.

Retro prices will remain high from now on because as chocklo rightly says if a world recession did nothing to stop it, nothing will, its just going to move on to include all those formats so many people laugh at right now, pick up as much as you can when you can is my motto, not because of future value but because i dont want to walk into a shop and not be able to get it at a later date.
(Link to this comment) Bethlemos 2016-09-08 16:36
I hope you are right - I will hold on to my 100 PS2 games for the next 20 years... 8)
(Link to this comment) mr_wistles 2013-06-28 06:37
To put my financial head on I think the games markets are tracking a bell curve.

Look back to the previous generation of Atari et al and that is still continuing to rise. It is simple supply and demand, they will only go up.
(Link to this comment) Mayhem 2013-06-28 10:29
I dunno, the 2600 market in general has cooled off a fair bit compared to how it was 5-7 years ago. These things go in cycles, and the NES market heated up but is showing early signs of cooling off. SNES and Megadrive (Genesis) are the hot systems right now I believe. But that isn't to say that the 2600 market won't resurge in the future.
(Link to this comment) DemonicNinja 2013-06-28 11:20
I look at my collection as a long term investment which I enjoy immensely and I hope that they increase in value like Tetris on the mega drive,saying that,myself personally refuses to pay silly money, I want to pay very little for a game that's worth a lot..
(Link to this comment) mr_wistles 2013-06-28 11:23
I am also in this as an investment. As well as loving to play the games, they will hopefully double as my kids university fund.
(Link to this comment) DemonicNinja 2013-06-28 11:25
I totally agree :D
(Link to this comment) chocklo 2013-06-28 11:25
I agree that some titles have cooled but the really rare stuff has gone astronimical. I'm not really a 2600 expert to that degree, but you do hear about those titles in America which have gone into the 10s of thousands.

I'm not convinced though that the Atari can be used as a baseline for this comparison. I would say the NES onwards. Also, I kinda disagree that NES games have cooled (though I wish they would!). Again, I'm not talking about the more common stuff, I'm talking about those titles that fit into the rare/desirable bracket.

Years ago I built up a collection off around 100 NES games. My Nes collection sat idle in terms of growth right up until the start of this year, when I decided to start building on it again. I was shocked by how much the price of games actually went for.
(Link to this comment) chocklo 2013-06-28 11:26
Two years ago I purchased a really nice copy of Wrecking Crew at the second Replay from Console Passion. It cost me £40. The price was ok, but the clincher was the condition of it. It was (and still is) lovely! If I wanted one now, I'm sure that it would sneak over the £100 mark. Years ago, as far as PAL A releases go, there were pretty much only a handful of titles which would breach that £80 area - Castlevania 3 and DK Jr Maths. Now, the likes of Bucky O Hare, Duck Tales 2, Mega man, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr are all fetching above that.

One more example. Again, circa 2 years ago, there was a Donkey Kong Jr in Retrogames for £35. It had sat there for ages and I thought it was too expensive??!! Eventually it was purchased and I'm still sobbing to this day that I didn't bag it. Next time it shows, it will probably go for North of £100 if it's in good condition....
(Link to this comment) p0z1tr0n 2013-06-30 07:47
Quoting chocklo:
Two years ago I purchased a really nice copy of Wrecking Crew at the second Replay from Console Passion. It cost me £40. The price was ok, but the clincher was the condition of it. It was (and still is) lovely! If I wanted one now, I'm sure that it would sneak over the £100 mark. Years ago, as far as PAL A releases go, there were pretty much only a handful of titles which would breach that £80 area - Castlevania 3 and DK Jr Maths. Now, the likes of Bucky O Hare, Duck Tales 2, Mega man, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr are all fetching above that.

One more example. Again, circa 2 years ago, there was a Donkey Kong Jr in Retrogames for £35. It had sat there for ages and I thought it was too expensive??!! Eventually it was purchased and I'm still sobbing to this day that I didn't bag it. Next time it shows, it will probably go for North of £100 if it's in good condition....


Are the prices you quote for cartridge only or CIB?
(Link to this comment) tcdev 2013-06-28 11:44
I have a very broad interest in retro gaming (arcade and console) and computing, so I've been keeping a lazy eye on prices across the board for many years now. And my impression is that, in some sectors at least, prices have been getting silly for the last 12 months and don't look like they're about to slow down anytime soon.

It's been more noticeable in the computing area, with hardware that you couldn't give away 5 years ago fetching upwards of (AUD)$100 these days. I'm kicking myself for not making the effort to complete my collection back when it would have cost me chump-change; now I can't afford to complete it!

The console area has been more stable, though I've just dipped my toes into the Neo Geo scene and I'm depressed at the prices of AES carts. But NES, SNES, N64 seem to have settled in recent years and whilst they're not getting any cheaper - and I don't think they will - they at least appear to not be getting any dearer either!
(Link to this comment) cusser 2013-07-07 20:43
Video game collecting has become more popular, particularly with a younger crowd. My generation that have seen the evolution of the games industry are no longer the majority fan base of retro games. i have seen more and more looking for games at car boots than ever before. Retro as a whole, across different forms of culture, is popular if not fashionable.
(Link to this comment) cusser 2013-07-07 20:45
Nintendo's back catalogue has seen a huge increase in value since the success of Wii and DS. Where as sega consoles have not necessarily seen the same rise in value. look at the ps1 and there are only a handful of games of excessive value. it wasn't so long ago that "Future cops LAPD" was fetching a pretty penny. When collectors learn to be patient and realize that certain games are not as rare as they seem on ebay, the prices will fall.
The Megadrive is my favorite console and i've had a great time, the last few years, picking up games for fair (if not cheap) amounts. Same goes for ps2 .
All in all i would say that the rise in value is inevitable. Video games have been around for a while now and are no longer a niche hobby. They have a history and have been imbedded in the culture of society. So there is bound to be an increasing following in the collecting and trading markets. What is a shame is that ebay is pretty much the only place to find the games/consoles we like.
(Link to this comment) Pondis 2013-09-27 14:52
I believe that a price crash is inevitable in the next few years.

People will stop paying silly prices and value will slide. I daresay a fair few people will suddenly flush their collections to get some money back, fearing they will end up with a room of worthless junk which will drive prices down.

Of course we can then get lovely items added to collections cheaper then they were and wait for the price to rise again.
(Link to this comment) wrongindahed 2013-10-20 21:57
I had no choices but to sell 80% of my collection off not long ago and made some very good money but I did keep the rare Saturn games as one I love playing them and two I know they will be worth a bomb by the time I am older and greyer so I can see why people paid silly money but be careful there highs and lows i have spent £90 on a game only to find it now going for under £20
(Link to this comment) Kingcizz 2014-05-22 17:32
I am glad I am not the only one who noticed the huge rise in prices the last year or two. I miss the days I could pick up a jap version of a game for less then £10. I fear it is like most things in life, the bigger it becomes the more competiotin there is between collectors. The other factor, as already described, is the false demand that bidding sites create. You sometimes find games that are apparently rare, yet there are about 20 - 30 listings for the same item. But they price them as 'rare'. It is frustration. I do not worry though, you will never own everything and I now just choose to collect certain series of games and look out for bargains for those. I gave up a long time ago trying to complete system game libraries, it would cost too much.
(Link to this comment) Sjoo 2014-08-04 22:38
In my humble opinion price is irrelevant. Is the game worth that much to you? that is the question to be asking. what is expensive for me may seem a very reasonable price for someone else. If I deem it to be ridiculous then I don't buy it. Lets not forget we are buying the game not because its worth £20 or £40 or even £100 but because we love retro games, to hold it and own it and put it in its place on the shelf next to other games that mean something to us, for me its a lot more than just price. Its nostalgia and enjoyment can you put a price on that?
(Link to this comment) Johnzilla206 2016-10-01 20:47
Quoting Sjoo:
In my humble opinion price is irrelevant. Is the game worth that much to you? that is the question to be asking. what is expensive for me may seem a very reasonable price for someone else. If I deem it to be ridiculous then I don't buy it. Lets not forget we are buying the game not because its worth £20 or £40 or even £100 but because we love retro games, to hold it and own it and put it in its place on the shelf next to other games that mean something to us, for me its a lot more than just price. Its nostalgia and enjoyment can you put a price on that?


I couldn't agree more. For me games aren't an investment at all. I only buy games I want to play or that have sentimental value. If I want a good cash investment I'll get an isa.
(Link to this comment) Sisco 2014-11-23 19:07
I'd like to see this booble burst soon. I'm annoyed because two years ago I bought mega drive games for 0,5 € and the console for 10€... Now people is paying 20€ for a simple Mega Drive!!!! I understand there are rare games that deserve its price, but the others...
I haven't bought anything by internet for almost a year due to the high prices. I think the market is going to crash soon I hope.
This vintage trend is harming our hobby. Turn it into a business or an investment means its death.
(Link to this comment) Pnutbean 2016-02-04 21:14
The nature of anything, items get older and they become worth something (except Rise of the Robots); it happened before gaming and it will happen afterwards... Well maybe until everything new is digital, then watch prices really rise. Who knows we may see cartridges repressed, like Record Store Day? After digital there has become a demand of something physical.
Banner
Banner

Retro Gaming Podcast

Join the RetroCollect Squad as they discuss our gaming past in the all new RetroCollect FM - Retro Gaming Podcast.


Retro Games on eBay now



About RetroCollect

RetroCollect is your one stop for everything retro games and retro gaming. Featuring the latest classic gaming news around, informative reviews and an ever active forum, you'll feel right at home with other retro gamers.

RetroCollect FM - Retro Gaming Podcast

Join the RetroCollect Squad as they talk their way through the wonderful world of retro gaming.

Listen to RetroCollect FM - Retro Gaming Podcast

Join RetroCollect on the web