The complete classic games in the box have been in the news a lot lately due to their inflated selling prices. The most famous recent example of this phenomenon is a copy of Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System sold for $2 million. In one video investigation, journalist Karl Jobst claims that the scoring company, Wata Games and the auction company Heritage Auctions, are behind these purchases are companies that artificially enhance value.
Wata is behind the previously mentioned $2 million grading Super Mario Bros, 1.56 million dollars Super Mario 64, $156,000 Super Mario Bros. 3, and more. Jobst said that Wata president and CEO Deniz Kahn and Heritage co-founder Jim Halperin worked together to manipulate the market and artificially inflate retro game prices.
In his video investigation, Jobst brought up the previous record holder in the video game world, a Super Mario Bros was classified by Wata and sold for $100,150. He noted that this copy is said to have been acquired by Halpern, game collector Rich Lecce, and Zac Gieg, founder of Just Press Play.
Heritage Auctions announced this world-record sale with a press release that included a quote from Wata’s Kahn about the collectible video game’s upward trajectory not slowing down anytime soon. So Jobst summed it up, an auction house president created a press release for his own record-price purchase and then used it to advertise the same game that would be auctioned off in future at his auction house.
Jobst went even further, claiming that Kahn’s interviews and television appearances on shows like Pawn stars is also part of this plan to increase the price of the classic game and put Wata on the map.
Jobst’s investigation went much deeper, looking at claims that none of the buyers of these high-priced games were actual collectors, nor did the recent purchase of the NintendoAge website, which was closed door, as Jobst put it, “control the flow of information about the value of video games. “
You can watch the full investigation video on YouTube.