Rare Super Mario becomes highest-selling video game

Super Mario

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A rare version of the classic 1985 Super Mario Bros has sold at auction for $114,000 (£90,000), the most ever paid for a video game.

The cartridge, still in its original packaging, sold to an anonymous bidder.

And the US auctioneer said demand “was extremely high”, partly because this particular packaging had been used for a short while only.

The previous record for an auctioned game was $100,000 – for a different copy of Super Mario.

Plumber hero

“If any lot in the sale could hit a number like that, it was going to be that one,” Heritage Auctions video games director Valarie McLeckie said.

“We knew this would be a strong live session.

“But I don’t think anybody could have anticipated how much bidding there was on Heritage Live and the phones.”

Super Mario follows the adventures of the eponymous plumber hero, often joined by his brother, Luigi.

Appetite for the game has never waned.

And it is often cited as the most successful video games franchise so far.

Childhood gaming

Piers Harding-Rolls, a gaming expert at research company Amper Analysis, said: “Brand new ‘old stock’ packaged games connected to much loved gaming brands and companies, especially if they are rare versions, have risen hugely in value over the last 20 years.”

“This is because these items are now firmly entrenched in the nostalgia of childhood gaming for many collectors in their 30s and 40s.

“As prices have risen, so more collectors have come into the market.

“These auction pieces now sit alongside other toys and collectibles that command large amounts at auction, including boxed Dinky cars, sealed, vintage Star Wars figures and pristine Marvel comics.”