The world record for most expensive video game sold at auction has now been surpassed by a staggering amount, thanks to a sealed, “9.0”-rated copy of 1987’s The Legend of Zelda.
A boxed copy of the game’s first printing on the American NES sold on Friday via Heritage Auctions at a staggering $870,000, soundly surpassing the previous gaming-auction high of $660,000. That honor went to a rare, sealed copy of the original Super Mario Bros., also for the American NES, only three months ago.
This week’s Zelda auction began with an astonishing opening bid of $110,000, yet that amount was merited by its particular rarity. The copy in question was part of a late-1987 production run dubbed “NES R,” which preceded the game’s wider initial production run in early 1988 (dubbed “REV-A,” as per a marking on its box). The latter was a much wider run that coincided with the console’s explosion in American popularity, and it, too, featured a foil-gold cartridge. Thus, don’t assume that your shiny Zelda cartridge in an old drawer is somehow worth close to a million dollars—especially since this auction happens to come in a sealed, original box.