____Thoughts: Is it still worth to collect classic video games in 2022?
Hi guys´n girls! It´s time to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Gordman´s Game Treasure! Yeah, I never expected my website to exist for so many years, but it feels very good :D
I wrote so many articles during all those years, I had some interviews with cool people and I´ve built up a video games collection of 525 games. 525 games, including a full Sega Master System set for Europe. Wow! This set contains a few brazilian games from Tec Toy and U.S. exclusive titles like ALF, Great Ice Hockey or Montezuma´s Revenge. The only game I still need is Mah-Jong, which is very questionable by the price it fetches in 2022. Some people say that Mah-Jong isn´t needed for a full set, but the thing is: It was released in Hong Kong, back when Hong Kong was a british colony. Yes, the language in this game is mandarin, but the cart format and cover design are still in western format. I can´t afford 500 bucks at the moment, but no doubt it´s a rarity. No way there was a bigger production run for Mah-Jong if ya think how small Hong Kong is. Was is that rare back in the year 2000? I always remember the words of the much respected James Costello, who said that Tec Toy games from Brazil did cost a fiver per game back then. Well, it´s all about supply and demand.
The Master System has a small games library compared to other consoles and every game that has been released is known. A goal that is tempting for collectors. Or at least, it was. Back in 2000, it was possible to get every game, but 22 years later, in 2022, it´s all different. I started in 2010 with collecting for the Master System, and games like Buggy Run were already uncommon. To get a Buggy Run, you had to pay 50 bucks for it. Now, add another 0 and make it 500 - at least.
My good friend meu2, also known as Alan from his Youtube channel Irish Nerd Life, just completed his Master System set after many years of collecting (by the way, congrats mate!). The last games he needed were - what a surprise - Les Schtroumpfs Autour du Monde and Buggy Run. One of the stories I´ll never forget is that Alan held a Buggy Run in his hands back in 2010 in a store in England. It was a brazilian one without manual in quite bad condition, so he refused to take it, in hope to get a PAL copy later. The seller put it up on Ebay and I discovered it. Me and my girlfriend took the chance to give this guy a runaround and we sent him some offers to drop the price. We reached a point with a price of around 17 bucks and she stopped sending him offers. He was a little pissed, but in the end, he accepted my offer then. I will never forget what she told me when she put me in her arms: "You have a Buggy Run!" She laughed in all happiness and I felt the same way. Maybe Alan forgot about this story, so it´s important for me to write it down so it won´t be forgotten. Alan mate, the Buggy Run game you´ve missed is in safe hands! Yeah, you must´ve paid a lot for the copy you´ve got now, but damn the one you have is just awesome. You deserve it, buddy.
To get back on track, what about collecting classic video games nowadays? It´s hard to say. The Everdrive is a good thing, ´cause you can play all the games that have become unaffordable in their original form. I prefer the originals, but damn, I don´t think that I will ever get my hands on a copy of McDonald´s Treasure Land Adventure, Arcus Odyssey or Splatterhouse 3 (all Mega Drive), which is such a shame. I´m happy with what I have for sure, but yeah, I recommend an Everdrive to the people who want to play the games they normally couldn´t afford anymore. I´ve completed my Master System set some years ago and to be honest, I wouldn´t start again now. Some games were very expensive already back in 2017. Ebay is quite brutal, people are tending to bid their souls to get some games. Yes I´m still using Ebay, but I am looking for auctions only with prices starting at 1, 5 or 10 bucks. But I´m always bidding in the very last moment, a few seconds before the auctions ends. I have to be careful what I say now, but if you look at some bidding histories, strange things do happen over there. So I would never recommend to place one or more bids before the auction ends, and definitely not some days before it ends. There are some "buck by buck" bidders and I am not even sure if there are real people behind those accounts, if you know what I mean. Recently, there was something interesting and I made an exception and placed the first bid, and only 45 seconds later, another bid came in from someone.. or something. It was in the middle of the night at 1:45 AM. How big is the chance to get outbid in just 45 seconds at such a time? ;) I decided to cancel my bid and let it go. So I´m using Ebay only the way it was used to be: An auction website and the highest bidder wins. If a game has a starting price of a few hundred bucks, I never participate. I also avoid most of the BIN prices, because they are heavily overpriced and they are destroying the market even more. The sad thing is that people are still bidding on these, so the sellers get what they want. That makes everything difficult. Patience is a virtue.
That VGA grading thing makes everything even worse; I don´t understand why people are using this bullshit and I especially don´t understand why other people participate in such auctions to place crazy high bids. Yeah, sealed classics are something special, but not 400 bucks++ special. Everytime I see something like this, I´m shakin´ my head and move on with my search. Another problem is that Ebay has been flooded with chinese fakes in recent years, especially regarding the Mega Drive and the Super Nintendo.
If you ain´t a millionaire, classic game collecting isn´t recommended anymore - at least not recommended by me. To get some of the cheaper games is absolutely fine, ´cause you can still be lucky to find some in old stores, at garage sales or online in private ads. Some BINs could be good if the seller is a private one and not a greedy reseller. One of my biggest achievements is the Classic edition of Wimbledon which I got for about 6 bucks only earlier this year. It had no manual, but you can get a Wimbledon manual pretty fast. This was, funnily, in an Ebay auction (Germany only). I was wondering that nobody was interested in it. You can be successful, but the chance is very, very small.
What you can do is supporting new games for classic systems if the games are good. You support the developers directly in most cases and some games are not homebrew anymore, but professional new games with high standards, because the developers know how to take the absolute best out of a console´s power. I had a lot of fun to play games like Xeno Crisis, despite the fact that I´m not good at games like this =)
If you have no old stores in your hometown and nobody else you could talk to, the best way is the collector´s community. You still have to be patient of course and the communication part is more intensive, but it´s the best way to fullfill your quest. You´re gonna meet some awesome people and become friends with them, which ultimately leads into some nice online gaming sessions =) I know some super nice people who live in France and Brazil ^.^
I don´t think that I am gonna collect classic games from the 80s and 90s that much anymore, since I already have a lot and I haven´t played even the half of them. To lean back and enjoy the games you´ve achieved so hard let´s you feel endless happy. It let´s your heart lighten up.
My latest console is the Nintendo Switch and I have some amazing games on it. There are so many remakes and sequels of classic games and you should take a look at them. If you´re not sure which games I am talking about, take a look at my Nintendo Switch set =) You´re gonna love what you see.
If you really want to collect classic games, which I still understand for a reason of course, I advice you to be patient and to avoid greedy people. Some situations will become unique, so it´s ok to listen what your intuition says.
From my today´s point of view, I don´t think that it´s good to be too materially but I have my collection now and I don´t wanna miss it, so I always keep my games with pride and keep them away from dust. I use to refurbish my games as well, so what I wanna say is if you always appreciate your treasures, it´s ok to have them =)
Yeah I´m telling you, if a video game could talk, it could tell you some awesome stories sometimes! The older a game is, the more it changes it´s owners. Sometimes I wish they could tell me were they have been in all the decades they already exist. The oldest games in my Master System collection are older than I am! :D So please be nice to your beloved games, clean them maybe and they will keep you in their PCB hearts forever =)
____Thoughts: Is it still worth to collect classic video games in 2022?