It might shock you to learn that there's a thriving market for old video-games on eBay and the like.
As with most collectible items, it's the rarity of them that makes them so valuable - and the more scarce, the better. A twenty-six-year-old game for the Sega Mega-Drive went up for auction on eBay and was sold last Tuesday for £3,380 - or €3,817 in our money. The game, Lakers vs. Celtics And The NBA Playoffs might be a common-enough one in the US, but in Europe, it's worth its weight in gold. In fact, bids on the game reached up as far as £9,000
The game itself was never officially released in Europe and only a handful of cartridges exist. As the description in the eBay article explains, the game never made it out of EA's European offices, most likely owing to "some licensing issue that wasn't worth fighting given Europe's marginal interest in basketball." The game was released in the US, however.
The cartridge - which was sold in pristine condition and never used - was found by David Amor, the designer behind the Buzz! series of games in the '00s - himself a former employee of EA. According to Amor, he bought the game as part of a job-lot from another EA employee who had a number of cartridges in his house and was planning on moving. The eventual buyer of the game, who spoke to Eurogamer.net on condition of anonymity, explained his reasons for forking out so much for a game that's readily available - albeit in NTSC / US versions.
"My objective is to have the full set of PAL Mega Drive games (without considering all the different compilations and different covers for the same game) and I'm close to finishing it," said the buyer.
As for the actual game itself, it's not much to look at. Here's a gameplay video. Does it look like it's £3,380 to you?
Via eBay / Eurogamer.net