Graded Video Game Market has CRASHED

So I personally never involved myself with anything outside of Pokemon for the past 4 years. I have only been surrounding myself with knowledge and content only partaking in the finer things in life which is Pokemon :cut_of_meat: :fork_and_knife:.
All jokes aside, I personally only saw the rise in popularity and FOMO of Pokemon and ChARizArdz collectors throughout 2020 from the inside as a Pokemon collector. Ultimately though, with any sharp change in any market, there is going to be a correction if moved too much. This meant the inevitable fall of popularity as easy money leaves the hobby and people loose interest.

I knew of the other parts of the collectable spaces such as video game grading, sport card grading, and even Magic TCG spaces, but never really involved myself in any of them (Thankfully). With the fall in liquidity and the current market conditions, the crash was all but inevitable with these newer markets, but I was brutally unaware of the recent Graded Video Game crash that has been in a free fall since the beginning of 2022.

To put this into analytical DATA:
NOV 5th 2022: 2002 Sapphire Nintendo GBA WATA 9.8 A+
SOLD FOR $9,600

And What did this item sell for just a year ago?
April 4th 2021: 2002 Sapphire Nintendo GBA WATA 9.8 A+
SOLD FOR $50,400

That is more then a 81% decrease in value… Talk about OUCH

Another example:
November 4th 2022: Zelda II Gold Edition WATA 9.8 A
SOLD FOR $15,600

And What did this item sell for just a year ago?
October 31st 2021: Zelda II Gold Edition WATA 9.8 A+
SOLD FOR: $102,000

More than a 85% DECREASE

Another One (DJ Khaled)…

Mario Kart 64 WATA 9.6 A+
November 4th 2022: Mario Kart 64 WATA 9.6 A+
SOLD FOR: $26,400

And What did this item sell for back in April?
April 3rd 2022: Mario Kart 64 WATA 9.6 A+
SOLD FOR: $144,000

More than a 82% DECREASE

Please reach out to your brother and sisters in the graded game space and ask if they are doing ok…

With these market corrections in recent time, this could mark the end of the newer speculative spaces of the collectable markets in their entirety. These recent price swings could leave a bad taste in collector’s mouths and will likely never return to the space again. Essentially stunting the growth or even killing the market in it’s entirety.

Just like a lot of things during this 2022 market correction, we are seeing After effects and Nuclear Fallout of FOMO and what happens when Hype Beasts and open mouth YouTubers flood into a bull market. It is a given people SHOULD be responsible with there own money and not take financial advice from some guy on YouTube, but the majority of people will agree on the influence these people have on the open market.

Sadly I only see this becoming more of a vicious market cycle in the future.

What are your thoughts?


Also this is a good visualization of this correction: Mizkif Lost -$200,000 From His Boxes Collection... - YouTube

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I’ve been waiting to see this thread on e4.

I don’t have very strong opinions on the graded game market. It is not my cup of tea, but I understand the appeal for hardcore video game collectors who are condition sensitive.

Most older Pokemon games had tens of millions of copies made. Even if 0.01% of the games survived with an intact seal in 2022 (1 per 10,000 copies made), that would be ~1,600 (Ruby & Sapphire) to ~3,100 (Red, Blue, Yellow) sealed copies floating around ready for grading. I didn’t imagine that 5-figure prices would hold with that large of a potential supply.

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This is interesting to read about! I will say Pokemon has not been exempt from similar price movements. I’m sure someone can find some examples, but this chart from tcgfish shows average english card price above $400 in late 2020, down to under $100 today.

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While the market has come down from its incredibly high peaks, a lot of these games are still quite expensive in my opinion! Most of these are still over $10k which is kinda crazy. Regardless, I never personally collected sealed games, as it is just way too expensive for what it is imo. But, seeing prices drop has had me wondering lately lol. Ive been collecting video games for a very long time, mostly nintendo games, and ive been thinking of picking up some lower grade games. Ive been on the hunt for CIB Pokemon Red for a while now (i know theyre available, theyve just been damn expensive this past few years), so im thinking i may look into a sealed VGA 80(?) Or something Red version. Thats pretty much my main takeaway from the video game situation lol. I think many games are still incredibly high, people just need to chill out a bit lol

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About time this market crashes. With all the controversy around WATA, and people paying 90k for boxed GBA games, I absolutely hate the video game market. I get some games being rare or being complete makes them expensive. I understand a game being in the $100+ range. That’s fine. Supply and demand. Wish it wasn’t that expensive, but it happens, especially with hype and fandoms/speed runs whatever.

But 90k for a Pokémon game that was well printed, even if many people didn’t keep the box is just insane. A loose version is already stupid expensive for how common it is and a CIB not graded is more expensive than I’d drop on a boxed version of the game. But the graded prices were just obvious manipulations and so completely stupid it just makes the whole hobby look bad. Plus, you now have a graded game. So you can’t ever play it. Or read the manual. Or take it out in the sun too long or it’ll fade. At least with cards, it’s not a giant box, and chances are you aren’t going to use it in a deck so the whole point anyway is to just look at it. The whole point of the game is to play it.

Ok rant over. Just needed to vent but the video game market is just in such a stupid spot that it hurts to see people have to pirate/emulate since real copies are expensive and companies go after roms but won’t make the games playable on modern consoles/pc.

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Boxed games I could kind of understand but I have no idea why people were grading GameCube and Wii games.

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Everything speculative crashed since 2021 so I’m not surprised graded games have taken a hit. I believe the bubble was much bigger than other collectibles since it was being pumped by WATA insiders etc or so goes the drama.

I’m not terribly involved in the scene but from what I do see there are still hardcore players buying, so it might go back up in the future, who knows.

Owning exactly zero graded games I have no dog in this fight but I also disagree with the criticism of graded games in general that you can’t play them and therefore it defeats the purpose of owning the game. I think that argument ignores the fact that the game is generally graded sealed. If you wanted to play the game you can buy an open copy, but sealed copies are rare and no one in their right mind would buy a sealed Mario 64 just to open it and play it. It’s not the same as opening sealed packs of cards, which again I’m sure many people would understand not wanting to open sealed 1st edition base set etc.

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Feels to me like what happened is what should be expected and isn’t really bad for the hobby. I agree it may scare people away, but those are still strong prices imo. This feels like an initial settling in period for video games. Once this hurdle is passed, it then becomes a more legitimized form of collectible. It will take time and willing buyers, but eventually stabilization will happen.

Mind you, I’ve got zero knowledge on vintage games passed the fact that earthbound or kid Icarus were tough games to get. I just buy the classics to play them, they’ve got no value to me in a graded case.

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This is something that eventually was going to happen and makes sense. Personally I have a modest pokemon video game sealed collection (in spanish not english) and I have been tracking this since it all started. English prices was obvious that at some point they were going to crash like they did and fall into more reasonable prices, because they were way too much overpriced and also as WATA was overloaded with orders and many many game copies were waiting to be graded.
The “issue” is that some people just jumped into it by ignorance and because some friend told them “bro you gotta get your hands on pokemon sealed games, they are going to increase in value so much” without even knowing how to look at pokemon sealed games.
My personal experience here in spain has been great for me, and clearly defines this.
Bought some years ago a pokemon sealed lot game for around 1000 euros. It was a pokemon red, yellow, gold, silver and crystal. When all this wata thing exploded, I sent them for grading, like why not? My games will be protected at least from damaging.
Then I saw here in spain in a second market app very popular people offering sealed games for 1k-2k€ and I was thinking this couldnt last for long, so I decided to put some games for sale.
Then this guy contacted me, saying that he was REALLY interested in buying my games, and he offered me 2.5k€ for pokemon red (was a 9A+ wata), 2.5K for my yellow (was a 9A), 3,5k for my silver (this I shouldnt have sold, was a 9.6A+ nintendo red tear which is a very rare spanish variant) and 3.5k for the pokemon crystal. I couldnt just take away this offer, so I accepted. I went on ebay and found a german seller selling a pokemon red and yellow,higher graded than my previous ones for half the price, so I got back part of it.
1 Month later, I see the guy posting my games for sale all them for 3k€ lol. Apparently, he was trying to flip them for 6k each as some friend told him they were insanely expensive ( he checked english prices not spanish :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:) and he suddenly realised that was not going to happen, so he got mad and was trying to get rid of the games again.

Anyway, I just wanted to shared my experience with this video game sealed world stuff, at the end I got a smaller collection but higher quality, not worried as prices has stabilized and will eventually get my hands on the remaining games, but happy with my current ones :slight_smile:

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The biggest warning indicator on these massive prices during the height of graded game auctions was the fact the games that were selling for the highest amounts were not consistent with what was considered “expensive” the previous 15 years in sealed and unsealed retro game collecting (relatively speaking - $300 was considered expensive prior to the grading rush). People speculating on graded game prices were not buying anything that was “actually rare” but were just buying whatever was popular and/or had Mario, Zelda, Pokemon on the box. That screamed immature market/people flooding in who had no idea what they were buying. Popularity frequently trumps rarity in other graded collectible markets, but these two factors are so out of whack on graded game prices that it’s going to be an extremely insecure place to put speculative money until they’re at least slightly more in line.

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August of last year speed runner Youtuber, Karl Jobst had made a 3 part video series regarding some of the shady developments within the Retro Video Game market (mostly concerning WATA and Heritage Auctions). There was also a discussion thread on it. Not sure if this is a development from what Karl mentioned in his videos.

Cheers!

If you paid 90k for a hyped manipulated graded Wata game then you deserve the same fate as the 480k topsun chari buyer, just saying.

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Ah another native spanish, interesting story and those sealed games look great! Personally I’m just collecting gen 1 and 2 cartridges and my mail goal is to complete the NFR set (missing Silver NFR).

This just reads like someone outside of Pokemon talking about 80% losses in PSA 10 1st edition Bulbasaur, PSA 10 1st edition neo genesis Lugia and PSA 10 topsun charizord and then saying the Pokemon card market has crashed.

I think it’s easy to conflate the highest end with the entire market. But the highest end items are necessarily going to be some of the most spectacultive. But most graded games are not $10k-100k+, looking at the games I was buying shortly before the boom, they were lower condition but at a more realistic price. I checked today and they either seem to be stable in price or have moderately increased.

I’m sure a handful of people will lose a lot of money. It’s clear that a huge amount of speculation was happening with regards to the highest grades and some may even say manipulation (in which case, a demonstration of how manipulation is temporary).

For me, I look more art the lower end to determine the health of a collectible which represents more people and minimizes inorganic speculation. $500 for a CIB Pokemon stadium 2, $400 for a WATA 7 sealed n64 tony hawk. Gamecube games seem a little lower but still costs hundreds of dollars for even obscure titles in the wata 9.4 range. If you weren’t buying $50k games then you are probably more than fine today

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Guys, I think many are missing the real reason here. Speculation and a spike in interest certainly contributed. But the real reason prices have dropped like a rock for graded games is because the guys who grade them are scammers and lied about everything. Basically, they made it all up, colluded, and artificially pumped and dumped the market with games they gave artificial (inaccurate) grades to.

Sources:

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I’d argue that those prices are all healthy now and instead the market hasn’t crashed but it’s moved forward from an irrational stage

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That few sales only effected one person or a few … Could have been worse like crypto Terra, NFTs and even stocks this past year. Those hit $billions and 10,000’s of people hard. I just stay in my lane and worry about $1,000’s not $1,000,000’s HAHA.

I would say that prices haven’t stabilized yet but are still Falling. That is the problem right now

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Echoing what @pfm said, the noise around bubble talk is mostly limited to the popular and/or high speculated graded games. Most CIB, sealed, & carts have stayed the same price.

Something I would add, while video games are very popular, collecting them is still early days compared to pokemon cards. Its partly why the popular high graded games ballooned, because they were some of the first copies graded.

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I’m quite happy a lot of these prices have finally come down. The greed and stupidity I was seeing last year was getting insane, very similar to October 2020-feb 21 for Pokemon.

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