Nintendo collectors are racing over to eBay to bid on an auction for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game Nintendo World Championships.
Initial bidding started at $4,999, but, at the time of this writing, the latest bid on the rare game cartridge was $98,601. According to BBC News, one Nintendo expert thinks the cartridge is likely to earn more, despite the item’s poor condition (a ripped label and the words “Mario” written on its casing), as genuine copies of Nintendo World Championships are hard to come by.
“[The writing on the case] is quite unfortunate but happened many decades ago by this point in time,” explained the seller in the auction’s description. “[S]omeone probably wrote on there long ago not having a clue what they actually had.”
Part of what makes the game so rare is the fact that only 116 copies of Nintendo World Championships were ever made. The game was designed for the actual Nintendo World Championships — a competition in 1990 that toured 29 cities in the U.S — but was never offered for sale to the general public. Each of the 90 semi-finalists at the Nintendo World Championships were given one for making it that far in the competition.
Nintendo specially designed the three mini-games for the competition’s format. Each contestant was given just a few minutes to play through all three of the shortened games and earn as many points as possible.
The auction will end on January 25.