Jump to content
GoldenWheels

Exposing fraud and deception in the retro video game market

Recommended Posts

 

How difficult would it be to establish a competing game-grading "authority"? 

 

Obviously it will take some time to gain a reputation in the marketplace, but if the fees are lower than WATA it should be possible to attract some business and grow from there. Maybe find a specialized niche -- start by focussing on pre-NES games, for example. 

 

Rather than complain about someone else making all of money, find a way to become involved! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, jhd said:

How difficult would it be to establish a competing game-grading "authority"?

There already is one - VGA. Watch the beginning of that vid, it's well explained how WATA and Heritage completely leapfrogged them, thanks to aggresive promo campaigns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Keatah said:

The only timeless things are the "game program" and backdrop story of the game and memories it created when we enjoyed the stuff as kids. When it was new.

Hey, maybe SOME people just threw out the manuals, but for me reading the manual was always a big part of the experience, especially when I got stuck. Some games get a lot better when you realize what that button does 😜 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, youxia said:

There already is one - VGA. Watch the beginning of that vid, it's well explained how WATA and Heritage completely leapfrogged them, thanks to aggresive promo campaigns.

VGA is a joke, too. But what's crazy is that whenever I see anything on grading I think of VGA first. I had no idea about WATA and Heritage. Guess it "pays" to stay out of the stupid loop.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. I wonder how hard it would be to teach oneself to validly appraise these things as far as condition goes... I mean, the only real point of grading is to grade -condition-.

 

The question, I suppose, is how you'd properly CLASSIFY the condition of a video game.

 

How important are things like the condition of the box, label, and even the cartridge plastic as opposed to the current state of the internal electronics?  Most "normal" grading is for things that are generally uniform and static -- cards, coins, comics.  A video game isn't necessarily composed of moving parts, but it's not as simple as "this doesn't deviate from the standard press/printing."

 

I mean, arguably the main point of grading a coin/card/comic is to show that the item isn't damaged in away way, as the damage would impact the visual quality of the item (and, in the case of cards and comics, thus degrade the primary purpose of the item).  A video game cartridge could be in HORRIBLE condition, but if it still plays it reproduces its primary function perfectly.  A card that is scratched can't be viewed as clearly as a mint card; a record or comic that is scuffed can't be enjoyed as well as brand new original.  A video game, on the other hand, will generally produce the same experience as long as it isn't "broken."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, DavidD said:

Quote Snip

I think most of us could literally use Wata sites own descriptions about criteria for particular grades and copy cat what they would typically rate things. There is literally nothing stopping anyone actually doing this. I guess having some understanding about plastic wrap and how a new one and an old one looks like would be beneficial and the only real technical thing involved. Yes seal stickers too, but not all games came with these things either. 

 

The other truth of course, is if you can fake those two things, there is no guarantee that what is claimed inside is inside. Even if you were to 'x ray' it in some way to make sure a cart or cd is in there, there is no guarantee that game is an original and not a repro.

 

This invester led buy in to the video game industry will just decimate the retro collecting community and emulation will become the only solution. And then they will be sat on games that only them and their chums can afford to buy. They can hope that 10 years later another chummy investor will pay more than what they did for their game in the hopes that ten years later someone will do the same but eventually it will end. Its a subtle pyramid scheme that pretends its not by looking like a triangle instead.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

This invester led buy in to the video game industry will just decimate the retro collecting community and emulation will become the only solution. And then they will be sat on games that only them and their chums can afford to buy. They can hope that 10 years later another chummy investor will pay more than what they did for their game in the hopes that ten years later someone will do the same but eventually it will end. Its a subtle pyramid scheme that pretends its not by looking like a triangle instead.

There's a bubble coming.  Lots of people started hording games when game prices started making the news and now everyone thinks that their games are worth their weight in gold.  While there are a lot of very wealthy nerds out there that might pay these outrageous prices, there aren't enough of them to support it in the long term.  Smarter collector/sellers will adjust their pricing accordingly, but people who got into it late and just to flip games will stubbornly hold out because they're sure that their games are worth what they paid for them even if all the evidence points otherwise.  Those are the people who will eventually give up and dump them at a loss just to be rid of a bad investment. That's what will start the pricing freefall.

 

Not to mention that the current 'desirable era' of games is constantly shifting due to people aging out of the hobby and younger people coming into extra spending money.   People generally want to collect for the systems they grew up with, so right now that's shifting away from Atari/CV/Intellivision and towards Nintendo/Sega systems.  Holding onto games from a certain era for too long as a bit of risk to it.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tempest said:

There's a bubble coming.  Lots of people started hording games when game prices started making the news and now everyone thinks that their games are worth their weight in gold.  While there are a lot of very wealthy nerds out there that might pay these outrageous prices, there aren't enough of them to support it in the long term.  Smarter collector/sellers will adjust their pricing accordingly, but people who got into it late and just to flip games will stubbornly hold out because they're sure that their games are worth what they paid for them even if all the evidence points otherwise.  Those are the people who will eventually give up and dump them at a loss just to be rid of a bad investment. That's what will start the pricing freefall.

 

Not to mention that the current 'desirable era' of games is constantly shifting due to people aging out of the hobby and younger people coming into extra spending money.   People generally want to collect for the systems they grew up with, so right now that's shifting away from Atari/CV/Intellivision and towards Nintendo/Sega systems.  Holding onto games from a certain era for too long as a bit of risk to it.

I fully agree with this assertion plus I think that the changing climate with folks staying at home also will have some minor role in it as well. 

 

Comparing to a more 'modern' media, the NES and SNES Minis were scalped crazy heavy at the time of release but for the most part I've seen prices steadily fall for these between eBay and FB Marketplace.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tempest said:

While there are a lot of very wealthy nerds out there that might pay these outrageous prices, there aren't enough of them to support it in the long term.  Smarter collector/sellers will adjust their pricing accordingly, but people who got into it late and just to flip games will stubbornly hold out because they're sure that their games are worth what they paid for them even if all the evidence points otherwise. 

 

My Father was a casual coin collector in the 1960s and 1970s; he amassed a modest-size collection, but he never joined any clubs, went to shows, read books, etc. 

 

Around 2000 when he retired, he sold the entire collection to help fund the move, etc. He was very upset to discover that what people were actually willing to pay was some small fraction of the "book value" of the collection. Accounting for inflation, he may have even lost money on this "investment". I do not know if he missed the window to sell this stuff (were prices higher in the 1980s and 1990s?), but he certainly did not get rich from the sale of his collection. 

 

Another point is that eventually all of these collectors/hoarders are eventually going to die, and their estates will then be dumping their precious collections for whatever they can get. My Grandfather owned a massive number of vinyl records (religious material, not pop music) that we literally could not give away after his death. People refused to take them for free.  

Edited by jhd
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, jhd said:

 

My Father was a casual coin collector in the 1960s and 1970s; he amassed a modest-size collection, but he never joined any clubs, went to shows, read books, etc. 

 

Around 2000 when he retired, he sold the entire collection to help fund the move, etc. He was very upset to discover that what people were actually willing to pay was some small fraction of the "book value" of the collection. Accounting for inflation, he may have even lost money on this "investment". I do not know if he missed the window to sell this stuff (were prices higher in the 1980s and 1990s?), but he certainly did not get rich from the sale of his collection. 

 

Another point is that eventually all of these collectors/hoarders are eventually going to die, and their estates will then be dumping their precious collections for whatever they can get. My Grandfather owned a massive number of vinyl records (religious material, not pop music) that we literally could not give away after his death. People refused to take them for free.  

Coins are a volatile market.  I have a friend who knows what he's doing but even he gets caught off guard now and then.  

 

Yeah religious records have a very limited appeal.  Most people who would want to listen to that kind of thing have passed away by now or switched to CDs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

This invester led buy in to the video game industry will just decimate the retro collecting community and emulation will become the only solution. And then they will be sat on games that only them and their chums can afford to buy. They can hope that 10 years later another chummy investor will pay more than what they did for their game in the hopes that ten years later someone will do the same but eventually it will end. Its a subtle pyramid scheme that pretends its not by looking like a triangle instead.

It is frustrating to see people give up on, say, the Turbografx 16/PC Engine because everything is so expensive. Hell, I want to own a Virtual Boy before I die, but it’s too pricey just to satisfy my curiosity.

 

But at least there are AMAZING ODEs and SD card carts for virtually every system under the sun at this point. And there are still systems where most of the best games are cheap, notably the Game Boy and Game Gear, and even the 2600 and 7800 (to a lesser extent).

 

I have been going through a personal 2600 and 7800 revival, not least because even now I can walk into multiple local junk stores and for $20 walk out with five or six games that are new to me. I have low standards for fun, but many of them are objectively a lot of fun. I have had a similar experience with the Game Boy and Game Gear. There’s nothing like finding a complete in box game for $8 like Hexcite that is a brand new experience and entertains you for weeks. Sure there are better deals in the digital space, but after years of a lengthening Steam and Wii U and Switch and PS3 and PSVita backlog I’m pretty burned out on downloads and games that demand an hour of my limited time before they even start getting fun.

 

One aspect we’re not discussing (because this is the classic gaming forum) is all of the limited edition games coming out for modern systems lately. I like having music on physical media, and I buy them for that reason. But if I miss one I want and go looking for it later, I find dozens of sealed copies and only very very rarely an opened copy. So many people are buying these just to sit on them and resell them. At some point those people are going to be burned hard.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, jgkspsx said:

I have been going through a personal 2600 and 7800 revival, not least because even now I can walk into multiple local junk stores and for $20 walk out with five or six games that are new to me. I have low standards for fun, but many of them are objectively a lot of fun.

Whatever is fun is fun! High standards. Low standards. Matters not.

 

9 hours ago, jgkspsx said:

So many people are buying these just to sit on them and resell them. At some point those people are going to be burned hard.

I wanna be there to see it!

 

9 hours ago, jgkspsx said:

Sure there are better deals in the digital space, but after years of a lengthening Steam and Wii U and Switch and PS3 and PSVita backlog I’m pretty burned out on downloads and games that demand an hour of my limited time before they even start getting fun.

Overall modern games are just.. too.. much.. Gaming is supposed to be s simpler and relaxing hobby more or less.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

This investor led buy in to the video game industry will just decimate the retro collecting community and emulation will become the only solution. And then they will be sat on games that only them and their chums can afford to buy. They can hope that 10 years later another chummy investor will pay more than what they did for their game in the hopes that ten years later someone will do the same but eventually it will end. Its a subtle pyramid scheme that pretends its not by looking like a triangle instead.

I'm perfectly ok with that too. And I'd like to see those "investors" try and fuck up the emulation scene. Not that they're interested in piddly minutiae like emulators in the first place. Having made the jump to emulation in mid-1990's - I have logged far more time with emulators than actual hardware by manyfold. Going back to cart collecting would be as difficult for me as it would be for someone who is a die-hard combo of realgamer & casualcollector. And that is ok.

 

Precisely exactly how it was back in the day is overrated IMHO. If one is willing to accept some differences (not better or worse, but different) the advantages of emulation are huge. Like I hadn't had to do a color adjust on Stella in years, maybe even a decade or more. Zero drift. Though I have played with Altirra's colors for fun, like getting an amber screen or the blue-white phosphor of 1970's television sets.

 

All this investing and worrying and scamming. Isn't for me. Pay someone else to do it and just watch the bottom line grow. I win. They win.

  • Like 2
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Keatah said:

the advantages of emulation are huge

Dude...come on. This topic is about speculector shams :)

  • Like 4
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/24/2021 at 5:28 PM, Keatah said:

All this exemplifies why I do emulation! leaving.gif.ceb7cf4377c941ec2371c6c88c631a93.gif

..and why I call these "collectors" what I call them.

 

 

 

 

 

Psst.. I really didn't need make a post here, but, I was too lazy to scroll up and click on the [Follow] button. By making a post I get auto-follow. And the deed is done.

Amen to emulation.  Have loved exploring lots of systems that have gotten up in price such as the Sega Saturn.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/24/2021 at 3:10 AM, NinjaWarrior said:

Jeff Meyer was the one that shut NintendoAge down

 

We need to stop Grading Games

They can grade them all they want. I'll never buy one.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All these shams and shenanigans, I guess every hobby has them. All that's needed is a vehicle of some sort, a framework of some sort, to permit the higher class to compete and show off to each other. None of this. NONE of it, should affect the hobbyist in any way shape or form. Hobbyists can and do enjoy the essence of the hobby with homebrew material (systems, dumps, emulation, recreations, re-releases) regardless of what the powerful "elites" think.

 

I don't really know how extensive or widespread this shamming goes. Or how many different consoles/systems it extends to. I've seen some attempts at pricing Apple II disks and select pieces of hardware arbitrarily high. Certain titles always pop up at like the $100 mark or 200 or 500 mark. And they are sometimes listed by separate/different sellers. Once in a while the stuff sells, mostly it languishes there for years.

 

None of it is at the elite price levels spoken of in this thread. And none of it is worth it anyways. But the attempts at trying to jump-start a "market" are plainly visible.

 

Granted ebay and elite auctions are two different worlds. But the later can grow from the former.

 

17 minutes ago, KylJoy said:

They can grade then all they want. I'll never buy one.

Indeed. I wouldn't either. Especially from sellers with names like "flip4U" or "flippingthefuture". That just screams hoity-toity. Be fucking damned if I ever donate to your hellspawn's ivy-league edzhukashun. Woot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/26/2021 at 1:28 PM, Tempest said:

People generally want to collect for the systems they grew up with, so right now that's shifting away from Atari/CV/Intellivision and towards Nintendo/Sega systems.  Holding onto games from a certain era for too long as a bit of risk to it.

 

I think that already happened at least 10 years ago. NES, SNES,etc. games have been going up and up since those born in the late 70's and early 80's got to the stage in life to have disposable income. Some of them like Atari but not many. Spending big cash now includes kids from the 90's cause they are all hitting 30ish too. There are always those that do very well financially at a younger age which means they have $$$$ to drop and it's not on Atari. Atari has not been part of the day to day big money game market for a long time. Heavy hitters and super rares that have eluded older collectors still fetch top dollar but over the last decade the general interest in collecting and spending on those older machines has gone down to a fraction of what it once was. If you go dollar for dollar on public transactions alone the difference is gigantic. That doesn't even include the private sales as some NES era game sell privately for huge money. Some Atari stuff might as well but not like the NES does. I'd even go as far to say that there is more money spent on N64 and early disc based machines than Atari in today's market.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t think 7800 Midnight Mutants, Motor Psycho, Fatal Run, or Ikari Warriors were made in tiny quantities (because Atari seemed to overproduce EVERYTHING); but they all sell for ~$100 loose in North America.
 

Having recently started expanding my 2600 collection again, which I mostly built from 1996-2001, I can say that plenty of uncommon-at-best games are individually listed on eBay or Amazon at prices I am more accustomed to seeing for desirable Genesis games. Even my local junk stores are asking for $5+ for common games. And I can’t find a Fairchild Channel F for cheaper than a PS4 or an Xbone. The only way I’m adding to my collection is through kind people here and through buying huge lots with lots of games I already have (and I can’t spare the storage space to do anymore of that).
 

So at least to me the pre-16 bit games seem to have cooled off much. Maybe I missed the real boom, but this looks way too expensive to be any kind of bust.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it was MGC 2018 that I saw the WATA booth and their marketing info, and something just didn't seem right to me.  Why are you experts, etc...  But wow, I had no idea how deep that rabbit hole would go!

Also thanks to this thread for leading me to the Chasing Ghosts documentary.  I didn't know about that one, only saw King of Kong - spoiler alert, Billy Mitchell is still a dick.  :D

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The emergence of professional grading and classification has transformed the space, making it easier for buyers to assess the condition of their purchases. And while game collecting was, in the past, a hobby confined to eBay, Reddit, Facebook groups and forums, interest from high-profile auctions houses is helping boost prices by opening the market to new collectors, from traditional art investors to comic book and trading card enthusiasts.

Why your old video games may be worth millions - CNN, 16th August 2021. A penny for what were the thoughts of the author of this clueless puff-piece, when  Karl's video dropped only a week later.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...