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GoldenWheels

Exposing fraud and deception in the retro video game market

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52 minutes ago, youxia said:

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.

Yes, and the original video refers to what was stated by the Washington Post. It does seem like the media opted for the sensational headline over investigative journalism. btw-Bezos owns the Washington Post.

 

Atari reference - 46:12 if your browser doesn't handle timestamps correctly

 

The above is merely from a section of the video where the author discusses possible directions things may go, but since this is AtariAge, I thought it might be of some interest.

 

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9 hours ago, thanatos said:

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!

I always thought the same thing.  Suddenly some company shows up claiming that they're the be all and end all authority in video game value, and my thought was always "Who are you and who made you the authority on this?".  The answer of course is no one.  They just claimed they were, had some slick marketing, and everyone just sort of accepted it.  I should have started a prototype authenticating service and made... well nothing because that's pretty niche, but it would have made about as much sense.

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6 minutes ago, Tempest said:

I always thought the same thing.  Suddenly some company shows up claiming that they're the be all and end all authority in video game value, and my thought was always "Who are you and who made you the authority on this?".  The answer of course is no one.  They just claimed they were, had some slick marketing, and everyone just sort of accepted it.  I should have started a prototype authenticating service and made... well nothing because that's pretty niche, but it would have made about as much sense.

At least the protos are indeed 'rare' though in that they are quite limited in their numbers that might be out there.

 

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That almost seems like insider trading. What’s the fix? Regulation of old game grading houses?

 

Someone had to pony up the money to put for these, seems there’s a need for “buyer beware” here. Did they just get caught up in the bidding war?

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@thread

 

One obvious side effect. A reliable utuber (shown in the original video) has stated that he received an email from VGA, indicating changes they intend to make. It does make sense that they would use this situation to their advantage.

 

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So. How do they know the condition of the cartridge and manual without opening it? Because opening halves the value.

 

"The market for vintage games is rapidly evolving, with auction houses taking notice and game-grading services, like Wata Games, providing certification for the emerging market. (Wata had given the record-breaking Mario game a near-perfect score of 9.8 out of 10, based on the condition of the box, cartridge and manual). An expert nod of approval can now transform a yard sale copy of "Pokémon" into an investment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars."

 

"The "holy grails" are unopened, shrink-wrapped early editions of iconic titles. "If you open it, the value of the game halves," Dillon explained."

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Also want to ask about "Limited Run Games". Are they also trying to create an artificial collector's market? Certainly they're not doing it for the good of the hobby and the enjoyment of games - because the stuff is simply not available to the average player.

 

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A mix of the WATA clown car are former NintendoAge big name types who took up amateur inspection and assistance on figuring stuff out so people could have an idea what they'd probably grade at with VGA more or less, they were helpful, leaders(mods etc) of that place too.  I guess knowing how VGA had holes where they allowed weird stuff to submit(liek the famous cereal image, and frankensteined CIB games, etc) they saw an opening.  What people didn't realize though and just got mouthed days ago by VGA as an aside in passing, they DO keep pop reports and have all along. Which in itself is shady as shit having not made that public.

 

The NA roots got deep given you had the buy out, the scum who bought it out worked for WATA at the time, Dain got out before hand seeing stank, yet WATA like bums left him in the paperwork early on publicly to try and gin up support like slime.  There's a whole bit of added info trickling out as things are clarified from what Karl wrote over at videogamesage's thread on this bs as various players (karl, dain, etc) are showing up and it's making thing look even worse than they do if you read that now 100+ page mess. (TO be fair, 1/2 the thread or more started as mocking those idiotic prices.)

 

WATA maybe worried.  That VGA snippet said they're going 2.0 on themselves.  New double sized facility expansion, rapid fire turn around times compared to before(and others), standards, and they're making the POP reports, all of them, PUBLIC.  Let' see how WATA feels once you get over a decade of VGA grade values, totals, sales info under that for monetary value.  Suddenly that $2M Mario and that 1.5M SM64 are going to look utter stupid, reckless, and outright defrauding their own consumers.  But but...9.8 is so rare, it's so....and some sheet of 95 95+ VGA golds pop up of the same game selling for like what... 1-3% of that price?  That won't help validate that stupidity in the slightest.

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10 hours ago, Keatah said:

Also want to ask about "Limited Run Games". Are they also trying to create an artificial collector's market? Certainly they're not doing it for the good of the hobby and the enjoyment of games - because the stuff is simply not available to the average player.

Despite the name, they have shifted to offering open pre-orders for almost everything. They’ll make as many copies as people order. That reduces the risks of overproducing physical copies, something that happened frequently in the past and led to awesome bargain bin finds but also hurt a lot of publishers.
 

It sucks that games don’t stay in print these days but pretty much all Switch games are limited runs ultimately. I would love to see more second runs of popular games that sold out, as Monster Boy Returns is getting courtesy LRG later this year.

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Errr, conflated two Wonder Boys. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. Orders are open now if you are looking for one!

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On 8/23/2021 at 4:00 PM, GoldenWheels said:

I tacked this video on to one of the threads regarding one of the Super Mario Bros sales, but I think it deserves its own thread. Almost an hour, but Karl does very detailed work. Totally worth the watch for sure if...if you are even here seeing this thread on a video game forum....or if you "collect" at all.

 

Not news to many of us, but video games are being taken the way of coins, comics books, and baseball cards. Sometimes by the same people/companies...that to me is the very interesting part here.

 

 

 

should be on the front page/home page/news page of every Forum in the classic/retro video gaming world!

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It is, people are spreading it now as I hoped.  Reddit spaces in gaming have it.  VGS has it, we have it, other forums I'm aware of have it, Kotaku picked it up so now more media outlets are covering this shame train.  Some seem to be at least at some level not trying to peddle insta-story and looking into the claims a little given comments I've read where they're getting similar conclusions of sharks in the water and smelling epic levels of bullshit.

 

Investor youtube spaces around collectibles are picking up on it too and dragging that twat Halprin through the mud pulling up his record of his fan fine on the coin manipulation, also years later with comics where he dodged being wallet slapped, and dropping warnings not to be his next sucker with gaming.  Coupled with the media picking up on VGA being around so long and actually trusted, but also not having a conflict of interest given they don't peddle games or influence with auction houses now going to put ALL their data out in population reports this is going to sting WATA/HA where it hurts.  If VGA comes back with a lot of rolled over like for like quality grades on games to validate the 2M scam that was SMB and the 1.5 one for Mario64 it's going to really put some cracks into people trusting to pay up on their crap.

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Make'm bastards squirm! Ha!

..but man I wish vidyahgamez didn't attract so much 2nd rate schmucks.

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Proof seems to think this videogame (and other collectibles) bubble will cause another 2008 financial crisis. But videogames are not as important as real estate. Pretty much everyone knows that. Most everyone that plays them is small-time.

 

And of course we have "more" internet to raise awareness. 2008's internet was still fresh out of the dotcom bubble.

 

Second thought, as the game makes its rounds, it's price will continue to increase. This wata dustup just adds more appeal to it. Perpetual motion.

 

 

Edited by Keatah

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18 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

should be on the front page/home page/news page of every Forum in the classic/retro video gaming world!

Needs  to be in mainstream media replacing  their bullshit headlines that what's in your attic may be worth millions

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After watching some exposés on videogame collectors, the smaller ones with overactive youtube channels, I'm convinced I did the right thing by not getting in on this artificial bandwagon.

 

I am further dismayed (but again not totally surprised) in how the common game player worships and makes donations to these scammers.

 

Additionally why is it always some obscure game (and the games that suck) that always get highlighted and churned through the collection scene? It's rhetorical, just mentioning it.

 

And one of these scammers offers to answer questions, if you pay them. Now get fucking real. There isn't a question (past present future) about videogames that cannot be answered for free through google, an online forum, or wikipedia.

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@thread

 

Another new gem from Seth:

Quote

Video Game Grading House WATA Told the New York Times That Its Employees Can't Sell WATA-Graded Games Due to Conflicts of Interest. So Why Did One of Its SEC-Listed Co-Founders Just Sell Me Three?

the actual article about the above from just hours ago

 

See the Karl Jobst twitter link for more. Another vid announced to be on the way.

 

#6

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BTW guys, I won't shill for too many "content creators", and I don't know/work for/etc Karl. But he has great vids, including some on Billy Mitchell (Insert cringe shudder here) and speedrunning in general which is....as someone who has NEVER sped run....really interesting stuff.

 

 

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Honestly, this hubbub has ironically made me want a graded game more! Y'know, so in 10 years when my niece asks why that one game is in a big plastic slab, I can tell her the tale of the scam artists who got the world to think a commonplace game was worth millions. 🤣

 

Not paying current prices though- maybe if the bubble bursts hard enough I can get something cheap after the fact.

On 8/28/2021 at 12:10 PM, Keatah said:

Also want to ask about "Limited Run Games". Are they also trying to create an artificial collector's market? Certainly they're not doing it for the good of the hobby and the enjoyment of games - because the stuff is simply not available to the average player.

 

Nah- LRG's a lot more transparent. They tell you how many are made, or if it's an open preorder. They told us when Best Buy joined up to carry some of their releases. Most importantly- they make it clear they don't retain any rights to anything they print, so devs can absolutely do a proper retail release later. And they have- most famously Streets of Rage 4, when the retail release was announced the day after LRG's pre-orders closed. People were not happy- but they let you cancel your order if you wanted the retail version instead.

 

Limited Run is more like any other specialty collector-market publisher... the price-gouging is something we do to each other, they don't profit from it (directly anyway.)

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11 hours ago, GoldenWheels said:

BTW guys, I won't shill for too many "content creators", and I don't know/work for/etc Karl. But he has great vids, including some on Billy Mitchell (Insert cringe shudder here) and speedrunning in general which is....as someone who has NEVER sped run....really interesting stuff.

 

 

I really enjoy Karl and Summoning Salt's speed run mini documentaries. Its fascinating to see what crazy stuff people come up with to drop times.

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Cheers!

 

I find all this hilarious.  When I die, if there is a market for retro games and consoles, my stuff will be a really nifty series of gems and bombs when it hits the open market.

 

Not because I own a bunch of holy grails or anything (although maybe I have a small handful), but because my stuff is shamelessly mixed with repros and home-made one-of-a-kinds.  

 

_I_ know which are which, but it's gonna take a heckofan expert to figure it out without me.

 

Is that a real Tooth Protectors? Yes. A real NTSC Asterix? No. A real Malagai?  ... Kind of.

 

I never curated my collection with the intention of anyone liquidating it. It was, and is, a living bunch of games that I try to keep working. I've been doing this for years, on and off, while also dealing with real life. It's stuff I think all the background stories are entertaining.

 

When this weird legacy hits the market, if it ever does, it will be a cool bunch of puzzles and pranks. I'll be laughing in my grave. Assuming the market exists.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Punisher5.0 said:

I really enjoy Karl and Summoning Salt's speed run mini documentaries. Its fascinating to see what crazy stuff people come up with to drop times.

Absolutely, he has EXCELLENT videos as well. They are an interchangeable  1a and 1b to me.

 

"and then...this happened"....I can almost hear the music! XD

 

Seriously guys, I have never sped run anything, and never will....but watching vids which detail speedruns and speedrun records can be freakin' fascinating. Nobody breaks games, just out and out abuses/magnifies every mechanic and programming flaw, like speedrunners.

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How about this one? Someone selling an uncommon game (less than 5000 copies known to exist) and gets a message that he is asking too little money, more or less damaging the value by selling one copy below the going rate. I would think it is made up, but I doubt it is.

 

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