Exposing Fraud And Deception In The Retro Video Game Market (Video)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by Flamin Joe, Aug 24, 2021.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Ah sorry. Just got back from the gym, was a bit woozy and far too hangry. Should have held off posting until after dinner. :)
     
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  2. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Grading is in the eyes of the beholder... Ive been holding off posting in this thread as ive been tending to more important tasks, however ive been enjoying the ride and the conversation/discussion is intresting to say the least.

    Love the viewpoints, and thanks for expanding my own viewpoint.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    And there in lies the stupidty of the whole process. As was pointed out in the video, because of this grading can and is being abused by collectors where if you are not happy with the grading you received you just simply break it out of the box and resubmit it again in the hope of catching the grader on a good day and getting a higher score.

    Until the day comes where grading can be computerised and an AI scans the item in it's entirety and grades it based off a huge database of previous gradings and does so with great accuracy, how an item gets its grading will always be a highly contentious point.
     
  4. power

    power Member

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    actually retail Sonic is cited as being somewhat rare, this is due to most copies being bundled and not sold at retail.
     
  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I don't believe that at all. I have two of them. One purchased original on release and one acquired in a larger bundle years ago.

    I remember seeing shelves full of them back in the day. Given Sonic debuted a full three years after the Megadrive (my original Megadrive came with Altered Beast pack in), there was plenty of need for retail copies, and they existed at scale.
     
  6. power

    power Member

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    hey i'm not saying this, others are - the one in the auction is a non ESRB version and it's sealed, that's quite a combo. NOT THAT I'M SAYING I PERSONALLY THINK IT'S WORTH THE $$$$. But it IS a rarer version.

     
  7. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Meh, Kohler glosses over it pretty quickly there (he's usually much better than that - one of the few remaining not-stupid games journos). Sonic hype was insane at the time, and three years of Megadrive/Genesis owners who wanted it meant it still sold in the millions.

    The other thing is US media is so insanely Nintendo-centric, it's really difficult for accurate Sega information to come to light over there.

    "Relatively few" is still rubbish for a mascot character of this magnitude. Only thing more rubbish is paying $400K for one.
     
  8. power

    power Member

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    to be fair, you know as well as I do that variants are sought after by collectors. This example fits that category - the price seems ludicrous of course.
     
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  9. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I'm not disputing that. I'm disputing what is being hyped as "rare" for the asking price.

    There are quite genuinely some insanely rare Megadrive games. None of them feature the company mascot, nor were printed in MILLIONS of copies.
     
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  10. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    like michael jackson moonwalker rare.

    rare that anyone would want to play it that is :leet:
     
  11. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Another one I bought retail on release and still have in my collection. Maybe I'm a millionaire and I don't even know it?
     
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  12. power

    power Member

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    rare common games are a definite subset of collecting, there are people out there that pay stupid money for things like sealed budget re-releases because of low print runs.

    I got a rare/expensive game for free, it happens. It has genuine value not like a WATA graded Sonic tho, lol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
  13. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    There was a period where people were dumping whole collections for peanuts where I managed to pick up multiples of things considered "rare". At the time it was legitimately easier to buy bundles rather than individual games for the asking prices (I'd get dozens of games for $100 and the seller thought they were "ripping me off"), which landed me with some pretty interesting games across several generations of hardware (rare Saturn games that go for eye watering prices today).

    It all reflects the utterly stupid concept of hype and herd mentality to me. I'm not sitting here rubbing my hands with glee that it's all worth squillions today. I think it's properly silly that people are so easy to froth up into a frenzy.

    And for all this talk of "the bubble bursting", I just don't think it will. The hype around old games has only gotten steadily more insane over the last 15 years, and if people think this is a 2 year flash in the pan, they're underestimating the force of the people who are attempting to extract money from suckers.

    At this point I'm recommending to anyone who asks to "pirate" old games, unless you can find someone selling them to you first party. The crazy train has well and truly left the station when it comes to old games, and screaming "physical for life!" isn't doing anything to help anyone (particularly not in a world of patching, online, DLC and console CBOMB style problems). Ditto for people like Limited Run who are just as scummy as WATA in my humble opinion, outright weaponising hype and FOMO.

    At time of writing, the only people I have any respect for are GOG. DRM-free digital is, right now, the only viable option for long term video game sensibleness.
     
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  14. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Yes thank goodness for GOG, I'm amazed that they've gotten as far as they have with their no-DRM stance with the bigger publishers and hey look, they're all making money. I love that they offer offline backup installers :cool:
     
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  15. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    If you're a technical type, check out GOGRepo:
    https://github.com/eddie3/gogrepo

    Set of python tools to automatically download, refresh and update your entire GOG collection.

    I have mine scripted every month to grab every game I've purchased as well as any updates to existing games. That's all sitting on my NAS, which itself has a checksummed file system with snapshots, and backups go to the cloud.

    Even if GOG vanish overnight I still have my working copies. And because they're digital I don't need to rip/dump them to work on alternative hardware, unlike physical media. I can also trivially make backups, unlike physical media. And of course, because it's all DRM free, it'll work on anything I want, including compatibility/emulation layers on different hardware and operating systems.

    This is the way.
     
  16. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    i wish they had a subscription model to go with exisiting options.
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Kinda defeats the purpose of DRM-free, no?
     
  18. greencamel65

    greencamel65 Member

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    1 month sub + GOGRepo = :D?
     
  19. CRTified

    CRTified Member

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    There was a talk at Vogons, "Market value for popular or rare classic computer hardware". It seems in some ways analogous to parts of this topic. Similar points were made about the different kinds of owner, and economic factors. The main common element is time, eroding a once-plentiful supply down to a small fraction left available. That small fraction now mostly held by covetous hands.

    Note: This is no justification for stupid ebay prices or grading manipulations, which I consider to be separate matters albeit-connected. It's simply the more general (and shameful) reality that almost everybody (including half of us) threw out much of their old computer gear years ago, and their game consoles too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
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  20. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I think the big issue here is that the "small fraction left available" is still a more plentiful supply than the people hyping prices are alluding too.

    There is zero justification for things that exist at this scale to reach $400,000 in "value". And when the people saying it is that valuable are members of investment groups paying that sort of money, it all becomes pretty obvious how much of a lie the whole thing is.

    If I took a dump, snap froze it, valued it at a million dollars, put it up for auction, bought it from myself at a million dollars, then convinced a click-bait-hungry online journalist to do a news article on it, would that be "clever marketing" too? Could I convince everyone else to blame all the other people for flushing their precious turds away?

    There's certainly some argument for rising video game prices, I'll grant anyone that. This whole "grade it and buy it from myself" thing is something radically different.
     

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