More often than not, when you come across retro games on eBay you’re either buying from someone that has no idea what they’re selling or a god damned speculator, whom brought the original item as an ‘investment’. What you rarely some across is the game’s publisher offloading mint condition copies of their older games, which is exactly what Harvest Moon publisher Natsume are doing!
So for a reference point, to a retro game collector factory sealed SNES games are what hideous golden idols are to Indiana Jones, rare as fuck and extremely expensive! Natsume knows this better than anyone, with a sealed copy of their 1992 release Pocky and Rocky selling on their eBay store for $1,691.66 (USD)!
In an interview with Tiny Cartridge, community manager Cee Cee said Natsume first started selling on eBay because the storefront offers the flexibility Natsume requires to give its fans the exact bundles they want. Then some bright spark in the office came up with the idea to sell off the stacks of games and merchandise that were cluttering the work space.
“We’ve kept copies around of games for a variety of reasons. Review copies before digital distribution was a thing, warranty needs, etc,” Cee Cee explained. “Over time, these copies slowly added up until we had a fairly extensive collection of classic titles, just not in large numbers for any singular game.”
As of the time of writing, if you go to Natsumes eBay store you’ll find some fairly recent releases but nestled amongst the listings you’ll find two games that really stick out. There is another sealed, mint copy of the aforementioned Pocky and Rocky, which currently sits on $305 (USD), and an equally mint and sealed copy of Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, which is currently sitting at $610 (USD).
This could be an interesting new avenue for developers and publishers to explore, which would remove the speculator / middle man from the retro games market, with the profits of the sale going back to the creators. food for thought, perhaps?