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This Legend of Zelda NES cartridge just sold for almost $1 million

The $870,000 price shatters the old record for the most expensive video game ever sold.

legend of zelda on nes
Image: KnowTechie

There’s a new record for the most expensive video game ever sold. Earlier today, a sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda for the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) sold for a whopping $870,000 at a Heritage Auction.

This shatters the record for the previous most expensive game ever, a copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES sold a few months ago for $660,000.

We initially reported on this particular auction earlier this week, after the video game initially hit the auction block with an initial bid of over $100,000. Since that time, the auction blew past all expectations, racking up 44 total bids and blowing the old record out of the water.

legend of zelda sealed copy sells for $870,000
Screenshot: The Verge

The reason for such a high price tag on this particular cartridge all boils down to its rarity. This cartridge was only produced for a few months in 1987 and is considered one of the rarest video game cartridges of all time. In fact, only one copy of a variant rarer than this is known to exist in the world. Check out what the auction listing says about this cartridge:

“None of the copies we’ve offered of this title previously could even attempt to hold a candle to this one due to its incredibly rare variant that holds early production status…This is the only copy from one of the earliest production runs that we’ve ever had the opportunity to offer, and, possibly will have the opportunity to offer, for many years to come.”

READ MORE: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel has been delayed

If there was any doubt previously about the seriousness of retro video games as collectibles prior to the sale of this cartridge, surely those doubts have been squashed now. There aren’t many collectibles in the world that fetch six figures, much less one single item being sold for almost $1 million.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

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