Its imminent home console release in 1993 sent swarms of children running to the streets to shout its name. Now, all these years later, the Super Nintendo port of Mortal Kombat is giving people fresh reason to scream, fetching a staggering five figure sale price at a recent auction. Read on for details:
Goldin Auctions received eighteen bids on a WATA graded 9.8 sealed copy of the SNES home port [pictured below], closing sale at a mind-boggling $79,200.00 (including buyer's premium). The auction house touts the "Made in Japan" label and WATA Games A+ rated "First-Party V-Seam" in the items description.
The WATA Games grading service came to attention in July with a similar auction sale of Super Mario 64 for $1.5 million dollars. The auction price raised eyebrows not just for its incredible total, but also for the highly irregular increase from similar sales.
An ungraded "like new" box copy of SNES Mortal Kombat can be bought privately through eBay for as little as $79.95, presenting an almost 990% increase if purchased under the gavel with professional grading.
Accusations of alleged fraud and business misconduct have been levelled at WATA Games co-founder Mark Haspel, who breached conflict of interest policies by privately selling graded games. The company was also found to be leveraging undisclosed relationships between Heritage Auctions co-founder and WATA board member/investor, James Halperin, to promote the company, and inflate the value of games.
An extensive investigation into the deceptive practises behind the growing speculation bubble has been documented by Karl Jobst in his YouTube editorials Exposing FRAUD And DECEPTION In The Retro Video Game Market and The Retro Video Game Scam Gets Worse.... He unravels various alleged dishonest practises at WATA Games, including shill bidding, rife misrepresentation, and perjury.
[Related Article: Digital Foundry Examines Original Mortal Kombat Ports]
The SNES version of Mortal Kombat was notorious for removing fatality finishing moves the game was famous for, and replacing blood with dubious "sweat". Despite these unpopular deficiencies, the once reviled port has grown in esteem, and will no doubt be a source of nostalgia as we approach the 30th anniversary of the original arcade release.
Would you buy or sell a copy of Mortal Kombat for more than $70 thousand dollars? Share your thoughts about this story in the comments below and go deeper into retro in the 2D Kombat Klassics forum!