A few years back, the city of Glendale acquired a building that contained 50 arcade games that had been abandoned. Because of changes made to how redevelopment funds are allocated, they’ve been forced to keep the games in storage, while they figure out what to do with them. After looking into the matter, they’re now prepared to sell off their games in a mouth watering arcade auction.
In the process, we think they’re going to get a valuable lesson in arcade economics.
According to the LA Times, the value that the city is placing on the collection is approximately $100,000. Prices on each game vary of course, but apparently the estimates are $900 – $7000 per game depending on the title.
Since the city is going to hold an auction, we’ll find out exactly what the spot market value is, but we think their estimates are laughable, especially when you consider that they’re requiring the winning buyer to do the purchase as a bulk lot instead of piecing out the games individually.
While there are some games out there that can fetch more than $900, these titles tend to be highly collectible and from what we’ve seen of the Glendale auction, the rare titles are long gone.
Games like NBA Hang Time, Tekken 2 and Mortal Kombat all have a following, but they also routinely sell for less than $500 in perfect restored condition. When you consider that most of these games have been in storage for years, it’s pretty doubtful that many will work when they are turned on. Arcade games hate to be left alone and if you don’t fire up their capacitors every now and then, they have a tendency of failing when they are stressed after a long nap. If a game doesn’t work, Glendale will be lucky to get $100 per title.
We’ll have to wait and see what the total comes in at, but the whisper number that we’ve heard from our arcade sources pegs the value of the lot at $9,500. Since there are only a handful of qualified bidders who can absorb that many games, we’ll be surprised if it tops $10,000 even with the extra publicity that the story has brought.
Don’t believe our estimates? Check out the eXcellent eXidy price guide to see price ranges for what different titles sell for and then apply a wholesale discount. Still think our number is funny? Check back again once the auction has closed and we’ll post the final total to see how far our guess was off.