Not a day goes by that Yuji Naka doesn't think about what his true blue creation Sonic the Hedgehog is up to, especially during his 30th anniversary. On Monday, he was shocked to see that a Wata A-graded copy of the 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog cartridge was being auctioned off at a gobsmacking price of $430,500. The high auction price prompted the Sonic creator to take to Twitter to question its legitimacy, asking whether it was a scam.
On September 19, as reported by IGN, Goldin Auctions announced the final sale price for the 1991 classic Sonic game was an all-time record for any Sega Genesis game that came before it. After seeing the announcement, Naka quote-tweeted the post with the $430,500 price and pondered whether his magnum opus could ever be worth that much or more. "That's a scam, right? I wondered if it was time for Sonic to reach a high," he said in a thread on Twitter.
🦔What's this https://t.co/U6BkQaWgHz— Yuji Naka / 中 裕司 (@nakayuji) September 21, 2021
Bidding for the cartridge started at a minimum of $75,000, and 21 people have placed their bids to raise it to its final auction price.
Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin responded to Naka's tweet yesterday, reassuring him that the cartridge's final auction price is "a geniune sale to a real buyer" on his platform, and that the high auction price is due to the increasing demand of the video game market.
"The video game market is heating up and we are thrilled to be a part of it, this was our first venture into the category," Goldin wrote. "Just as millions of fans from around the world have purchased Sonic games, they also want to own the original Sonic, a piece of history."
Goldin also said he reached out to Naka in his DM's to discuss his business, but he has not responded.
The auction for the Sonic 1 cartridge comes one month after a factory-sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. was sold for a record-breaking $2 million at auction. However, Naka's followers replied that they're calling the auction of the Sonic 1 cartridge a scam, noting that the seal is cracked and that they would buy the cartridge in a more pristine condition for way less. Last month, YouTuber Karl Jobst alleged that Wata Games was intentionally manipulating the retro games market and causing a surge in demand. VGC later shared a statement from Wata Games which denied the claims in Jobst's report.
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