Got a spare $1 Million USD burning a hole in your pocket? No? Then turn yourself away from one very overpriced eBay auction (opens in new tab) featuring an extremely rare copy of Tetris for the Sega Mega Drive console (aka Genesis here in North America). Sure, we like playing Tetris, but not enough to shell out a Ben Franklin even if the cartridge was made of pure gold and massaged our feet.
"If you are a hardcore videogame collector you know what this is: simply a rare if not THE RAREST videogame on earth," reads the description written by seller shinsnk. "A lot has been said about the numbers but is rumored only 3-8 copies exist worldwide. Personally I know only three: mine, the one exposed not for sale in Mandarake (Japan), and another in the hands of a collector friend of mine."
Ok, so this copy of Tetris is rare. We get that. But does it justify the hefty $1M price tag? According to the description, it's the only one signed by the creator of Tetris, Alekséi Pázhitnov. Shinsnk originally bought the autographed cartridge for 11.000 € (around $16,000 USD) four years ago – meaning he expects to make a profit of around $984,000 before any applicable fees.
Good luck with that.
"This is truly a rare, exclusive, elusive, obscure and desirable centerpiece grial for any collection, it has all: great franchise (Tetris), great history (Sega vs Nintendo, you can Google that), scarcity (very few copies) and exclusivity (signed by Alexei). You can expect no more."
Is the $1M price tag just a ploy to drive traffic to his auction. Probably, as he even links to a Google search of the news surrounding the auction. Nothing wrong with free advertisement, right?