UPDATE September 22: Goldin founder and executive chairman Ken Goldin responded to Naka’s statement assuring that this was a “genuine sale”. Goldin’s initial tweet and thread can be found embedded below.
1/ Naka San — we can assure you that this is a genuine sale to a real buyer on Goldin. Our customers trust us because all of our auctions are fair and for authentic items. We also vet all of our bidders on high end items such as this
— Ken Goldin (@KenGoldin) September 21, 2021
Original Story: Almost a month after an investigation alleged that video game auctions may be underpinned by fraud, former Sonic Team boss Yuji Naka thinks the sale of a Sonic game is a scam.
Via Eurogamer, and quoting a tweet from Goldin Auctions, where the original Sonic The Hedgehog sold for $430,500 (roughly £315,175), Naka wrote “what’s this? Is it a scam? That’s a scam right? I wondered if it was time for Sonic to reach a high,” and he added that he “saw the news that Mario was sold at a high price recently, so I thought Sonic was also a high price, but it’s different. I’m sorry.”
I saw the news that Mario was sold at a high price recently, so I thought Sonic was also a high price, but it's different. I'm sorry.
— Yuji Naka / 中 裕司 (@nakayuji) September 21, 2021
Digital Foundry video producer John Linneman responded to a comment under Naka’s post saying “it wouldn’t normally drive the price up this high, though, since this is part of the Wata scam.”
The Goldin Auctions website says the minimum bid price was $75,000 and that overall 21 bids were placed for the 9.4 graded title, with a seal rating of A by Wata Games.
Wata Games came under fire recently as Australian journalist Karl Jobst released a YouTube video claiming that the grading company was engaging in fraud to drive game prices up at auction.
Jobst alleged that CEO of Wata Deniz Kahn corroborated with co-founder of Heritage Jim Halperin to position vintage games more like investments than collectables, by claiming their value would continue to rise.
The video from Jobst came off the back of prices of vintage games skyrocketing, as Super Mario 64 ended up selling for £1.1million, and a sealed and boxed copy of Skyrim sold for £433. Both of these titles were Wata graded and sold as part of Heritage Auctions listings.
In other news, Halo Infinite will have no ranking system apart from the battle pass when it launches this December, with the developers stating they are still listening to fan feedback for post-launch.
Yuji Naka also recent announced a return to game development, and that he is using Unity to make a game solo for mobile.