Scalpers are making the most of Nintendo removing Super Mario 3D All-Stars from sale, with auction sites selling the collection for thousands of pounds.
Scalpers are trying to make a small fortune off Super Mario 3D All-Stars and are presumably building their own Princess Peach-inspired castles with profits from reselling Nintendo's beloved collection of games. While there are a tonne of Mario games that've jumped out of the warp pipe in the past 35 years, it's when that portly plumber entered the world of 3D games that the series really hit the mainstream. Although Super Mario 3D All-Stars has become another fan-favourite addition to the franchise, it's limited sale has given scalpers the chance to exploit the system.
With the release of Super Mario 64 in 1996, the platformer rightly earned its place as one of the best games of all time. From then on out, Nintendo consoles have continued to make Mario titles their flagships. Across the likes of the GameCube, Wii, and Switch, Mario has put on his overalls and leapt into action. Super Mario 3D All-Stars gathered the best of the best and combined Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy in one glorious collection.
How are scalpers making money off Super Mario 3D All-Stars?
Super Mario 3D All-Stars was first released on September 18, 2020, and was always planned as having a limited release window. The game's sale went on until (ironically) April 1 this year. True to form, Nintendo pulled the game from physical and digital sale, meaning Super Mario 3D All-Stars is now MIA unless you were one of the many who already stumped up the cash. Now that the title is effectively a limited edition, it means scalpers are reselling copies for an insane amount of money on sites like eBay. As well as price tags through the roof, the copies being sold aren't even sealed in their boxes.
Posting on the Nintendo subreddit, user u/TommyFrickster789 explained, "I saw somebody selling it for $10000 dollars, and there was someone else selling it at $1000, and another person selling it at $130 dollars". A quick scan of sites shows that, yes, there are several auctions that list Super Mario 3D All-Stars for ludicrous prices. We found one for £1,500 and another for £500. There could be more to the story though.
Not everyone was convinced. One critic said the bubble will burst and questioned whether anyone is actually bidding on these ridiculous auctions. They added, "Putting it up for silly prices doesn't mean they will sell. I think people are going to have a shock when they realise they aren't going to make jack sh*t on the game". Another concluded, "Even though it was limited run, the sheer quantity of units sold will prevent it from having an outrageous average sell price".
Will scalpers actually make money off Super Mario 3D All-Stars?
The argument is that these listings are simply there as an attention-seeking tactic. Fans have said to look at actual sales rather than listings. In reality, the average sale of Super Mario 3D All-Stars is more around its usual $60/£40 mark. There's plenty of money to be made in reselling old video games, and it's true that a sealed copy of 2007's Super Mario Galaxy can get a pretty penny, however, a game like 3D All-Stars probably won't hit this level for a long time.
In reality, the sale of Super Mario 3D All-Stars was all a clever marketing ploy of Nintendo. Speaking to Vice, an unnamed developer explained how Nintendo wanted to create a fear of missing out to help boost sales: "They have data that shows that rereleases of games tend to wither on wishlists," said a developer who's been involved with publishing several games on Switch, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not permitted to publicly discuss their meetings with Nintendo. "The manufactured FOMO [fear of missing out] helps them get those sales, or so they think".
While the sales of rerelease or remasters like the Nintendo 3DS' The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will peter out over time, giving a limited sales window should ensure everyone dashes to buy it while they can. Ultimately, there are still some perfectly reasonably priced copies of Super Mario 3D All-Stars out there. Don't be tricked in taking out a loan just to get your hands on Mario's colourful capers!
Images via Nintendo | APPLE | eBay