Here’s an interesting story that came to light recently. A lot of five copies of NBA Elite 11 – three for Xbox 360, two for PlayStation 3 – has been listed on eBay for $30,000 US. Three of the games are also factory sealed, which in addition to the rarity of available copies in the first place, contributes to the hefty price tag.
While the price is obviously steep for a game that was ultimately cancelled due to concerns about its quality, it’s certainly not unprecedented. Rare games, particularly those that were never publicly released, often fetch a lot of money as collectors’ items. Prominent examples would include Nintendo World Championships and Stadium Events for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which are desirable due to their rarity and value as collectables, rather than the actual gameplay experience that they offer.
Another example, rather relevant to basketball gaming, is the discovery of the rare, unreleased PAL version of EA’s Lakers vs. Celtics for the SEGA Mega Drive. The game, which was released on PC and in NTSC regions for the SEGA Genesis, was ultimately cancelled in PAL regions, most likely due to issues with international licensing rights. Thirteen copies have been discovered over the years, with the latest attracting bids of over £8000 on eBay.
As you may recall, I recently mentioned NBA Elite 11 as one of the basketball games that I wish I owned, simply for the sake of having such a rare and interesting collectable. However, the lot is well out of my price range, and I’d need a PAL copy besides, so suffice to say I won’t be buying it.
It is interesting that copies of NBA Elite 11 continue to surface, however. We’ll be talking more about it in Episode #214 of the NLSC Podcast, so stay tuned. Would you add NBA Elite 11 to your collection, given the opportunity? How much would you be prepared to pay for such a rare collectable? Have your say in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum. Thanks to PopcornJones77 on Twitter for the heads up on the eBay listing.