Copy of ‘John Madden Football’ video game sells for world-record price: Here’s how much it went for

FILE – Former Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden speaks about former quarterback Ken Stabler, pictured at rear, at a ceremony honoring Stabler during halftime of an NFL football game between the Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals in Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

(NEXSTAR) – A sealed copy of the 1990 Sega Genesis game “John Madden Football” has sold for a record-breaking price, proving once again that the coaching and broadcasting legend may just be the godfather of sports video games.

During a video games auction that ran over two days last month, the copy of “John Madden Football” sold for $480,000. That price, vastly more than the original game would have sold for originally, set a world record for the most ever paid for a sports video game, according to Heritage Auctions.

John Madden Football – Wata 9.2 A+ Sealed [Cardboard Box], Genesis Electronic Arts 1990 USA, which sold for a record-breaking $480,000 in a January 2022 auction. (Heritage Auctions)

“This particular copy is especially extraordinary as it comes from the offices of its famous namesake,” the auction house notes. A portion of the sale will be donated by Heritage Auctions to a charitable foundation created in Madden’s honor.

Madden passed away in late December at the age of 85.

Spanning three decades, the John Madden Football video game franchise generated more than $7 billion in revenue, according to the New York Times. The series started in 1988 and was later renamed to just “Madden.” NFL Network even had a show devoted to the video game, “Madden NFL Live.” It has become the second best-selling sports video game in history, trailing soccer-based series FIFA.

For those unfamiliar, a new version of “Madden” is released each year sporting a different player on its cover. The most recent, Madden 22, featured quarterbacks Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. With each new version, new player ratings are released for real-life NFL players, who you can actually play as in the game.

January’s auction brought in nearly $5 million and included the sales of other notable games.

A copy of “Halo: Combat Evolved” from 2001, for example, became the first Xbox game to reach six figures, selling for $108,000. One of the copies from the final production run of “Super Mario Bros.” from the 1980s sold for $186,000. Three sealed games from “The Legend of Zelda: series topped $150,000 each.

A Super Mario Bros. game became the most expensive video game ever sold when it was sold for $2 million in August, according to The Times.


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