Atari, Theseus’ business unit / brand, has just made around $ 110,000 by selling – you guessed it – NFTs (shout out to Ars Technica to do math). The current tokens are 3D models of the Atari 2600 game cartridge Centipede – 10 of them black, 100 of them red.
The NFTs are sold as part of the Atari Capsule Collection – which is actually a bunch of Centipede and Pong-Theme NFTs are sold by the company that now owns the Atari brand. The company and its intellectual property have been bought and sold so many times that it is almost difficult to keep track of, but the current incarnation of it is mainly known for trying to build hotels and struggling to make a game console.
As sad as I am, I can admit that it is at least an interesting part of Atari’s NFT offering: Flagship millipede. According to the company, the NFT part is just another 3D model, but the first person to buy it will get a real, original and restored Centipede arcade. But if the regular NFTs, which only included a 3D model, sold for thousands of dollars, I would not even think about how much one would sell for.
We talk a lot about NFT, often as collectibles, but these are particularly confusing – they sold from $ 180.78 to over $ 16,000. Ars points out that if you wanted to get a real one Centipede 2600 cartridge, with the box, the manual and everything, you can go to eBay and spend $ 30 (or $ 53 if you want it sealed). Versions of the collector’s class of the game have recently sold for around $ 500, and auctions for them are also starting in that territory. Even original Centipede arcade cabinets cost less than some of these NFTs.
If the point is to feel that you own something, that you have collected it, something that will give you more of that feeling: an NFT or a copy of the game itself? NFT will give you a blockchain entry and confirm that you own a 3D model (which is identical to all the other versions), but a physical cassette can be displayed on a shelf or actually played. And it’s not even in terms of the physical versions that have history – you can always try to track down one of the versions of the game that Atari buried in the desert in 1983. They’ve sold on eBay before for around $ 600, and come with a origin history that cannot really be matched by an NFT.
And if you needed another reason to save your money and just buy a physical copy of Centipede, here’s the kicker: they were made by the actual, original Atari, not the business unit that happens to own its name these days.