Sometimes, obsession pays.
For years, Michael Thomasson has collected video games. Lots and lots of video games. Spending about $3,000 a year on them for the last two decades, he managed to amass the largest collection of video games in the world, as verified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The auction kicked off on June 4 with a starting bid of $1. On June 11, things started getting heated when a bidding war broke out between two potential buyers. (Palmer Luckey, co-founder of the virtual reality technology company Oculus -- which recently sold to Facebook for $2 billion -- bowed out relatively early after placing a bid of just over $90,000).
Thomasson, who worked at several independent gaming stores in the '90s and has been employed at a gaming chain store for the past 10 years, says he decided to sell his collection due to family obligations. “I simply have an immediate family and extended family that have needs that need to be addressed,” he explained in his GameGavel listing. “While I do not wish to part with these games, I have responsibilities that I have made to others and this action is how I will help meet them.”
This isn’t the first time the New York resident has auctioned off his collection of video games. In 1989, he sold his then-stash to buy a Sega Genesis. By 1998, he had acquired complete sets for the Sega Master System and TurboGrafx-16, which he sold to pay for his wedding. “A decade and a half later I still have no regrets,” he told Retro Magazine.
As Thomasson prepared to sell his 11,000-plus games, he was already thinking about his next collection. “I’ve already started buying duplicates of my favorite games,” he told Retro. “So, yes, I’m already back to my ‘bad habits!’”
If only all bad habits were this lucrative.