Earlier this year, we reported that Natsume was in the process of selling off the excess inventory they had stockpiled over the past twenty years of business — everything from obscure DS games about cheerleading to valuable SNES titles. Last week, the moment everyone had been waiting for finally happened: a shrinkwrapped copy of the original SNES Harvest Moon went up for auction. The winning bid was $3,783,33.
The Harvest Moon franchise, which went on to spawn many many titles and spinoffs, began on the Super NES extremely late in the console’s lifespan. Coming out in 1997, it was sold at a time when barely anyone was buying SNES games anymore. Harvest Moon’s popularity blew up after Harvest Moon 64 (a title Natsume stubbornly still won’t rerelease anywhere) and the original SNES game suddenly became very sought-after. An unopened copy is rarer still.
Was Natsume even aware of how valuable this item truly was? It wouldn’t appear so. Graham Markay, Natsume’s vice president of operations, told Polygon that they had no idea some of their shelf items were going to fetch such a handsome sum. “Our goal was to offer some extra inventory of titles we had to our fans and grow our eBay store. It was never about the money…but that is a nice surprise.”
There are no Harvest Moon copies currently being sold at Natsume’s eBay store, but there is Squishy Tank and a number of plushies.