Atari’s restless ghost has released NFTs

Atari, the corporate entity / brand of Theseus, has just made around $110,000 by selling —you guessed it — NFTs (shout out to Ars Technica for doing the math). The tokens in question are 3D models of the Atari 2600 game cartridge for Centipede — 10 of them black, 100 of them red.

The NFTs are being sold as part of the Atari Capsule Collection — which is basically a bunch of Centipede and Pong-themed NFTs being sold by the company that now owns the Atari brand. The company and its intellectual property have been bought and sold so many times it’s almost hard to keep track, but the current incarnation of it is mainly known for trying to build hotels and struggling to make a game console.

This NFT, labeled as version 1 of 30, sold for around $18,000 worth of Ether.

As jaded as I am, I can admit that there’s at least one interesting part of Atari’s NFT offerings: the Flagship Centipede. According to the company, the NFT part is just another 3D model, but the first person to buy it will get a a real-life, original and restored Centipede arcade cabinet. But if the regular NFTs that just included a 3D model were selling for thousands of dollars, I don’t even want to think about how much that one will sell for.

The Flagship Centipede NFT, digitally signed by the game’s creator. I wonder if she’ll get any of the money from the sale. 
Image: Atari

We talk about NFTs a lot, often as collectors’ items, but these ones are particularly baffling — they sold from $180.78 to over $16,000. As Ars points out that if you wanted to get a real Centipede 2600 cartridge, with the box, manual, and everything, you could go to eBay and spend $30 (or $53 if you want it sealed). Collector-grade versions of the game have recently sold for around $500, and auctions for them start in that territory too. Even original Centipede arcade cabinets cost less than some of these NFTs.

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