A rare Sega Mega Drive game has sold online for nearly $10,000.
As reported by Fusion R Gamer, a PAL copy of Lakers vs Celtics and the NBA Playoffs has sold on eBay for £7,870 ($9,800).
The game is considered one of the ‘holy grails’ of European Mega Drive collectors, which is particularly curious because the North American release is extremely common.
NTSC Sega Genesis copies of Lakers vs Celtics can regularly be seen on eBay priced anywhere between $5-20.
The PAL version was almost ready for release, to the extent that UK magazine CVG reviewed it, scoring it 88%.
However, the game was pulled at the last minute and was never officially released in Europe. Despite this, a small handful of copies made it out of EA‘s warehouse.
According to a Eurogamer feature on the game written in 2017, it’s believed that EA had issues securing the NBA licence for European markets, an problem that was eventually resolved in time for the release of the game’s follow-up, Bulls vs Lakers.
A total of 13 copies of the PAL version of the game are known to exist, though Eurogamer’s article also shows an internal EA spreadsheet which appears to suggest that 192 copies were sold.
The game’s cartridge is actually the exact same in both the NTSC and PAL versions of the game, and works on Mega Drive / Genesis consoles in both regions.
As such, collectors looking for the PAL version of Lakers vs Celtics should note that only the packaging is valuable.