Wata Games, the company that graded the recent record-breaking copies of The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario 64, has been acquired by Collectors Universe, which grades coins, trading cards, and other collectibles and memorabilia. The purchase signals video games’ growing prominence in the world of collectibles, which has seen significant interest recently due to the skyrocketing value of things like Pokémon cards.
“Collectibles across categories, including trading cards and sports memorabilia, are now firmly considered an alternative investment class by both hobbyists and investors,” said Nat Turner, executive chair of Collectors Universe, in a press release. “With those categories seeing a stratospheric rise recently, we’ve identified video games as the next area primed for similar expansion. We’re partnering with Wata because they are the experts in video game grading and there’s simply no other way to recreate the amazing and trusted company they have built.”
Wata will continue operating as a standalone business with its current leadership, according to the press release.
It’s not the only recent business shift in the collectibles world; Collectors Universe itself was acquired by an investor group in February. And a different investment group that includes Jay-Z’s Roc Nation acquired Certified Collectibles Group (CCG), which owns comic book and trading card grader CGC, earlier this month. CGC wants to get in on the video game grading market as well, having just announced on July 8th that it is hiring video game experts for a new division, CGC Video Games.