JEFF’S MUSINGS: For Xenoblade, the Price Is Justified

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

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Well, this week would’ve been the start of my Sonic Retrospective. Unfortunately, my Wii is currently being repaired due to not reading game discs so I’ll need a bit more time in order to get through a few of the games. Also, something has come up in the past couple weeks that needs to be addressed. As always, anything I say is my opinion, is meant as part of an open dialog, and should not reflect upon the staff of oprainfall.


Xenoblade Chronicles

It was announced two weeks ago that GameStop would be selling Xenoblade Chronicles again with a listed used game price of $89.99. Now, we could talk circles about how much we love Xenoblade and how many gamers hate GameStop, but we don’t have time for that. Instead, I will keep this intro as brief as possible.

Ladies and gentlemen, here is a quick dramatization of what happened when GameStop made their announcement:

GameStop: We’re selling Xenoblade Chronicles again!

Gamers: w00t!

GameStop: Yeah, we’ll be selling used copies for about $90.

Gamers: Wait, why? The game was only $50 when it was new.

GameStop: Well, we’re trying to be competitive based on the current market value.

Random Gamer: HEY! My copy has an unused Club Nintendo code! What’s the deal?!

Sprinkle in a few more angry gamers, add some confusing lingo from GameStop, and you’ve pretty much been brought up to speed.

GameStop | Xenoblade Chronicles

Kudos to GameStop for absolutely confusing the masses. Their spin on this subject has left people like me puzzled and confused. It’s truly the stuff of underhanded political maneuvers.

Seriously, where did this influx come from? Did they actually gut some of the unsold cases like people are accusing them of (a practice that has gotten them into legal trouble before)? Is that why there are copies that contain unused Club Nintendo codes?

Well, to be fair, not everyone who buys a Nintendo game uses the codes. I wasn’t even a Club Nintendo member until a couple of years ago. I’m certain that the few games I traded in early on this past generation had unused codes in their cases.

For all I know, just from this scenario, this could’ve been what happened: GameStop starts buying back Xenoblade from customers and sells the copies used for $44.99 (which is in line with the 10% change in price you see them do between used and new copies). They then see what the game is going for used on Amazon and eBay and think, “You know, we could make a whole bunch more if we could sell at that price.” They then keep all traded-in copies of Xenoblade in the back room until all copies at every GameStop—new and used—have been sold off so they don’t get flack for raising the price on a game that’s on the shelf. Once the shelves are empty, they start selling the used copies again at around the price that the secondhand market has dictated (which, in this case, is about $90).

If this were truly what GameStop had in mind, I honestly would have to applaud them for doing it. This would not only be a shrewd business move, but one that would net them twice the money the game would’ve at the old price.

But then, GameStop came out with this little piece of confusion:

GameStop regularly receives feedback from our PowerUp members regarding old titles they would like us to bring back, such as vintage games like Xenoblade Chronicles. We were recently able to source a limited number of copies of this title to carry in our stores and online.

In fact, we have sourced several more vintage titles that will be hitting stores in the coming months, including Metroid Prime Trilogy.

(Side note: Metroid Prime Trilogy has already been selling at GameStop used at $70, a higher price than new copies were sold at. It will now sell for $85 used.)

Metroid Prime | Samus

Source? Vintage? What does this even mean? Does this mean that you’re printing new copies of the game and passing them off as used, as other gaming sites are accusing you of doing? Is this even legal? If someone from Nintendo is reading this, could you get one of the NOA lawyers to inform us about whether GameStop can legally do that?

But aside from the questionable practices of GameStop, there is one other thing that is driving me nuts about this situation, one thing that gets my blood boiling because there is a simple explanation for everything that is happening.

That would be the gamers crying foul because of the price.

Xenoblade Chronicles

Shulk after finding out that he has to pay $90 for his own game.

I am not kidding you when I say that we’ve received a number of messages from fans (not too many, but a number of them) saying how they want us to campaign and start petitions for a lower, “fair price” on used copies of Xenoblade Chronicles. First off, we’ve retired from campaigning. Second, you guys are fighting this battle the wrong way.

Here’s the thing: the secondhand market is the truest form of the free-market economy known to man. There are no corporations setting prices for things, no government oversight (other than going after fraudulent sellers), just prices dictated by pure supply and demand.

For those who slept through Economics 101, here’s how supply and demand works. When supply is high and demand is unchanged, the price is low, as there is plenty of stock available. Conversely, when supply is low and demand is unchanged, prices go up because there is less stock available.

On the other side of things, when demand is up regardless of supply, prices go up due to a potential shortage. Conversely, when demand is down regardless of supply, prices go down due to a surplus.

Demand can fluctuate depending on popularity and price. When something is popular or pleasing to many, demand is higher, which causes prices to rise. If prices get too high, the demand will fall. It is therefore the job of sellers to understand the demand to determine the price and quantity of their supply to gain maximum profits. They do this by trying to find the equilibrium price, a point where supply and demand intersect that will lead to the most profit.

Supply-and-demand graph

For those wondering why the supply line is on an increased line, that is because it is in correlation to the price it would take to make that supply.

Here’s an example of supply and demand in action. Saint, a shooter for the Wii, only sold about 20,000 copies. Based on just supply, the price for the game should be up. However, since the game was terrible, there is little to no demand for it. Therefore, the equilibrium price on the secondhand market for Saint, as dictated by the free market, is only $3, less than 10% of the original price.

Meanwhile, Xenoblade Chronicles sold nearly 400,000 copies in North America, nearly matching the combined totals of the rest of the world. However, since the game has been so well-received by critics and gamers, there is an incredible demand for the game. Therefore, the equilibrium price on the secondhand market for Xenoblade Chronicles, as dictated by the free market, is $90. According to the free market, that is a fair price.

Now, before I get comments about how I should be ashamed of myself and how oprainfall no longer fights for the little guy anymore because they won’t petition GameStop, let me just reiterate this: this is the wrong way to fight this battle.

There is one factor still in play now available to us that will change the future of the used game market. That is the digital market, featured on the Wii U, 3DS, Vita, PS4, Xbox One, and computers. With full retail games now becoming available for digital download, the physical market can no longer dictate the price of a used game as it used to. There will not be another Xenoblade Chronicles or Metroid Prime Trilogy, where a game comes along that has a higher used price within a year of its release.

Nintendo eShop | Xenoblade Chronicles PlayStation Store | Xenoblade Chronicles Steam | Xenoblade Chronicles
The modern gaming market is no longer just physical.

But for the moment, there is no such luck for Wii games. The Wii was simply not designed with full digital gaming in mind. It’s just not going to happen on that system.

So, with that in mind, there is still a plan of action you can take. First, you can simply tell secondhand sellers, “No, I won’t buy Xenoblade Chronicles for $90.” Seeing demand at that price fall will force the secondhand market to drop the price closer to the original $50.

Second, and the option I would recommend over simply saying no, you can politely ask Nintendo to release the game digitally on the Wii U. This will not only re-open the market for gamers who missed out before—it will drop the physical price like a rock. Secondhand sellers looking for a profit would be crazy to sell the game for nearly twice the price that Nintendo dictates for a digital copy (especially once they get their act together on IDs).

So, to GameStop, whatever you’re doing, don’t let it be something that’s illegal. There are some good people working at my local GameStops and I don’t want them losing their jobs because of something stupid that you did.

To the gamers, keep fighting the good fight. But choose your fights with more care. Even the best general knows that he can’t win every battle.

Sources: 1, 2

Supply-and-demand graph from stephansmithfx.com

About Jeff Neuenschwander

Jeff has been a supporter of the website and campaign since the beginning. Joining in for E3 2012, he worked his way up the ranks quickly, making it to the Editing Manager post at the beginning of 2013. Jeff has a wide variety of tastes when it comes to gaming and pretty much likes anything that is quirky, although his favorite genres are Action, Platforming, and RPG. Outside of gaming, Jeff is a musician, being trained as a trombonist for Jazz and Classical music, and holds a degree in Sound Recording.




  • Zimmer Remmiz

    I’ve been saying the same thing since this situation started, glad to know someone else thinks the same…

  • taekk

    I’m no economics expert but my understanding of the most simple supply and demand model is IF there is real competition and demand is high, supply will rise to meet demand based on marginal cost until a price equilibrium is reached. Since I imagine marginal cost to print up some discs and case/manual to be pretty minimal, is the artificial high price due to a monopoly by Gamestop’s exclusive distribution rights? If so, how does Metroid Prime fit into that? If Gamestop is artificially restricting supply, then gamers have every right to complain but I’m pretty sure most of us have no idea what’s really going on behind the scenes.

    • Blog Re: Games

      Indeed the problem is the monopoly. But then again, it’s important to note that this monopoly was granted by Nintendo.

      I wonder if the contract with GameStop is timed and/or includes a guarantee that the game wouldn’t be released digitally.

    • Austin Chandler Howe

      Thanks for getting the response of someone who has clearly studied the topic at least a little bit.

  • TrueWiiMaster

    Your supply and demand view doesn’t necessarily work here. If Gamestop is in fact making/getting new copies and selling them as used, they are increasing the supply. If supply goes up and demand remains the same, the price should go down. As it is, Gamestop is passing their “used” copies of Xenoblade off as part of the existing supply to artificially keep prices high. This is only made worse by the fact that Gamestop was the sole purveyor of the game when it was new, and therefore had significant, if not total, control over the supply in the first place.

    • Blog Re: Games

      If they’re getting new copies from other stores, distributors or the usual sales chain, they’re NOT increasing the supply. These copies are part of the original supply and are just being shifted around. And once it’s part of the original supply, it doesn’t matter a single bit for the supply/demand theory if GameStop is taking the wraps out and selling as used or not. This only happens because there’s demand for any kind of copy, even used, and they can get away with it, both in a commercial and legal sense.

      Now if they did *print* a new batch, that’s artificially increasing the supply, yes. Still, putting all the blame on them is shortsighted. The company that did have full control about this is called Nintendo. They chose to give GameStop that exclusivity. Lesson learned: I’ll be on the watch from now on if any of the first-party companies pull this kind of stunt again. It may not be illegal but it’s an unhealthy practice that may lead to situations like this, so it’s on us to make our displeasure known as consumers. No forced monopoly is good in any free market.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      No other store had new copies of Xenoblade. If they’re getting new copies, they can’t be coming from anywhere else.

      Yes, Nintendo could have released Xenoblade everywhere, but blaming them for Gamestop’s dirty business practices is hardly fair. They make the games, and sell them to retailers to sell. What the retailers do after that is not Nintendo’s fault, but the retailers’.

    • Blog Re: Games

      You don’t know that (about other stores/distributors). GameStop was the exclusive distributor for the game and did sell to other stores in the world. It shouldn’t be difficult for them to send some widespread mails saying ‘If you still have copies of Xenoblade Chronicles in stock, we’re happy to refund you if you return them’. I did buy my copy in December here in Brazil for the official price in a regular mom-and-pop store, and we don’t even have GameStop down here.

      And about blaming Nintendo, you’re missing the point. No matter what you, me or anything else thinks about GameStop’s general practices, it didn’t *force* Nintendo to sign an *exclusivity* contract at gunpoint or anything. Nintendo did NOT “sell the games to retailers” (plural). It CHOSE, WILLINGLY, for THIS GAME ONLY, to give it to GameStop to sell and GameStop alone. Nintendo DID sign a contract saying “I shall not give this game for anyone else to sell but GameStop”.

      Stop thinking with your biases and deal with facts. No matter how much we don’t like GameSpot and love Nintendo, the facts are Nintendo gave exclusivity out of its own volition, and the only reason why GameStop is able to get away with $90 is the lack of competition.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      I don’t know about other countries, especially ones where there are no Gamestops, but the number of copies left in such countries would likely be very small anyway. Besides that, the actual process of going around and collecting copies from thousands of miles away would probably be more effort than it would be worth.

      Blaming Nintendo here is very backwards thinking. You might as well be mad at a farmer because the beef you bought at the grocery store was too expensive. They make the product, and retailers sell the product (yes, just one retailer in this case). What the retailer does after getting the product is not on Nintendo.

      Not at all. It’s not a lack of competition, but a lack of copies of the game. Even if every store had gotten the game, without more copies Xenoblade would be just as rare and pricey as it is now, perhaps even moreso, and the reason for the number of copies is the perceived interest in the game. If more copies had been made (and sold as new), Gamestop’s exclusivity wouldn’t have mattered, because a common game doesn’t get a rare price.

    • Bryce Blalex Douglas

      This only works with the assumed by gamers mentality that GameStop is somehow illegally making “new” copies of the game. Honestly, I personally believe they just kept all the traded in copies they had and when the time was right started reselling them for a higher price. It’s not that unheard of. It happens in other industries all the time. When they realized demand for the game was high and Nintendo wasn’t shipping anymore they made the smart call. It’s just that being GameStop has stopped people from thinking and has them automatically assuming the worst.

      The average used copy on Amazon is around $90. There’s even a copy going for $215 right now.

      The average price on Ebay is in the 60s-70s for auctions and 80-100 for buy now. And we know auction prices rise fairly high sometimes.

      So really looking at GameStop’s price it’s not unreasonably high at all. While I’ll admit they should have made it around $75 to give them an edge their price is still in the range of the other second hand sellers.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      “GameStop regularly receives feedback from our PowerUp members regarding old titles they would like us to bring back, such as vintage games like Xenoblade Chronicles. We were recently able to source a limited number of copies of this title to carry in our stores and online.”
      Though that could be interpreted as bringing out stock from storage, I think most people would interpret it as actually getting more stock. People didn’t stop thinking. Gamestop pretty much admitted to their dirty business practices.

      Also, I doubt there were enough people willing to trade this game back to Gamestop for Gamestop to restock it as they have. Xenoblade probably has one of the highest retention rates of any game this gen. That’s just speculation, of course, but if tons of people were willing to part with the game, I doubt it would be so rare and expensive. Besides that, just about every copy seems to be in like new condition, which is very unusual for used games at Gamestop.

      Those prices are based on the idea that there are no more copies being made, and the only way to get the game is to buy it used. If Gamestop was making new copies, and selling them at the MSRP, those prices would drop significantly. As it is, it seems that they’re making new copies, but selling them at prices that are only as high as they are because it is assumed no new copies are being made. Though Gamestop’s price is competitive, it is not reasonable.

    • Bryce Blalex Douglas

      Until someone has unsubstantiated proof that GameStop is illegally selling new copies as used, this is all just conjecture.

      As of right now the price GameStop is selling at is reasonable seeing as it’s the same price as what people on Amazon and Ebay are selling the game for. If I wanted to sell my copy of the game I’d start an auction around 50-60 dollars. Not to many games can be sold as more than the original price. The only other game I can think of is Radiata Stories.

    • smacd

      It wouldn’t be illegal regardless. It is poor practice, and they could be in a little bit of civil trouble when they sell used as new, which is what they DO do when they open the game’s packaging and then sell it as new. But this is the rare case where doing that actually benefits them. Technically speaking, as long as all the paperwork is filed right and the right people are paid the right amount, they can sell new as used all they want.

      But GameStop is still an underhanded, shady piece of shite company for their practices.

    • Bryce Blalex Douglas

      I guess as a business minded individual I never looked at anything GameStop did as shady. To me they’re a business that capitalized on a market niche. Honestly, people get mad at GameStop but still shop at their stores. I understand that for some it is the only place to get games, for most of us it’s not. If people hate the way GameStop runs their business they should just stop giving them their business.

    • smacd

      I understand how business works, and I’m a big free-market capitalist. I don’t blame Gamestop for their actions, but angering customers in search of the most bucks isn’t always the best option. Sure, the sheep either don’t care, or just bleet about it without acting.

      But remember, Gamestop bought out most of their competition in specialty shops, leaving us with fewer options. EB Games and Babbage’s no longer exist in the US. As a consumer, I’ve chosen to not support Gamestop anymore, because that it the appropriate capitalist response when I’m unhappy with their business practice. I primarily use Amazon now.

    • loyal_ethics

      I have a friend at GS who let me get 3 xenoblades when they was doing a buy 2 get 1 free deal. They all was imacculent and had the club nintendo codes in it. All of them was in cases that say “nintendo” and not “wii” inside the case above the game when you open it up. First run had “wii” this is a reprint and GS is capitalizing off the artificial rarity they helped create.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      That’s why I’ve been saying “if”.

      Again, it’s reasonable only if these are not newly made copies. If Gamestop did in fact retain all traded in copies until now, to then release them at the current price, it’s completely fair.

    • Jeff Neuenschwander

      If that is the case, then we just need to be patient and wait for the price to fall.

  • smacd

    Siliconera had an article from 2006 that explains what happened here pretty well, which i highly recommend.
    http://www.siliconera.com/2006/01/16/the-business-of-reprints/

    That said, I still feel it is inappropriate for GameStop to be selling new games as used for the markup, for any reason. They didn’t do that with more recent reprints like Radiant Historia.

    • Jeff Neuenschwander

      Definitely a good read. I was not aware that there were companies that specialized in that kind of thing.

  • shulknameholderthing

    This game’s amazing enough to be priced at 200 in my honest opinion. Not even exaggerating. Although, not everyone knows if they’re gonna hold the game on the same level that I do, so I can understand backlash over the high price. I’m certain Nintendo’s gonna reprint the game in HD for a quick cash-in either shortly before or shortly after X.

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      No game is worth $200…

    • JamesOnyx

      Look up Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Magic Knight Rayearth (Saturn), Mega Man X3.

      Hell, even though Earthbound and Shantae just got released digitally, their physical copies will never drop (150+).

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      I’ve played most of those games and admit that they are decent, but I still don’t think ANY of them are worth $200… I wouldn’t even say that my imefavorite games of all time are worth $200… it’s a ridiculous asking price in any scenario.

    • Dragge

      Heh my copy of The Misadventures of Tron Bonne was only $125. Other than that little bit of info I see what you’re getting at. The whole supply and demand where if something is wanted and there’s a shortage of it, people will pay more to get it. Kind of sucks but hey what can you do? You either buy it or you don’t.

    • The only game worth 200 is Steel Batallion for the original xbox, mainly for that awesome controller. Or the much wanted Shenmue 3.

  • James Best

    I wish I’d bought the Metroid Prime Trilogy back when it was $50. I don’t care how much I love those games, I’m not paying $90 for games I already have.

  • Corvak

    For the record, canadian retailer EB Games (a division of gamestop) didnt hike up the price at all. Their price remains at the MSRP of $49.99 and $44.99 used.

    • Jeff Neuenschwander

      That seems odd. I wonder if the whole “hoarding until everything else is sold” theory is actually true and EB still hasn’t sold the remaining copies they have on store shelves.
      Still, to see a division of a company not follow suit with the main group is a bit odd.

  • I love Xeno as much as the next person, but no price above it’s original retail price is justified, esp not 90USD.

  • JPAR

    Dear Gamestop,
    Thanks for doing this shit! I truly, sincerely thank you! Softmodding my Wii and hooking it up to a 1TB external hard drive was the best decision I’ve ever made. This means I can download and play not only any domestic Wii game, but also Japanese and European imports, ROMs to play on the Virtual Console (even if they haven’t been released on NOA’s digital market yet– How about that??), WiiWare, and of course, the community’s work with the Homebrew Channel. So, again, THANK YOU, Gamestop. If not for garbage decisions like Xenoblade’s current price point, I would not continue to feel 100% justified in exploring the path of piracy. <3

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      Yes… because gamestop is the reason you shouldn’t support NINTENDO’s Developers…

    • JPAR

      Oh, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about Nintendo. I haven’t forgotten their decision to never localize Mother 3, I didn’t forget about how they refused to localize Fatal Frame 4 (the very reason which pushed me to softmod my Wii in the first place), I didn’t forget how we needed to practically pelt them with stones to get them to localize the “divine trinity” with Project Rainfall. I didn’t forget how they region-locked the 3DS and already cemented my decision to hack mine as soon as it becomes possible.

      But, I digress. I am a collector. I buy what I enjoy, to support the developers and publishers. Unfortunately, when Nintendo makes a poor decision like creating an artificial gold-rush for a long-awaited game like Xenoblade by refusing to reprint it, I can’t exactly support them by buying a new copy, now can I? If they re-release it, in physical form, and NONE of that obnoxious “player’s choice” packaging, you can bet your ass I’ll pre-order it in a heartbeat. For the record, I’ve spent several hundred USD on new+sealed games after evaluating them via piracy, and Xenoblade will be just another one of them, after Ninty reprints it.

    • Charlotte Buckingham

      I don’t like Nintendo either, but I’m not going to let great developers like Atlus and Monolith Soft suffer as a result. I’m buying my consoles secondhand, but not my games. No matter how much Nintendo pisses me off, I refuse to not give my money to the awesome people who make the games I love.

      I don’t believe piracy is every justified. If the game is obtainable, obtain it. I recently shelled out $90 to get my PS2 chipped to play NTSC games, and then $60 to get Xenogears shipped to my place. I’ve also have Xenosaga 1 and 2 sitting on my shelf, which cost me $70 together; I’ll be getting the 3rd game soon.

    • JPAR

      I usually pirate games so I WON’T let them suffer. If not for evaluating the following games through piracy, I never would have bought brand-new, sealed copies of them:
      Katamari Damacy, Gradius V, Knights in the Nightmare, Ikaruga (Dreamcast port), Espgaluda (PS2 port), Astro Boy: Omega Factor, The Void, Samidare, Odin Sphere, KORG DS-10 Synthesizer, N+, Castle of Shikigami 2 (PS2 port), Castle of Shikigami 3 (Wii port), and Triggerheart Exelica (Dreamcast port). None of these games, to my knowledge, had any sort of demo available, so piracy was the only option– to MAKE a demo. If I pirate a game and play it for more than a few hours, it means I’m having some level of fun, and will then buy a copy… and, if possible, a NEW copy, so I can contribute something to the publisher.

      Unfortunately, even in this day and age where consoles are more like personal computers and demos can be downloaded at any time, not every game has a demo. “Read some reviews,” some might say, but not every great game gets a good review, and conversely, not every low-quality game gets the poor review it deserves. Therefore, piracy is sadly an absolute must, as a form of quality control, until EVERY single new release has a playable demo where one can sample the gameplay for themselves. Piracy is no less justifiable than putting out a shitty game and letting you deal with your buyer’s remorse and empty wallet afterward.

    • Blog Re: Games

      “but not every great game gets a good review, and conversely, not every low-quality game gets the poor review it deserves.”

      Don’t fret: judging by how the gaming press has ‘evolved’ in the last couple of years, soon reviews will be an almost-foolproof buying resource. You’ll just need to avoid the most celebrated ones and go straight for those rated 6-7/meh/mixed reactions.

      Doubly true if the celebrated game in question is an indie ‘gem’ with barely no gameplay and a ‘profound message’ (rarely deeper than ‘Look, I put a 15-year old brat reading a riot grrrl zine in my game! How cool and hip I am, right?’).

    • JPAR

      Now this, I can get behind. Incidentally, my favorite game of all time is Nier, take that as you will. (and I’m normally a very “gameplay > everything else” kinda guy, but DAT STORY, DEM CHARACTERS, and DAT SOUNDTRACK.) 5/10 game across the board, but SORRY, WHAT WAS THAT? COULDN’T HEAR YOU OVER ALL THE FEELS.

    • Nier was perfect. Too bad Square axed the sequel when they bought Cavia and shut it’s doors.

    • JPAR

      At least the director and music composer are working on Drakengard 3. New developer, too, so the sky levels actually have a Russian roulette chance of being NOT HORRIBLE, this time around! I’m guessing after Nier rose the bar for the Draken/Nier franchise, we can expect some decent ground combat, too.

    • Color me excited, it’s interesting they are both in the same universe.

      Have you heard the Nier tribute cd?

    • loyal_ethics

      :0 you pains $70 for xenoblade 1&2 man I would’ve shipped them to you for the money lol they cost $15 together NTSC

    • Charlotte Buckingham

      Not on eBay they don’t. And Amazon doesn’t ship games here, so… Didn’t have much choice.

    • Anthony Yousef

      Did the exact same thing almost immediatley after I got my Wii. So glad I did too. Gamestop’s motto is power to the players. Apparently Power doesn’t come cheap. Honestly These dudes are the very definitiion of scandal! Honestly, only reason I go there for anymore are for gamer cards and maybe a new remote if I need one. Other than that, never bought a game there for the past 3 years!

    • JPAR

      They pulled this exact same shit with Disgaea for PS2 before it was reprinted ($80; debut price $50) and to a somewhat lesser extent, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for PS2 ($60; debut price $50). One of the worst things about this is, they’ll charge the same amount for a dinged-up, caseless, manual-less copy as they do for a complete, mint copy. Downright stupid. Either charge less for something in awful condition, or don’t accept it when someone tries to trade it in.

  • Pedro Rosas

    I hope people listen now and stop supporting this kind of shady moves. Legally GameStop can actually do that because they paid for the copies. Those copies were in fact sealed and they opened them up. From a collector’s stand point, that is considered used, no matter if the disc has never been used, it’s value decreased by the simple fact that they removed the wrap. Think of big stores, most of them, once you open the product, unless is defective, you cannot give it back. This is pretty much the case

  • MusubiKazesaru

    I’m just glad I have it already, I would mind getting Prime Trilogy if it was cheaper, even if I have all 3 already.

  • burningsoup

    I bought my copy a few months ago online for $100. I had played it before and determined that that was reasonable to pay for the game. However, that was not the only factor that made me determine it was a fair price. I also trusted the seller, having bought things from him before. I knew I was going to get what I asked for, exactly as listed.

    But I don’t trust Gamestop. And I don’t blame anyone for not trusting Gamestop in this situation. If they’ve gutted new games just to call them “used,” then customers are paying $50 for the “new game” price and $40 for seller’s dishonesty.

    Now, it’s not like I imagine Gamestop is scratching discs and such to make their story better (I hope), but if this is true, they are tampering with a product and selling it at a higher price. Even just breaking the plastic seal is tampering. When potential tampering and dishonesty enter the mix, no one should feel like they should pay more than a cent for the product being offered. Yes, supply and demand is a factor, but in a free market there are also things called consumer rights which should always be considered first and foremost.

  • zeezee

    This is really quite simple, actually. GameStop or NOA either had:

    A. Enough extra copies to fulfill typical game warranty requirements. In the event that all sold retail copies have either exceeded their warranty deadlines, then they have a very large amount of unused stock that can be sold for nearly 2x the MSRP even without the case and manual. This is the going rate on Amazon and EBay as a result of the robo-pricing.

    B. They reprinted only the game disks since they can sell it still at nearly 2x the MSRP due to reasons noted above.

    In either case, it remains that they still control the stock as a result of their exclusivity contract for the game. If, in the event that it is retained indefinitely, it is even feasible that there could be yet another breakthrough… A magic second printing of the game, complete, much as Atlus has done. Even brand new PS2 games have recently seen a second life on Amazon, at a fraction if the previous price when it was “out of print”. Devil Summoner is one such example, as were others before it like Disgaea and some Persona titles. People still buy old games when there is enough demand.

    I probably should just sell mine, mint, complete, while there is money to be made. I played it for nearly 120 hours and thought it was among the most overrated games of the decade… I kept waiting for something to happen, but was bored stiff from grinding and questing. There are better ways to waste time for $90, like all of the outstanding $15-$30 games with better gameplay, characters, and writing. There are two other Op Rainfall games that foot this bill.

    • Zimmer Remmiz

      You are crazy…

    • zeezee

      If I’m crazy, then you are welcome to buy my copy of “the best game evar!” for only the paltry sum of $120 (plus shipping). It is like new and complete with the limited edition art book. It’s an absolute steal! You too can grind your life away for the price of a mere $1 per hour!

  • spinmuffin

    Welcome to Australian prices.
    You’ve had it easy, USA.

    • Charlotte Buckingham

      Expect an editorial on this very matter when RL stops chewing me out.

    • smacd

      Oh wait. I can’t remember the last time I saw a video game made in Australia and sent over seas… Or honestly pretty much anything else for that matter.

      And I still remember the days where we didn’t have companies internally regulating pricing. Chrono Trigger was $85 when it came out here, and Phantasy Star 4 was $100.

      If you have a problem with Australia’s pricing, maybe you should get involved with lobbying your government and local retailers to get that fixed. It took us until the mid 90s before game/software prices had really stabilized in the US.

  • Lester Paredes

    Excellent article. I think it’s ridiculous that Gamestop’s charging that much for the game, but I just decided to exercise my consumer’s right of not buying it. I saw the price and rolled my eyes and went on looking for another game that i want, but that costs less. lol

  • G

    Sorry but no, no game is worth anything over $60 in my opinion.
    60+ for a Wii game is just ridiculous. I don’t even pay $60 for PC releases and you want me to pay nearly 100 dollars on a WII game? Get real.

    • JPAR

      Anything over $60 for anything disc-based is kinda BS… But, wait ’til you get into collecting carts for Genesis, PC Engine, SNES, and Famicom. In that world, $60 doesn’t look so bad.

    • Clearly you don’t get the concept of how rarity increases value.

      Currently the only way to play Xenoblade Chronicles legally is to buy a copy of the game on disc. Finding a disc to buy though is the hard part.

      It’s like Earthbound. That game is actually hard to come by, and it was the only way to play Earthbound legitimately for ages. That was a Super Nintendo game, a lot older then the Wii, outdated graphics, ect…. and it goes for $200 as a used game.

    • loyal_ethics

      This game isn’t rare. GS reprinted it and they are getting paid off of artificial rarity. That’s why they only send out one to each store so the employee can say to the unknowing customer “your in luck that’s our last copie ” -__- yeah okay whatever you say scam stop!

    • loyal_ethics

      And just so you know earthbound is now on Wii U VC for $10 and the prices for the cart have lowered because of this

  • Bobby

    My problem with Nintendo is that they have a library of games, Xenoblade included, that are out of print and can only be offered through the means of buying used. Nintendo has the hardware to re-release dozens of their games on the 3ds and the Wii U but this has not been a priority for them.

    I find it silly that in order for someone to play a game, (let’s take Minish Cap for example) Nintendo does not offer a way to play the game through them. One would have to find a used copy or download an emulator. Nintendo could have that game on the Virtual Console on the 3DS TOMORROW if they wanted to but it is not a priority for them.

  • In case you didn’t know, Xenoblade was a GameStop exclusive. The only retailer who sold it was GameStop, therefore – they are the ones, along with Nintendo, who are responsible for the shortage that’s driving prices up. This is Nintendo’s fault too, for only selling this game when it was originally released to GameStop, and for doing this “vintage run” that will keep it scarce but on the market at a marked-up price.

  • Charlotte Buckingham

    Think something’s too expensive? Suck it up and shop elsewhere. I don’t shop in my home country any more because all games and other tech are way overpriced. I shop from a store that sources their games from Europe, or I get it from eBay.

  • RagunaXL

    you forgot to mention economics 101. the demand side, as the item becomes higher in demand the price raises. it levels off and then eventually lowers when the price becomes to outrageous. look at cola (soda-pop) and gasoline prices. they fluctuate. as long as kiddies pay the $90 price and they have copies they will do it. if no one buys it, they will keep it on the shelf for $90 for the next decade. in economics 101 however, it would state that they would lower the price to move the copies off their shelf at one point. but this is a rigged offer, so they won’t. they are trying to taint the free-market. Like people who sell bunk Saturn games on ebay…

  • Aya

    I’m so thankful that I preordered Xenoblade. This is madness.

  • loyal_ethics

    For all who want to just play it and beat it just GameFly it ^__^ you’ll be able to play it and save your wallet some hunger pains. Xenoblade chronicles has become the Jordan shoes of the recent gaming generation.

  • loyal_ethics

    do you all realize that a copy of xenoblade at gamestop cost more then a nintendo wii at gamestop ?

  • Remember that one?

    Nintendo is no stranger to this – they intentionally kept the supply of Wiis lower than demand at launch so the prices on the second hand market skyrocketed.

  • chizmad

    I think most people who want this game are going to pirate it, the price is insane
    no game after 1 year, no matter how rare, goes to be almost double the price

    what was the USED price BEFORE gamestop started selling it for $90?
    this is the ONE bit of info I CANNOT FIND