News Article

Soapbox: 'Vintage' Used Game Prices Do Nothing to Encourage Customer Loyalty

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Tom Whitehead has socks older than Xenoblade Chronicles, will sell for $10

The Wii is very much last-gen now, even if we're still in a peculiar Twilight Zone where poor Wii U momentum has seen it consistently outsold by its predecessor. The transition to the new system will be well and truly brought home in the coming months and Holiday season, however, with Nintendo going big on new software and pushing the HD system aggressively.

What the Wii isn't, not quite yet, is retro. Certainly the policy we've always had here at Nintendo Life is to match up with Nintendo's backward compatibility policy; so Wii is still current (and has its own section) due to its presence on the Wii U hardware and occasional new release, and likewise with the DSi / DS family of systems on the 3DS. Even looking beyond the important aspects such as gameplay and fun, I still think some Wii games look gorgeous to current-gen eyes; there are examples such as the two Super Mario Galaxy titles, Donkey Kong Country Returns and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and I don't mean in the sense that many 8-bit and 16-bit games look good, but rather that these are releases I'd happily play on a high-end PC and not think "gosh, these visuals are a bit naff". We also have the fact that the Wii U makes plenty of use of Wii Remote and Nunchuk control options, so the Wii is still — in some form — prominent in plenty of living rooms.

And yet, in the parallel universe that is retail marketing, Xenoblade Chronicles is sold "used" for $90 — released in North America in 2012 — and Metroid Prime Trilogy is another member of the "vintage" range at $84.99. Now, to be fair to GameStop, the retailer can just about justify the use of the word "vintage" to describe the title, as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as follows, for one of the adjective entries:

Denoting something from the past of high quality, especially something representing the best of its kind.

Personally though, I see the "vintage" tag and think it's a little ludicrous as we're talking about games that are barely a few years old (my lunch today is in the past, should I say it was "vintage" because it was tasty?), with Metroid Prime Trilogy stretching back to 2009. I know we live in a modern world of the web and short memories, but these are titles still very much part of the gaming scene; they've not been desired for well over a decade in the manner of something like EarthBound, anyway. What these two games do represent, however, is what I feel is blatant cynicism and profiteering, charges I apply mostly to GameStop in this case, but with a smidge or criticism set aside for Nintendo itself. Both releases were eagerly desired but produced in limited numbers, and in effect manipulated the market; if enough copies had been produced to meet consumer demand, we wouldn't have used copies selling for more than a brand new Wii U retail title.

For its part, GameStop hasn't tried to justify this policy, but simply stated that its "pricing for these games is competitive and is based on current market value driven by supply and demand", while the retailer has "sourced several more vintage titles". The fun conspiracy theory is that GameStop has "reprinted" these games, while the more likely scenario is that it acquired a lot of stock from existing customers, with some reporting that they received juicy offers for their copies (much less than the $90, of course). Perhaps it was a mix of both, or the retailer has other sources in addition to customers; we're unlikely to ever get official confirmation.

While retail logic and the laws of capitalism can justify this policy, it's one that's frustrated me a great deal; it represents yet another example of businesses in the games industry thinking in the short term and treating consumers as fools. Some may disagree, but I think there are some inevitable consequences of this move from GameStop (which isn't a new tactic from it, I know, but I'm focusing on this example).

  • Some collectors or eager Wii U gamers will snap up the chance to get these copies, as they are close to private sale prices on the likes of eBay.
  • If they sell well, GameStop will feel justified, say "that's business" and do it all over again.
  • Some consumers will be disappointed by it, see it as the latest example of retailers pushing unfair deals, and shop elsewhere and online.

That third bullet point considers a potential future, which I genuinely believe a lot of companies don't consider in any real sense. Yes, retailers make projections and try to prepare for new trends, and they of course try to "stay ahead", but what I don't think they do, for if they did surely actions would be so different, is consider the importance of fostering customer loyalty for years to come.

Retail groups have had a tough time in recent years; the games industry is evolving, more people download games, buy for less online and some play a lot more on iOS and Android platforms. A combination of factors have seen revenues consistently drop from quarter to quarter, and retailers have struggled or, in cases such as GAME in the UK and other territories, gone bust and started again.

I have sympathy for retailers in many respects, particularly as in many cases they have excellent, dedicated staff, but in my experience GAME are a good example. Since new ownership I've noticed improved trade-in deals, better promotions and prompt delivery with online orders. I'd actually stopped using the retailer after a bad experience with Super Mario Galaxy 2 but returned when it started again, and there've been occasions where I've shunned a price £2 better on Amazon to buy from GAME, simply because I think we need dedicated — albeit flawed — game retailers. High street prices are still a little high, for my taste, but I know from conversations I've had that revenues and profit margins are tough, and finding a balance of fair prices and paying salaries is an ongoing challenge.

So I think gamers should need game specialist stores, even if the mighty Amazon is a force that's tough to ignore; there's still a pleasure in going to a store, exchanging some friendly words with staff and picking up a keyring as a pre-order bonus, I feel. But retailers need us too, and perhaps they forget that. GameStop is within its rights to charge $90 for Xenoblade Chronicles, but it's a cynical move. Just because you can charge $90, doesn't mean you should, and treating consumers like naive simpletons may work for one must-have purchase, but it overlooks the fact that we're not actually idiots. Some may splash out on these "vintage" games because they have to have it, but will they feel good about it or valued as a customer? Or will they have an unfavourable opinion of the store and go online next time? In many cases I'd bet it'll be the latter.

I've worked in retail, and I've seen good and bad decisions made. There are awesome people in the sector that do their best to make money and treat customers well, but there are others that only worry about the profits. I've seen decisions from managers and executives clearly motivated by bottom lines and shareholder returns that are ultimately greedy in their nature. Those decisions may lead to slightly stronger quarterly results, but the medium to long term implications could lead to an overall negative.

Games retailers, in their troubles, have blamed everything when reporting on poor financial performances. Profit margins on games are too low due to greedy publishers, the online market is keeping people off the high street, there aren't enough big games, the consoles aren't attractive enough, and so on. Some and perhaps all have elements of truth, it's undeniable, but when the market's smaller and times are tough I fail to see how charging $90 for a used game helps. It doesn't strike me as a move to convince shoppers to choose GameStop over other retailers or eBay, for example. Citing market value and demand is spin to a ludicrous degree with Xenoblade Chronicles, too, as GameStop was the only major retailer with distribution rights. It created that demand and then cited it as a cause for the price, which is profiteering gone too far, especially as publishers earn nothing from these used sales, as I understand it.

Market values and continuing practices from the glory days are a mistake for retailers, and the vintage used games from GameStop are a sad indication of why some retail groups are struggling to retain loyal customers. If we, the gamers, are treated poorly, we have many other options to buy our games. Some retailers are, in my view, going some way to compete and win loyalty, but they need to get their heads out of current market value and earn our custom for years to come. Otherwise one day they'll complain that their customer base has deteriorated too far because of market conditions, but they'll ultimately be to blame.

From the web

User Comments (116)



Sleepingmudkip said:

game stop is the worst company ever on YouTube there are so many rants about it. when i went to get pikmin 3 it was sold out so i was about to leave then the man said he will give me his pre-order if i pre-order some thing else...i said no..and he kept asking over 5 times so i said FINE i will pre-order link between worlds and i left with his Pikmin 3....



Tasuki said:

I am hoping this is signifying the end of Gamestop. I wont shop at them at all they are one of the greedest, messed up company around.



JuanitoShet said:

I've hated GameStop for years now. I would not go back to their stores. I much prefer buying locally from people here in my area. I get what I want (mostly retro stuff) for prices that are more than reasonble. :



unrandomsam said: are as bad (I would have more retail download titles if it wasn't for them being given a monopoly).

Amazon sells everything new and actually keeps stuff in stock.

Game only stocks used at the same price Amazon sells for other than the latest game or two. Only sells cheap knock off accessories and doesn't even stock anything slightly older other than used or shovelware.

What we have lost is budget ranges of games that are sold new so actually help the creators.

I could see supporting them if they were doing a good service keeping all the official accessories in stock but last time I went their demo wiiu was connected to a 4:3 crt and it looked dire. Nintendo are getting nothing of value from them. (Gamestation was good until they ruined it. Anyone else is better e.g Grainger Games / Amazon).



Linkstrikesback said:

If they had even once tried to blackmail me like that, I would have left the store on the first "preorder x or I won't give you it!" because they're lying through their teeth



Yoshi3DS said:

its annoying because these 'vintage' games are the exact games i want. I'd be willing to pay £40-50 on the metroid trilogy, but not on xenoblade. super mario all-stars on Wii is also becoming harder to get but that would make sense since it was a 25th anniversary thing.



Macarony64 said:

@feline2 lol that's not gamestop problem even though is a bed company you should not blame them for your errors.
Edit: bad*



PAppleyard said:

I find it annoying the games & systems people class as 'retro'. My Atari 2600 & Master System are retro, not Xbox 360 & Wii stuff.



Cyberbotv2 said:

I live in NYC, and most of the gamestops have very friendly and knowledgable people working in them. And the membership they offer includes a Game Informer subscription which I don't mind reading on occassion. I don't have a problem with them selling these vintage titles. I have more of an issue about people complaining about it. No one says you have to buy it.



Macarony64 said:

People are making to much of a deal with this. I doubt that gamestop did what people claim they did but the vintage tag is just to make the game more appealing so I don't have any problems with some of his used games is the new ones that makes me angry. Open games when you ask for a new copy don't having the selection of 3ds games and if they do is very small.



SomeBitTripFan said:

I have to agree, I don't like what how much Gamestop has inflated the price, nor do I like that they withheld copies from the market, the problem is they are charging less than most every other retailer I've seen sells it. I don't understand why this has become such a big deal. From my understanding Gamestops has been doing this for years, just without the price hike.



HandheldGuru97 said:

There is one Gamestop fairly close to were I live and it is the only dedicated game store for miles around (save for this one retro store, but their prices are crazy high). Because of this I have gotten to know the people who run my Gamestop and they aren't bad. Hell they gave my brother the Donkey Country Returns 3D promotional stand!!!! However as a cooperation they do over charge for a lot things. This could've been a great opportunity to flip the tables on Ebay and Amazon and price these 2 games in particular lower and cause people to go to Gamestop to get these games a reasonable price. Still I don't mind Gamestop shady in some ways yup in another they do a decent job



unrandomsam said:

Just support Amazon they the only retailer that doesn't screw over the customer.
(Its a breath of fresh air to deal with a company that screws over everyone other than you as it is basically the opposite of what all the rest of them do).



jpfan1989 said:

mpt is 3 game in one isn't it? When you do the math $84.99 is $28.33 per game and that sounds good to me. Especially when compared to prices around the web, right now amazon is selling metroid trilogy for upwards of $250 and I've seen higher in other places, now I can't account for xenoblade but then... That one doesn't really effect me.



unrandomsam said:

Actually the retailers do deliberately want to limit the amount of games sold when something is first released so they can make more money on used games.

(No way a used copy of anything should cost £3 less than new (That is conveniently out of stock) and at the same price Amazon sells new for).

Gamestation used to be quite knowledgeable and get hold of SNES imports for me. (I bought Final Fantasy 3 and Chrono Trigger for £80 new from an importer but most of the rest they got hold of for me even ones I didn't know about that they thought I might like).



TomJ said:

This just comes to show that GameStop is INFAMOUS for CHEATING people.



Jaz007 said:

Picking up a used copy of Xenoblade at GameStop is actually the cheapest non-auction opition after a quick search on Amazon and Ebay. I really don't see the problem here. They are charging what the market is charging for the games, on the cheaper end of the spectrum too. A individual charges $100 for Xenoblade and sells then he's smart, a corporation does charges $90 for a games and it's greedy and selfish. Something is wrong with this logic. If somebody decides not to shop at GameStop over this then that is just plain rediculous. They are just a pawnshop and this what pawnshops do, they may be a glorified pawnshop, but they are one non the less and people need to remember that.



sinalefa said:


Edited since you already corrected.

When Xenoblade was released, I bought it directly from Nintendo as I did not want any business with Gamestop, due to their reputation, guess I was not wrong. I wish Nintendo released these games on the Wii U VC so at least Wii U owners do not get ripped off by GS or ebay.

And I could not care less about retailers. In my country any retailer will gladly charge you $80 for any Wii game and $100 for any PS3 game, and that is the norm, not the exception. In Amazon you can get deals all the time, even on recent or good releases. So my customer loyalty goes to Amazon.



unrandomsam said:

@Jaz007 Whenever a monopoly situation is involved the customer ends up getting ripped off. (They had all the copies - no other retailers were allowed to sell them.)

Same reason there should be a free market for download codes (Not giving a monopoly on it Europe wide).

Metroid I am not bothered what they do because other people did have the ability to get them. (As far as I know).

There is also the problem that businesses always like to copy the worst ideas worldwide.



Jaz007 said:

@unrandomsam Thy helped publish Xenoblade, that is why they were the only retailer allowed to sell the game. If they hadn't published the game which got them the monopoly, the game might not have even come over to the west.



swordx said:

You guys freak out too much. I've onl had on problem with Gamestop in 8 years, and that was a gu working their being an ***. Well guess what, HE GOT FIRED! If an employee sucks, that's not the company. I've found that they're generally polite. Also, $90 is a good deal for a near perfect condition Xenoblade. I payd $112.53 for my copy!



Einherjar said:

A really good counter meassure would be, to encourage Nintendo on releasing these games directly via the eShop, either for Wii Mode or even better, integrated into the WiiU (maybe even into the VC), It would come with the benefit of off-TV streaming for certain titles that support the classic controller (like Xenoblade).
I guess we could start another petition towards nintendo as a counter meassure to GameStops rippoff. That way, all the money would go directly towards Nintendo and the respective devs, they would have full controll over the price and GameStop wouldn see a penny for their schemes. I guess that it wouldnt be that hard to compile Wii games to run from a HDD (Hackers already did the groundwork for this).
And besides all of this, games like Xenoblade would explode in sales if it would feature things like off-TV play. Anyone fancy in opening such a petition, because i sadly have no clue nor the english skills for doing it even semi professional.



allav866 said:

I saw Tetris DS at GameStop once, priced at $48.99, which is too crazy for a DS game, let alone a Tetris game. But I did find out it was the best Tetris game released so far, so I do feel a slight sting of regret.



unrandomsam said:

@Jaz007 The fixed costs and the risk for doing that were next to nothing. (Even at $50 they would make 50 times the costs per copy). Means the fix costs are paid off after selling only 10,000 copies there is no way they could have lost. (They made 500,000)



JaxonH said:

"just because they CAN charge $90 doesn't mean they SHOULD"
This line by the author really nails it.

The fact is, Xenoblade and Metroid Prime Trilogy ARE selling for more than Gamestop is charging. And the fact is, if Gamestop WASN'T charging these prices, and announced the games to be in-stock all of a sudden, price scalpers would buy up all the copies and resell them on eBay for even more than what Gamestop is currently charging.

On the other hand, just months ago Gamestop was ony charging $60 for these games in used condition ($54 for PowerUp Rewards Pro members). They would only get a copy in at certain stores every now and then, but if someone wanted a copy, they could obtain it by having a Gamestop with the copy ship it to their local store. Because of this, price scalpers couldn't buy them up in bulk, which kept the greedy resellers at bay, allowing customers who wanted the games to buy them for half what they sell for on eBay.

That system was working JUST FINE until Gamestop decided to monopolize as much of the supply as they could before jacking the price up, then releasing their supply to the market en masse. This will all but ensure gamers will never get the chance to buy this game for a decent price again. Collectors will pay it, but gamers who just want to play the game aren't going to shell out that much money. And that, regrettably, is the biggest shame of this whole fiasco.



AlexSora89 said:

@ ThomasBW84
Just for that beauty of a tagline alone, I'd buy your socks for twice as many bucks.



JaxonH said:

As for Xenoblade, I don't think it was that sure of a bet, or NoA wouldn't have been reluctant to localize the game in NA. And I could be wrong, but I think the game only sold 390,000 copies in NA, and as well all know the game sold out. So that's how many copies were made. The game sold as much in NA as all the other regions combined, which is highly unusual for a game of this genre. NoA has analysts, market forecasting professionals and many other specialists in the know. And they're pretty good at predicting demand for specific titles- that's their job. If Xenoblade hadn't been a Gamestop exclusive, it's quite possible the game would have never received the attention it did by collectors, and very well could have ended up another hidden gem that nobody bought in NA. Xenoblade's success in the US and Canada was unprecedented.



Peach64 said:

I fail to see the problem. On eBay, the price gets set by the consumers... and they're clearly willing to pay a lot more than GameStop are charging. Why should GameStop throw away profit? If they sold it for $40 you can bet most of the copies they sell will end up on eBay.

They're not inflating prices. They're just matching what we the consumers decided it was worth.



unrandomsam said:

@JaxonH Maybe that is why stuff costs so much with all that dead weight in the company. Cannot think of anything they have done other than remove alcohol and religious references from games spoiling the original vision.

(Only changes that should be made are translating the text forget the lifeless voice tracks leave the Japanese one).

If you want to play a western game get it from a western developer don't water down the eastern style stuff.



unrandomsam said:

More than likely instead of paying the analysts who were wrong in the end they could have just paid to release the game.



Einherjar said:

@unrandomsam I hope that you are not reffering to Xenoblade with "lifeless voice tracks" since its (imo) one of the best dubs that ive ever heard.

@unrandomsam wonderful statement Sums up pretty much everything thats going wrong with the gaming market right now.



idork99 said:

I love digital. It lets me keep my games in my system without getting lost and it loses my temptation to sell games back that I don't play anymore. Power to the players! Gamestop will not make money off of me any longer.

Now, if they can offer more sales for digital purchases...



antipop621 said:

No problems with Gamestop, they take excellent care of my preorders. I don't care about their used games policies. I've found numerous gems at good prices there.



StraTTtheRipper said:

I'm impartial to Game stop. I get some good deals from there from time to time, and them selling these games for those prices doesn't effect me at all because I could care less about either of those games. For those that do, the eBay and amazon prices are a lot higher than game stops, so the choice is yours. However, Game stop does do a lot of thing that I question. Like why sometimes a game is $19.99 new, but it's $17.99 used....doesn't make any sense to me, and you might as well just buy it new. A good example of that is Lego City Stories: The Chase Beings on 3DS. It sells at every other retails store for $29.99, but Game Stop wants $31.99 for it...umm, why? I also can't stand when you go to buy a game and the only copy they have left is the display case...come on, really? They can't afford to have display cases? Ask any toy or comic book geek that if you open something, it's not "new" anymore. Yeah, technically it's not used, but when I buy a "new" game and there's finger prints on the disc, and it isn't sealed, in my opinion, it's not new.



theblackdragon said:

I'm cool with (most of) my local GameStops. these 'vintage games' and the ensuing uproar have done nothing to change my mind about shopping there.



SammyOfMobius said:

This is ridiculous. Gamestop has gone off the deep end. They need to go. Gamestop will have to come to an end at some point. Especially since the majority people order their games online, digitally, or at non-gaming stores nowadays. Gamestop, stop the insanity.



Obito_Sigma said:

Oh my goodness! Look at the size of that Game Stop! It's as big as a hardware store! Every Game Stop that I have seen have been extremely small stores the size of Star Bucks. They're basically a counter, and walls filled with games. We don't have any shelves anything like that in Target. How many games could they possibly sell? They must still have every NES, SNES, Genesis, and N64 games there.



KingMike said:

I suppose that makes sense.
I've heard some suspect some Goodwills are holding games for known resellers because they buy it. For a chain that's supposed to be a charity and gets everything for free, that makes me sick. Give everyone a chance to buy it!
For long time, they've had no vintage cart games (aside from literally a couple unwanted games like Jaws for NES). Last time I went, even the modern (PS2 and on) games were down to only a few sports game and the DVDs also seem to be almost non-existent.



TheKachoMan said:

GameStop used to be a necessary evil... no longer. The last time I got a new game there they grabbed a case off the shelf and fished out the disk from behind the counter. Is that NEW? I don't care if it has never been played I want it sealed! That was years ago. I only went there to renew my Game Informer and I am over that mag also.



NintendoCat14 said:

@Neo-GeoFan I completely agree.

I haven't had many problems with GameStop. I'm not going to get Metroid Prime Trilogy from them, but I got Xenoblade Cronicles new in December 2012 for $60. I hardly ever have had problems with GameStop in the past, and I will continue to shop there.



Bassman_Q said:

I don't see it as that large of an issue... sure, they could've priced them lower like around $60 or $70 to attract more customers, but these games DO go for a lot online, anyway.



Dr_Corndog said:

I don't see how pricing an item at market price is treating consumers as "naive simpletons." What I see as naive is thinking that Gamestop would or should price them at anything less that what they'll sell for.



Aerona said:

Sigh... I think everyone's blowing this out of proportion. But then I didn't hate Gamestop in the first place...



odd69 said:

i actually go out my way to not shop at gamestop, i was a once loyal customer to them, but now i buy from them if they got a special pre order deal



blesslife said:

does anyone have a link for gamestop ebgames for these games i have not seen it on the site looking for 2 weeks now



Funbunz said:

I avoid shopping there whenever I can. Cracks me up when I see a used copy of a game there for $30 when I can walk down 2 stores to Target and buy the game new for $20. I really don't understand how they stay in business. But this does have me considering selling my copies of Xenoblade and Metroid Prime Trilogy. I could buy a 3ds xl!



siavm said:

They have done this before with games like marvel vs. capcom 2. But as soon as that became available digitally the prices went down. So the only way to stop them from doing this on old games is for companies to make games available digitally. And seeing that nintendo has been adding old systems to the vc and now the eshop and full games are available for wii u games. It is only a matter of time before GameCube games and wii games are on eshop. But to be a little fair here in the US this game can almost go for $200 used.



theblackdragon said:

@KingMike: I'm not sure if you knew or not, but Goodwill has an online auction site where their stores around the country can sell potentially valuable items donated to them in an auction-style setting. It looks like they're able to raise more money for their education and work rehab programs that way. I just checked, and they do have video games and consoles listed on the auction site, though you'll need to use the search function (the console name seems to pull up any available games, consoles, and accessories; there's even a CIB copy of FE: Radiant Dawn up there right now, haha). if I were them, i'd absolutely pull potentially rare items like video games from the general donation pile, research which ones will perhaps sell for more, and put them on the auction site instead of putting them all out in stores nowadays.



Subie98 said:

There is nothing wrong with 98% of their policies. People are babies. If your store is full of jerks try another store. If you cant find one buy online. Gaming community needs gamestop like it or not. Just as Nintendo needs 3rd party's support. Like it or dont. Those are the facts. Most of these people are grown adults having hissy fits. Its ridiculous.



Spoony_Tech said:

Wow the hate in here is unreal!! They're doing what any good buisness sense company would do. Holding out on stock so it can be distributed to the masses instead of say one store here and one there. I also got the email telling me to get 45$ instore credit for Xenoblade. Obviously they were going to hold on to them till the time was right. If you don't like it don't buy it but its available to pick up and you can actually see the product instead of who knows what you might get online! Let's not criticize good buisness.



theblackdragon said:

@Subie98: I know, but he was talking about not seeing vintage or cartridge games in his local Goodwill stores and I was offering that as a possible explanation (and also a possible hint to check them out as a game-buying resource if he's looking for something specific :3).



GamerZack87 said:

I've been going to EB Games for most of my gaming needs for years now, and I have no problem with a lot of the stores I visit. The staff are (barring a few exceptions) very friendly and always open for a chat, and if I have any questions about anything they're always ready with an answer. If I find a cheaper price on sale or otherwise, at any other retailer, they're always happy to match their price. Reading other peoples' comments about EB's parent company kinda makes me thankful for what I have: a friendly team of dedicated staff who always make me feel like a valued customer.



Spoony_Tech said:

Plus the only company truely losing out here is Nintendo. If there is that high of a demand then reprint them and sell them again for a reduced price can't blame Gamestop for trying to stay in buisness!



Quickman said:

No one to blame but the people who shop there, anyone that buys Xenoblade or MPT for $80.00 has more money than sense quite frankly..



te11ta1eheart said:

While i tend to buy from amazon since i have little to no problems at all since i don't greedstop some games that i have i had to pre-order from there but don't go out of my way to pre-order or support them.I did pre-order Xenoblade from there to get the art book and since & i don't trade games in but every week i get an email from them for trading in my copy of xenoblade and would get 48$ store credit...yea i don't think so.So not surprising they are pulling this.



Captain_Gonru said:

Here's a little theory on this pricing; it's prepping the customer base for what's to come. What do you suppose will be on their shelves when the consoles go digital only? They can't very well just leave them empty. Why not drag out some old, boxed up Earthbounds? They have some vintage carts still in stock. The Power-Up Rewards reward page had NES games on it a little as a few years ago. They have to do something to stay alive, and trying to morph into a worldwide, vintage game store may work for them. And what better way to bring collectible-market pricing to a wide audience than to start off with some semi-recent releases, still fresh in people's minds and high in demand?
Again, just a theory.



Tasuki said:

@KingMike: I am not sure where you live but I work for Goodwill in my area and I can tell you some of the reasons for the lack of games. First off I can't say about your area but what TBD said about having an online auction is true. What it is is high ticket items are put online for sale. Now the one I work at we dont send video games we sell them in our store. However CD games like Playstation onward we have to send to another store along with our DVDs. I can't really go into why we do that here but perhaps your Goodwill Industries has a similar system. I know that when a customers asks me where are our DVDs I tell them which store has the DVDS and disc games. I would try asking someone at your local Goodwill.



moomoo said:

Considering these "vintage" games didn't come out that long ago, I think it's safe to say that it's the fault of the people who didn't buy them that there's any problem. We knew Xenoblade was good from European reviews, and Metroid Prime Trilogy was a collection of games consumers already knew were good.

All this does is encourage people to buy games soon after they come out, rather than getting them to wait for them to get cheaper. I think that's a good thing for this market.



sleepinglion said:

Please do not take my post as pro-piracy, but when I see a company using this kind of pricing model I think it pushes more Wii owners into that gray area where they can just jailbreak their consoles. My local library actually carries video games and even has a budding Wii U shelf. Both of these games are available there to rent. Again, not condoning piracy, but I think Gamestop should take that into account when raking customers over the coals just as Nintendo should be mindful of it when they release 9 dollar SNES VC titles or starve Earthbound fans for years. I'm a purist, I like my games on the console they were released on and on a retail disc, but let's face it, a free jailbreak is a workaround to play Metroid Prime Trilogy and XC for zero dollars.



Brother_Jolteon said:

My local gamestop isn't that bad, well aside from them speaking in dulled voices. But apparently I had onne of those power up reward card things, that's buffed up with points or whatever, she's asked me if I wanted to renew it and I told her no. Anyway, I agree that what they did with the price is kinda messed up, but if they can do it, then you know they will. Imagine how many people never got that ancient mew card from the movie, and how many of those people decided to steal it from someone who did. Its messed up, but they did it anyways because they had the chance to do so, which is what gamestop has done here, and I'm sure we all have done something shady like this in the past. Anyways, as long as they have my Kingdom Hearts HD Remix that I pre-ordered, then we won't have any problems....



CrimsonMoonMist said:

If the games are sold for about the same price you get used online,
I don't see why it's such an issue that they acquire these games and sell them in-store for the same price. My local GAME store sell imported Vita games for a bit extra to accommodate for the shipping prices and I'm perfectly fine with that.



3DSAllDay said:

Dear Gaming Community,
I am sorry for signing up for GameStop and as such I will play more of my GameCube games that I have not finished and will buy games from amazon instead (assuming my parents will take the money and buy the newer games from there). Also the deals they have are bad and the employees should feel bad.



Skeet102 said:

why does gamestop have pokemon soulsilver used for $40. the only thing gamestop is good for is the occasional pokemon distribution, such as the shiney creation trio coming soon.



WinterWarm said:


I'm good on socks, got any T-shirts?

I think GameStop's in the wrong. They're being manipulative cheeky little jerks. It's unfair and I for one hope they go bankrupt.


What the crap... >.>



KPac511 said:

I didn't fully understand that GameStop deserved my hatred until I worked there for a day of seasonal work one year. If you think they're bad at business with customers, you should see the "perks" of being an employee. One of the worst experiences of my life. I rarely wish for bad things on anyone, but I would feel so happy to see that company collapse on itself.



rjejr said:

I havent been following the Prime Trilogy shortage but Xenoblade Chronicles looks bad b/c Gamestop had the monopoly, then copies were very hard to come by, and then when they hit $90 GS miraculously has a ton of them. It just looks like they did something unethical if not outright illegal. There are laws against "price gouging". People hear those words and know something is wrong even if they have no idea what those words mean. Its possible GS is completely on the up and up, but it doesnt pass the smell test.

Though its still Nintendos fault for not printing enough copies. Or reprinting the game.



Pichuka97 said:

This made so much sense. I understand that these games are no longer in print but $90 for a used copy is absolutely crazy. Especially since these games mentioned are relatively new still.



RantingThespian said:

I only shop at Game Stop as a last resort. For new games I go to Best Buy, and for used games I go to Pre Played.



Torterra275 said:

With crap like this, you have to wonder why people pirate.

Xenoblade Chronicles is Gamestop being a jerk here.



Zombie_Barioth said:

I don't have a problem with Gamestop personally, never had any bad experiences myself and to me they're no different than any other company. I don't shop there much cause they're all in the next town over, so I usually stick to Amazon.

I think @ThomasBW84 is spot on here. Theres certainly nothing saying you can't treat your customers like walking wallets, but don't expect too many to come back if you do. You can tell a good store from a bad one, part of a chain or not, by the way they treat their customers. Theres a big difference between upselling and taking advantedge. This is something I think the retail market could stand to learn from the resturant biz, customer satisfaction is key.



Cyberbotv2 said:

@MJKOP : And I have to say I love your image too. And too add, if they ever released the Moonwalker game on Wii U, I'm set.



MJKOP said:

I had it on MasterSystem I believe, wish to God I'd kept it, never played the arcade version. Was it ever released on Wii VC? To acknowledge the topic, I live outside the US so I'm not really sure how Gamestop operate, but I doubt I'd be purchasing from them reading the article & comments, but I guess if people have no choice they're gonna take advantage of that unfortunately



LztheQuack said:

This is just an example of everyone finding another reason to hate something for the sake of hating them.



Sensei_Sendai said:

It really is quite simple, Gamestop take 100% profit from Used Games rather than whatever profit is split with Dev's and Publishers etc. They'll push high demand titles are much as possible. I actually worked at GAME in the UK for a while, they do actually teach you there to Guerilla Market, sell the old over the new.

That said, I don't really have a problem with it, as unfavorable as it is, Gamestop is starting to fall. Within a decade, I reckon it'll be mostly digital. But with this, people will vote with their money, this game'll be changed or dropped if they don't see a positive income.



JJtheTexan said:

Look, it's simple. GameStop didn't have to offer these games for sale at all. I had never purchased a game at GameStop in my life before Xenoblade Chronicles was re-released a couple weeks ago; now I've bought that game as well as Metroid Prime Trilogy through them. The irony is they created a new customer out of me, because I was hemming and hawing about getting the games when they came out; delayed too long and they became unavailable; and I was literally weeks away from paying more than $400 for the two combined on eBay or Amazon, when GameStop came to my rescue. If you don't like their pricing policies, then buy a copy on eBay or Amazon and get back to me.

Yes, I realize lots of folks bought one or both titles at the regular $50 or $60 at launch, but many folks like me don't have the time or money to buy every single game we want immediately upon release. As for whether GameStop was hording those titles so they could charge a premium years later... I kind of doubt they had the foresight to do that, and that would likely be both illegal and a violation of their sales agreements with Nintendo.



Kisame83 said:

@Linkstrikesback how is that blackmail? The employee offered his own personal pre-order. The "catch" being he requested a new order, which bumps his standing. That stuff affects their evaluations, and feline2 is under no obligation to actually get Zelda if its undesired. Can very easily cancel or switch the order.

I'm right there with everyone that the pricing and vintage marketing feels "dirty." But consider this- Xenoblade currently sells on Amazon for over $200. On eBay for a little under. If GameStop wasn't selling these, the alternative would still be twice as much or more. Unless you got lucky at another used game outlet, but that's a roll of the dice.



ikki5 said:


no thanks, without gamestop, the gaming industry will see a huge setback. Without them, you are looking at primarily ordering online where it is a lot easier to get cheated with pirated and less quality products. I for one have never had a problem with Gamestop (or in my case, EB games). people are friendly that work there and yes, occasionally you'll get games that have a large price on them but here is the thing, and this goes for every crying whelp here. Find them somewhere else cheaper if you think you can, I doubt you'll be able to. So because of this, you complain? You get the chance to buy the game again and you complain? Well, here is my lesson for you today then. Next time, buy the game BEFORE something like this and you won't have any trouble. Until then, quit crying, it was your mistake and loss for not buying it when it was cheaper and easily available.



XCWarrior said:

Just a long article to simple state the obvious, "Gamestop is evil."

I go in there now and then to grab a free streetpass or two, hate being asked "what I'm looking for" and "what I want to preorder."

Preordering is pointless, games are almost never sold out (Fire Emblem: Awakening was a rare exception). I go Best Buy a majority of the time, and Amazon second.



kereke12 said:

Gamestop has always been a bad company, there cheap, they cheat your money, that's why it's better to sell your games on ebay. Then Gamestop, the only reason I go there is because it's my last resort, if I can't find a game but other then that. I would rather shop at Wal-mart.



rjejr said:

@XCWarrior - "Preordering is pointless, games are almost never sold out"

Do you realize just how utterly ironic that statement is posted in this thread? And if you don't like employees in a store doing their job and asking you if you'ld like any help then you better never leave your house and stick to Amazon. Do you know why GS offers FREE Streetpass?
I'll agree w/ you though on this, GS is as evil as every other capitalistic company out there, and many of it's employees are teens and 20-somethings with issues.

@Kisame83 - "how is that blackmail? The employee offered his own personal pre-order. The "catch" being he requested a new order, which bumps his standing."

There are many potential problems here. You don't know it's his pre-order, he could be siting on a stack of 10 games that the store owns and telling the same story to every customer who comes in (which would make it more extortion than blackmail but most people use those words interchangeably). If it is "his" copy, then he wouldn't sell it in GS and put the money in the register. If it really is "his" copy then he is using paid time at GS as his own personal eBay. It's wrong no matter how he does it.



sleepinglion said:

@MJKOP The arcade version was a blast! Sadly, I'm not sure any way to play it these days outside of MAME or picking up a used cabinet on eBay.



Captain_Gonru said:

@XCWarrior If we're going to talk "evil" companies, you should look into how Amazon treats their staff, particularly the warehouse people. It's quite shameful.



ThomasBW84 said:

@XCWarrior That's not what I was saying at all. It's not black and white, and I'd never describe a retailer as "evil", ever.

Do I disagree with the pricing of these vintage games though? Absolutely, and I've shared an opinion on why it's a bad business idea, too.



LztheQuack said:

I think it's funny how everyone is calling Gamestop "greedy" and they shop at Wal-mart. Really?



Platypus101 said:

@Macarony64 confused... What was Feline2's error? From what I understand, the store employee claimed there were no more pre-orders left of Pikmin , UNLESS Feline2 pre-ordered a different title. Once he did, he walked out with the employees copy of Pikmin 3. ( I may be mistaken, Feline2 feel free to correct me if I am). Not sure where this lies in employee rules and regulations for GameStop, seeing as most retailers frown upon employees buying widgets at discount then reselling... Which is not what happened here, but it may be close enough to get said employee in trouble (but if GameStop believes he was encouraging sales, they may look past it with only minor disciplinary action).



B3ND3R said:

I noticed this last Monday when I went into Gamestop to pre-order Wonderful 101. I honestly think $90 for Xenoblade Chronicles is a steal considering that the cheapest on Amazon was around $95. As for the Metroid Prime Trilogy, I haven't seen a single copy of that since it was launched, but I feel that they shouldn't have priced that one AS high... Xenoblade made sense to me, since it has only been released once and is rare, but the Metroid Prime games have been released previously and I already own the originals on Gamecube, so I don't really feel like dropping $85 for the trilogy... I get that it was also rare, but the games aren't new like Xenoblade.



B3ND3R said:

@LzQuacker Not a big fan of Walmart myself... I shop only at Gamestop for my games... Or the Retro Gamer for my NES/SNES/Genesis fixings.



Bizzyb said:

It's price gouging, plain and simple. As for Xenoblade, I partly blame Nintendo...I mean, A Gamestop exclusive?? Really!? What if I don't live near a Gamestop, or shop online? They basically made it impossible for this game to get the exposure and awareness it needed, and yet they continue to advertise it with Mii Plaza Puzzle Swaps...insane.



gamecubefan said:

In this day and age I don't buy at all that "the gaming community needs a game specialty store"

The ONLY argument for that is that people are more often to be told at Gamestop vs. Bestbuy/Walmart/etc. "don't buy that game it sucks, here try this one" but this is the day and age of the internet, the internet opinion, and the internet storefront. There is truly no need for Gamestop by the "gaming community"

I used to shop there solely for my games, and would use them to sell old games and do trades. Cannot count the number of times I was in there and heard comments/sneers against Nintendo. That's the thing I couldn't stand the most.

We can do without the insults. -Lz

On top of that, I had 2 different pre-order promotion "prizes" that were never received. I know for a fact the workers at Gamestop took them for themselves and probably sold them on EBAY. They thought I was just some dumb Nintendo buyer that wouldn't even remember the pre-order incentive so they kept them for themselves.

Nope, I appreciate all you guys' arguments... but i will CONTINUE TO BOYCOTT GAMESTOP



FleetwoodMackin said:

I just find this extremely depressing.. just recently got a working Wii and was really looking forward to getting Xenoblade...



i-am-error said:

while i don't agree with the term 'vintage' being applied... i really don't understand what all the hub-bub is about.
when Xenoblade and Metroid Prime Trilogy were released, Nintendo made it pretty clear that these were both games that were going to get limited runs. Naturally, I took Nintendo at the their word and pre-ordered both titles. I am psyched that two of my favorite Wii games are also already collectors items that demand a higher price.
I am at a complete loss as to why the perceived value of these games has gamers that didn't heed the warnings about limited production runs up in arms (other than the fact that they've now got to shell out more $$ for them)
instead of crying about this, just go and pick up games like Madworld or A Boy and his Blob (both insanely fun!!) which can be found for under $5 at these same used game retailers that are charging the going rates for more difficult to locate titles



crazyj2312 said:

I personally don't like gamestop and I sure as heck am not going to drop 80 dollars for either of those games but for limited print runs, I get why people would be so eager to get their hands on them because they're limited editions and the price is justifiable .

but what I and many other people are curious about is gamestop's plans for other vintage titles. whether limited run titles are the only games that qualify or if it's just any popular game thats not in print, how much the trade in value is on any title deemed vintage, which generation these go up to, etc. will they start doing "pre order only" stock for games and hike up the used value? how long does it take for a game to get vintage status ie how much is the game going to depreciate in value before it rises?

I think a lot of the rioting and calls for foul are done preemptively because not a lot of people trust gamestop to keep from using this new vintage status as a way of justifying inflated pricing in the used game market. games depreciate in value super quick like 2 months after release they can easily go down in price by 10 dollars but gamestop, not saying that they will, could just force value after like a year and rather than it having it's actual worth of 5 bucks, claim that it's limited and sell it for twice as much as it was worth new.



World said:

I don't know if it's been said already or what, but I don't think it's GameStop's fault really. And is it even the fault of the greedy resellers?

Not that it would happen, but if all gamers just decided, "$90+ for a one-year-old video game? Rip. Off," would that price stay there?



efaulk84 said:

Amazon has some pretty shady people selling older games on its website so it is not different than Gamestop.



Araknie said:

With Metroid Prime Trilogy i can't really blame Nintendo, they said loud and clear that it was Limited Edition like they said that about NSLU, but we forget...nono, i'm wrong we remember what makes us win.

So, this is the way of thinking that you will find inside a Gamestop.
Xenoblade Chronicles was to be release in all Europe the 18th August am i right? Well, my local retailer was stolen from the possibiliy of having the game because Gamestop had the exclusivity.

Fine, i have to enter a Gamestop i'll do it for Xenoblade.

So let's start this final part saying that i'm Italian.
I enter there, it was the 4th of August, saying: "I want to pre-order Xenoblade Chronicles."
Retailer: "For what console?"
I: (sigh) "For the Wii..."
R: "It will be out 18th of August, you have to give 5€ to pre-order it and i will see you that day."

The 18th of August.
I: "Hello, i Pre-Ordered Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii, here's my document."
R: "Oh, sorry, but we moved the date of release."
I: "Nintendo moved the date of release for Italy?"
R: "Nono, we moved that date of release for Italy only, you have to come back the 7th of September, i'm sorry."

Yeah, sorry my donkey, why they did this? They were the only retailer selling it in Italy and they moved the date without telling no-one, i received no call as the conctract the have with pre-orders implies, surely damaging sales of the game that, in the rest of Europe, was out the 18th of August as planned, even in the other european Gamestops.

Nintendo should put these games on the eShop for, say, 30€ and do a nasty face to this damned retailer.



suburban_sensei said:

The only thing I do with Gamestop are pre-orders. Mainly because many times I go to buy something "new" and it's actually the display copy, that's technically not been played. However, I had a friend who worked for Gamestop and said that the display copies were played by associates to basically be able to talk about the games with customers, so's used. I never treat associates poorly, because they are just doing their job, sure some of the business practices are horrible, but it's corporate that is the root of the problem.



kondabasu said:

I've come to draw the opposite conclusion about Vintage: GameStop is playing its strengths against megamart and online shopping giants.

The "Vintage" schtick is simply that they collect copies of an out-of-print desirable game and put it on shelves nationwide all at once so they can advertise its availability while the limited stock lasts.

I agree that the pricing is a little iffy, but I think it's unfair to call people idiots for balancing the price difference with the hours (or days, or weeks) they might spend hunting online and in-person to find a cheaper copy.

Yes, it's a shame that NoA and GameStop woefully underestimated the level of interest in Xeno when it was first released, but I'm willing to give them both the benefit of the doubt that it was a genuine mistake: JRPG's aren't the best selling games in the US, and it was released very close to the end of the Wii's lifetime and only because a core fanbase demanded it. I think it was pretty reasonable for both parties to expect it to be a niche title and give it only a limited run.



DarkKirby said:

Repost from another topic:
While I am one to support pricing by supply and demand (and a critic of when companies decide to "raise prices for their competing products together", so they will all profit together and not have to compete with lower prices), what GameStop is allegedly doing is selling counterfeit items at authentic price. Although I have to say, if companies like Nintendo and Monolith Soft want to "get their fair share" and put a stop to these practices they should just release the game on the eShop at normal retail value (or lower because the games are old and digital release). As Valve's Gabe Newell says, the key to beating piracy is to make your service more convenient then that of the pirates.

At this point, anyone who doesn't want to pay $90 for a possibly non authentic "used game" will either pirate it or just not buy it, and either way, because Nintendo and others will not supply what people demand, they will get it elsewhere.



wombatkidd said:

So let me get this straight.

1. The free market has decided that people will be willing to pay over $100 for these games.

2. Gamestop is selling them for between $80 and $90.

3. Selling at the low end of what the market has shown people will pay for them makes Gamestop the bad guys now.

Yep. That's solid reasoning. /sarcasm

You can say what you want about a lot for Gamestop's policies, but this is honestly one of the most idiotic, whiniest complaints I've ever heard. If it's too much, don't buy it. If enough people won't buy it at that price, the price will drop. That's how a free market works.



NESguy94 said:

I have no respect for GameStop. They are a greedy company that enjoys screwing their costumers.

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