Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Classic Games Get a Price Check

Used games posts are a part of The Geek Spot (TGS) family. It seems like every few months I'm typing up another post to talk about the used game market, best practices for selling, and why you should stop complaining when GameStop only gives you $2 for the latest Call of Duty release.

So it should not be a surprise that this is another used game post, this time with infographics! Sweet! MrGamez, which is an online gambling site (at the time of this post the servers were down and wouldn't allow for a link-back), created a series of graphics looking at some of the most popular video games from the 1980's-mid 90's, and the most someone has paid for a copy of said game. If you've stayed up to date with the used game posts on TGS, you'll know that a product's value will be based on multiple factors: the condition of the box and manual, the availability of the item, if the game plays, etc. A mint condition Final Fantasy VII is going to fetch a higher price then one that is in a generic CD case with scratches on the back of every disc.

The infographic focuses only on eBay auctions for the games it lists. It's possible that a number of these games has fetched higher prices, but it's uncertain. The graphic also doesn't list the condition of the game - if it was one of the golden Zelda NES games, or that one copy of Ice Climbers that had a coding error making it ultra rare. It is still interesting to look at and see what people are willing to pay for classic games. I'm a bit surprised that Crash Bandicoot has sold such a high dollar amount. I thought he went the way of so many gaming mascots and hid away, but I guess not! People still want the Bandicoot and are willing to pay for it. Now I will say that the pricing for Final Fantasy VII and Pokémon Red and Blue are obscene. No copy of FF7 is worth $1200. You can find it currently on most auction sites for $29-$89 (and if you pay more then the original MSRP you are wasting your money). With Pokemon, both games can be purchased together for $29.99 on eBay right now.

The problem with a number of these games is that they were popular at their release. Ice Climbers and Castlevania are the exceptions, but the rest have had anywhere from 8-20+ million copies produced. Millions. They are not rare products. Nothing about these games are unique or special, other then you get a physical copy of the disc. And with digital technology, most of these games are now available for download on Steam and through all three consoles. You can play them all over again, making the discs and cartridges less important.

Bottom line: don't get swept up in the image. It's fun to look at, but it's not a guarantee sale for your rare games. Hang onto them! 40 years down the road people will clamor for those artifacts.


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