Gamestop drew a lot of flak last week when they received additional shipments of the ultra-rare and highly sought after Xenoblade: Chronicles and decided to charge $90 for it, but they say that they’re simply charging the market value for the product.
“As always, our pricing for these games is competitive and is based on current market value driven by supply and demand,” Gamestop said in a statement issued to Kotaku. “PowerUp Pro members always receive a 10 percent discount and earn PUR points on pre-owned purchases.”
Despite only being released a little more than a year ago, Gamestop says that Xenoblade Chronicles is a “vintage release,” and as such, demands a premium price. The company apparently received a shipment of reprints of the game from Nintendo last weekend. Stores were allegedly instructed to open new copies of the game and sell them as used titles, since Gamestop apparently isn’t allowed to sell new games above their original MSRP. Gamestop has been selling these “used” copies of Xenoblade for $90, which is about the average price that copies of the game go for on eBay.
Gamestop’s statement also mentioned that the company would be restocking reprints of even more hard-to-find and out of print “vintage” titles in the future, and they specifically mentioned that Metroid Prime Trilogy (another rare Wii game that often eBays for around $100,) would be available at their stores soon. Unlike Xenoblade, Metroid Prime Trilogy was never a Gamestop exclusive, so it’s currently unknown if the Metroid reprints are only being shipped to Gamestop or if they’re going to be sold at other retailers as well. If it only comes to Gamestop, expect to pay “market value” (i.e. double the original price,) for that game as well.
Like I said last time, Xenoblade is definitely one of the best RPG’s to come out in the last few years, so if you missed out on it (and a lot of people unfortunately did,) it’s still worth pick up, even with Gamestop’s ridiculous mark-up. There used to be a company called Game Quest Direct that managed to secure reprints of some rare PS2 games a few years ago (a few Shin Megami Tensei titles, Tecmo’s Fatal Frame trilogy, and a few more,) and they actually sold those games for well below the original retail price. It was a nice move that generated a lot of postive goodwill from gamers, but apparently Gamestop is more interested in short term profits gained from price-gouging than guaranteeing repeat business.