Gamestop is going to start taking older video games back to the Nintendo Entertainment System starting with a small market in New York. This pilot program will eventually lead to Gamestop selling retro games on their website to take advantage of a growing economy that has focused on playing games from the good ol’ days.
This decision shouldn’t really surprise anybody interested in picking up used games on older systems. Gamestop has been selling their games more at the market rate for the better part of two years. They know what this stuff is “worth” and are making sure they get their cut. The best example of this practice is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – the game is no longer in print and since Majora’s Mask 3D was announced, the price has skyrocketed. Used copies are fetching well over 50 dollars even though the digital version on the eShop is $39.99. Gamestop sells (if you can find it) copies for $54.99 and you have no guarantee that you’re getting a complete copy.
So what’s going to happen to the retro video game economy when this goes live? Will there fabled video game bubble burst and cause prices to bottom out? Doubtful. Unless Gamestop all of a sudden keeps a steady stock of Earthbound and Chrono Trigger in stock and keeps the price reasonable, the market prices will stay at a high level.
The only issue I do take with Gamestop selling retro games is that the overall quality of the item (Manual, box, label) is not guaranteed. For the majority of the population interested in purchasing retro games, this isn’t an issue. But for collectors interested in near mint items, they may want to steer clear of the website unless Gamestop starts posting pictures of each and every item they have in stock and price accordingly.
Gamestop will be just another contender in the retro game market and I don’t think anybody will take too much notice unless they start selling the retro games in the stores. So relax, people. This was an inevitability and I’m honestly surprised it took as long as it did.