GameStop has been working on getting back into the retro game market for a while now. When it was first announced, there was mad speculation on how this would affect the retro video game market. Would it trigger the burst of the retro video game bubble? Or would it cause games like Chrono Trigger and Earthbound to climb so high, you needed to take out a second mortgage to play it? The store is now live and the prices are…. Actually reasonable. Chrono Trigger is listed for 90 dollars, 4 dollars below the average 94 listed from pricecharting and Conker’s Bad Fur Day is 80 dollars, 3 dollars below the average 80 listed on pricecharting. Of course both of these items along with other desirable titles are listed as out of stock at the time of this article. One surprising item – the NES top loader was listed for 60 dollars. Well below eBay’s going rate.
So with all of the hubbub surrounding GameStop selling retro games, what does this mean for the retro gaming market? The short answer is it’s too soon to tell. This is day zero. GameStop sold out of these popular games quickly and there’s no telling when these games will come back in stock if ever. Remember; just like any other retro game store, GameStop has to rely on trade-ins for their inventory and if no one is trading in copies of Earthbound or Chrono Trigger, then they’re not going to stock it. This could be just like any other ambitious retro store that goes flop in three months because they can’t stock any desirable games. If they do manage to keep a steady inventory, then the market won’t see a bubble burst and it will be just another store joining the game.
While pricing has been addressed and determined to be a non-issue, what is an issue is quality. Right now on the site, there is a stock image for the item on sale. Is it the one you’ll get? Maybe since the site is brand new. GameStop execs have said in the past that the condition might be better than what you actually pay for. The keyword being “might” there’s also a significant chance that the label might have some damage or the discs might be scratched. While all games have been tested and guaranteed, the blind box grab might sway some collectors away from gambling their hard earned money away.
So don’t panic. This is actually a good thing that GameStop has entered the market. Hopefully GameStop has a warehouse of older games that they’ve been looking to unload for some time and it will stop the rise of some titles that have been sought after for some time. GameStop selling retro titles won’t cause a retro video game bubble, but they will hopefully keep prices static. If you’re interested to see what they have available, you can visit the site here