The US arm of retailer GameStop has ramped up the price of hard-to-find Wii title Xenoblade Chronicles.
Pre-owned copies of the RPG are currently available for an eye-watering $90.
“GameStop regularly receives feedback from our PowerUp members regarding old titles they would us like to bring back, such as vintage games like Xenoblade Chronicles,” a statement issued to Kotaku reads.
“We were recently able to source a limited number of copies of this title to carry in our stores and online. In fact, we have sourced several more vintage titles that we will be hitting stores in the coming months, including Metroid Prime Trilogy. As always, our pricing for these games is competitive and is based on current market value driven by supply and demand.”
Kotaku goes on to attack the retailer for the price, arguing that the fact it has an exclusivity agreement for the game with Nintendo in the region means that it is exploiting the market.
Not that exclusivity agreements would apply to pre-owned stock, of course.
However, it alleges that GameStop has sole control of the supply and that the games being offered are in fact not pre-owned but new stock produced exclusively for this new promotion.
If true, then GameStop has questions to answer. But the allegations stem from comments made by a source within the retailer – a store worker, we’d bet, and with the best will in the world shop floor workers aren’t always the most reliable source of information.
If GameStop has in fact managed to source genuine pre-owned stock then why wouldn’t it charge the market price? $90 is about right judging by the game’s recent eBay activity. And ultimately it will be consumers who drive this – if they think the price is fair they’ll pay it, if they don’t they won’t.
Premium pricing for Nintendo games is nothing new, of course. Unlike many publishers Nintendo will rarely flood the market with stock, preferring instead to supply as and when consumer demand is demonstrated. The result is that the majority of first-party titles remain sought after for quite some time after the release rush subsides and pre-owned prices remain elevated for far longer than is seen with other platforms.