Yesterday, it was suggested that GameStop received a new shipment of the fairly rare and in demand RPG Xenoblade Chronicles and is selling them as 'used' for $90.
Why would GameStop mislabel a batch of new games as 'used' when it could command a higher price selling them new? Like the number of licks required to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know because all anyone's been able to get out of the games retailer is why a used copy of Xenoblade costs so darn much.
"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," the company said in a statement to Kotaku. "We were recently able to source a limited number of copies of this title to carry in our stores and online."
"As always, our pricing for these games is competitive and is based on current market value driven by supply and demand."
Indeed. A quick look online reveals Xenoblade going for about $130 new and $90 used.
If these games were new, you can bet Bayonetta's backside that GameStop would sell them as such in order to charge an extra $40. So reasonably, this is probably nothing more than a new batch of legitimately used copies that were sold back to GameStop by gamers like you and me (well, not me. I'm keeping my copy).
"But Andrew," I hear you say. "You're telling me that a bunch of gamers just so happened to sell back Xenoblade at the same time?"
No, I'm not.
GameStop regularly polls its PowerUp Pro members on which titles they're interested in. Once it's determined which titles are in demand, it offers trade-in deals for those titles: "Trade in Xenoblade for double points!"
GameStop then collects used titles until it has a goodly number. After all, it wouldn't do any good to advertise Xenoblade's availability if it only had one or two copies to sell.
GameStop is currently doing the exact same thing for Metroid Prime Trilogy.
"In fact," said GameStop, "we have sourced several more vintage titles that we will be hitting stores in the coming months, including Metroid Prime Trilogy."
When that title appears in a couple months, GameStop will sell it for around the market value of the game at that time. Currently, Metroid Prime Trilogy goes for about $80 used (and about $200 new!).
Then again, maybe GameStop is printing counterfeit copies of Xenoblade to sell as used.
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen