Extreme GameStop Pricing Leaves Some Fans Calling Scam

Extreme GameStop Pricing Leaves Some Fans Calling Scam

GameStop is charging a whopping $US90 for used copies of a Wii game — and it's leading some fans to voice some serious suspicions about how it got back in stock.

Xenoblade Chronicles, a Nintendo-published RPG that came out for the Wii in April of 2012, has become something of a collector's item for several reasons: only a limited number of copies were printed, for one, and the game was only sold through GameStop and Nintendo's online store. Copies of the game have proven tough to snag, and although it originally sold for $US50, hawkers are getting much more on used game marketplaces like eBay.

And then there's GameStop, which sells pre-owned copies of Xenoblade for $US89.99. It's the most expensive used game they've got, not counting bundles.

As of a few weeks ago, however, buying Xenoblade from GameStop was just a pipe dream; the game was impossible to find. But GameStop recently restocked their stores with nothing but pre-owned copies of the game, according to their website and multiple stores. Their supply has increased in some way over the past couple of weeks — as of July 31, you couldn't buy either new or used copies of Xenoblade online, yet today, the new option has been removed, and pre-owned copies are in stock.

I called a bunch of NYC GameStops this morning, and employees at three stores told me that within the past two weeks they received new shipments of used Xenoblades, which they'd happily sell me for $US90.

One GameStop source tells us the retailer printed a few thousand copies of the game with no shrink wrap in order to restock their inventory, then labelled them as pre-owned. Reached for comment, a GameStop rep told us they're looking into it. We'll update when they get back to us.

This is ridiculous. It'd be one thing to sell a game for $US90 because it's very rare, but when GameStop is the only retailer with access to inventory, and when that inventory has suddenly been restocked, this sort of price inflation is obscene.

Xenoblade is also now heavily promoted on GameStop's website, and the product listing has been updated with all sorts of new info about the game's characters and features.

Extreme GameStop Pricing Leaves Some Fans Calling Scam

One Texas-based Kotaku reader said GameStops in his area have also recently received shipments of Xenoblade, and that he bought one this weekend. He says the condition is just like new, and that the included Club Nintendo code was unused.

People on message boards like NeoGAF are reporting similar stories, saying their local GameStops have suddenly received pre-owned copies of the game, and that they feel new. Many also say the included Club Nintendo codes were unused.

Since GameStop is the only retailer to sell this game — it's no longer available in the Nintendo Store — they can control the supply, and price accordingly.

We reached out to Nintendo for comment early this morning, but it haven't gotten back to us. We'll update if it does.


    Is Gamestop in Australia now? No? Don't care. Why not focus on the fact that games like Super Mario Galaxy or Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii still retail at $90 in EB Games over here? This is why I've never picked up a Wii game in-store. I got Xenoblade Chronicles no problem though from Ozgameshop

      You realise that this is an article from Kotaku US.

        Although I'm not defending him, don't the Kotaku Aus admin chose stories to show on the Australian version?

        I call them admin because I don't know what else to call them...

        Last edited 13/08/13 9:44 am

          Am not sure - I think it depends on the time. Regardless this story is implying that Gamestop is artificially inflating price/rarity - which regardless of where you live - is pretty big and relevant.

            So American Kotaku wants to talk to Australians about inflating prices artificially??

            I might go ask the pope if he has heard of this Jesus chap.......they might be interested.

              You realise there is a thing called the internet. Where aussies buy games. I collect - this interests me. It affects my collection.

              I realise you are being sarcastic however I feel it is important news regardless of the recipient s being aussie.

      Yup exactly.. Nintendo Australia, just prior to the Wii launch, promoted the fact that they would keep game prices cheap (considerably cheaper than the other consoles).. There was an understanding that release titles would be similar but that as time progressed, the prices would come to be half that of the average price of a PS3 or X360 game... this was never delivered.

      On another note, Gamestop would never survive in Australia.. the ACCC would be calling them every second day... :)

        Do you have a source or citation for the half price games?

          Nope I don't, that's where they were very clever as they never made an official statement.. I remember it like it was yesterday, the interviews and stuff like that about this.

          I was first in line at EB Games Liverpool to buy this at midnight of the launch.. I read everything and I do not regret my purchase, I had a lot of fun with that console but that fact sits in the back of my mind and clouds my future judgement of all things Nintendo. I don't generally hold grudges longer than a couple of hours... but this one stuck for some reason.

      Gamestop are the parent company of EB Games, so technically Gamestop are in Australia. I never buy anything from them anymore. I pretty much only use Ozgameshop and Mightyape for all my gaming purchases.

        Ugh, i've already put forth a reply to cufcfan616, i won't vent my disgust at you.

      EB Games is the local franchise of GameStop. There used to be both GameStop and EB stores in the US, but the two companies merged.

        ah, even more reason that we could have our own localised article then

      You realise the company that owns Gamestop in the US is the same company that owns EB Games here in Australia, right? Gamestop and EB Games are more or less than same company with a different branding, similar to Burger King and Hungry Jack's.

      Because it's a case of a single retailer price-gouging on a game, and it's interesting regardless of which market it's affecting?

      Completely different to the $90 game thing you're talking about since all those "evergreen" titles are still either at the same price they were originally or less. This one has actually had its price increased.

      You do realise tha Gamestop is the parent company of EB Games.... Hence EB being a rip off here in Aus. Same evil company. I should know I used to work for them

      Congratulations on sending your money overseas and helping to contribute to the loss of local business and jobs, and propping up the economy and sales figures of a different country, how Australian of you.

      As for EB, they sell for RRP. Nintendo set the RRP on Nintendo published games. Got a problem with pricing at EB? Find the publisher. Some people are either stupid or hard to please. Its not enough the price-gap has shrunk in the last two years, people are still gonna sook about the price of a game a few years ago. Did you know i paid, at retail, only $3-$4 more than the US price for Pikmin 3? Yeah thats how little the price difference is now. $68 at Big W, or $65ish in the US after taxes.

    One GameStop source tells us the retailer printed a few thousand copies of the game with no shrink wrap in order to restock their inventory, then labelled them as pre-owned

    Do retailers print the game? I was under the impression it was the publishers who did that?

      That's how I read it too... I wonder if these aren't burnt copies, with new codes from Nintendo?

      Individual retailers can approach a publisher to reprint games and may flip partial or all of the cost to make it happen. This is a risk for the retailer if they don't sell but otherwise the retailer will likely see bigger margins.

    US gamers finally get a taste of what it's like to buy games from retail in Aus / NZ.

    Last edited 14/08/13 9:00 am

      Lucky you dont live in NZ, you'd be paying $105AUD for brand new game from EB

        My friend does, so I know what you mean... Yeah I feel bad for you guys, especially on the PC hardware front.

    Selling new games aquired new is common practice at eb-stop

    UK ebay seller had it for $20 aus free shipping few months back, still waiting on it. Get 'stock issues' whenever I inquiry about the status

    Having known people who work at EB AU, I know for a fact that in some stores they just stick pre-owned stickers on new games, 100% of the profits. Unfortunately that is business.

    They did something similar at EBGames while I worked there. They'd constantly restock preowned with cheaper, import copies which were brand new and label them as a high-priced preowned game, usually around $78-$80. I remember it happenning the day Gears 3 came out. Heaps of preowned on the shelf that day.

    3 words come to mind "fuck" and "you" and "gamestop"

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