If you've been hoping to get a copy of Nintendo's Ring Fit Adventure in Australia, it's been a tough gig. Not only has supply of Nintendo's exercise game been short since its release, but copies of the game are in such short supply that EB Games have started capping the amount of copies people can buy - and even upcoming shipments might already be sold out.
Ring Fit Adventure is tricky from a stock perspective because of the physical accessories required. In Australia, the game's priced at $124.95, shipping with the Ring-Con controller and another accessory that straps to your leg.
As Kotaku editor Stephen found towards the end of last year, it's a surprisingly great way of gamifying exercise. But if you wanted to play the game in Australia, supply of the cartridge and accessories has been hard to come by.
According to multiple EB employees who spoke to Kotaku Australia anonymously as they were not authorised to speak on behalf of the company, stock of the Nintendo exercise game has been bought up at a surprisingly rapid pace. One EB staffer told Kotaku Australia over the phone that resellers buying in bulk were an issue, with buyers reselling the game on auction sites like eBay and Taobao. Another staffer at a separate store said their copies of Ring Fit Adventure had been sold purely through online orders within five minutes of it becoming available. That was the same tale relayed by a third EB employee at a separate store, who mentioned that they had one person order at least 7 copies of Ring Fit in one hit, while another customer had ordered 5 copies of Ring Fit Adventure across different stores.
To make things worse for local gamers who missed out on Ring Fit, another manager at a major Sydney CBD location told Kotaku Australia that while stores will get a very small amount of stock next week, their allocation had already gone towards online pre-orders.
Chinese demand for the game spiked due to supply shortages and partially because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to CNBC and the South China Morning Post's tech off-shoot Abacus. Abacus noted the game's popularity was driven by gamers looking for a means to safely exercise while under medical lockdown, and that scalpers had begun selling the game for around 1,200 yuan (around $255), double the price of the Australian RRP. But some Taobao listings on Wednesday were selling the game for 1,500 yuan ($320) or more.
Following the huge interest - and short supply - EB has begun limiting sales of Ring Fit to two per person, a change that came into effect from Wednesday, according to an internal notice seen by Kotaku Australia. Staff were also informed that the next shipment of Ring Fit Adventure won't arrive until the end of March or early April.
In fairness to EB Games, the supply issues aren't of their making. The coronavirus has played havoc with the global supply chain for all consumer electronics, and the issues with Nintendo and games like Ring Fit Adventure are a natural consequence of that. But it's frustrating for Australian gamers who might have been holding out to get a bit of Wii-esque exercise in their life, only for stock to either vanish completely or be supremely limited thanks to resellers. It's a problem EB Games could have headed off at the pass, and there's a genuine question as to how the company will deal with shortages going ahead, especially since the supply problems caused by the coronavirus aren't going away any time soon.
Both eBay Australia and EB Games were contacted for comment, but neither responded by the time of publication.