Silicon Era has posted a great expose of Game Quest Direct, a once-retail video game chain that hit it big by acting as a bulk republisher of particularly sought-after games. Inspired by the absolutely mad eBay prices on games like Disagaea or Resident Evil 3 for the Gamecube, these guys decided to strike up deals with the publishers to get these games back in circulation at a reasonable price. The problem? The very same gaggle of eBay speculators who inspired GCD’s business are now calling foul:
However, hardcore video game collectors were irked. Reprints could not be distinguished from the originals, which brought the value down of their collection. That $85 copy of Persona 2 purchased used, dropped nearly 50% in price. Speculators who snagged up copies of Disgaea couldn
t profit from eBay sales. Especially proud collectors weren
t perturbed by the economics, but more that they lost exclusivity of being the only one on the block with these a rare game. In a way Game Quest Direct angered the audience they were searching for. On the other hand a bunch of gamers were happy with the situation. More gamers got to try out Disgaea and at a reasonable price.
Right. Which is exactly what they should be able to do. Games are meant to be played. Comics are meant to be read. Toys are meant to be played with. They aren’t meant to sit in a mylar tomb on the shelf of the smug speculator camping outside his local Toys ‘R’ Us every Tuesday morning at 6am, exacto-knife quivering in anticipation of the cardboard boxes it will soon disembowel, clutched in sweaty, cheese-encrusted hand. If you eBay speculators want our sympathy, you’re going to have to come up with a better reason than petulant whining over the fact that some kid somewhere gets to actually play a game he wants to play because he previously couldn’t afford the extra $30 bucks you were trying to bilk him out of. Speculation is about gambling on the fact that supply will not meet demand at suggested retail price. If the demand increases, sorry guys, you lose, and rightfully so. Way to go, GCD.