Game Quest Direct Thwarts eBay Gougers

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.

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  1. Rick says:

    It’s always humorous to me when people think it’s the consumer’s fault that they can’t make money. Definitely an unfortunate side effect of the eBay generation.

  2. SamC says:

    About $#&*% time! I’m definately going to have to check this place out. I’m glad that it’s knocking prices down.

    I would think that the game publishers would like this too. Easier/cheaper access to good games, especially older games, will make people less likely to download stuff.

    Also, it’s one thing to be a collector. What these …people are doing is something different. I have no sympathy for people who buy up stock of something only to try and resell it on ebay. (Whether it be video games or xbox360s) Someone call the whaaaaaaambulance.

  3. Jeremy says:

    I never understood why publishers didn’t just press additional runs of older titles that fetch premium prices on eBay or in the previously-owned stores.

    Reminds me of Final Fantasy Tactics for PSX about 5 years ago. Used copies were selling for well over retail pricing on eBay until the title was added to greated hits list and re-released for $19.99.

  4. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    Ummmm…not to get all economics professor here, but the problem for the speculators is that supply increased, not demand. Now maybe the increase in demand signaled to the supplier that they should increase supply, but the problem is the supply increasing.

    I have no sympathy for these collectors. Collectibles are a fickle market and you really can’t expect to make a profit on everything. That doesn’t stop me from being pissed at the Rolling Stones for adding 5 gazillion shows while I was sitting on $2000 of extras@!#@!@!@