Geniuses Are Buying Downloadable Transformers Characters For Big Money

As enticements to get fans to preorder the Transformers: War for Cybertron video game, GameStop, Amazon and Best Buy offered codes for downloadable characters exclusive to each seller. Clever entrepreneurs are turning around and selling those codes to nostalgic people who are careless with their money, and some were getting north of $100 on eBay yesterday morning.

Things seem to have calmed down a bit, as this screenshot indicates, but sellers are still getting enough to cover the cost of buying the game. The buyers aren’t thinking things through, because once the new release hype wears off all these characters will no doubt be downlodable for a few bucks.

Transformers DLC codes are going for more than $100 on eBay [GamesRadar via Destructoid]


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  1. NoThankYou says:

    Nothing new here. This practice has been going on for years with lots of other games that issue unique codes for in game virtual items.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      True, though I haven’t heard of prices getting *quite* this wacky.

      • Draygonia says:

        In guild wars, the panda minipet or even the greased lightning are traded for 100 plat and hundreds of eco… or thousands… Worth easily a few hundred dollars real life… The most exclusive items are worth a grand.

        To anyone that would pay that much for virtual assets.

        • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

          Right, but Guildwars, and many similar games, DO NOT PERMIT the buying or selling of in-game assets with real currency, and those caught doing so are banned. Just because it happens doesn’t mean it is permitted within the rules of the games.

          These are not items from an MMO, but item codes for a console game.

          • katsuyakaiba says:

            Okay…the Spectral Tiger Loot Card for World of Warcraft. A rare card that was randomly placed in card packs of the Collectable Card Game.

            Prices on E-Bay are around 500 bucks give or take…for a item in a game.

  2. Mike says:

    It is easy to spend your parent’s money on these things without a thought, which I would assume most of these purchases are just kids spending money they didn’t earn.

  3. Raekwon says:

    I always try to pre-order things and then sell the bonuses to cover the cost of games but didn’t think this one was going to get that popular. I did however guess correctly in passing on the ModNation Racers exclusives.

  4. AoE says:

    The best part is… this is an Activision game, and Activision loves money, so it’s almost certain that at some point a few months down the road all of these preorder “exclusive” characters will be purchaseable by anyone.

  5. kidincredible says:

    Same thing happened with Red Dead Redemption with the golden guns code from amazon and the war horse code from gamestop. RDR codes were exacerbated by the fact that amazon emailed valid codes to some preorders and the game had another code packed in, so many people had an extra code.

    • JRock says:

      I tried to sell my Golden Guns code and eBay took down the auction, saying it violated their terms of service. I guess I was one of the unlucky ones.

  6. AjariBonten says:

    hmm … how many minutes in a day? So, if there IS one born every minute …..

  7. edicius is an acquired taste says:

    Transformers fans have a tendency to do that.

    For instance, instead of just waiting for the Transformers Animated Arcee figure to come out stateside, some people were purchasing it for $100+ on eBay from sellers in Hong Kong. I saw one individual purchase it for as much as $180, then three days later, I saw it at a local Toys R Us for $10.

  8. Mr. Pottersquash says:

    there is value to being first.

  9. Paladingo says:

    This is Ebay, don’t forget — as there’s no proof of delivery if the code is just emailed the buyer can just file a chargeback. If the code is physically mailed, the buyer can use it then mail it back for a full refund. Paypal fully covers both of these activities.

    Selling digital-only products is not a good plan on Ebay, ever.

  10. tekgk says:

    These are Webkinsz for bigger kids!

  11. cmdr.sass says:

    a fool and his money…

  12. ModernTenshi04 says:

    I still have my code for the Deadly Assassin outfit for Red Dead Redemption. When the game came out, it was going for over $30 on eBay. Joke’s on any buyers: it only UNLOCKS the ability to earn the uniform, it doesn’t give it to you outright.

    The terrible collectors edition of Batman: Arkham Asylum came with two DLC codes for challenge maps. I sold both of them on eBay for $15 each. I also sold a replica of the bag from Mirrors Edge for $30. You got it free for pre-ordering the game at GameStop. I wasn’t using it, and saw they were popular at anime conventions I’d gone to, so I figured I’d let someone buy it off me. :D

    Same thing happened with the golden lancer and map pack codes that came with the collectors edition of Gears of War 2. $10 extra for the collectors at launch. Six months after it came out, the golden lancer codes alone were going for +$70 on eBay. Sadly I claimed both the codes, and played the game for a total of 3 weeks before shelving it and forgetting about it until just now.

    Yes, people were paying that much to have a gold plated weapon in their video game.

    Gamers are stupid sometimes.

    Heres a hint: very rarely are limited edition and collectors editions really limited. Some places still have those stupid Halo 3 ultimate collectors editions from several years ago. You can also still find the BioShock 2 collectors edition, as well as the Prestige Edition of Modern Warfare 2, which came with night vision goggles (and summarily the goggles were selling for +$200 on eBay the day the game launched).

    Don’t get duped into buying collectors editions of things. Get it simply for buying a game you wanted in the first place? Awesome. The game is from a franchise you’re a huge fan of? Go for it. Just picking it up because it looks cool? Get the standard edition.

  13. wildgift says:

    And the music industry is afraid of people copying MP3 files.

  14. Stahi says:

    This article makes me laugh, especially since all the “Exclusive Characters” will be available in the first War for Cybertron DLC.