Tracking Used Video Game Prices Over Time

I wasn’t previously aware of VideoGamePriceCharts.com, but I learned about them recently through Kotaku. The site tracks the prices of used video games. Of particular interest is their recent article tracking prices of series games when a new installment is released.

The article shows historical data for series games such as Resident Evil, Pokemon and Call of Duty that shows spikes in prices for used copies of the older series installments surrounding the release of the newer installments. This is not entirely surprising, but I’ve never seen real data laid out to support the idea. They also have a posting from last year that shows the release of GTA IV causing a spike in prices for the earlier GTA games.

This has a few interesting implications:

  • bargain hunters and thrifty gamers may want to time their used game purchases to avoid these spikes
  • independent speculators can use the same timing in an inverse fashion to optimize their sale prices
  • open question: do some of the large-scale used game retailers stockpile specific games in anticipation of the price spikes in order to capitalize upon the higher prices?
    • It’s an interesting article. Finally, there are two additional things I would like to have seen included:

  • similar tracking for the buyback prices that the large-scale used game retailers pay
  • a few data sets for games where the subsequent releases cause a collapse in prices for prior releases (this is typical of sports series such as Madden)
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