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Friday, April 25, 2008

Effect of New Releases on Out-of-Print & In-Print Game Prices

NPD released the March 2008 video game sales data this past week, and God of War Chains of Olympus and Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core were the 5th and 6th best selling games during the month. We showed earlier that new releases raise the used prices of other games in the series, but this is a perfect chance to look at the price changes for old games that are out-of-print vs games that are still in-print.

Both God of War and God of War II for Playstation 2 are still being printed by Sony, but Final Fantasy VII for Playstation 1 is no longer in print. Do the prices of out-of-print games increase more with a new release compared to in-print games?

God of War Series
God of War Chains of Olympus was released on PSP on March 4th. In general you can expect some number of people who played the new game to want to buy one of the older ones. I am sure this happened with God of War, but you wouldn't be able to tell by simply looking at the prices for the original games.
God of War Price Chart
God of War 2 Price Chart
God of War's price has stayed very steady in the high $8 range for the last three months. God of War II's price dropped significantly during April because the game was added to the PS2 Greatest Hits line so the new price dropped to $19.99. This lowered the used price of the game too.

These charts make it pretty clear that any price increases for God of War series games were damped by the low prices for brand new versions still readily available at retail. People could go buy the games new and didn't have to resort to buying the used versions online.

Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core was released March 25th in the US. Anyone wanting to play the original though had to buy the game online because Square Enix no longer sells the game at retail. This caused a huge spike in the price.
Final Fantasy VII Price Chart
Final Fantasy VII went from an average price of $61.80 in March to $73.16 in April, more than an $11 increase in one month.

Its basic Econ 101. The supply for out-of-print video games can't increase but when the demand increases the prices increase as well. The demand for the in-print games increases too but the supply of games increases as well causing a much smaller (if any) increase in price.

If you are planning on buying a sequel video game in the future be sure to replay the games in the series BEFORE the new one. You'll save yourself some money.

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