This report looks at the Publishers, Consoles, Genres, and Games with the best and worst resale values. It includes over 1,000 games released during 2009 for Nintendo DS, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii, Playstation 3, and Playstation 2.
The list of publisher resale values below includes every publisher with five or more games released in 2009. The '% Change' column is the average change in resale price from the original MSRP to the average price during December 2009.
Top Ten Game Publishers By Resale Value
MTV Games had the best resale value of all video game publishers in 2009. Their average game declined in value 15%. This was due in large part to the Beatles Rock Band bundles which kept their value better than most games.
Atlus was number two because of Demon's Souls which became a big hit for them but was hard to find at stores for a while. The Demon's Souls Deluxe Edition had the biggest increase in resale value of any game in 2009 (see the chart below). "Atlus has a very small but loyal install base and unfortunately most retailers either do not stock Atlus products, or keep a limited supply. I think what we are seeing here is not necessarily eBay functioning as a secondary market, but a primary one for Atlus fans" says Jesse Divnich of EEDAR.
All Game Publishers By Resale Value
The table shown below is an average of all the games released during 2009 for each console with the average MSRP and average price in December used to calculate the '% Change'.
Console By Average Resale Value Per Game
The average Wii game had a better resale value than any other console while the Xbox 360 had the lowest resale value. The Wii's resale values are helped by Nintendo published games, which tend to keep their value over the long run. The popularity of the Wii in December also contributed to the higher resale values because more Wii owners were looking for games during the time when the data was gathered.
The top 10 games ranked by the '% Change' in resale value.
Demon's Souls Deluxe Edition had the biggest increase in resale value during 2009. It increased in price 66%. The deluxe version was made in limited quantities and Demon's Souls became one of the top RPG's of the year so the game was very sought after.
There were two other collector's edition games in the top 10, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition and Forza Motorsport 3 Limited Collector's Edition. As we have shown before, Collector's editions drop in price less than the regular versions on average.
Half of the top 10 are casual games like Just Dance, Salon Superstar, and Dreamer Horse Trainer. On average casual games keep their value longer than other games because they sell longer at retail and casual gamers don't resell their games as quickly as gamers who beat a game and trades it towards another game.
Video game genres ranked by '% Change' in resale value.
The genres with the best resale values in 2009 were soccer, role playing games (RPG), and basketball. Soccer and basketball were helped by their late release dates in 2009. Almost every soccer and basketball game was released in October or November, which gives them less time to depreciate in value.
RPG's tend to have high resale values because they are popular collector's items and they don't sell as well as other genre's so there are fewer copies to be resold.
Baseball had the biggest drop in price during 2009 with a decrease of more than 50%. It has the opposite problem that soccer and basketball did because all the baseball games are released in early in the year to coincide with the start of baseball season.
2009 Prices Compared to 2008 Prices
"It's likely that these resale rankings will swing wildly from year to year" says Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities. Seven of the top 10 publishers are different from 2008 to 2009. Only Nintendo, MTV Games, and Natsume make the list in both years.
According to Jesse Divinich, "Of all the publishers Nintendo is among the top for preventing price protection (discounts at retailers), which is why they maintain a high resale value on secondary markets such as eBay."
There was no variation at all in the console rankings from 2008 to 2009. Wii and Nintendo DS games were at the top of the list in both reports and Xbox 360 and PS3 games were at the bottom.
In general, Wii and DS games have a longer shelf live and sell over a longer period of time so the resale prices stay higher. There are more people buying the games over a longer period of time.
Conversely, Xbox 360 and PS3 games are very front loaded with a much larger percentage of a game's sales occurring in the first month of sales. In the following months used games flood the market as the hardcore games move onto the next big release, which causes lower resale prices.