This past week it was announced that Xenoblade, the Japanese RPG for the Wii, will be released in the USA. It will be coming out April 2nd, 2012 and will be a GameStop exclusive. I'm predicting the game will become a future collector's item and probably be near the top of the Wii expensive titles list.
Below are the reasons why:
1. Xenoblade is an RPGAll else being equal Role Playing Games hold their value better then any other genre. RPG's also have the best chance of increasing in price during the first year of release.
2. Xenoblade is Releasing at the end of the Wii's Life CycleRare games are five times more likely to release during the last 2 years of the console's life than any other time.
The Wii's successor, the Wii U, will be releasing in 2012 and Nintendo has already slowed support for the Wii. Until Xenoblade was announced there wasn't a single high profile Nintendo game on the Wii release schedule for 2012. The Wii is definitely at the end of its life-cycle.
3. Xenoblade Has a Very Loyal Following in the US AlreadyFans of the game organized a website (Operation Rainfall), email campaign, letter writing campaign, and Amazon pre-order campaign to get Nintendo America to release the game in the USA. The pre-order campaign was so successful the game was #1 on Amazon's best seller list for several weeks even though the game was never announced.
The loyal fans will purchase the game and probably avoid selling it which will keep resale prices high.
4. Xenoblade Will Have a Small Print RunNintendo held off on releasing the game for the longest time because they didn't think it would be profitable for them. Even though the game has a loyal following, it is only being sold at one nation wide retailer and it is a niche genre. Nintendo will be very conservative with their production of Xenoblade to make sure they don't lose money on it.
If the first print run sells really well Xenoblade might have second printings like Nintendo did with Super Mario Allstars Wii, but the game will never sell millions of copies.
Xenoblade Will Be More Rare & ExpensiveAll of these factors lead me to believe Xenoblade will keep its value very well over time and most likely end up on the list of most expensive and rare Wii games.
That doesn't mean you should buy the game as an investment by any means. Resale prices might still end up below retail price, but there is a much better chance Xenoblade will be worth more than other Wii games in a few years time.
To tide you over until the game does release, here is the European trailer: