Friday, August 17, 2007

Collecting 101: Genre Is Big Factor in Video Game Resale Prices

The Genre of a video game is a major factor determining if a game's resale price will plummet, hold steady, or even increase. Sports games are notorious for losing their value very quickly after they come out and being almost worthless 4-5 years later. Which genre's have the best resale values and which have the worst?

Video Games Prices by Genre for 2007
This chart shows the average price per genre and how it changed during 2007. All genre's decreased in price, but RPG's and Fighting games had the smallest decline.

Sports, Racing, and First Person Shooters decreased the most, with an almost 35% decrease in nine months.

Even though the average game decreases, individual games within each genre do increase or hold steady. Below are charts show the distribution of price changes for each genre.

Distribution of price changes for Action games
Distribution of price changes for Sports games
Distribution of price changes for Racing games
Distribution of price changes for RPG games
Distribution of price changes for Fighting games

For Action, Sports, and Racing games the largest percentage of games decrease in price 50% or more. Almost a third of sports games decrease in price 50% or more.

Then there is a steady drop in the distribution until only 1.8% of games from all genres show a price increase of more than 50%.

RPG and Fighting games are different. Their peak distributions are closer to the middle of the range. 31% of RPG's actually increased in price, while 52% dropped. Only 16% of games in other genre's increased.

RPG's are two times more likely to increase in price

RPG's Compared to All Other Genres

Comparision of RPG and All Game Price Change Distributions

Below is the table with actual distribution percentages for all genres.

Table of Price Data for All Genres

All genre's have some games with price increases of 50 percent or more. And the percentage is roughly the same for all genres, between 1-3%. If you were to randomly buy a video game, it wouldn't matter what genre it was; you would have pretty much the same chance of hitting a home run and the price shooting up more than 50 percent.

The biggest difference is on the up side at the 10-20% ranges. 18% percent of RPG's increase between 10-20%, while all other genres have a 10% chances of increasing the same percentage.

How to Use Genre Information When Collecting Games

How can you use this data? If you decide to collect some video games you should probably focus on RPG's because they have the best chance of increasing in price, but be sure to choose selectively. Most RPG's still drop in price, you just have a better chance of not getting burnt.

Methodology: The charts show the number of games for each genre and how much they dropped in price from January 1st 2007 to August 16th 2007. Video game price data from


Travis Hendricks said...

Not that the developer probably really cares (since it may not relate to high sales) but I bet it's satisfying to see your game price increase over time. It must mean you did something right.

JJ Hendricks said...

I bet the developers probably get some sense of pride from the higher resale values for the reasons you said. But I bet the publishers are not very happy, it means they probably didn't make enough of that game.

mndrix said...

Very cool. I didn't expect to see that all genres had games with 50% price increases. I like the histograms and the final summary table. Very informative.

Anonymous said...

jj, one of the comparisons I would like to see is by country of origin. Specifically, I'm interested to see distribution histograms that compare JRPGs with American-made RPGs.

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