Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Recession Hurts Used Game Market Too

Average Video Game Prices During 2008
The chart above shows the average video game price on a daily basis during 2008. The prices follow the same basic trend we have seen in years past. Some highlights from the data:

2008 Game Price Highlights

  • Starting Price: January 1st | $12.69
  • Lowest Price: November 3rd | $8.57
  • End of Year Price: December 31st | $9.68
  • Peak to Trough Decrease: -32.5%
  • End of Year Increase: +13.0%
  • Yearly Price Decrease: -23.7%

These numbers are more meaningful when compared to 2007's prices. See the chart below:
Average Game Prices 2008 vs 2007
(The chart is indexed so both years start at 1. This make comparisons much easier)

2007 Game Price Highlights

  • Peak to Trough Decrease: -30.4%
  • End of Year Increase: +26.6%
  • Yearly Price Decrease: -11.8%

Recession Hurts Used Video Game Market Too

As you can see from the chart and the numbers above, the resale prices in 2008 decreased more than in 2007. But all of this difference occurs in the second half of the year. During the first half of the year 2007 and 2008 prices followed each other very closely. But July 30th was the last day the 2008 prices were higher than 2007's. During the last five months of 2008 the prices continued to separate and showed the biggest difference during the annual holiday price spike. The holiday increase was +26.6% in '07 but only +13.0% in '08.

I think most of this is because of the recession and the bad retail sales numbers in general. Many people didn't buy as much as they did last year.

The new game market probably got hurt even worse than the resale market because some customers traded down to used games instead of spending more on a new one. The large number of developer layoffs announced this year help to prove this point.

Buy Games On November 3rd

November 3rd was the day with the lowest average price during 2008 and 2007. If you want to get the best prices that is the day buy. The prices won't be that low again for another five to six months.

This post is part of our 2008 Video Game Prices in Review series.


mndrix said...

Only half the Christmas price spike as the year before is more than I would have anticipated. It's interesting that the low point is so late in the year. I guess as many people procrastinate their Christmas shopping as I do.

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