Thursday, July 18, 2013

Earthbound for Wii U Will Lower Earthbound SNES Prices

Nintendo released Earthbound for the Wii U eShop today. It costs $9.99.

That compares to the SNES Earthbound which sells for $179 right now.

Now that people can buy the game for $10, will prices for the SNES version change?

Prices for Marvel vs Capcom 2 plummeted after the PSN and Xbox Live version was released. From $85 to $50 within two months. And now it sells for $30.

Prices have come down from $200 since Earthbound was announced in April.

That compares to other SNES games like Wild Guns, Final Fight Guy, and Aero Fighters, which have all increased substantially since April. I think Earthbound will drop in price, but not as drastically as Marvel vs Capcom 2. SNES games in general are still increasing in price so Earthbound will have a bit of a tail wind keeping prices high, but it will decrease. This is a reversal from my predication in April.

What do you think? What will Earthbound be worth next month and in 1 year?


Travis Hendricks said...

I'm pretty sure it will drop the price of Earthbound by at least $30-40. I have to imagine a lot of people who want that game are gamers who really just want to play it. That's my thought at least.

Anonymous said...

I am hoping that the price will drop below $100 again. Do you think this will happen eventually?

Anonymous said...

Most certainly. I couldn't see an uncommon rarity snes game holding much value beyond the same price as say chrono trigger. People just wanted to play it and now they can without the steep price.

Anonymous said...

Index(Altus) is beginning to auction off companies/brands starting next week.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize it was that bad. I thought they were reorganizing.

Anonymous said...

Shantae is up on the eshop too. Just got a Wii U.

Anonymous said...

Short term drop in price, long term increase in price. People want to own the cartridge, not just play the game. You wrote an article on this!

Time to buy the cartridge is now or perhaps in Q1 2014, after the holidays. Two years from now, the game will be above $300.

Write it down.

JackintheBox333 said...

I actually believe that the $300 price isn't too far off. I think 250 is more likely though. The Wii U's market saturation is extremely limited, so there are going to be a relatively limited amount of people buying the VC version of Earthbound compared to Chrono Trigger.

Nintendo could also finally decide to port SNES games to the 3DS, which would have a larger impact of the price of Earthbound if it were released there How well the E-Shop version of Earthbound sells will directly influence the price. But because of the Wii U being the only platform for this game, I don't expect the price to dip much. The Wii U is a large investment, and if you just wanted to play Earthbound but do not have a Wii U, the cart is cheaper. (or you could just know Japanese and play the GBA re-release of the game)

Anonymous said...

That's only true if the Wii U numbers remain their current path. If the Wii U marketshare goes beyond that due to the Zelda influx and Earthbound is on the next gen console eshop, I highly doubt it will keep its price up. This isn't a rare cartridge by the numbers.

Anonymous said...

Its possible to hit $300 but i highly doubt it. If the Wii U gains marketshare due to a Zelda influx like the gamecube and it remains on the next gen console eshop then probably no. Its not rare by the numbers and counterfits have already shown up on the market and showing up more everyday.

JJ Hendricks said...

Great comments everyone. I can definitely see the arguments people are making for the price increasing. A 3DS version would have a much bigger impact on the price than a Wii U version. But I think the Wii U version will still decrease Earthbound prices, at least in the short term.

I doubt it will be like Marvel vs Capcom 2 where prices continue dropping steadily. After a while collectors will continue bidding up prices like they have other SNES games. But over the next year or so I believe Earthbound will decrease in price from its current $179.

We will have to revisit this next July. I've put it on my calendar to look back at the prices and write a follow-up article.

Anonymous said...

You know what they say about opinions..

I just don't see how the game got so high to begin with. I sold off my copy 15+ years ago because it just wasn't my style. Yet I still have my original "fantasy" based RPGs.

I always thought earthbound was mediocre at best, and always assumed the popularity was a lemming type mindset, much like my little pony being enjoyed by grown men. The internet really helps push this type of thinking. I see everyone say earthbound is good, so it must be.

The question is, has the popularity of it pushed it past the point of no return? Where its become common thought that its great so it must be.

Anonymous said...

It will drop. Y'know how I know that. At some point the bubble bursts on EVERYTHING that isn't a true commodity (gold/silver/etc.) This is a piece of plastic with a game on it.

Who are the idiots paying hundreds of dollars for Earthbound? It's not that rare either. It sold over 140,000 copies in north america. Now you can play it for 10 dollars. Are there 140,000+ hardcore collectors out there that NEED the cartridge? Of course not.

The only people that wish the price to go up is someone that wants to sell it one day. Everyone else with sense knows the overpriced games market is bullshit are only so expensive because it's "trendy."

Remember beanie babies? Sports Cards? Pogs? Comic Books? Barbies? etc...Name a trend. ANY trend. Then I'll show you something that has gone down drastically in price after it wasn't trendy anymore. Sorry Earthbound fanboys, haha, but you know I'm right.

Anonymous said...

I do remember comic books, and have noticed that silver age comics keep steadily increasing in value year after year after year. Amazing Fantasy #15, Hulk #1, Avengers #1, and many others have risen in price by thousands of $$$ in the last decade alone. So that's probably a bad example of price depreciation. Video games have an enormous fan base, and human beings enjoy collecting things, so I'm guessing that eventually reprints won't affect price the way they don't affect values in other hobbies. That being said, based on recent history, I'm guessing the game will drop in price in the short term.

Anonymous said...

I just recently got into Earthbound and at the worst possible time apparently. For a game that is NOT RARE, it sure carries a hefty price tag. But only because of the hardcore fans of the game, who I imagine are nerds who still live with their parents mostly,bad publicity and overhype from Nintendo back in the 90s, and greedy scumbag sellers. All I want to do is play the game dammit. Then I see how expensive the game is on Ebay and Amazon, and I remember that I have bills to pay.

Anonymous said...

I like how you classify merchants as "greedy scumbag sellers". Apparently you never passed an economics class to unravel the mysteries of pricing. The game is merely being sold at prices that the sellers know they can get for the game. Some sellers can fetch even higher prices for their games if they are reputable and are known to sell games that actually WORK--a very important factor when dealing with old video games. I know you're just bitter because we have more money and better games than you, but don't be such a wretched little cunt about it.

I've been selling old video games on eBay since before it was cool and my auctions provide a bulk of the data provided for this website. I sell dozens and dozens of collector-quality SNES games on eBay every week. I've seen the prices of vintage gaming rise and fall considerably over time. Do I beat myself up and cry because I used to sell Earthbound copies for $75 and its worth almost $200 now? No I don't, because I understand market demand. Just as you shouldn't cry like a little bitch because it's worth $200 now and will quite obviously rise and fall as consumer priorities change.

The point made about distribution is probably one of the only accurate comments out of all the baseless conjecture spewed on this board. Earthbound sold a lot of copies, and the prices are only sky high because retro gaming exploded last year. It actually stretches the resources on 140,000 Earthbound copies very thin. Are there still a lot of Earthbound copies being sold on eBay? Absolutely, but do most of them sell? Yes.

Retro gaming is very popular because the kids who grew up with the SNES are in that period of their lives when they have more money than ever before and have minimal financial obligations, so the best way to spend their money is on the stuff they loved when they were kids. They don't have teenage children yet, second mortgages (or hell, most probably don't have a first mortgage), or any other middle-aged financial crisis that eats up their salary.

Younger kids don't give a shit about Earthbound, or any old video games for that matter, save for maybe 1% of that demographic. Baby boomers certainly don't care, their idea of a video game is pinball.

When the kids of the NES/SNES generations move toward middle-age and they actually have to spend money on important stuff, they'll justify the appreciated value on their game collection as "satisfactory" and sell it all off, save for a few of their absolute favorites. This will saturate the market to levels unseen since the late 90s/early 00s. I remember going to video game buyback stores in the late 90s and they wouldn't even take SNES games unless they were the really rare RPGs because they had stacks and stacks of them that nobody wanted.

The only games that won't be severely impacted will be sealed games and pristine CIB games, because as the years go by the availability of those will only get smaller and smaller.

On the other hand, there will be plenty of Earthbound copies that look like they were put through a garbage disposal and they'll probably be worth $15 when the 80s & 90s kids hit retirement age.

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