On GameStop Selling Retro Games

Seeing how much of GameStop’s money comes from used games, it makes sense for them to return to selling vintage games. I for one am all for it, putting aside any feelings I may have towards GameStop as a business.

I say “return” to vintage game sales because GameStop actually used to do it, and I enjoyed shopping there a lot more back then. Maybe people didn’t call the games “vintage” back then, but eight-to-10 years ago you could get NES, Super NES, original PlayStation, and N64 games at GameStop. I think it was only since the current generation that GameStop stopped buying and selling anything from before last gen.

Now GameStop is saying they see the value in the sale of collectible games. They apparently even have some inventory from back when they still took really old games. I know people don’t like the way GameStop does things, but what do we really have to lose?

Until a year or two ago I could find a Play N Trade relatively close to where I lived, and that place was a goldmine. For those that don’t have one, it’s a store about the size of medium-to-large GameStop filled with games and consoles from Atari to new releases. It singlehandedly expanded my SNES, Genesis, and N64 libraries while also convincing me to re-buy an NES for the first time in over 15 years. Every time I went there I would spend several minutes browsing for classic gems. Today a store called eStarland (the only physical store to which is close to where I live) fills the same gap for me while also selling plenty of import games and figurines.

If GameStop goes in a Play N Trade or eStarland route then I’m all for it. Some might be afraid that they might inflate prices or go squarely after the collector, and I’m not so sure of that or the damage it could do. Play N Trade and eStarland prices games pretty much in-line with eBay and Amazon prices – based on demand. I could find World of Illusion for the Genesis for $3 or WCW vs NWO Revenge for the N64 for less than $10, but those games might be sitting next to a $45 copy of Ogre Battle for the SNES complete with original box and manual. That’s probably the worst of what you’d see from a collector-driven GameStop vintage push. Even if this whole thing ends up being online-only, that’s still basically no different than eBay or Amazon – just a whole site devoted purely to selling games.

Now, I’m just saying all this from the perspective of someone who plays games and doesn’t deliberately collect them. I may have a massive console backlog but most of it is just cartridges in playable condition. I’m not saying any of this from the perspective of someone seeking out mint condition classics. If GameStop can successfully return to the old way they sold used games, then I personally see no problem, but I’ll admit that targeting the hardcore collector is new ground for them.


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One thought on “On GameStop Selling Retro Games

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