Is GameStop using its position as the sole US distributor of a critically acclaimed Japanese RPG to bilk customers for an extra $40 per copy, selling newly printed copies as used? Kotaku writes that numerous players are seeing a glut of the once hard-to-find Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii at GameStop stores, where they’re selling used for $89.99 — not a shocking price for a collector’s item, but nearly double what the game sold for new in 2012. A post on GoNintendo shows that the copies now making their way into stores are packed inside new cases, providing further evidence that the games are part of a fresh production run and not some newly-discovered stash.
So what gives? GameStop responded to the original Kotaku story saying that it was "recently able to source a limited number of copies" of Xenoblade and that the high price is "based on current market value driven by supply and demand." In other words, because the game is fetching upwards of $100 on eBay, GameStop feels it’s justified in charging collector’s item prices for a game whose US distribution it has sole control over. It’s certainly conceivable that the costs of doing a reprint are such that it only makes sense at the higher price, but that’s unlikely to cheer up the gamers coughing up $89.99 for reissues of a year-old Wii game. We’ve reached out to Nintendo for comment, and will update you if and when we hear back.