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Businesses Entertainment Games

The Business of Videogame Reprints 40

An anonymous reader writes "Recently certain 'rare' videogames like Rez, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness and Gitaroo-Man have circulated in the market starting at internet retailer Game Quest Direct. How did a seemingly unknown retailer end up getting these games? By acting as a financing publisher. Is this a possible future for other online retailers?"
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The Business of Videogame Reprints

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  • Also on PTB (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
  • I wonder... (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by LKM ( 227954 )

    If GQD can make a profit reprinting the GC version of Resident Evil 3, why didn't Capcom do it itself? Is Capcom simply not willing to take the risk?

  • Would be Dance Dance Revolution - Disney Mix for the PS1. It sells for a pretty decent price and they might make some money off of it. ddr disney []
    • Speaking of ebay: What's wrong with using ebay for these games? Seems to me that unless you **have** to have (what may or may not be) a factory sealed original then ebay is the place...
      • by joystickgenie ( 913297 ) <> on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:25PM (#14495205) Homepage
        This is still really good news for the people who shop on Ebay for copies of these more rare games. I know when I was shopping for a copy of Gitaroo man it was always going for around $70. The prices have dropped now I'm guessing that this is one of the reasons.

        In the end this should be really good for the cult games. There are a lot of games that don't make it as a hit out the gate because they are under advertised but later gain fans from word of mouth. Doing this type of thing will help those titles out greatly. This could help good games made by small companies that can't afford big advertising budgets get some recognition.
  • From TFA:

    Reprints could not be distinguished from the originals, which brought the value down of their collection.

    BS. Reprints can always be distinguished from originals. It may not be easy, but there are always differences - different paper stocks for the manuals, different type, a different dot printing pattern on the picture on the disc, or whatever.

    If you're a "collector", you have nothing to worry about from these reprints. It's pretty stupid to be "collecting" for the PS2 at this point anyway - in
    • But there's a difference between a game selling a few copies and a game like Rez selling a few copies. A really obscure but very bad game is different from what is generally considered a good to great game that is obscure. I'm not here to say Rez is super amazing (it's definitely worth owning, that much I can say), but when it's in low quantity and is generally universally liked, THEN reprints become a bigger issue. No one cares if generic-zombie killing game with poor camera angles and terrible graphics
      • Just because it is "rare" doesn't mean it is worth finding, ESPECIALLY if you are a gamer. I guess that's my point. I'd rather track down a copy of PDS to play it, not own it.

        In that case, PDS is, like all Saturn games, extremely easy to obtain, and for nothing. What are you worried about by buying an original copy, Sega getting their cut of the profits? They're not getting anything from a used sale on Ebay at this point. If all you want to do is *play* the game, just find some ISO's somewhere... right?
        • Interesting list (how'd you get the NPD/TRST data, btw?). I had a copy of Space Channel 5 that I couldn't give away. I think I ended up selling it for a pittance.

          I agree the whole collectable game thing is ridiculous, and your list proves it. It's not about the rarity of the game at all, but rather the perceived rarity along with an artificial demand. I could get a copy of Muppets Party Cruise on EBay right now for $12.00, not because it's not rare, but because it's a Muppets game that no self-respectin
        • KYA: DARK LINEAGE 1,765

          It's that rare ? Strange. It's actually a very good game. And I personally know where atleast 4 of those copies live -- several friends of mine bougth a copy after trying out mine.

        • First off on the subject of ROMs, regardless of whether or not a company makes any profit on them, it's essentially illegal because you are getting something for nothing. Furthermore you are getting something that exists in the marketplace, and despite whatever exposure/amount it exists in (something that will be in flux at all times), the fact is that you can always secure a true, physical copy. Because that possibility exists, it essentially makes it illegal to own. I realize this argument has been don
    • I'll probably be flamed to hell and back for this, but I have to ask:

      What is it about Rez that makes it so sought after? It can't be that whole gamer-blogwhore's post (with photos, bien sur) since it doesn't seem to come with the "buzzer" anymore anyway.

      So please, enlighten someone who has never had the opportunity to actually play the game (the last SHMUP I played was Ikaruga, and before that was way back at Gradius III).
      • by Fred Or Alive ( 738779 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @10:05AM (#14498918)
        It's mostly that it's an extremly good game, and presumably had a limited run in the US. The combination of good vibes from hardcore gamers + limited number on the shelf = expensive on eBay.

        I'm not a reviewer, but I think the thing about Rez is the experience. Gameplay wise it's a stripped down rail shooter (Panzer Dragoon / Starfox etc.), which on it's own would be rather plain, but it's just the intergration of the music into the gameplay, the stylized graphics, merging into a really good experience as a whole. It's definatley one of my favourite games ever.

        The Trance Vibrator was only released in Japan, like most of these weird accessories. The game does make good use of the rumble pack though.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I do love the ones that republish classic PC games, it is such a good way to get those titles that you missed out on.

    I never got the Descent 1 & 2 bundle, and I regret not buying it. While my current machine can't run them; I now buy PC games when they hit the bargain bin just to secure them.

    What would be really nice is if these publishing companies could get the expansion packs as well. For example I bought Sin, but never the expansion pack, and the republished version just has Sin.

    Plus sometimes at
  • I was robbed. There are other ways of getting your collection wiped out, or even just a bit of your collection getting damaged. I'm glad they're reprinting Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, as it means it'll be easier for me to buy it again to replace the copy that got stolen.
  • If you're measuring the value of your collection in dollars and cents then you're not a hardcore gamer. One way I measure the value of my collection is by whether or not I would want others to have the same experience. Measured that way, reprints of games in your collection is always a good thing.
    • I have to agree with this totally. The games are there to play, not collect. It's highly annoying to have to look at paying ~US$80-100 for a game that is only regarded as excellent because it's hard to find.

      What drives me nuts is these idiots that are all about Rhapsody and Rez etc, until they are suddenly reprinted and cheap and then they don't want to know about them.

      Personally, I'm highly excited that copies of older PS1 games that are normally stupidly expensive may become much cheaper and easier
      • I am a 29 year old male. Rhapsody is a great game and anyone who thinks that it is a game about singing fairies made for 12 year old girls needs some serious therapy. Unfortunately the entire "theraputic community" is in need of some serious therapy.

        Some parents even want to protect their little darlings from games that have in their lyrics: []
        I am mightier than the god
        The devil is my slave
        More beautiful than the goddess
        I put her face to shame

        There a
        • Hey, I'm keen on the game (and I'm 28). I just think the comment is funny, and can't help but think that it's probably indicative of the situation. not that the game IS for 12 year old girls, but that that's what they think.
    • Exactly. I have a lot of games in my collection, some of them are rare but all of them are ones I consider good enough to keep. If I had to pick one game to loan somebody, it wouldn't be the most rare or sought after, it would be the best game. Whether they can buy it in a store or not isn't the point.
  • Mmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Strell ( 877448 )
    I'm going to copy and paste my response over from CAG, where users have talked directly with GQD employees in the forums, and has caused a lot of debate/discussion regarding their practices:

    I just want to make one quick comment, as I know this is going to be a hot topic of the thread.

    I don't quite understand the idea of pride getting in the way, because chances are these rare games are going to remain at least somewhat under-the-table, so to speak. If I were to go find typical gamers at a college or som
    • Dood, want to play Daigasso Band Brothers? "Wtf." And so on.

      That's different. Unlike Rez and friends, Daigassou! Band Brothers was never released outside of Japan.

      we still have people who don't know Link's name is LINK, and not ZELDA.

      I thought that had ended when Zelda was made playable alongside two versions of Link in Super Smash Bros. Melee, which probably has D- rarity in all regions.

      Outside of that, the gaming population composed of people importing Electroplankton and Ouende is still rela

      • Ok, point taken on imports, but the point I was trying to make is that there are tons of games people won't get at all. You could replace Ouende and Daigasso with any number of USA releases, including but not limited to: Katamari Damacy, Culdcept, Chibi-Robo, Odama, Disgaea, Makai Kingdom, Persona, Rhapsody, Intelligent Cube, etc etc. Essentially any rare/sought-after game that is below the radar. I'd venture to say even some more mainstream games fall into this category - Beyond Good and Evil, Viewtiful
        • I'd venture a good percentage don't know where Gannondorf comes from.

          Gannondorf-banned []? There are two N's in Ganondorf, and a lot of people on fanboy forums [] might call you on that.

          Hardly anyone knows Ness.

          But a lot of people know Precious Moments []. Lie and say he's a licensed character.

          I can't imagine what will happen if some really obscure characters appear in the Rev version, including possibly Pit, Little Mac, etc.

          Little Mac? Would Doc Louis come and steal his bike []?

    • It doesn't lose value all of a sudden.

      Well, technically it probably will suddenly lose value because a portion of the demand supporting the ridiculously high price will be removed. Those of us who want Panzer Dragoon Saga primarily to play instead of for a collection will no longer need to compete in the same market as the collectors.

      However, eventually the price of an original Panzer Dragoon Saga will push back up, as the collectibles released back into the market by the reprint (since many will sell thei
  • Smart companies could make a lot of money re-issueing their back-catalog every 5 years for backwards-compatible consoles such as the PS2 and upcoming Nintendo Revolution, ala Disney with their back-catalog of movies every new format. A lot of people who may have missed a game on an older format (Castlevania Symphony of the Night PS1, for example) who can't find it for love or money now. Of course there's downloads for emulators or modded units, but that's not the point. There's a lot of legit buyers with
  • They should make a deal with Sega to release Propeller Arena.

    Yea right, when hell freezes. For now, torrent here [] and game info & music here [].

  • While I do think it would be a good idea if there were some easy way to tell the reprint version from the original release, this is a good thing, because these games that are more popular than what was printed can now be enjoyed by more people. If a game is popular enough that someone can front $100K to make a press run AND make money off it, then more power to them.

    FYI, I have what was apparently a NOS copy of Disgaea that I got last year for $20, and I'm pretty sure it's not a reprint because it still h

  • Give them life! (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by cgenman ( 325138 )
    As a game developer, I want these games to be reprinted for years to come... And not just the popular ones. In 15 years if someone decides they want to go back to their roots and try Rez, or TeleroBoxer, or Stretch Panic they should have a way to get it. I'm sure the original artists on the game (and I'm including code poets in that) would rather have more people playing their creations. It's not like we're in it for the money.

    Right now an expensive game simply means that more people want to be able to p
    • Yeah, the speed at which this industry discards it's roots is disturbing. PC games from a five years ago are a crapshoot, if you can find them. Some Xbox games will almost certainly never be supported by future Xboxes. Even with Nintendo building in emulation for old consoles some third party games will never appear again. And this is ignoring lesser known consoles. There are some Turbo-graphix games I'd love to play again. Why aren't there Battletoads on Live Arcade?

      If we can't learn from the past we can'

  • I think its smart for GQD to take the gamble on paying for reprints of rare games. Collecting rare games is a big interest for some people, and small game retailers like GQD can actually turn a nice profit off this idea and provide for a piece of the market that Best Buy and the big chains can't.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982