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Tips for Buying EarthBound

March 17th, 2013 | EarthBound, Polls

A common question I’ve been hearing the past couple of weeks is something like:

If EarthBound DOES get re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console at some point, do you think the price of EarthBound cartridges will drop?

I’m definitely no expert in economics or anything, but here’s an answer I gave elsewhere (I think on the /earthbound Reddit):

I think the price won’t change TOO much – Chrono Trigger’s been re-released many times yet the SNES cartridge fetches pretty high prices.

I think it’s because aside from fans, there are just game collectors in general that will spend lots of money for their collections. Add on to it that it’s possible a Virtual Console release could have content changes and it might make having the original, unchanged one that much bigger of a deal.

But I’m curious to know what others think – do you think EarthBound prices will drop considerably if a digital release happens? Let me know in the comments!

POLL: If EarthBound gets a digital release, do you think EarthBound cartridges will drop considerably in price?

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30 Comments to Speculating on EarthBound Prices

wiiarebrothers said on Mar. 17, 2013

I think it’ll drop considerably. It won’t be affordable, but the price will be lower. Prices lately are just insane.

Jason said on Mar. 17, 2013

Yeah, the people buying the cartridges are either collectors or people who want to play it on original hardware.

A virtual console release would get bought by people who currently use an emulator but want to be legit, and people who currently use an emulator but want to play it on a tv screen instead of on their computer. And mother fans who are happy with their current playing situation and buy it just to support the game.

Erikku8 said on Mar. 17, 2013

I don’t think there’ll be a huge change. Though it’s crazy how high even Game Boy Advance games will sell for.

2sang said on Mar. 17, 2013

I don’t see them ever going below$ 100 again. I bought mine for$ 150

Justin said on Mar. 17, 2013

Right now it costs almost as much to buy Earthbound as it does a Wii U, so yes, I think it will. But like 2sang said, I think $100 is the floor, even after a re-release.

ClockworkFridgeworth said on Mar. 17, 2013

I have a feeling that the prices will continue to fluctuate, kind of like what they do currently. I’m sure they’ll stay over $100, and they might go up cuz some people would want to have the original copy.

TragicManner said on Mar. 17, 2013

The costs will never drop, mainly because the number of cartridges will never change. Beyond that, the people who are currently interested in purchasing are usually not just normal players who just want to play the game. Should a VC release happen, the people buying it will not likely be discouraged from wanting the cart if they wanted one before buying the game on VC, and I think some people playing it for the first time will find themselves wanting a copy of the original.

So, in my opinion, a VC release will just increase visibility and accessibility to the game itself and only end up increasing prices even more as the number of people wanting the cart increases, and the number of functional carts for sale will likely remain the same, if not decrease.

Halloween said on Mar. 17, 2013

Maybe it will if we all say it will and stop buying it at the current prices… You gotta believe!

Rhyselinn said on Mar. 17, 2013

Chrono Trigger prices are about half of the Earthbound prices- I could easily see Earthbound dropping to $100 or less if it was rereleased.

Remember, a lot of people want Earthbound cartidges because that’s the only legal way to play it in English. If another legal method were available to play the game, demand for the cartridge would go down, and I bet prices would, too.

I doubt the Earthbound prices will ever be in the $10 range like some SNES games- there are too few cartridges, and the game is too good. But I doubt it’ll stay in the $200 range if people can buy it a different way. Normal people won’t pay the prices if they don’t have to, and scalpers will quit buying them when prices start dropping. So maybe prices will return to sane levels some day… you know, assuming the game is rereleased.

Blair13579 said on Mar. 17, 2013

I don’t believe it will drop CONSIDERABLY, but I do think it will drop by a little bit. Most people who seek out the EB carts aren’t looking for it JUST to play it, most want to collect it (as well as play it). A re-release wouldn’t make it any less valuable or rare, but demand might lighten.

Bob Joe said on Mar. 17, 2013

I’m sure prices for the cartridge itself would go down a bit, but the prices for the full collection (game, box, and player’s guide) will probably stay the same. If there’s another way to play the game legally, the demand and prices should go down. It’s economics, but a very basic (and probably not very really realistic) version of economics.

misterdigi35 said on Mar. 17, 2013

I think it’s a tossup. Maybe prices would drop dramatically. My gut feeling is that they won’t drop considerably, but a little bit. A cartridge that costs 220 dollars now, might be just 200 if the vc gets released. It could be that the vc release would cause an even greater demand for the original cartridges, and the prices would not even staty the same or decrease but INcrease. That, I think, is a possibility. But I would be somewhat suprised if it happened.

64RR said on Mar. 17, 2013

It will lower but not by much.

meleemario said on Mar. 17, 2013

I myself personally think that prices will drop for a little while, but it will only be temporary, and then they will reach the state they’re in now. But if a re-release definitely happens, the prices won’t go sky high anymore, but we’ll see where it goes.

johnr754 said on Mar. 17, 2013

What may happen is that it’ll drop, maybe to the $100 area for carts, and more for the full collection, because EarthBound’s high prices are due to semi-rarity, many fans wanting to play it, and collectors. The fans thing will drop.

Douglas Vieira said on Mar. 17, 2013

I don’t think it will change. We must remember that an Earthbound re-release probably means a version with different things, so in the end the SNES version will be unique.

Blueflower999 said on Mar. 17, 2013

But Chrono Trigger is still only half of EarthBound’s price. I think it’ll drop at least a little!

Pep said on Mar. 17, 2013

I purchased Earthbound for around $170 recently. In another auction I was monitoring the game went for a little over $200! I’m pretty much in agreement that the price will never drop below $100 even with a rerelease of some kind. It’s a shame but I would welcome almost any drop at this point.

Stuffgamer1 said on Mar. 17, 2013

No, I don’t think the price will drop very much due to collectors being insane…but I also don’t particularly care ’cause I already have a physical copy and I’d just download the digital release either way. 😉

Jason said on Mar. 17, 2013

misterdigi35 makes a good point. I think it’s more likely to make the price go up than anything else.

Buster The Fox said on Mar. 18, 2013

I think the price will drop, but not by a lot. I’m hoping it drops more than I’m anticipating, though. At least back down to around $180?

Earthbounder said on Mar. 18, 2013

I think not. I think the it will go up because people will want the ORIGINAL copy. Its just like art in a way, no one wants remakes. only the original.

Anonymous said on Mar. 18, 2013

I think it will. Even the original copies. The only reason Earthbound costs so much now is because sellers knows us in America want it so bad. If it comes over on the Wii u in America I can easily see Earthbound’s price sinking like A rock.

Douglas said on Mar. 18, 2013

Earthbound isn’t that rare of a game, the price is really just due to the high demand. If that demand goes down the price WILL drop. Whether or not a virtual console release lowers demand for the SNES carts is just something we’ll have to wait and see

Pichu said on Mar. 18, 2013

I may be off base, but I feel that those who just want the game are already using emulators and those who have a cart./ pursuing a cart. are collectors or have trouble enjoying a game outside of original hardware(like myself). So I feel a re-release is a wild card that may or may not change the price

The Great Morgil said on Mar. 18, 2013

I wonder, before this VC release, were japanese copies selling for just as much over in Japan?

Mato said on Mar. 18, 2013

No, copies of MOTHER 2 are much, much more affordable. Not exactly dirt cheap but that’s to be expected. For example, right now on Yahoo Auctions Japan there’s a buy-it-now for a set of three copies for 750 yen (about $8).

Giggleface said on Mar. 18, 2013

The thing with Chrono Trigger is that its cartridge is considerably harder to find than EarthBound. You could find EarthBound in your belly button if you tried. Anyway, I think price should at least go down to what they were pre-2010s.

Frank said on Apr. 12, 2013

I know I’m somewhat a minority, but I think the prices will drop. The main reason they’re so high is because of the demand, but if Earthbound gets a VC release, then the demand will go down, because you won’t need the cart to play it anymore.

Stealthborn said on Apr. 26, 2013

Seeing how there is going to be a release for Earthbound now on the VC, I would like to see what people think now. But I generally agree with those that say the game will be around $100 with the complete collections being more for obvious reasons. That would mean I still got it for a decent price at the time ($95). Overall though I hope that EB sells well on the VC and paves the way for another release down the line (Mother 3).


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