Yes, you read that title correctly: I’ve bought some games that I have no intention of playing. None at all. Zero, zilch etc. That’s not to say that I’m not interested in playing them (because I am) but my primary intention behind these quick online purchases was something a little different.
So here we have Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness, Root Letter and Akiba’s Beat. Three sealed PS4 games that fall under the JRPG umbrella or – in the case of Root Letter – the ‘Visual Novel’ category. Now it’s important to quickly mention that these ARE my sorts of games and usually I’d be very much looking forward to playing them. However, my gaming time – especially for large RPGs – has shrunk drastically in recent years so considering I already possess a terrible backlog of games, it’s unlikely that I will be getting around to these any time soon.
What these games represent is the beginning of a bit of a speculative experiment centred on the black art of investing in sealed games. It’s a side of gaming that I’d traditionally roll my eyes at or leave to those with too much money on their hands but recently I have been looking at ways to make my money work for itself over the medium-term since the 9-5 grind simply isn’t enough. I looked to sealed collecting because gaming (as well as trading cards) is something that I know about so I feel quietly confident about what I will choose to put money into.
The biggest reason however is because I believe it to be incredibly foolish not to look back at past trends and see what the pattern is. JRPG’s and niche titles with small print runs have ALWAYS shot up in value over time due to a relative low supply versus your mainstream FIFAs, Call of Dutys and Halos. Look back at similar titles for the original Playstation or have a glance at the PS2’s JRPG’s library. How many times have you looked at a shocking going rate for a used ten year-old title and thought “man, I remember when these were everywhere for a fraction of the price. I wish I’d bought loads of these when I had the chance!”. This is the past trend that I’m talking about.
Now I’m not going to go mental and spend megabucks on loads of sealed games. What I plan to do is (whenever I have a bit of spare money) search for cheap deals and offers on mainstream sites such as Amazon because today’s £10.99 clearance game is tomorrow’s £30 hot property on the likes of ebay. As another collector once stated on a gaming forum I used to frequent…
Always keep an eye on the here and now.
He was spot-on too and this mantra goes for any sort of calculated investing. Money is easy to make on past investments because there are more people desperate to get their hands on something they missed than people looking to predict which of today’s available products are worth buying and putting to one side.
The cheapest of these games was Star Ocean which set me back £7.99 including shipping to my door. On that level of investment, you can’t lose. Star Ocean is a cult JRPG franchise (living in the shadow of the likes of Final Fantasy) and so it is a known name among followers of the genre. Even if there IS no future interest in this game, it will still be saleable (in sealed condition) for not much less than £7.99 in the worst case scenario. The other two games were between £10-£13 apiece so represent a slightly riskier investment but this price for sealed current generation software direct to your front door is still a bargain and there are many more like it to be bagged now while they are still dropping in value.
And if I do manage to get rid of that pesky backlog or come across a reason strong enough to make me desperate to play one of the games I’ve put aside as an investment? Well I’ll have the games in my possession and would probably be perfectly willing to rip the plastic off one or two of them since I am first and foremost still a gamer.
Either way, I enjoy playing around with investing into physical product so this for me is a fun little experiment that I may post updates for whenever I’ve accumulated a few more bits.
But I did say in the title that I also bought a game that I WILL play didn’t I?
I’ve been after this for a long time now because while I do own the PS4 version of the game, I’ve been doing a lot more handheld gaming of late and since I’ve not gotten around to even starting its bigger, home console sister, I couldn’t resist grabbing this Asian-English copy of Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 from ebay. A childish part of me also felt like rebelling against the recent announcement that Dead Or Alive 6 would be growing up somewhat…
For anybody not in the know, PSVita (and PS4 for that matter) games are region-free and these Asian-English editions of the games come with English menu text and subtitles so are perfectly playable without any sort of language barrier-induced confusion. The DLC I’m not sure about but I don’t intend to look too hard at that side of things as I know that there will be masses of it for a game like this! In any case, I have played DOAX3 a little bit and will post my thoughts in a dedicated piece sometime soon. I’ll close my showing off the two editions together in one picture…