Updated: Apr 22
The highly anticipated release of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters on Switch and PlayStation 4 has left fans scrambling and scalpers grinning from ear to ear... An all too common theme in retro gaming these days.
Square Enix's limited production of physical editions of the JRPG anthology has led to a frantic and expensive aftermarket, where nostalgic collectors are finding it increasingly difficult to justify their hobby's costs.
The Rush for Remastered Classics
Released on April 19th, the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters of Final Fantasy I through VI were an instant hit among fans. However, the physical editions sold out immediately on Square Enix's website, leaving many fans empty-handed and disappointed. These remastered classics first appeared on Steam a couple of years ago, but the console ports boast new features and improvements, such as a new font that, while not perfect, is still an upgrade over the in-game text on PC.
For collectors, the most exciting aspect of the console release was the availability of physical editions. The $75 standard edition includes the games—Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, V, and VI—while the $250 Anniversary edition offers additional items such as vinyl soundtracks, artbooks, figures, and more.
Scalpers Capitalize on Short Supply
With physical editions selling out at lightning speed, scalpers have wasted no time in trying to profit from the situation. Eager to make a quick buck, they are now attempting to flip these coveted items for hundreds of dollars on eBay, Some north of $1000.00 already, much to the frustration of fans who missed out on the initial sale.
The High Cost of Nostalgia
This once again highlights that same ol' growing concern among collectors and fans of nostalgic games: the hobby is becoming increasingly expensive, to the point where it may no longer be worth pursuing. As companies like Square Enix continue to produce limited quantities of physical editions for popular game collections, scalpers continue to exploit the situation, driving up prices and making it increasingly difficult for genuine collectors to enjoy their passion.
As the cost of nostalgia soars, many collectors are faced with a difficult decision: to continue pursuing their passion despite the financial strain or to give up on their love of collecting in the face of skyrocketing costs.
...Is it Worth It?
The release of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters has brought joy and excitement to fans of the classic JRPG series, but it has also highlighted the harsh reality of collecting nostalgic games in today's market.
Limited availability, combined with the ever-present threat of scalpers, has driven the cost of collecting to new heights, forcing some collectors to reconsider their passion. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, both companies and fans must find a balance between preserving nostalgia and addressing the challenges that come with it.
As for me, I'm good. Playing the originals on the old hardware or even ROMs are sufficient at this point in life, but how about you? Sound off in the comment section!