As a collector, it is normally within your best interest to collect things that will eventually go up in value. It’s usually hard to tell when something will be valuable a few years after a game’s initial release, but there are always ways to have that edge when looking towards the future of your collection. You are probably thinking “How the hell am I going to know if a game’s gonna be rare?”. Simply put, you aren’t, but you can always make an educated guess.
First off, you don’t ever want to look at blockbuster and sports titles as a long-term investment. They will usually become dirt-cheap and easy to find in a few years. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t buy those games for your own personal enjoyment; just don’t be expecting them to put a lot of cash in the bank.
The best way to get around this is to look for high-rated games (games that most magazines and online sites rate well) that seem a little odd or weird in concept, style, or gameplay. Games like Culdcept, Mad Maestro!, and Cubivore are great examples of this. Normally, games like this don’t sell well, and when they don’t sell well it means less copies made and less copies in circulation. This will most likely make the title harder to come by.
If reading up on games isn’t enough to sway you on a purchase, you might want to try following the market. Start talking to other collectors and ask them what new games they’ve been having trouble finding, as well as what they think is going to be hard to find in the future. Also, talking to your local game store clerks and managers about what new games are selling is always a good way to gauge your purchases.
The last things you want to look out for are any special editions, limited editions and special offer games. They are always worth a little more than the original. This doesn’t count any releases like Greatest Hits games or Player’s Choice games.
Rarities aren’t limited to just games. Hardware, mainly console, usually has some rarities to be on the look out for. Look for any special/limited edition packages or special designed systems. The new green XBox is a prime example. Also any system that sells horribly will probably be worth a bit in the future. The N-Gage and N-Gage QD count in this category.
Remember, these methods aren’t surefire, but they will usually result in more rarities than normal. On the bright side, you’ll have a lot of unique games and hardware in your collection that will set you apart from other collectors. Just make sure you are enjoying what you are doing, have fun with your purchases, and don’t throw out your game boxes and packaging (this will ensure a higher value for your purchases in the future). In the meantime, game on, my brothas and sistas.