Nintendo's Switch fitness title Ring Fit Adventure isn't a perfect substitute for a gym membership or some outdoor cardio, but it's better than nothing if you need to stay indoors. In China, where millions are under quarantine in an attempt to stop the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, demand for Ring Fit has been on the rise.
With retailers facing shortages and resellers attempting to turn a profit on the situation, Ring Fit's price continues to rise in the region. In the US, the Ring Fit Adventure package containing the game, Ring Con peripheral, and leg strap retails for $79.99. On February 4, about a week after Chinese cities went into lockdown because of the outbreak, Abacus reported that sellers like Chinese e-commerce sites Taobao and JD.com were listing Ring Fit for around 1,200 Chinese yuan, or approximately $170.
The price hikes haven't stopped there. Yesterday, industry analyst Daniel Ahmad tweeted about the quarantine-induced demand and resellers' price-setting, pointing to a recent high of 1,999 yuan (about $250). Kotaku Australia reports that Australian EB Games stores are limiting purchases of Ring Fit Adventure after resellers depleted the chain's stock, and also reports Taobao listings at 1,500 yuan and above.
Chinese resellers are continuing to buy overseas stock of Ring Fit Adventure in huge quantities to resell in China where the package is currently selling for over $250Global shortages + viral short videos showcasing the game + impact of coronavirus driving up demand. pic.twitter.com/qrLOy9x8hv— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) February 20, 2020
A quick survey of Taobao today shows the price has held at 1,500 yuan, but at JD.com the listed price is nearly double that: 2,800 yuan, just shy of $400. It's possible that no units have sold at this peak price—Ring Fit Adventure is also out of stock on the site at the time of publication.
Since its launch, the RPG-infused Wii Fit successor has been attracting interest beyond the plugged-in gaming audience and has already faced supply shortages in other regions. In its quarterly earnings results last month, Nintendo announced that Ring Fit Adventure sold over 2.17 million copies worldwide between its release last October and the end of 2019.
Ring Fit Adventure would already be a novel success story for Nintendo without the bizarre bump in interest brought on by the very serious coronavirus outbreak. Now, this turn of events will likely go down as one of the more bizarre effects that the coronavirus emergency has had on the gaming industry.