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Ar­min Hier­stet­ter dis­cusses His new retro project with us

Retro Gamer - - CONTENTS - Make your way to retro­ en for more in­for­ma­tion

Ar­min Hier­stet­ter tells us about retro­place, his new one-stop com­mu­nity for retro gam­ing buy­ers and col­lec­tors

nowa­days, when peo­ple are look­ing at boost­ing their retro col­lec­tions, they typ­i­cally head to the likes of ebay or use var­i­ous groups on so­cial me­dia. Ar­min Hier­stet­ter is hop­ing to dis­rupt this with the in­tro­duc­tion of retro­place, a new web­site that not only acts as a por­tal to buy and sell retro games, but also al­lows you to track your own per­sonal col­lec­tion. “The story of [retro­place] be­gins with a sim­ple ob­ser­va­tion. There is no in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­place ded­i­cated to retro games,” be­gins Ar­min. “You would think there is, but there is none. Now, of course there are ebay, Ama­zon and the likes, but we felt that those are flawed in many ways, start­ing with very high sales com­mis­sions that drives prices up. Also, the process of buy­ing and sell­ing is far from ideal, but the ma­jor is­sue with the big guns is [that] they are not fo­cused on what retro gamers want, apart from sell­ing and buy­ing games. So, two years ago, we de­cided to take a much more retro com­mu­nity fo­cused ap­proach that we call retro­place.”

As Ar­min notes, there are plenty of places you can keep track of your col­lec­tion, but he’s con­fi­dent that retro­place is a good al­ter­na­tive. “It all starts with a very strong foun­da­tion, a data­base of cur­rently 110,000-plus retro games.” But why is this im­pres­sive num­ber so im­por­tant and how will it at­tract gamers? “All other fea­tures build on it: man­ag­ing your col­lec­tion, wish­list, buy­ing and sell­ing games etc,” he con­tin­ues. “What­ever you want to do with a game – adding it to your col­lec­tion, sell­ing it, buy­ing it – the data­base makes it in­cred­i­bly easy be­cause it does most of the don­key work for you.”

Data en­try is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant for any project like this and retro­place has some nice tricks that Ar­min hopes will sep­a­rate it from sim­i­lar sites. “Ret­roscan is a bar­code scan­ner that al­lows you to scan the EAN code of a game,” Ar­min ex­plains. “This is ex­tremely help­ful when adding a lot of games to your col­lec­tion. It also comes in handy when you want to quickly check whether a game is in your col­lec­tion or when you want to sell a spe­cific game. It works won­der­fully on your desk­top and on your phone.”

Ar­min is also con­fi­dent that the fact retro­place has a built-in auc­tion site will help boost its suc­cess, but it’s im­por­tant to note that var­i­ous other retro-themed auc­tion sites have failed to im­pact on ebay’s suc­cess, so we were keen to know how retro­place were go­ing to break this stran­gle­hold. “It was not a lack of pas­sion that has led to fail­ures in the past. If – at all – it was the lack of rel­e­vant ad­van­tages com­pared to ebay and Ama­zon,” sug­gests Ar­min. “It is very hard to add a new plat­form on the user's radar. Un­less you of­fer a far greater ex­pe­ri­ence than ex­ist­ing web­sites, users sim­ply don't see a rea­son as to why they should even bother.

"Even if you get that right: trust is even more im­por­tant and harder to earn at the same time," Ar­min con­tin­ues. "If you can­not build trust with your user base, you have a prob­lem. Ex­pe­ri­ence in run­ning a busi­ness also is needed in or­der to even stand a chance to be suc­cess­ful: I’ve been in ebusi­ness for more than a decade, while Chris­tian Corre is the owner of one of the most pres­ti­gious in­de­pen­dent game shops in Germany.

It is very hard to add a new plat­form on the user's radar Ar­min Hier­stet­ter

We com­bine a to­tal of close to 30 years of en­trepreneur ex­pe­ri­ence.”

It’s go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing to see it retro­place can be­come a desti­na­tion for retro gamers, but it sounds like Ar­min and the rest of his team are cer­tainly up for the chal­lenge.

The mar­ket sec­tion of retro­place al­lows you to fil­ter by sys­tem, re­gion and con­di­tion.

Chris­tian Corre came up with the idea of retro­place and cur­rently runs Nip­pon­dreams in Mu­nich.

User Blue­mansl is lead­ing the col­lec­tion charts with an im­pres­sion se­lec­tion to­talling more than 3,000 games.

Ar­min and Chris­tian are well-versed in the sell­ing of videogames, as the suc­cess of Nip­pon­dreams proves.

and Ar­min is retro­place’s pro­gram­mer for over ten years. has worked in busi­ness

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