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Are we opening sealed copies of old games?

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First post, by Einherje

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What is your general stance on sealed copies of old games? Personally, I like to keep my boxed copies in good shape but prefer to see them used.

I'm asking because I just received a sealed copy of Age of Wonders. I loved this game to pieces back in the day and it was definitely my aim to play this game again with a mug of coffee in one hand and the manual in the other.

age_of_wonders_001.jpg

I wonder if I should let it go to somebody who cares about games as collectables, but I'm torn. On one hand I like the idea of collecting games for their historical value. On the other, I hate the idea of games becoming marketable collectables for long term profit.

I also got a sealed copy of "Drakan: Order of the Flame" lying about, but I somehow feel my fond memories of this game will fail the test of time.

Chime in!

Reply 1 of 67, by pixelatedscraps

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I’m of the opinion to let the unopened boxes go to those who see worth in them. For myself, I love the boxes out of nostalgia and so am pretty happy as long as the all of the original contents are all there and it’s not falling apart.

I say sell it to someone who’ll cherish it and pick yourself up a slightly dog eared copy for yourself…

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Reply 2 of 67, by Plasma

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I don't go out of my way to buy sealed copies, but if they are about the same price as opened then I'll get the sealed one just because. When/if I get around to playing the game, I have no problem cracking it open.

My one exception is if the game is incredibly rare, and I know there's basically nothing in the box except the disks/CD.

Reply 3 of 67, by RandomStranger

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I think similarly as pixelatedscraps. If a game made it 20-30 years without being opened it's a special collector's item as it is and opening it takes some of the value away. Having a physical retro game itself is rarely ever anything other than for collecting. If you want to play the game, pirating it or buying digital is almost always way easier than buying physical and using them is also more convenient.

For hardware it's a bit more complicated. While the same applies as for games, you can have a sealed copy of game and play a different/non-physical version. For hardware, it's even more limited, you need the physical thing to use.

Edit:
There is also the option of getting the sealed big box version for collecting and the bargain bin version for playing. The game is the same, you often get the manual too, though some publishers skimp on that.

Last edited by RandomStranger on 2022-01-10, 13:24. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 4 of 67, by Yoghoo

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I never understood the whole "keep the box" thing myself. Sealed or not. 😀 I always open what I buy and use it.

After opening it I throw away the box and only keeping the disks/cd's and sometimes the manuals. But that's just me. I know a lot of people will cringe about that. 😜

Reply 6 of 67, by RandomStranger

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And if the main concern is playing, you can just buy the game on GoG for probably the fraction of the price of a sealed physical copy and print the manual/map (or open it on your phone/tablet).

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Reply 7 of 67, by svfn

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I prefer opened boxes. Keeping it sealed is really only for the purpose of reselling, if your intention is to keep it pristine so you can get your money's worth later then keeping it sealed and free from humidity and sun fading are also important and becomes more like a museum collector.

Some people do like the look of sealed games more, but it has to be in mint condition anyway which some sealed games are not. For me, the plastic wrapper is reflective and doesn't look as good as an opened game, especially when lined together on a shelf with other unsealed games.

Some games I don't bother opening because I don't much need to see the content inside or have other copies, installation CDs, manuals and maps can be found in digital format online, most of the time.

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Reply 8 of 67, by Plasma

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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-01-10, 13:33:

And if the main concern is playing, you can just buy the game on GoG for probably the fraction of the price of a sealed physical copy and print the manual/map (or open it on your phone/tablet).

Low-volume professional printing is expensive though. Unless the game is very rare, it's probably cheaper to buy the real thing. Many of my sealed games I got for $30 or less.

Reply 9 of 67, by dr_st

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Only a relatively small part of my physical copy collection I had bought in new and sealed condition, and I unwrapped each and every one. Don't have any intent of reselling, and I'd like to at least see what's there.

Now, some of them, that have online activations keys - I never used, because I already have a copy tied to my online account (mostly on Uplay) or a cracked copy.

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Reply 10 of 67, by RandomStranger

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Plasma wrote on 2022-01-10, 13:44:

Low-volume professional printing is expensive though. Unless the game is very rare, it's probably cheaper to buy the real thing. Many of my sealed games I got for $30 or less.

But do you need low-volume professional printing (or printing at all) just to play the game? My point is that, for example with Age of Wonder, you get a copy off of GoG for 5€, probably less then 2 if you bought it during the holliday sales or wait until the summer sales, copy the manual onto your phone/tablet or if you really want it print it at work for free if possible and done.

Calculating with a low-volume professional print for achieving equal or better quality booklet as the original, just to justify buying a sealed copy instead is... I won't say more.

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Reply 11 of 67, by Plasma

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It depends on the game. Some older games are miserable to play without the manuals and/or maps. I wouldn't buy a sealed copy only for the manuals. But if it's not substantially more than an opened box, then why not? It's a better experience than squinting at a phone or using a janky homemade map.

Reply 12 of 67, by DaveJustDave

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I'm curious... which David Eddings novel does it come with?

Einherje wrote on 2022-01-10, 12:47:
What is your general stance on sealed copies of old games? Personally, I like to keep my boxed copies in good shape but prefer t […]
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What is your general stance on sealed copies of old games? Personally, I like to keep my boxed copies in good shape but prefer to see them used.

I'm asking because I just received a sealed copy of Age of Wonders. I loved this game to pieces back in the day and it was definitely my aim to play this game again with a mug of coffee in one hand and the manual in the other.

I wonder if I should let it go to somebody who cares about games as collectables, but I'm torn. On one hand I like the idea of collecting games for their historical value. On the other, I hate the idea of games becoming marketable collectables for long term profit.

I also got a sealed copy of "Drakan: Order of the Flame" lying about, but I somehow feel my fond memories of this game will fail the test of time.

Chime in!

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Reply 13 of 67, by GoblinUpTheRoad

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I bought a big box copy of Zork Nemesis on eBay a while back. The listing had a lot of pictures of the box opened and the contents but when it arrived it was sealed indistinguishable to an original factory seal. Definitely the same box as was pictured as there was a small mark on the front, so for some reason the seller sealed it themselves before sending it out, but I'd swear it was a factory seal if I didn't know otherwise.
Maybe that is a good compromise, to open the games when you want to play them and then seal them back up for storage or shelf display.

Has anyone used film/shrink wrapping machines and are they cheap enough to use for small scale personal use? I'd consider getting something and seal up all my games just to protect them and make them easier to dust off if the price wasn't too bad.

Reply 14 of 67, by Meatball

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I prefer to buy open games, but complete ones are harder to find than sealed games many a time. Terminator: SkyNET was one of those games I bought, but shall remain sealed.

If the game is sealed and I don’t consider it a “common,”. I’ll keep it sealed. There’s no point for me to open the game when I can download the ISO from archive.org once I own it, or refer to my offline copies from Steam or GOG for machines XP and later. I’d rather use the ISO anyway than possibly scratch the disc (or ruin the floppy). Sometimes I will buy just a plain old disc to complement the boxed, sealed version if the copy protection can’t be duplicated properly. “Incoming” is one of those games I need to have an original disc copy for use in Windows 9x systems.

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Reply 15 of 67, by Unknown_K

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The only games worth collecting in boxes are the old ones with maps, manuals, and misc. stuff inside.

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Reply 16 of 67, by Meatball

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Unknown_K wrote on 2022-01-11, 00:52:

The only games worth collecting in boxes are the old ones with maps, manuals, and misc. stuff inside.

Those are all nice, but I want those because I am OCD. What I really enjoy is great artwork on the box and flipping over to the side/bottom panel to review the system requirements. Those bring me the most joy.

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Reply 17 of 67, by gerry

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Einherje wrote on 2022-01-10, 12:47:

What is your general stance on sealed copies of old games? Personally, I like to keep my boxed copies in good shape but prefer to see them used.

sounds fine, enjoy the thing

a sealed box may not always be 'new' - it could be resealed but then you wouldn't know without opening it!

Reply 19 of 67, by pixelatedscraps

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A guilty part of me enjoys having to physically get the CD out of the box and insert it into the drive before playing a game. I want my retro experience to be complete, dammit. Plus, it helps I can now afford to buy all the games I used to play instead of downloading them off an ftp and using Daemon Tools 😉

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