I like to buy video games with money. I will let huge shock sink in for a moment….Not only do I like to buy games, I like to have them on a bookshelf for display once I am done with them. It’s a part of why there is a certain aspect of buying games these days that really irks me. I absolutely cannot stand when you are trying to buy a physical copy of a game, particularly an older one, and it does not come with a case, at all.
There are a lot of games out there in the world and I am a collector of sorts. When I have purchased a game, it goes on my shelf until it is going to be played and is put back after completion. I think of it as kind of a trophy display. It’s something my sister never understood me doing, keeping a game after I had finished it, until I finally told her it was for the same exact reasons people kept movies and books, what a fun day. But I digress, this process becomes very hard to do when everything has to be scattered about. For the most part, about 65% of all game cases are roughly the same size and this makes storage and display much easier. I like to keep these things organized and I hate to have games just laying out to get scratched or damaged. Think about it, we all know or at least had that one friend who just leaves games and movies out and it causes that tiny OCD part of your brain to want to just show them the right way to treat those games…or that could just be a me thing.
The reason I am going on about this is because these days whenever I want to purchase a lot of older games, especially online, for whatever reason 9 times out of 10 the game will simply not come with the case, let alone the artwork. And my simply question for that is: Why? Why don’t any of these games have a proper case to go in? Was it to save 12 cents on shipping? Were they somehow all magically damaged in transit? How is it that it was easier to keep up with a game when the case was 2-4 times the size of the game??
This is especially problematic when it comes to handheld titles. Seriously, go on Amazon and look up and title for the Nintendo DS and tell me how copies come with both the game and the box art? Go to any Gamestop, literally all of the DS games they sell have no case at all. Not hidden in the back for when it’s purchased, not available to get later, it is simply not available. Again, why? It doesn’t make any logical sense to me. If you can have cases in your store for all of the other games in your store, why are these kids who are picked last in kickball? It makes losing those tiny cartridges, and UMD’s because PSP has similar issues online, so much easier to do and if those games run $15-$30 a pop then that can get very costly very quickly.
Maybe it’s all part of a conspiracy where you have to buy both the game and the case separately so that they can make more money. Don’t believe me? Here’s a real life example: Two years ago I needed a copy of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (yes I love Kingdom Hearts, come at me) and I was having difficulty finding one online. The average cost I ran across was $50 with the case, which is more than the game cost at release, because reasons. Well I’m not too proud to say I was being cheap and refused to pay that. So I ended up finding a copy used for $26 with, you guessed it, no case. Ugh. Sadly I knew this was the best deal I could get so I bit the bullet and got it. I was unhappy with this. However, I have interneted for quite some time and managed to find a case with artwork on eBay…for $9.99. So after a feverish search I ended up paying $36.99 for both the game and its case. Yes I realize that is less than $50 and I know the current price on Gamestop is around $40 so I ultimately got a decent deal, but it’s the principle of the thing. Never should I ever have to pay so much for something that should be included with the game to begin with.
This may seem all seem very nit-picky, and normally I would agree with you, and there is even a possibility that there is some “business” reason that I am missing, but this is becoming way too commonplace with game buying. And sure, in the digital age this can be less of a hassle, but since I still prefer physical copies taking up space on my shelf over digital copies taking up space on my hard drive, and they take up a lot of space really quickly, it seems this struggle will get realer buy the day. I guess my final plea will be this: If you have decided it is time to part way with that copy of Final Fantasy IV on the Nintendo DS, please do the right thing and sell it with the case. The world will thank you, and I will thank you.