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Retro Games: Collectors Rocked by Counterfeit Scandal

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Retro games are not only popular with many gaming “gourmets”, they are also a lucrative business these days. Because collectors pay large sums to get their hands on original games from the early days. But now a huge counterfeiting scandal broke out.

Originally packaged games or the accompanying floppy disks or other data carriers are today sought-after collectibles. It’s no wonder, then, that a large scene has sprung up looking for such originals and actively trading as well. But right now this scene is in turmoil like pc gamers citing the Facebook group Big Box PC Game Collectors reported.

The case began or was blown up, when the administrator of the 6,000-plus member group, Kevin Ng, received copies of Akalabeth, the dungeon crawler Temple of Apshai, and the Adventures Mystery House from another noted collector of the group, Enrico Ricciardi. All three games were released in 1979 and 1980 respectively, with Akalabeth being the most famous as it is the first release from game legend Richard Garriott.

“Thank you” Akalabeth caught

However, a closer look at the three matches revealed that all three were fake. Ng confronted Ricciardi, who “suggested” that Akalabeth was indeed unoriginal. He then suggested destroying the copy.

Ng then contacted other members of the group and it turned out that the problem is widespread and that numerous members have received fake games from Ricciardi. However, the suspect denies that he knowingly sold counterfeits. There is a lot of money involved, copies of Akalabeth can go up to four and even five-digit dollar amounts.

A moderator from Big Box PC Game Collectors explains how the prizes are determined: “Is it one of the original versions that Garriott released? Is it a new version for the C64? Are all the original parts in good condition or just that Floppy disk? “Is it signed? Does it have proven provenance? The answer is $500 to infinity, depending on provenance or condition.”

Damage of 100,000 euros and more

So far, the Big Box PC Game Collectors have been able to determine the damage of approximately 100,000 euros, and this number is likely to increase. Counterfeit goods include complete game boxes, manuals, registration cards, inserts, labels, and more. Recognizing such counterfeits is anything but easy because, in the early days of the games industry, fluctuations in production quality were the order of the day.

Big Box PC Game Collectors, meanwhile, have announced several indications of counterfeiting: special features in the label printing process, the discs themselves without the actual games and the prints cut by hand, and similar defects in the packaging itself. The collectors have also published photos showing these counterfeits. can or can be recognized.