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April 2019 Retro Gaming Article


April 9, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Like CDs & DVDs, game cases provide marketing space for cover art and protects the media... or the DL code

Bethesda's Wolfenstein: Youngblood ships for Switch with a DL code in the game case
Wolfenstein Youngblood is the first high-profile Switch game to ship in a standard case containing a download code - no physical media.
An alarming trend seems to be gaining traction in game retail. Retail shelves may soon become confusing to games seeking physical versions only to be confronted with game cases containing no game. No physical media. Instead the game's case will include a download code for the game. This has happened a few times, but July will deliver Bethesda's Wolfenstein: Youngblood - a high profile game - via this odd code-in-the-box release.

This seems to only effect the Switch release. The PS4 and Xbox One versions seem to ship with physical discs. Such a strange way to release a game. How many returns will there be as gamers open these cases only to discover a code - no game cartridge. Collectors like to display their games, but an empty case seems like a hollow representation of ones game library.

Bethesda's Wolfenstein: Youngblood ships for Switch with a DL code in the game case

Mega Man Legacy had a SWitch DL Code For Second Set

When the Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 + 2 was released for Nintendo Switch, I was annoyed to discover the game cartridge only contained the first set of games on the cartridge. If you didn't read the sticker on the box art, you may have missed the fact that the second set of games were "included" as a download code. Thee's plenty of room for all the games on a single Switch cartridge, but Capcom decided to split it up.

Naturally, conspiracy theories swirl through my mind. Is this an attempt to stimulate e-shop sales? Might this be an hidden ploy to sell more SD cards? I doubt there's a nefarious plot, but it's just plain odd to include half the games!

I'm a big fan of physical media for games, music, and movies. Streaming/digital downloads is ruining the physical artwork of these products as well as defiling the artistic intent of a traditional music album. Songs are curated for the album. MP3s are jumbled all ove a hard drive.

As far as video games are concerned, downloaded games have no monetary value once downloaded. They can't be sold or traded. Each month streaming movie services add and remove titles. What happens when your favorite movie goes offline? How about the latest update to a video game that alters a feature you really liked? What happens when the cloud goes down or your internet? Hey, that cloud company could go out of business.

A lot can happen out in the world. I recognize I'm one catastrophe away from losing my media collection, but I can live with that over randomly losing media to corporate planning.

We live in a changing world. I do my part to cling to the games, movies and music I adore. I still have a laser disc player, CD player and my original Atari 2600.

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