Retro game collector accused of selling $100,000 worth of fakes

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An unexpected scandal rocked the retro PC game collecting world last week when a prominent member of the community and moderator of a major Facebook group was accused of selling people fake copies of classic games.

Enrico Ricciardi has been an active member of the community for many years as a source of buyers, sellers and advice, and has been kicked out of the Big Box PC game collectors group after several members presented evidence they say proves many boxes , he’s been selling people floppy disks and art that’s not what they seem.

Members of the group have collected all their evidence and allegations public documentssay after a member receives a suspicious game – a hypothetical copy 1979’s Akalabeth: The Last Worldwhich was started by Richard Garriott Genesis series, and one of the first RPGs of all time – they started exploring other games sold by Ricciardi and found that many of them were also a bit off.

Comparing Ricciardi’s games to the originals owned by other members, the group quickly discovered many differences, such as game labels that were hand-cut rather than machined, and the labels on stickers that are said to be only decades old. Can be made with modern printers, with subtle differences in fonts and logo placement.You can see these examples yourself here and here.

Image of article titled Retro game collector accused of selling complex counterfeit worth $100,000

photo: BBPCGC

The most convincing evidence, however, is that in many cases Riccardi sold the disks blank, which many buyers only discovered after being prompted to inspect. If you’re thinking “why didn’t these guys check it out before?”, we’re talking about 40+ years of disks and tapes in some cases, which, as the Big Box PC Game Collectors members explain, means doing this and not Not always the best idea:

These disks are 40 years old, at which point the software is widely available online through emulators. The goal of getting these games is not to play them, but to collect them (and people who collect baseball trading cards don’t trade them much either). “Testing” a 40-year-old disk can damage the disk. Additionally, some collectors do not have access to the computers that originally ran these games.

With multiple members now comparing the games they received from Ricciardi to other legitimate copies, it’s clear he’s been selling these sophisticated fakes for years (at least since 2015, by their estimates), covering everything from old All content from Sierra and Origin games to “multiple copies” Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash, Akarabes and Mystery House. “

Some even go crazy to think that while most of Ricardi’s fakes are sold directly to buyers, the group says “there’s at least one black box” Genesis 1 We believe it may be fake, graded by WATA. “

It is estimated that Ricciardi was involved in “suspected transactions in counterfeit game items of at least €100,000”, amounting to approximately $107,300 at the time of posting.That’s…a lot of money, as you’d expect from such an old and important game, though as the panel explained In the FAQ that accompanies their postit is unclear if any legal action is ongoing, or if it will, as they say “affected individuals are choosing the best recourse for them and do not wish to discuss the issue publicly.”

If you’re a collector and that scares you a bit, or you’re just an outside observer curious about how this all works, The Big Box PC Game Collectors group has an “Anti-Scam Guide” that’s a lot of fun to read.

Image of article titled Retro game collector accused of selling complex counterfeit worth $100,000

photo: BBPCGC


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