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(re: re: re: So what did you like more?)
I’m with you guys – I far preferred the “good ole days” of game packaging. Anyone remember the box for CD version of Gabriel Knight? Everything about that game popped out at you and the box designers came up with a unique box that “popped” when looked at. To this day on my shelf, it is the one game that people notice when they look at it. It demands attention.
Anyway, as for the smaller boxes, we can thank Walmart for that. When I was working at Westwood, I had a conversation with one of the guys about box art for a game (I think it was Yuri’s Revenge, but I’m not sure now). Anyway, he said that smaller boxes were a requirement if we (the game developer) wanted Walmart to sell the game. Apparently the higher-ups at Walmart got fed up with the fact that they only had so much shelf-space for computer games and they couldn’t carry a big enough selection to compete with video-game retailers because the boxes for the games took up too much space.
So, that said, they (Walmart) issued a statement to the publishers saying they would only sell games that were more compact in shape and size. From what I understand, Walmart is one of EA’s bigger distributer/retailer so they obliged and started shipping games in smaller boxes/cases. And as we all know, when EA does something, odds are VERY good everyone else will follow (whether because they want to sell games through Walmart or because they want to follow the pack.) Since games were being packed in smaller boxes, there was no need to mass produce the “big boxes”.
And the rest is history….