Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cover to Cover: Virgin Games 1992 Catalog (page 12, insert 1)

The Virgin Games Catalog circa 1992 continues to offer its wares, as we reach page 12:

Realms looks like an RPG based on the box art, but it's actually a strategy game featuring a Populous-style landscape based on fractal graphics.  The player must build up an army and battle rival Realms to rule as much of the land as possible; it was developed by UK developer Graftgold and didn't make much of a splash when it was released.

And now we come to an intermission of sorts, as we look at the first page of the catalog's order form insert-- this was still a time when publishers sold their wares directly to consumers, usually at full retail price:

This is the early 1990's, and CD-ROM hasn't quite taken off yet, so replacement diskettes (and updated releases) are an important service Virgin Interactive provides to its customers.  There's also a technical support line, available as a toll call, and Hint Books are available for purchase, covering a handful of hint-worthy titles.  The catalog also advertises a dial-up Bulletin Board Service for users with modems in the pre-Web era, making hints, updates and demos available for the cost of a long-distance call.

The order form proper then kicks into gear, with a matrix of available console titles and platforms.  And in 2011, we recall the days when a 16-bit Genesis game retailed for $59.99, and are thankful for the constant increase in value-for-money the game industry has been able to sustain as the market has grown.

Next time, we'll plow through more of the order form...

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