Wata Games is changing the way video games are certified. Wata does not just certify sealed games, but also cartridges and CIBs. No other certification company certifies CIBs because of the immense expertise it takes to evaluate the contents of a CIB. CIBs include the box, cart and manual, but sometimes there are other items within the CIB. That is what this article is about.
When a game publisher manufactured a game, they often included inserts within the sealed box. These inserts can be a postcard size advertisement, a huge fold out poster or even something necessary to finish playing the game. For the purposes of certification and to make buying, selling and collecting video games easier, the way Wata Games deals with these different types of inserts must be defined.
The first type of insert is a Standard Insert (SI). A Standard Insert is an insert that is within multiple games, but not in every game of a specific title or publisher. An example is a subscription card to Nintendo Power. Often times there is an image of the newest issue of Nintendo Power on the card, which dates when the insert was made. Many games came with this insert and many games did not. What is important to note is that a game is still complete even if it lacks this kind of insert, as it is possible that it was factory sealed without it to begin with.
The addition during manufacturing of these inserts was haphazard, undocumented and unreliable. You could open several sealed copies of the same game and find that some have no Standard inserts while others have 3. It is not possible to predict. Any SI could be put into any other CIB from the same time period and it would be acceptable. That is why this kind of insert is not listed on the Wata label, but instead is incorporated into the Matrix scanable technology on each holder. If you want to know which Standard Inserts are inside, just scan the Matrix and the information will appear on your phone.
The second type of insert is a Publisher Specific Insert (PSI). A PSI is an insert that is within multiple games of the same publisher, but not within every copy of a title. An example would be a fold out poster that advertises 10 games being produced by Capcom. A non-Capcom game would never have this. The Capcom games that do have it may have been produced over the course of several years. This means some copies were manufactured with the PSI and other copies of the same game were manufactured without it. The CIB is still considered complete if it is missing a PSI because it is possible that it was manufactured without it.
There are a few exceptions where every copy of a title includes a PSI, but that is relatively rare. All PSIs are listed on the back of the label. Because some PSIs have a great deal of value to collectors, in some cases, at Wata’s sole discretion, Wata will include a grade of the PSI on the label. Wata Games will be transparent about which PSIs are eligible to be assigned a grade. This is included in the price of certification for CIBs at no additional charge. Please note that the condition of a PSI will not be integrated into the overall grade of a CIB. It has no affect.
The third type of insert is a Game Specific Insert (GSI). A GSI is an insert that is in every copy of a specific title. An example would be the Maps and Strategies insert for The Legend of Zelda. Every copy of The Legend of Zelda has this insert. No other game came with this insert. Some games can have several GSIs. An example of this is Dragon Warrior. Each GSI in Dragon Warrior can not be found in any other game. If a game has a GSI, it is listed on the Wata label with a grade assigned to it. Please note that the condition of a GSI will not be integrated into the overall grade of a CIB. It has no affect.
The GSIs described above are integral to the playing and completion of the game itself. However, there is another class of GSIs that meet the above definition. Some games came with postcard size inserts that are warranties, advertisements, warnings or serve other purposes that have the name of the game printed on it. An example of this is Popful Mail for Sega CD, which includes a warning dealing with formatting of the backup RAM. The insert has “Popful Mail” printed on it making it a GSI since it is not possible to find it in any other game. On the other hand, the inclusion of this insert is not imperative to the game play of the game. Even this type of GSI will be listed on the Wata label with a grade assigned. All at the same price for certification.
If any insert is submitted in a CIB, but is not compatible with the box, it will be returned without being included in the CIB. An illustration of this is The Legend of Zelda with the circle seal, No Rev-A, TM (Trademark). This is the very first The Legend of Zelda that came out in 1987. Another version that was circle seal, No Rev-A, R (Registered) came out shortly thereafter. If a submitter sent in the one from 1987 with a Nintendo Power insert from 1991, it is not compatible and the 1991 Nintendo Power insert will be returned separately. The insert will not be included in the Wata CIB holder.
There is a tremendous amount of detail that is necessary to offer a value added certification service to the video game collecting public. We know that most collectors have been disappointed by the offerings of previous grading companies. Wata aspires to be as transparent as possible as to our policies and procedures. Wata Games is dedicated to reaching the high bar that we think it takes to move video game collecting from behind a curtain onto the center stage of collecting. We hope that you will join us on that adventure.