The news that Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop are ending a long and productive partnership has rocked the gaming world for over a month now. The breakup means that several games will no longer be printed and will soon be unavailable, including all FFG games that are set in the Warhammer universe. Several other games that most people might not have thought of will also be out of print, such as Fury of Dracula.
Now that several well-liked titles are about to disappear from the ecosystem, many of us have been on a bit of a buying spree. My boyfriend and I had been eyeing Fury of Dracula for several months but had never pulled the trigger... then ended up on a waitlist, worrying that we had missed our chance to play the game. Fortunately, my FLGS came through for us, and I bought my copy for less than retail price.
What disturbed me about my Fury of Dracula buying experience, however, was what the game store employee said to me while he was ringing up my new treasure: "You're only buying one? I mean, this game is a great investment buy."
The comment immediately reminded me of my most unpleasant experiences with video games. At a retro gaming store, I once met someone who claimed to buy two copies of every game—one to play, and one to leave in the shrink wrap. More than once, I've had issues getting a game from GameStop because it was considered "rare." And don't even get me started on Nintendo's tendency to release items in limited quantities, starting with Amiibo and continuing through the Pokémon Go wristband and Nintendo classic mini. Are there really people sitting around with multiple mint-condition copies of Fury of Dracula cluttering up the house?
I hope that board gamers never succumb to the temptation to collect games as trophy objects rather than as... well... games. The entire point of buying a board game is to tear off that shrink wrap, sort out all the components, and have a great time playing. It breaks my heart to think of games sitting around unopened, unplayed, because someone bought them as "investments." Not only do I question the financial wisdom of purchasing "investment copies" of board games, but a game in the shrink wrap isn't a game that is living its best life. There is no point in cardboard you can't punch, dice you can't roll, and miniatures you can't paint.