A history of PC game packaging trends

When asked why certain retail entertainment products (be it movies, music, or games) are so expensive, a lot of people tend to believe that you're "just paying for the packaging." And while that's generally a pretty nonsensical belief for a number of reasons, it used to be at least partially true. In the early days of PC gaming, trendsetters like Infocom and Sierra On-Line took game packaging from minimalist to majestic; in recent years, however, we've witnessed a decline in quality when it comes to common packaging practices. Over the next few pages, we examine a few of the most memorable PC game-packaging trends (and the publishers who pushed them) of the past three decades.