I-TEAM INVESTIGATES: Can you tell the difference between a real and fake video game?

Can you tell which of these discs and which of these game cases are counterfeit? (Source: WRDW)
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Monday, April 15, 2019

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Golf fans are already begging EA Sports for a Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2020. The PGA gaming franchise replaced Tiger Woods with Rory Mcllroy in 2015.

It’s all fun and games until you unknowingly buy a bootleg video game.

Fakes are flooding websites and popping up in big box stores. In the past, counterfeit video games were relatively easy to spot. But these days, bootlegs can even fool the biggest gamer.

Gamers like Georgia Wiseman, who has been on the lookout recently.

“The back isn’t mirrored like it’s supposed to be,” Wiseman said while inspecting a game she purchased recently at a recognized big box store.

Robert Steele with Level Up Game Center on Martinez Boulevard says bootleg games are serious business.

"Coming from overseas, usually China,” Steele said. “They're getting shipping in large numbers and can cause an issue. The other way will be someone at the store actually opening the game and resealing it or a customer actually purchasing the game and taking the disk out resealing it and returning it."

Unless you know what to look for, it’s nearly impossible to pick out a fake.

No wonder Wiseman was fooled. The fake copy of her game and a real copy of it both have the same cover. So, what could have tipped her off? As it turns out, one way to check is a small detail on a reflective sticker.

"One is the official licensed sticker and the other doesn't have it at all,” Steele said. “Unless you know these things, you won't know the difference."

But the biggest difference? The back of the disc itself. If you turn a disc over and see your reflection, you have a real copy of the game. No reflection? Well, it’s a fake.

Steele tells customers to open a newly purchased game in the store before leaving with it.

“It’s not just happening to me,” Steele said of bootlegs in his store. “It’s happening to other people.

Wiseman, meanwhile, has wised up. She’s hoping now that you can see through the fakes, too.