New Service – Genuine “GEN” Designation 

You may have seen WATA’s Silver “GEN” designation before, and you also may recall that you saw it on a very unique game. That’s because we reserved “GEN” for unique games where the standards for a numeric grade don’t apply, whether due to its anomalistic qualities, condition, or both, yet the game can still be identified and authenticated. For example, games from the Alamogordo landfill find such as Atari 2600’s E.T. are artifacts of video game history but are in such poor condition (and variances in condition from one copy to another don’t affect the inherent value) that no objective framework for grading can be applied. As such, these games receive a Silver “GEN.”

With WATA’s new Genuine “GEN” Designation service, we’re leaving the decision to you. After listening and talking with collectors for years, we’ve learned that many submitters want only to preserve and authenticate their games without attaching a numeric grade to it. Whether it’s because the poor condition of such a unique item detracts from its uniqueness, whether it’s because you want to memorialize the childhood copy of Goldeneye but you spilled a few too many Ecto Coolers on it over the years, or whether it’s because you simply don’t care about the grade but want to ensure the game is authenticated and protected, this option gives you all the other steps in certification: authentication, variant specification, component identification – everything…just, minus the grading. All you need to do is select the option as a zero-cost add-on during your submission.

“But won’t this be confusing with the GEN grades you assign to those unique items?” No need to worry – the GEN grades WATA assigns to unique items will still be placed on silver backings, while the GEN grades through this new add-on service will be blue if they’re sealed or loose cartridges, and green if they’re CIB (just like standard numeric grades).


New Service – Sticker Removal

Finally, it’s back…and with a new name! Our new Sticker Removal process does just that – removes stickers. Security stickers, store stickers, scratch ‘n sniffs – if you choose this option, we’ll try to take it off! That’s right – we’ll try

We suspended our Heavy Cleaning service, which dealt with stickers, some time ago due to the risk associated with taking certain stickers off. Many stickers were placed over torn seals, causing flaws that were previously obfuscated to appear and, in some cases, become exacerbated by removing the sticker. 

We’ve perfected our craft and learned how to confidently determine when proceeding with sticker removal does or does not pose significant risk to alter the game’s condition. We’ve worked hard to offer this service again and want all submitters to note the disclaimer and risks associated with selecting the add-on option:

I have reviewed WATA’s FAQs, and I acknowledge and understand that there are inherent risks associated with the Sticker Removal service, including that sticker removal may damage games or uncover pre-existing damage, which can possibly lead to grade reductions. Nonetheless, I accept and voluntarily assume all risks associated with my decision to proceed with this add-on. 

As always, we will carefully prioritize the preservation of your games by evaluating the risks and taking every necessary precaution to avoid damage. This will inevitably result in the team refusing to remove stickers in some instances, in which case you would be fully refunded. Despite safety measures and a high level of due diligence, inherent risks still exist and games are potentially prone to being damaged during this process. We want to provide as much transparency on all the scenarios, however unlikely, so that in choosing this service you do so fully understanding the associated risks.