I bought a lot of original games and the floppies were always write protected from the start.
I also remember the message that appeared a lot in manuals:
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DISKS WRITE PROTECTED
(just in case you had the bad idea of unprotecting them just for laughs or the previous owner of the disks did unprotect them)
What is true is that you could write unprotect them if you wanted to, which is most of the time a bad idea as bootblock viruses could make your disks unuseable.
You were more or less compelled to do that for games that had:
- physical copy protection (no way to copy the floppy disk without a special device)
- high-score saving on the disk
This combination was rare though. TBH I can't quote an example from memory but Software Preservation Society had a hard time preserving some particular games in the original form because most users had let the game write the highscores on the disk.
One particular example I remember is the game "Gods" (from The Bitmap Brothers) which came in 2 disks. Disk 1 was copy-protected (RN copylock) whereas disk 2 was 100% copiable with a standard diskcopy command. And an intro text screen instructed to make a copy of disk 2 and not play with the original, so the copy could be left unprotected and high-scores and unique passwords could be saved on it. It was essential to save the passwords at least, else you'd have to play from the start each time.
But how many users didn't know how to copy a disk (honest users mostly :)) or had only one drive and 512k memory (harder to copy a disk with that setup) and used their original disk to store high-score and passwords?
(Note that Commodore Workbench 1.3.2 disk doesn't even have the black sliding write protect on/off switch so to write on the disk you'd have to put tape where the hole was)
Let's put the whole "write-unprotect danger" in perspective:
- if your drive was sufficiently faulty, you could destroy the disk with the write-protection on
- floppies can also be damaged by magnetic fields (speakers), moisture, dust... so write-protecting disks is not failsafe.
- if you powered on your amiga only to play original disks, there was no chance that a virus would destroy your originals
- writing to a disk can't happen by accident: you need to write twice the same value in the diskwrite registry to trigger a write, that's for a reason. If a piece of code goes haywire, it's very unlikely that it will write to your disk.