The last few years have seen a rise in special and collectors editions of games. And im not just talking about base games vs games plus season pass. Some games have 4 or 5 different versions. I’ll take Far Cry 5 as an example. You have 6 to choose from. 6. 6 different versions of the same bloody game. Its ridiculous. You have to chose from – A normal bog-standard game, a limited edition, which includes two add-ons, a deluxe which includes 5 add-ons, a gold which is the game plus all relevent season pass items and other add-ons, the Father edition which includes a statue, steelbook, map, soundtrack and a few other add-ons (not the season pass though….) and the Hope County, Mt edition which has everything including the season pass and a 45cm wide deer skull trophy.
Im not a snob by any means. I’m a collector and have several collectors editions including statues, steelbooks and other collectibles. You used to have regular, collector’s and digital editions. Each had increasing levels of add-ons. But now with so many options you can miss out. Do you go for the gold edition to get the season pass but miss out on a statue and steelbook? Or do you get the collectibles but then face having to pay an extra 30 quid for the season pass? Or theres the option of getting the biggest editionbut have topay upwards of 200 quid for it? It’s getting ridiculous now. Ubisoft seems to be the main culprit, although some companies have followed (Shadow of War for example had 7 if you include digital content) including a mithril edition costing an eye-watering £350, which included a magnetic ring of power, a massive statue, the gold edition of the game and other bits you likely will never even look at. Likewise Assassin’s Creed Origins, where the Dawn of the Creed legendary edition would set you back a mere £700, with loads of collectibles, the season pass and a certificate of authenticity. It all seems like a money grab and it has to stop. I’d be fine with the 3, a normal, deluxe with season pass, and collectors. Any more than that is just confusing.
Also you must take into account the quality of said collectibles. Some are really good- nice artbooks, statues made of pewter and painted perfectly. Some though, are not so good. The last uproar was with Marvel vs Capcom Infinite. You were supposed to get a presentation box with Infinity Stone replicas inside. What you ACTUALLY got was a flimsy box with six coloured plastic balls in, and people were, quite rightly, pissed. The latest Max Payne was a fairly decent game. The collector’s statue was not. Hastily put together and poorly painted, once one person found out how terrible it was, people cancelled their orders in droves. At a games fair last year, there was a guy selling them for £15 and he had pallets full of them. He had a large van filled with them, so when one pallet was empty he brought out another. It does seem like developers make these editions purely because they can, rather than saying “this is gonna be an amazing game that we’ve spent years on, here’s a collectible to signify that”. Sonic Mania, although purely digital, had a massive Sonic statue on top of an old school mega drive, and people loved it because it was 20+ years of Sonic nostalgia, and they wanted to celebrate that fact. THAT’S what collector’s editions are all about.
Another thing developers are forgetting is that the more of these editions they push into the market, the less valuable they become. If you are a collector like me, you buy these not just because you like the game or characters in it and want a reminder of your accomplishment. But you want to be able to sell the collection one day and make a prety penny off it. There’s a few games out that while the games aren’t all that good, the collectibles you get with it are worth 4 or 500 quid to the right collector. Ever heard of Elemental Gearbolt? Probably not, it was an obscure Japanese light gun game on the original Playstation. They did however make 50 special editions for press which was enclosed in a suitcase with a golden lightgun peripheral. You won’t find these on eBay or at your local car boot sale. It’s so rare that to buy copy would take as much money as buying a brand new car or a months holiday to Paris. Nowadays, pretty much every AAA release is joined by a collectors edition of some sort, and they never usuall hold their value unless it’s extremely special. Things are only worth what you’ll pay for it, and noone wants to own something mass produced and poorly made for double the price. So here’s my point- if you want to buy a special edition of your favorite game, do so, but don’t be surprised if it halves in value over the next couple of yeara. Buy it because you like the look of it, if you don’t, don’t worry about it. You’re not missing out because the enjoyment of a game is more important than anything. At least in my mind anyway.