Video Games and Collector’s Editions – Worthless or Necessary?

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It’s not enough to just buy a video game anymore. Pre-orders now offer exclusive rewards along with deluxe editions that begin to push you up a steep ladder of sales. I enjoy knowing that I’m going to get some pretty sweet exclusive in-game goodies, even if they’re just decorations or a nice new color of armor, but when companies begin pushing more expensive packages that offer more physical additions… I become a bit baffled. Perhaps this simply stems from my taste of “extras”, but spending hundreds of dollars for a fancy pen and a small art book just isn’t my cup of tea. And yet some games do a phenomenal job in selling these collections. So what are they including that’s enticing people to shell out more money? What items add more value?

Dragon Age Inquisition, now with a later release date (you poopy heads), just showcased another new collector’s edition. This one is from Prima Games who is responsible for physical game guides. In a digital world, what would they have to offer to convince gamers to buy a physical book full of information they’ll eventually be able to find on the web? Prima is offering their own Inquisitor’s Edition, complete with a leather-textured Dragon Age themed container.

It also includes some bookmarks and a pen! For me it holds no interest. However, one game that has an awesome Collector’s Edition is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It comes with the predictable art book, game manual, and steel case, but it also adds some nice value by including a medallion, stickers, and a very awesome looking statue of Geralt fighting a griffin.

I love statues. As someone who isn’t really into shelling out more money for stickers and a nice pen, a game can really attract me to a collector’s edition if it includes a well-made statue. Who doesn’t enjoy showing off video game collectibles (I’m looking at my Liara statue)? I admit that I haven’t had the chance to play through a Witcher title, but I’m tempted to buy the collector’s edition of Wild Hunt just for the collectibles.

My friend Steven Collins AKA Shadylikeatree is one of the only people I know who avidly purchases special collector’s editions. He stated, “I want something cool and tangible I can proudly display on my shelf. Collector’s Editions can influence whether or not I buy a game, but at the end of the day, if I don’t think I’m going to like the game, I’m not going to buy it. A Collector’s Edition on its own is not enough.”

On Twitter I received mixed responses:

 

Perhaps I’m simply a person that enjoys the experience the game presents. If certain physical features don’t enhance my experience, then it feels like a waste of money. Offering more insight to the game would add more value! Instead of adding simple art work that’s already featured in the game, why not include the original concept art? In games such as Mass Effect and Dragon Age where the story and characters make the game, seeing what could have been and ideas that didn’t make the cut is really interesting. I’d even buy a collector’s edition that included a separate DVD of the voice actors and anything that may give a nice behind-the-scenes look. I also love music and soundtracks, and I applaud the titles that include a separate disc for music.

I’m not a child that wants toys. I would much rather see a company market their game by producing these toys for separate sell, but including little coins and action figures, things that can (and often do) end up lost and forgotten don’t add much value to my experience. While many people may enjoy obtaining a remote control version of Call of Duty’s RC car, this doesn’t make me appreciate the game more. In fact, items like this often take away from the game and present unnecessary distractions. Should I play the Call of Duty game I just bought, or should I go outside and play with this new remote control car that I didn’t need?

Or maybe I’m just getting way too old way too fast. Or maybe I’m just bitter about Dragon Age’s delay. I can be a bitter old gamer.

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4 thoughts on “Video Games and Collector’s Editions – Worthless or Necessary?

  1. My only exceptions have been for game series I am nostalgic about. So for Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity, and Torment, I opted for more expensive Kickstarter rewards, such a cardboard boxes. I also love cloth maps, shirts, and posters.

  2. I find it really odd that the collectors editions are generally pre-order only. £30-£40 is already overpriced for a crap game, and now they want me to pay double or more so I can have some figures and tat to remind me how crap it was. I mean imagine blowing £100 on Dragon Age 2 and hating the game. It’s a lot of cash into something you don’t know much about!
    That said, I don’t tend to buy games at full price.
    If anything, I’d rather they release limited edition strategy guides, art-books, novels, sound tracks, awesome maps etc either as a package, or stand-alone.

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