The lights are on
These days, no would-be blockbuster video game can release without a special edition. Hell, some titles even have different tiers of varying specialness to accommodate all kinds of budgets and collectors. These bonuses may enrich the experience for some gamers, but I’m not one of them. I usually stick to the plain old regular editions – and when I don’t, I regret it.
First of all, I’m not here to judge how you spend your money. If you want an art book, soundtrack, or statue of Ezio or Alduin, go for it. Display them proudly. I’m glad you’re happy with your purchase. For my part, when I buy a game, I’m buying an interactive experience. However, most of the stuff that is packed into special editions does nothing to enhance the game itself; Figurines, art books, and soundtracks are thrown in to give added value, but what are you really getting?
It isn’t that I dislike collectibles; I own a lot of them. It’s a question of quality. Take a look at the five different special editions we highlighted yesterday on our site. An airplane? A dub step gun? These things are neat in concept, and certainly look cool in photos, but I’ve seen enough special editions in my time at Game Informer to know that what you see isn’t always what you get. Like pictures of fast food in advertising versus reality (side note: those pictures are fascinating), the objects you actually receive can be underwhelming.
For instance, I bought the collector’s edition of the original Assassin’s Creed, and got a comically tiny 3” Altair figure with a terribly painted face. The Big Daddy that came with my BioShock special edition arrived broken. Alduin, the mighty dragon from Skyrim, is perched atop a chintzy-feeling hollow wall.
I’ve been tempted by these in the past (and probably will be again in the future), thinking that it’s going to change…but it probably won’t. This kind of corner-cutting is pervasive; no one would make any money on special editions if they actual included quality items. If I want a radio-controlled plane, I will buy one instead of paying an extra $110 for a version of Splinter Cell Blacklist that comes with one. If I want a particular figure, I just wait until NECA or Kotobukiya release a good sculpt that’s actually worth displaying.
Now, I get that these are for collectors, and collectors like to collect all kinds of stuff – and not necessarily the best stuff. I have another issue with special editions beyond the simple goods included in the package. In the promotion and marketing of these editions, there’s an implication if you’re a true fan, you should be willing to support your favorite series with a few extra dollars. If you don’t, you aren’t getting the whole package – you’re somehow being left out of the loop. It preys on a desire that I don’t understand – a desire to demonstrate and prove that you are a devoted follower of a game. Not that I don’t get obsessive about certain titles, but I show my devotion by buying them, not by adding to my pile of video game memorabilia.
Despite my complaints, I’m not actually against all special editions. Here’s when they aren’t stupid: When they include in-game bonuses. Extra weapons, characters, maps, missions, strategy guides – those are all things that feed into and enhance the experience. I buy a game because I want to play it, and I’m more than willing to pay a little extra to make that better. However, I’m not willing to pay extra for a bunch of junk I don’t want – and that doesn’t make me any less of a fan.
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I see where you coming from Joe, I personally haven't bought an collector's edition or special edition in my life. Regardless it's not because I didn't think some of the statues were cool looking or the other great additions they may have came with I just never have the Loot to splurge on them. $60 is already a lot of money while 40-80 bucks extra is just to much for me most the time but I can still understand why people love them and like to collect. However I'm going to be doing something Tuesday I've never done and you know what that is? Buying the Tales of Xillia Collector's edition because I have the spare spare changeeeeee this time around. Stay Thirsty My Friends...
I always tell myself I'll buy the collector's edition for x game, but then it hits me: I could almost buy another game with the extra money I'm putting towards the CE of another.
Good read! I'm of a similar mind, I want in-game editions over physical maps or statues. I would be willing to get stuff like that if the price was reasonable, but some of this stuff, like the Special Edition for Skyrim, was just not. That price was ridiculous, so I just pre-ordered the regular version of it instead.
I will say I do like steel book cases though. I wish they would make steel book editions for 5$ more or just switch to steel book cases instead of the plastic ones.
Most of them don't appeal to me, but a few have. BioShock 2 came with cool Rapture posters I had framed. Dead Space 2 came with a plasma cutter which is displayed with some other game related stuff on my bookshelf. Finally, The Songbird I got with BioShock Infinite looms over me on top of my computer desk and I had the Devil's Kiss ad framed with a vintage look.
I don't have anything against Special Editions, I just don't buy them.
Collectibles in my opinion have always looked like a waste of money. I couldn't see the fact in buying a collectors edition. It just takes up space and takes away money from my pocket. Oh well of someone's willing to pay an extra buck for a not so needed accessory that's their problem.
The only special edition I have ever gotten, was the Halo 4 Console edition. That was for 2 reasons. First off, I'm a big Halo fan, and I love the series, so I thought it would be neat to get a Halo console(it looks awesome by the way). Secondly, and more importantly, I bought it because I was in need of a new 360 anyways. I still had the original 360, and was running out of HDD space, and wanted to be able to use HDMI cables for my new flatscreen. I figured it would be a good chance to kill two birds with one stone, so I went for the special edition console.
Im not a fan of the gimmick/game breaking items. I don't care for figures or posters either. I just want the game.
I have never bought a special edition. I likely never will.
No, I don't believe special editions are stupid. To me, if I am really into a game, I like to go all out. Everyone has their opinion, I understand. I know there are a lot of people out there that do believe that they are stupid, I enjoy my Max Payne statue, and my Songbird statue. I'm looking forward to having a nice game room once my wife and I buy our own house.
It's hit or miss lately, especially for current gen and no doubt next. I find that it was more fun to collect when collector's edition were actually rare to occur, like during the PSX/PS2/Xbox era. Now I just find that every company believes that everyone wants a special edition of every type of game out there, even EA did it with their sports games. I usually limit myself to 1 special edition a year now, with the acceptance of last year when Borderlands 2 had the loot chests editions and I bought 2 of them for my spouse and I. I nearly regret it though, sure I went through all the items in 1 chest, and we left the other sealed, got as much enjoyment as we could out of em, but $300 enjoyment, I not so sure...
Then there are times when you get surprised and get limited editions simply by pre-ordering a game. Those are awesome. Tales of Xillia or Dark Souls were nice upgrades. Last of Us was a nice touch too. When companies do that to say thank you to their fans, that is what keeps me buying games from those companies.
"There’s an implication if you’re a true fan, you should be willing to support your favourite series with a few extra dollars."
I'm not into collectors editions at all and I only get limited editions when they are bought for me as presents. With that in mind I can safely say I have never been made to feel like I'm out of the loop or any less of a fan than those that do opt in for these extras.
Exact opposite here. Opinions are great though