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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The Bioshock Infinite U.S.E. was the biggest waste of money ever. The Songbird statue isn't collecting dust, though. It came in an appropriate container so I can see it in my closet every now and again. Now that I think of it, I can't really see it because the cover is collecting dust too xD
I fully agree with you sir. I never buy the collector editions. Never see the point. But they always push it on me when I reserve a game at Gamestop.
I agree. I've only ever owned two special editions: Borderlands 2 and Halo 4. My Marcus Kincaid bobblehead's head came off and Halo 4 didn't have anything other than in game stuff and a poster.
I have regretted some of the collector's editions I have purchased and cherish some. The Star Craft 2 collector edition is awesome. And I also love the Fallout New Vegas collector edition. One that I regret however is the Old Republic. It was very hard to find and when I did, the in game content was lame and the arm on my Darth Malgus statue broke in no time.
I used to buy every single collector's edition available. Then one day I looked at my Arkham Asylum batarang and thought... why is this happening??
I have a ton of collector's editions, and I've only ever been upset with two of them: Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.
My Max Payne 3, Uncharted 3, The Last of Us, and Infamous 2 ones are probably my favs, though honorable mentions to Batman: Arkham City, Assassin's creed 3 and God of War: Ascension.
Soooo......then the title should be "Special Editions: Not everything that shines is gold"?. Because, the title is a wee bit misleading.
I am a gamer and I am in it for the games. I don't need a statue staring at me late at night when I am playing, and I don't care for a giant art book showing off pictures (although beautiful) which I will eventually seen in motion within the game or through some collectible. I support the company by buying the game and the some of the DLCs that I think matter. Its not a question about money, its a matter of quality.
I agree with Joe "The Jubilation" Juba in that it's not for me. But I don't feel left out for not getting the extra garbage. If it adds to the lore then I may bite but that depends on how good the game plot is.
I have never bought a special edition for any game, so I agree strongly with this article.
I've never owned a special edition of any type before, although I have been tempted by The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto V, and Dead Island Riptide special editions. The statue included in The Last of Us looked absolutely gorgeous and the map blueprint in the Grand Theft Auto V special edition looks pretty... collectible.
Eh it depends on how much you like the series and if your in to that kind of stuff really.
I have too many special editions to count so no, I don't they are stupid.
I agree with some of this article, there are a good handful of Special Editions that are quite terrible, I regret buying the Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition, but I do have a great many special editions and collector editions I feel have been quite good ones like The Last of Us, the artbook is amazing plus it's easily a forty dollar artbook that you only had to pay an extra 20 dollars for, a good deal if you ask me. Plus I've got my use out of it, I don't have it just sitting around.
Then there are others which people can perhaps look at either way good or bad. Like Uncharted 3's Collector Edition but I've always felt that Collector Editions were more for the hardcore fans of a series then someone new to the series. And now I have an awesome belt buckle I use, with drake's ring which I use as well, and Drake's statue sits with my other collector items not getting dust. It's just preference and opinion in the end. Some like them and some don't.
Yea, I don't really like them either. I'd rather the collectors edition come with a bunch of collectors edition GAME CONTENT. I don't want statues or posters, it's just not my style.
If you really like to support the game developers or the game itself, you would probably like the special edition of the game, it's all in matter on how you're really supportive in the games you really love.
Personally I do not think it's stupid because the devs offer stuff for the huge fans of the particular game for them to collect and cherish for years to come. Which shows how much one individual love the game and how s/he supports a game to be better in the next installment of it.
It's my take on it sooo yeah
Honestly the only reason I will pre-order/get a limited edition is for a steel case if it comes with one. Otherwise I always go for standard.
I'm a sucker for statues, but within the past couple years of getting basically all of them I know which companies put out good ones now. Naughty dog both uncharted 3 and Last of us have incredible statues and came with i game content. Assassins creed 3 is a phenomenal statue with a Lot of extra stuff for in game and same with the arkham city one. All amazing quality statues with extra stuff to boot. Skyrim one was a complete ripoff for me. All opinions this year I'm only snagging black flag, watch_dogs and gta v. Tired of the plastic crap they try to shovel out