I’ve only ever bought a few collectors editions in my time. These range from limited editions, to special editions, to bastille editions and even stranger named editions. Somehow tied to the game which is usually, but not always, included.
When I have purchased these collectors editions it was usually due to a manifestation of my inner-capitalist consumer hype level, mainly because I was so excited for a particular game to be released. I didn’t just want the ‘standard’ version of the game, so to speak. I wanted the best version I could afford at the time.
Whenever I divulged into this impatient aspect of my inner-psych however, six-months later I would be filled with regret, noticing that not only had people completely moved on from the game and its momentum, but my edition would be collecting dust somewhere in a cupboard. From there, I would decide to finally sell it onto someone who would care more about owning this edition than I did.
I likely only admired the cool books and tokens located within the edition box a couple of times whilst owning it. And while these bonuses were quite cool (despite the price increase), they’ve never added to the core experience. That is, owning any special edition has never made a game better or would allow me to enjoy it more.
All they do act as was a memory of giving in to my selfish desire to try and acquire as much of this highly anticipated video game as possible. Perhaps as a reason to boast to fellow gamers; I’m not entirely sure. But what I am sure of is that buying these editions add nothing to the experience, and I have never met anyone who is truly glad they bought a special edition purely for the edition sake, and not to use it as a tool to tell others ‘I spent more money than you so I like the game more than you’.
It’s a clever tactic used by publishers; there’s no doubt about it. Using hype levels to convince gamers to purchase a more expensive version of a game; most of these editions now include in-game bonuses such as an extra mission or a few unique weapons.
Here’s my answer to these bonuses: firstly, they will likely be made available to purchase digitally sometime in the future, but secondly and more importantly, if these additions were THAT good and were THAT vital as part of the game experience, I can assure you that the developers would have put them into the original game package. Without question. That’s not to say they won’t be made into DLC such as the epilogue for Prince of Persia, but that didn’t exactly go down smoothly.
I’m not trying to convince you to not spend your hard-earned money because I regret spending mine – even though I don’t because it made me learn that I didn’t really need these editions. I am telling you about why I don’t buy these editions so that you can have a hard think about whether you need to as well.
Let’s put this in to some financial perspective. The Ultimate Edition for Red Dead Redemption II is around £115.00. Let’s say for argument sake that the game on its own is around £45. This means that you can either spend between £70-£75 on the ultimate edition for this game, which is a fair edition considering what’s included and the fact that the game itself is an easy 10/10er. Or you could, say, spend that hard-earned money on other incredible gaming experiences?
Every digital marketplace hosts deals and sales that most of us can’t ignore because of the incredible value they offer. You can probably buy a good few games using the rest of this money, and these could be some of your favourite games ever. They may not, but they could.
I’m not just talking about killer AAA games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I’m talking about experiences like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Games like Celeste and Gang Beasts which aren’t huge daunting games, but are brilliant in their unique way.
In the same way that I wouldn’t spend £300.00 on a blanket, because I could spend that money elsewhere, I find it difficult to invest so much of my income into one particular game’s special edition; I could be playing other fantastic experiences with that money.
Maybe you feel compelled to buy the special edition because it is likely will be your favourite game of all time and you want to support the developers (I’m looking at you Cyberpunk 2077). In which case, I say fire away. Buy whatever pleases you. But a word of caution.
Just remember that there are likely amazing games out there that deserve your attention. That may just happen to become your new favourite game for a time. If you’ve played Destiny 2 for 500 hours, then I can see why you would invest so much into, because of what you get out of it.
That being said, there are so many games to play, that I think it would be worth saving those pennies. Your call. This is just my view of buying special and collectors editions, and why I don’t particularly do it – at least not anymore. It might also be because there are 25 different special editions for Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and I think that is perhaps one too many. Or it might be because you could get a Fallout 76 bag which looks completely different to the picture.
Maybe you have some points against mine and wish to tell me why I’m wrong on every level? Please, I invite you to do so. I’m pretty sure the comments section will be down below these words.