Apparently, us gamers wanted more from video-games. Those months and years of precious hype, discussion and community around our beloved titles, we wanted to truly treasure our fandom. So the God of gaming created the Collectors Edition, the $20 more edition which comes with a poorly made and an art book… apparently. When we lay down our bucks and pounds at our game stores, we expect an experience like no other. We expect to be entertained, but when we lay down our cash for a Collectors Edition… things take a wild turn.
It’s labeled as ‘Collectors Edition’, yet more than often there’s nothing ‘Collectible’ about it. Sure they have a limited number of prints, but we have no proof or numerical measurement of our fandom. It would be nice on some of our steel cases to just have a number, even if it is “1334344 OF 1000000000”. It’s unfortunate too that some of these ‘Collectors Editions’ don’t offer much, money wise. You’ll usually just find a fancy figurine, a poster and maybe a flimsy art book for $20 extra. In fact, lets take a look at some special editions.
Lets start with the best selling one, Grand Theft Auto IV. It came in a locker box thing, which was kind of odd because it had no relation to the world of Niko. But anyway, it came with an art book, a CD with 3 tracks from the game, the locker box, a keyring and a damn duffel bag. It was all well made, nicely done… but it was sort of ’empty’. I wanted to see the people behind the game, not a flimsy 30 minute documentary where the developers ramble on about how good the game is. The art book was a short little thing too, it would have been nice to hear from some people we don’t usually hear from. The artists.
That’s what I like with my Collectors Editions, true extras. Fallout 3’s contained a huge 93 page art book, with artist commentary and something which took a whole while to digest. MW2’s Hardened Edition contained one with 23 pages, and didn’t take advantage of the art book. It kinda let the edition felt weak, and the component feel small in comparison to the other stuff in the edition. Speaking of which, it didn’t actually contain much. It was selling for £70 in the UK, and it included the flimsy art book, a steelbook and Call of Duty classic. I can get COD classic for £5, on Steam, so I feel kind of cheated buying it now.
Talking about Special Editions is a lot like talking about political affairs; you can really only talk to people who are interested or buy them too. This article wasn’t designed to give my opinion on them, it was designed to maybe remind you of how much of your money you are laying down for these ‘extras’. I can see from just looking at it, that an edition such as the God of War III Ultimate, is one of the best I’ve seen. But that’s what I thought of the MW2 Hardened, not Prestige (that’s just for silly people with silly amounts of dollar).
There’s also region specific collector things. The Arkham Asylum Collectors Edition was packaged in a dull box, here in Europe, while you Americanos got the huge sexy Batarang box, along with the leather-bound book. Oh yeah and you also got a full-color manual, we got a black and white one. Dragon Age also suffered from a similar problem, being offered in a dull little case, with all the same downloadables, but no awesome steel case to show it off in. I would happily pay the extra pound and penny, as long as it’s fair, to get my hands on the full ‘Collectors Edition’ of any game I buy.
To sum up: be safe with your money, and consider what you actually want from a Collectors Edition. Think about whether you’re actually going to read or need any of the stuff that’s packaged inside, and if maybe it might even be worth a few more dollar in the future.