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Talking Point: Are Collector's Editions a Waste of Money?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Bobby dazzlers

Collector’s editions are a relatively new phenomenon. They only came into fashion about ten years ago, rewarding franchise fans with steelbook cases and behind the scenes footage of their favourite games. Since their humble origins, package sizes and price tags have increased, as publishers go in pursuit of additional profits from their latest big budget releases. But is there any value to the inflated editions, or are they simply a big waste of money?

We suppose that depends on your own personal opinion. If you’re an enormous fan of a specific franchise, it can be difficult to ignore all of the additional novelties that come included with a particular premium bundle. Indeed, we’ve been there ourselves: back when God of War III launched we couldn’t resist the lure of a scale replica of Pandora’s Box. But it remains one of the few sets that we’ve ever purchased.

As far as we’re concerned, the bundles are getting a bit ostentatious. Even if we could afford every major set that released, we’d still need to buy a new house to store them all. Consider the recent packages for Borderlands 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, both of which came enclosed in huge boxes the size of an average coffee table. There’s no doubt that the contents were cool – but who can honestly say that they’ve got room to stash them, let alone display them?

And considering the price points, the last thing you want to do is leave your expensive purchases to rot in the garage. The aforementioned examples retailed for $149.99 and $179.99 respectively – an investment almost on the scale of a brand new PlayStation 3. That’s a lot of money to pay for what essentially amounts to books, posters, and statues. It’s just tat at the end of the day, and it’s unlikely to increase in value – even if you do get a certificate of authenticity to prove your purchase.

There are more tasteful ways of doing collector’s editions without the additional junk, of course. Heavy Rain was accompanied by a gorgeous embossed box in Europe, which sits on our mantelpiece to this very day. Meanwhile, Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time landed with an extremely cool lithograph case with an intergalactic inside cover. Both were affordable, easy to store, and even included some extra bits and pieces of DLC.

It’s just a shame that publishers have decided to move away from these manageable collector’s editions in favour of enormous bundles. We suppose they must be selling, otherwise they wouldn’t continue to be manufactured – but we want to know who’s buying them. Prohibitive price points and restricted storage space have certainly struck the sets off our wishlist. Are we in the minority, or are the packages starting to lose their lustre?

Have you ever purchased a collector’s edition? Why did you decide to spend the extra money? Are you planning on buying a premium bundle for an upcoming title? Let us know in the comments section below.

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User Comments (28)

Splat

#1

Splat said:

I have never bought one. I don't care about any of the goodies they come with besides maybe DLC.

In fact if I had a big enough HD and all games were available all my games would be digital.

I'm a gamer not a collector.

ZeD

#2

ZeD said:

I bought the special version of Borderlands 2 (one without chest) due to wanting the bobble head and knowing that it was going to be a great game!
The price was not too bad but I think the latest special editions are become really expensive!
Also I brought Heavy Rain SE and STILL have it hehehe

bauckster

#3

bauckster said:

Generally I stay away from this extra stuff. I still have a number of gaming peripherals (rock band drums, anyone?) which take up plenty of room already. Though if I had a PS3 when Heavy Rain first came out, I probably would have gotten that special "rain" case - that sounds really cool!

ShogunRokAdmin

#4

ShogunRok said:

Most of the time it's overpriced crap that's hardly even collectible. That said, there are sometimes some nice little extras. The last CE I got was Mass Effect 3, I think. That was mostly for the day 1 DLC and the art book. Kind of worth it, I guess?

Paranoimia

#5

Paranoimia said:

I don't usually. I have the PS1 MGS Limited Edition Premium Package from way back. Since then the only one I've bought is the Uncharted 3 Explorer Edition, simply because I love the series. Oh, and the GT5 Collectors Edition (just the one with the book & cards, not the version with the model car in the flashy tin). Nothing else, though.

I do buy the occasional Special Edition if it has something I know I'll make use of, like some free DLC etc. But not always.

I might well buy a Collectors Edition of The Last Of Us, though. if they do one, of course. Depends on content and price.

get2sammybAdmin

#6

get2sammyb said:

@bauckster The Heavy Rain was is honestly awesome. I still appreciate it today, almost three years after I originally bought it.

ztpayne7

#7

ztpayne7 said:

I got my uncharted 3 collectors edition for $20 at Best Buy. Hooray for waiting!

3Above

#8

3Above said:

I've only purchased 2 CE, The inFamous 2 Hero edition ( for the life size usable sling pack replica which i have used in public on numerous ocasions ) and the FFXII-2 CE ( i got it for the Soundtract. )

Ginkgo

#9

Ginkgo said:

Have never bought one and have no real interest in them. Just want to play the game.

Stine

#10

Stine said:

I pretty much always go for standard editions; I'd rather buy several "normal" games than spend a lot of money on the OMG-extra-super-duper-hyper-limited editions of just a couple of games. If I actually buy some kind of collector's edition, it's usually not very expensive and only has a soundtrack or some DLC in addition to the game itself.

DREAMCATCHER

#11

DREAMCATCHER said:

I hate collector's edition with downloadable content, if comes at least with an artbook or ost already makes me happy!

Zombie_Barioth

#13

Zombie_Barioth said:

@Stine Same here, the only collectors edition I bought was for the Last Story which just had a CD and art book that came in a box designed to look like a book with the game's cover art on it but that was a free upgrade for preordering.:)

Most of the collectors editions are more junk thats neat for maybe a day or so until you get bored. It might be worth it for something you could use (like the inFamous 2 sling pack @3Above mentioned) or something that might make an interesting show piece.

SuperKMxAdmin

#14

SuperKMx said:

The only one I ever bought was for the original BioShock, because it had a cool Big Daddy statue with it.

Generally though, yes, they are a waste of money. The game is the thing. I don't need a book showing me art from a game that I can view perfectly well on my TV screen. Generally, I don't want the soundtrack either. :)

bauckster

#15

bauckster said:

I actually really do enjoy video game music (when well done), but usually I'll opt to get it separately (or occasionally in a bundle on Steam or PSN). Anyone else take advantage of the ps plus sale for the Papo & Yo soundtrack? Even though the game wasn't perfect, the soundtrack to that game is AMAZING!

Squiggle55

#17

Squiggle55 said:

I'll tell you one thing, there was no way I could pass up the book that comes with the Ni No Kuni collector's edition.

EnslavedMonkey

#18

EnslavedMonkey said:

Most of the time no. Used to be big into Call of Duty, got the Hardened Edition of Modern Warfare 2, with the download code for original, art book, and steel case for $19.99 on a clearance rack. Now it pretty much sets on the shelf waiting for the franchise fatigue to wear off.

NathanUC

#19

NathanUC said:

I like collectors edition packs that come with cool things I can put on my work desk. It annoys me when it's mainly DLC or something like an art book/steel case and the price still gets jacked way high.

I'd love to get my hands on one of those helghast heads for cheap! I also cannot wait for that Lightning HF blade!

EDIT: I also love when they come with the OST.

The3DSisMINE

#20

The3DSisMINE said:

Alright now you're speaking my language. First of all I love collector edition games. I believe they are only mean't for people who really want the game and what developers strive to achieve in creating a world that the buyers has a connection with. Take Bioshock. It was one of the first collectors games I bought complete with Big Daddy figurine and all. I did not know what was in store for me with that game but I felt a connection with it when I played the DEMO!!!! It only cost me 20$ more but it was worth it. Little did I know that I just played one of the greatest games in history. Bioshock 2 I got the collectors, and Bioshock Infinite I got the collectors. even the Halo series I got the collectors. The last collectors edition I received was Black Ops 2 but I did feel cheated with the quadcopter but its for display really. I love collectors edition and I do think they are worth it but I think they are not for everyone

Gamer83

#21

Gamer83 said:

I don't usually buy Collector's Editions but for some games I make an exception. Last year I bought the ME 3 and Halo 4 CE's and the RE 6 Anthology Collection and was happy with the contents in each.

charlesnarles

#22

charlesnarles said:

Oblivion 5 year anniversary was cool. Textile map and making-of blu-ray plus GOTY dlc in a smart tin case. I think it was under $40 tho, and I won't pay over $60 for a video game ever! Maybe ps4 ones....

Magi

#23

Magi said:

The fallout 3 CE was pretty neat. I didn't purchase it when it released, but I was able to purchase the bobblehead and metal lunch box from ebay. I now use the lunch box for bringing my lunch to work and I display the bobblehead on a bookshelf at work with my Left 4 Dead plushies, a light saber, and Pikachu.

Stuffgamer1

#25

Stuffgamer1 said:

I've been known to buy me some Collector's Editions, yeah. I especially like the figurines that come with certain Sony titles, and I look forward to putting Kratos on my shelf next to Nathan Drake and Cole MacGrath. But I don't buy them indiscriminately by any means...for example, I'm skipping it for Tomb Raider.

psycoticdev1l

#26

psycoticdev1l said:

I have bought a few Collector's Editions in my time. Such as the Halo Reach CE, which had a nice amount of content, especially for fans, and just $20 more. And the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which had a custom Wii remote with motion plus and a soundtrack, all for $20 more. Of they are at a low cost with enough extras to warrant paying extra, I don't see why not. Collector's will collect things that interest them. However, if they go for something like 149.99 or something like that, no. That's an obvious cash grab. To me, anything over $100 new is no (not counting rare or expensive games later down the line).

Splat

#27

Splat said:

Kinda off topic but while I don't go for Collector's Editions, I love me some GOTY and Greatest Hits Editions. :)

Enesty

#28

Enesty said:

is collecting stamps a waste of money? collecting model cars? or old books?
Collector's Editions are what they are: things to collect. whether or not they are a waste of money completely depends on who buys them. Some people want to "honor" their most anticipated game a little. Others simply collect them. Others don't care.

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