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.