Video game companies confuse me from their bizarre monetization schemes to their crunch complacent work culture. However, when it comes to collector’s editions of games it’s on a whole other level. So, let’s take a quick dive into some of the insanity that developers and their marketing teams think they can get away with. There are some doozies to talk about.
We’ll start things off with the Mass Effect Legendary Cache edition. It includes an assortment of wonderful items such as an N7 acceptance letter, an art print, a helmet replica that is wearable, and a metal game case. But what it doesn’t have is…
Oh…well I hope people read that before pre-ordering.
Now while I think it is silly that a collector’s edition does not include the bloody game, there is actually a place for this. Say you purchased the game because you didn’t know whether you’d enjoy it. After hours of gameplay you consider yourself a fan and want to buy something more to support the developers. A collector’s edition that contains no game means you won’t be stuck with a second copy. A nice solution for all collector’s editions would be to have two bundles: one with the game and one without it. However, that’s idealistic and we live in the real world.
Now that we are warmed up, let’s move on to the really wacky shit.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, a game I’d highly recommend for being both genuinely frightening and hilarious, has some interesting stuff going on with its collector’s edition. The game is included this time around, along with a VHS tape box to remind me of my age and a dismembered finger that’s perfect for hot dog buns and salads. It’s actually a USB stick, which sounds kinda cool but it isn’t very practical. I’ll never be able to use this thing in polite company for fear that someone would think it was a real finger. Is this finger really worth the hassle? No thank you.
If that’s too spooky for you we can dial things back with Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God. It’s a game that was isolated to the PS Vita for many years until it was finally released onto Steam in 2018. As someone who owned a Vita (yes, really) I’ve played it and thought it was an okay dungeon crawler. However, I didn’t know about its crazy collector’s edition called the Hot and Spicy, Everything Nicey Limited Edition. It came with a game themed spoon, plate, and bib. Yes, you read that correctly: a bib. I guess I no longer have to worry about spilling copious amounts of Mountain Dew or Doritos on my shirt.
Back to horror games, the Dead Island Riptide Zombie Bait Edition is truly a case study on just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Only released in Europe and Australia, it included several standard items like the game, all the DLC, a steelbook case, and a dismembered torso.
But it has boobs so it’s okay, right?
Well, the marketing team must have thought so as the Zombie Bait Edition raised quite the ruckus on social media. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the good kind of ruckus. The ensuing stink was so bad that publisher Deep Silver apologized on Twitter stating it was a decision they regretted. Apparently they didn’t regret it that much, however, as it was still released to the public for purchase.
Now it’s time for the expensive ones.
Starting us off we’ve got a UK GAME retailer exclusive for Dying Light called the My Apocalypse Edition. It contains many perks for its admission price including immortalizing your face on a night hunter enemy, parkour lessons, a trip to Poland to meet the developer Techland, and a custom built zombie-proof shelter. I hope this shelter passed all the safety regulations. Anyway, all of this and more could have been yours for the reasonable price of 250,000 pounds (approximately 436,000 Canadian dollars).
However if that wasn’t pricey enough for you, Dying Light, once again, has you covered with a ten million dollar Spotlight Edition. This affront to God was less about the game and more about the Dying Light movie that was in the works at the time. Unfortunately the movie never manifested so no one was able to take advantage of this collector’s edition as their breakout opportunity in HollyWood. Had anyone bought it they’d have been entitled to a supporting role in the movie, a personal trailer, professional acting lessons, and parkour training. It also included four copies of Dying Light if it wasn’t already apparent that you were the ultimate Dying Light shill.
It feels like I’ve only scratched at the murky surface of the insanity that is video game collector’s editions. From bibs and dismembered body parts to editions that would cost one of my left kidney it seems the gaming industry knows no bounds when it comes to creating alternative editions for consumers to purchase. I don’t know about you but I look forward to seeing what inventive ways marketing teams try to weasel their way into our wallets. Truly, what a wacky world we live in.