A reader, Mike, pointed out something else about Collector’s Editions which I hadn’t even considered. They provide (or attempt to provide) extra value to physical copies of games. In an industry that is increasingly moving toward digitable distribution and downloadable games, the Collector’s Editions offer things that you can’t get digitally.
We all like to own, to hold the things we’ve purchased. I have a large collection of physical copies of games, and I have a large collection of digital-only copies of games. While I love the convenience of digital solutions, I think I’d be a little sad if physical copies ever went the way of the Dodo.
Are Collector’s Editions also helping keep that alive? Probably not dramatically, but there may be some impact.
I also received emails from a couple of developers voicing their thoughts on the issue of trying to provide value in their Collector’s Editions. It can be a tough balancing act adding things which will interest gamers and are also cost-effective.
To add another of my own opinions, I would say either load up on the in-game exclusives, as that seems to be the number one reason for buying them that I’ve seen in my inbox, OR go the extra mile. Go extravagant.
The Halo 3 Spartan Helm? Neat to look at, but too small to wear. But I’m willing to bet that if that had cost even $20 more, but included a life-size, functioning Spartan Helmet, interest in that CE would have skyrocketed. Why? Because it then crosses the line into something that feels useful. It doesn’t make it any more practical, but it makes the gamer feel like they’ve really purchased something worthwhile related to a game they love. Not just a plastic replica/space-waster.