Special Editions are getting out of control
Have you started getting the feeling that special editions for video games these days don't seem all that... special? I know I have lately, especially after the bevy of special editions revealed recently for the highly anticipated Ubisoft title Watch Dogs.
Ubisoft appears to be a specific perpetrator of this practice with four special editions each for three upcoming titles. Do we really need all this? Is this hurting consumers in any way?
I've never really been one to gravitate towards special editions when picking up video games. The prices are usually outrageous since these tend to be packaged with things like statues or, in the case of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, a remote-controlled plane.
It's one thing to give franchise fans an option to go all out if they're willing to spend the dough, but four special editions seems a bit much. It can also get very confusing as is the case with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
There's the Special Edition with only some in-game content, the Skull Edition which throws in a steel case, art book, and soundtrack, then there are the big daddies with the Buccaneer Edition and Black Chest Edition. The latter two include a statue and bigger statue respectively stored in enormous boxes.
Better make room for your shelf
I realize there are folks out there who live to collect things like this and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm speaking more on behalf of the common consumer who may feel overwhelmed with which content is included with which bundle.
For the most part, each special edition comes with certain downloadable content. As is the case with Watch Dogs, you get one piece of DLC in the Special Edition and a completely separate one in the Vigilante Edition. When developers start cherry-picking content like this, that's when I have to cross the line.
Anyone and everyone gets a statue these days...
Day 1 DLC has always been a bit of sore topic in the gaming community. These latest special editions just seem to push that level of soreness even further now. Why withhold content that's already completed by the time a game is completed? I would suspect it's for the exact same reason why Ubisoft offers an hour worth of extra content on Sony's consoles over the Xbox 360 and PC versions. It's all about the exclusivity deals.
It's no surprise that GameStop, Amazon, Best Buy, and other game retailers are vying for your business. The way to do that in the gaming department, it seems, is to land exclusive content that can only be obtained by purchasing at a specific outlet. The retailer gets their incentive, the developer gets an extra kickback from the deal with said retailer, and the consumers get the illusion of choice. Power to the players? Hardly.
Screw you, GameStop
Simply put, there needs to be an end to slicing out game content and only making it available from certain retailers. While it's true that said content could potentially appear later for universal download in the future, this isn't always the case. Don't force me to buy a statue just to get what should already be in the game.
Let us know your thoughts on this topic in the comments below!
Yessir! Japan obviously got it a few years back, and had a special edition that came with a White Rock Shooter figma or something. NISA localized and released it on PSN a couple of weeks ago, and you can find it here: https://store.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com/#!/en-us/games/black-rock-shooter-the-game/cid=UP1063-NPUH10126_00-BRSDL00000001111
I generally don't post on here anymore (FUCKING SPAMBOTS...seriously, just look at most of my articles), but I do sometimes post comments and reply to other ones. That's why I post on Gawker's (the guys who power Kotaku, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, etc.) new Kinja blogging/commenting system. And it's there where I posted my review of the game: http://tjoeb123.kinja.com/black-rock-shooter-the-game-the-tjoeb123-revie...
I wish I had screenshots, though, but the PS Vita won't allow you to take screenshots of a PSP (or PS1) games so I couldn't get any. And I didn't really want to hunt through Google Images to get the screens I want, either.
I've also seen both the anime series and OVA (after completing the game), and I honestly like the game more than I do the anime or OVA (though I like the OVA more than the anime series). I can't say I'm surprised that you've heard of it, as I've never heard anything of this either until NISA posted the trailers on YouTube (I'm subscribed to both their JP and US channels). Funny how A FUCKING SONG (by..uh...Hat..s-sun..e....M-Mik..u....yeah, I blush a little!) - that I love listening to, and is the anime series' OP theme, by the way - resulted in a OVA, then a PSP JRPG, and an anime series (in that order)...
I have seen a bit of footage of those boxes, and good God are those massive.
Like I said, some special editions are well worth the time and money. As for people who just what the extra stuff, I'm not so sure in that front. However, to people who just want the DLC, that's where the Game of the Year Editions come into play. Don't want to shove all your money for DLC? Wait a year for the GotY Edition, and you're set. Borderlands 1 & 2, along with Batman: Arkham City are prime examples of this Edition. Take notes, EA!
Also, I have not gotten another Tales of game ever since my older brother had traded one of our games with one of his friends, for Tales of Symphonia.
Wait, there's a Black Rock Shooter game? Since when? I remember my friend showing me all the fight scenes, but that's about it.
i can agree and disagree with this. while its true that this whole "Special,Moar Special,Uber Special, So Special that it makes Jesus jizz thinking about it" stuff needs to stop. But on the Other Hand. I rarely buy new games but mostly used ones why? most shops like gamestop have new used game shortly after release and the price drops down around 20€ (in some cases more). But once in a while there is a Game that i like and that i want to place in my shelfs and lock good so im mostly fine with steelbox editions but there are some boxes that are simply amazing. That Old Heros of Might and Magic Complete Edition Box was Awesome granted i allready owned all the games i still bought it because it looks good has some nice extras and well everything was good.
But there is something thats bugging me more and more lately.. and thats the quality of the Special Items. Anybody who got the Sons of Sparada Editon of DMC might painfully know what i´m talking about that necklace is shit its ugly and a piece of junk.
Blizzard routinely makes amazing Collector's Editions. Whether or not you think the games are worth that is your own prerogative, but those extras are mind-blowing.
I suppose it's fine to have special editions, but I think they should be custom order type stuff. Why no company has embraced that idea is beyond me. Why waste your time and money prepping all of this bullshit when you can have it as a custom order on your website and charge extra?
Us sneaky Europeans got a neat Fan Edition of Continuum shift very similar to the Japanese one and limited to only a small number of copies that I'm not too humble to admit I own. =P But you're right, most editions (even ones I own) are a load of old tosh, that just attempt to appeal to the more superficial side of us game consumers.
It's not just your average non-collecting gamers that have trouble with Special editions, I'm an avid collector of them and I spend more time wondering what version and from where I should get it, than the time I spend deciding whether I want the game.
The further materialisation of these games also inhibits my excitement for the game and emphasises my anticipation of the extra stuff.
When Bioshock Infinite was announced I was extremely excited about playing it and even more so when the editions got announced. I was going to buy the Songbird edition. In the end, I realised that I just wanted to play the game and I would like something truly special if I was going to buy a special edition. In the end I bought it from the Irish Gamestop which offered a steelcase with it, which to me, felt a lot more special and unique because nobody else knew about it.
Since this realisation, I've opted not to buy Collector's editions and have all but joined the ranks of the regular gamer. It's much more liberating. And cheaper *ahem*.
So....what about those people who just want the swag, and NOT the DLC? For example, Tales of Xillia's CE which has a selection soundtrack, 100 page artbook (50 pages for EU's D1 edition), and a Millia figurine. I heard rumors of some kind of DLC being included as well but nothing confirmed...?
Two things - Niche, and licensing. Would I love to have that special edition for Black Rock Shooter: The Game for PSP (only with a download code instead of a UMD)? Hell yeah I would!
I've heard that Day 1 DLC is done to "give the studio something to do when they finish early." But it makes me want to ask this question: what did you do when you finished early before the Internet (or at least high-speed Internet).
Second, I agree with you. Special Editions are getting to be very extravagant. A Special Edition should only be a game that is worth it, and even then there should only be one kind. Either you buy just the game or you buy the Special Edition with all of the Add-Ons.
Thirdly, I also agree with you that retailers each have their own DLC that they can provide, essentially slicing apart a game and separating it like it was the Triforce. It is a cheap ploy to get more money because there are people willing to buy from all three retailers just to get all of that DLC.
There's more to say, but I'll leave it there for now.
I just buy the Digital Deluxe Edition 75% off on Steam.
Always wanted one of those back when MW2 was still new. :(
Back then, Special/Limited/Collecter's aditions of games were a big thing. Granted, it is more expensive to get all the extras, but in some cases it's well worth the extra cash. But now a days, companies seem to release them just to get more money, and nothing else in most cases. What is this, EA on crack? While already on crack?
To be frank, the only special editions of games that were worth the time are the following: 1. The European Limited Edition of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. It included a complete map of Termina. Europe, what the hell? Just, what the hell?
2. The US Limited Edition of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. It included a 2 Disk soundtrack, and a tutorial disk showing how the game is played, with tips and advice for beginners and expert players. Which is a good thing for beginners of the series to see how each character works.
3. The Limited Box of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. It was only released in Japan, but if you got the money, you can import it here to the States. Why is this here? Because it included the following:
I. An art book with art drawn by the members of Arc System Works.
II. A drama CD which detail's Tsubaki's psyche, before the events of the Continuum Shift Trilogy.
III. A chibi statue of Noel Vermillion.
IV. Here's the best part- an actual replica of the script.
I'll ask the same question everyone else does: why does Japan get all the good stuff?
What I'm getting at is this: some Special Editions are worth while, but the gaming industry needs to take a massive break on these Special Editions and rethink their marketing strategies.
It's been like that for awhile actually. Remember Halo 3 CE years ago? Original cost was like over $100, I forget actual price. Then years later, you could still find them for $20 or less. EVERYONE is coming out with a collector's edition, when before, very few did, and only big names did it. Now even the most crappiest games come out with CEs, like Aliens.
Think you need to reread the article at the Assassins Creed 4 mark
You made seem like 1 game was getting 4 special editions, that's a bit misleading.
As long as people have money, then they'll make even more ridiculous special editions. I barely have enough money for used copies..... -_-
Even though I do want a remote controlled plane, I probably wouldn't buy it with a video game.
Does anyone even want a Splinter Cell special edition?