Are Expensive Collector’s Editions Just a Cheap Rip-Off?

Are Expensive Collector’s Editions Just a Cheap Rip-Off?

Have you got a spare $200 lying around? It’s a lot of money, to be sure. But if you have it, there are so many great things you could do with it. You could buy a 3DS or Vita. You could take a weekend trip somewhere. Or you could spend it all on a single collector’s edition of a video game.

That may sound silly, but it’s an accurate statement. While there are still the reasonable, $79.99 collector’s editions of games out there, more companies are leaning toward providing limited options that end up costing around $199.99. It’s ridiculous, and people should be thinking twice before spending so much money on such things.

Look at this past week. There have been three collector’s editions for AAA games announced. First, there was the $149.99 Just Cause 3 Collector’s Edition, complete with game, map, artbook, and replica grappling hook. Then, there was the $199.99 Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Collector’s Edition, providing fans with a 14″ statue, lithograph, art cards, and two temporary tattoos. It was followed by the Call of Duty: Black Ops III Juggernog Edition, packing in a Season Pass, extra DLC, more art cards, coasters, and a working mini-fridge for, you guessed it, $199.99. Pardon my cynicism, but it’s a barrage of frivolous fanservice.

Look at the key items in these bundles. The mini-fridge from the Call of Duty: Black Ops III Collector’s Edition is the only one that makes sense. Similar products tend to run around $120 alone, so one that’s customized and comes with the game for $200 almost makes sense. But the Faith statue and grappling hook from the Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and Just Cause 3 Collector’s Editions don’t have that same practicality. And, depending on how people end up feeling about the game after playing and the passage of time, could end up being placed back in their boxes and stored in a closet somewhere. If they ever even make it out of their boxes in the first place, because some may consider them too “collectible” to display.

And what happens if, perish the thought, the bundle doesn’t come through? It seems like something that wouldn’t happen, because what company wants to give up an easy $200? But it did with the Batman: Arkham Knight Batmobile Edition. People who pre-ordered the $199.99 special edition found out June 17, 2015, less than a week before the game’s release, that the collector’s edition was cancelled. Warner Bros. didn’t like how the Project Triforce Batmobile statue looked, so it canned the whole bundle. People got refunds or were able to put the money toward different versions of Batman: Arkham Knight , but it adds to the continued taint on these “collectibles.”

Are Expensive Collector’s Editions Just a Cheap Rip-Off?

Besides, there are times when these extravagant collector’s editions don’t sell. Let me tell you a little story. Target has a clearance section back by the electronics department, where it’ll cluster together things people don’t want on an endcap for a reduced price in the hopes it moves. Back in early 2011, I was trolling this section when I came upon the Call of Duty: Black Ops Xbox 360 Prestige Edition. You know, the one that was normally $149.99 and came with a remote controlled car. Do you know how much it was on sale? About $90.

I remember, because I saw it, thought it was ridiculous, sent a picture to my cousin, and he made me grab it for him at that price. To my knowledge, he has never opened and used the car. Because it’s “collectible.”

It’s not the only time I’ve seen price drops on these bundles. I came across the BioShock 2 Special Edition at a Goodwill for $14.99. It had everything except the game inside the box. I even saw the Skyrim Legendary Edition on sale.

I know that these expensive collector’s editions can look cool. They’re limited and appealing. Knowing that triggers something inside of you, making you wonder if you love the series enough to go all in. Odds are, it’s not. The $200 collector’s editions are gaming’s siren songs, and it’s better to save that money and put it toward at least three other games, rather than wind up crushed on the rocks of disappointment.

To top