Published on September 26th, 2008 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder
Collector's Edition MADNESS
I started GAMINGtruth with the goal of speaking out on issues that gamers may not have a place to. I try to do that as much as possible, and in as fair a way as I can while still maintaining that focus. This is one of those moments that I feel compelled to speak out on an issue that will only becoming larger as time goes on, and I feel that many gamers agree with, so please read on.
I feel bad for having purchased Halo 3’s Legendary Edition. Not because I didn’t like Halo 3 or anything (it could’ve been better). Not because it was less than I expected it to be (it wasn’t – I just wanted to finish the fight). No, I feel bad that I bought it because it gives other companies the idea that selling $130 games is the thing to do. On top of that, thinking back, I wasted a perfectly good opportunity to pick up another game.
Let’s not get this twisted – I loved the Spartan helmet! When I had people over, they’d pick it up and play with it. There were always the sneaky people that would look to see whether or not it would fit on their head, and a couple people even tried! The only surprise I saw was when I told people how much the helmet cost on top of the game. They looked at me like I was completely nuts. At the time I wasn’t too bothered by $130, but with the current financial situation those days are long gone.
As a gamer who watches his spending now, even a $60 game is more than I really want to pay for a hobby. Unfortunately, due to $60 being the norm, I’m afraid some gamers could see a $40 – $50 game and be scared away by the thought that it’s somehow inferior to the other ‘normal’ priced games. Indeed, the only way I see game prices dropping is if it happens across the board (which isn’t likely to happen) or the developers start selling expensive DLC to make up the difference, which I’m not a fan of.
Why is this such a big deal to me? Well, it’s because there are a couple other games releasing with $130 Collector’s Editions, and that trend is very likely to continue.
The thing that I remembered about the Halo CE that was different from this situation, though, is the fact that I had an entire console generation to get to know the Halo Universe. Halo launched day and date with the Xbox, with Halo 2 following a few years later. It expanded beyond gaming and I read every one of the Halo novels up to the Ghosts of Onyx, then read the novel about Sgt. Johnson. I can remember reading about John-117’s childhood, I can envision Dr. Halsley watching him play King of the Hill, I see the military games they played as teenagers, I remember when the Spartans were genetically altered and the friends they lost. I vividly remember when Sgt. Johnson had to fire on a terrorist in a diner and lost some of his team in the resulting explosion. What about when Dr. Halsley ran off with Kelly and didn’t give reason? Even when certain Spartans and the Ghosts battled their way into the sphere on Onyx that they didn’t know how to get out of.
See, I had years to get to know Halo and the characters involved. There was a massive emotional connection there, so getting the Halo 3 CE was more than just buying a game – it was buying a personal piece of art for some of the greatest reading/gaming memories of the previous six years of my life.
With Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge, I have none of that. I know that Dead Space has some great animated comics online, but I don’t know much else of the background of the lead or supporting characters. And to be honest, until I know whether or not I’ll like the games, their collector’s editions don’t matter to me. I hate to say it, but it’s the truth. Why should I pay the price of two or nearly three brand new games for a single one that I’m not sure I’ll like?
Honestly, why should I pay $130 or $150 for either, when realistically I could buy both regular editions? That’s where the root of my argument lies, and every other gamer looking at picking one up. At those prices, the games could (and probably will) be cannibalizing sales on each other, which isn’t exactly what companies want either, right?
If you have a good answer please tell me , because there isn’t one that both my brain or my wallet can agree with just yet. Halo got a pass because it’s been a system seller since the original Xbox and it’s reach expanded into another passion of mine. I understand that a company has to have faith in a title to properly market it, but this? It’s just too confusing for me. It’s like confidence overkill.
The fear that it could become commonplace is the kind of thing that makes me want to give up gaming, and that’s a feeling that’s been creeping up more and more this generation.
What happened to collector’s editions with t-shirts? I’d wear a t-shirt of either game with a swiftness that may boggle your mind, but dropping this level of trust of an IP that has yet to be proven on the marketplace is extremely surprising.
Some may conclude from reading this that I dislike these titles, but it’s quite the opposite – I’m stoked about both and can’t wait to try them out for myself this holiday season, but I haven’t had the time with either to know whether they’re worth the $60 entry price, let alone double that.
Keep in mind that I would absolutely love for these games to be good enough to create franchises off of. As a gamer, there’s nothing that I love more than fantastic gaming experiences. The problem is that neither I, nor the gamers that make the purchasing decision, know whether these games fit the bill.
Here’s hoping that their demos knock our socks off. I know I’ll be waiting for it – with my shoes off just in case.