Are ‘premium’ versions of games a shameless rip-off? OPM debate collector’s editions
What side of the line do you fall on when it comes to special editions of games? Great value for the loyal fan or a shameless way of squeezing more cash from gamer’s pockets? Here are four of team OPM to weigh the merits of collector’s editions.
Phil Iwaniuk, staff writer
The problem lies in that foggy hinterland of ambiguity in which the term ‘premium’ resides.
F1 2013’s Classic Edition costs £49.99, and includes all of the classic cars and tracks that distinguish this year’s game from the last. The £39.99 standard edition comes with just a sample of these, and if you want the rest they’re available as DLC. That’s wrong. We’re not talking about post-launch DLC here, but rather material the publisher showcased at the game’s reveal, and that the developer wanted to include since pre-production. Just remember: whenever a premium edition strips out core content before the game’s even on shelves, a fairy dies.
Dave Meikleham, acting news editor
Outraged at shinier versions of games costing extra pennies? Vote with your wallet and abstain then, oh irate consumer.
When I found out my local Game had sold out of the limited edition of Red Dead Redemption with life-sized poster of Bonnie MacFarlane (we’ll retire to that ranch one day, my love), I misplaced my shizzle. Yet such editions are usually completely superfluous. Ooh, a tiny art book for an extra £20?! Sold. With the pre-owned market sucking much-needed funds away from devs, I don’t begrudge them trying to make extra cash. Don’t agree? Then just buy the bog-standard version: you’ll rarely lose anything of actual importance.
Andrew Kelly, contributing writer
Special editions give you the illusion of value. From a marketing side, it’s genius. From a gamer’s perspective, it’s incredibly cynical.
Stick a piece of card with a redeem key in the box, call it a ‘deluxe edition’ and whack an extra £15 on the RRP: it’s the perfect shameless business model. Digital items bundled in these so-called special editions – vehicles, costumes, multiplayer XP boosts – rarely justify the extra expense. Proper special editions (the ones that come in boxes with plastic models and so on) have at least some sense of value because they’re big and physically exist. But a code that unlocks a hat for an in-game avatar? Come on…
Andrew Leung, deputy art editor
As long as the standard game isn’t compromised by the premium edition, I don’t think it’s a massive problem.
Like a certain Fernando Alonso-obsessed writer who shall remain anonymous (let’s call him Bill Ewaniok), I’m going to highlight this year’s F1. Classic cars and tracks from the ’80s and ’90s are included for the first time in the series, the latter excluded from the standard edition. With plenty of new content in both versions, though, missing a few motors won’t really affect your enjoyment of the core game. It’s just an added bonus for those happy to pay a little more for those extra offerings. Content that I’m sure wasn’t free to produce.