Collector’s editions of video games. Lots of us love them, and we gleefully shell out extra money to get them when pre-ordering a game for which we’re excited. Over the years, these collector’s editions have come with things like art books, statues/statuettes, pins, stickers, and other fun and kitschy items. I have a few of these editions myself, for various games I’ve purchased over the years. However, there comes a time when we, as consumers, need to step back and look at these packages objectively, and ask ourselves: “Is this really worth the cost, or is there something else at play here?”
That question arose in me today, when I saw that Ubisoft has put together the ‘Dawn of the Creed Legendary Edition’ bundle for those who want to get some extra Assassins Creed swag when they pre-order the upcoming Assassins Creed Origins. While the bundle has some cool stuff in it (which I’ll get into in a moment), the price point is a bit outlandish in my opinion. Ubisoft has priced this package at $800.00. Yes, you read that correctly: EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS (USD) for a collector’s edition of the game plus all of the stuff it comes with. This edition (one of 7 special editions for the game) is only available at the Ubisoft Store, and there are only 999 copies of it available – 200 of which are in North America.
Now for the content. While I’m still not sure that what the pack comes with warrants $800 USD, the stuff does look pretty cool. Here’s what it comes with:
- An art book and art cards
- A numbered certificate of authenticity
- The game’s official soundtrack
- A 28.7 inch (72.898 cm) resin-cast figurine of Bayek and his eagle, Senu
- Two Steelbook cases
- A hand-drawn map of Assassin’s Creed Origins Egypt
- A resin-cast replica of Bayek’s eagle skull amulet
- Four 15-inch (38.1 cm) x 11-inch (27.94 cm) lithographs, signed by the artists at Ubisoft Montreal studio
- A copy of the game, its related Season Pass, and various other digital goodies (two extra missions and an outfit & weapon pack, per Ubisoft’s usual M.O.)
Now, that’s all well & good, and if someone has the money that they’re willing to spend on something like this, then more power to them. However, this whole thing got me thinking about some of the other so-called “collector’s editions” I’ve seen over the years, and wondering how many people out there would actually shell out obscenely large amounts of money for them. There have definitely been some of these that seem more like publicity stunts than anything else.
Take for instance, the ‘Spotlight Edition’ of 2016’s Dying Light: The Following. When this game was up for pre-order, the information for this collector’s set advertised it as coming with: “acting lessons, an FX makeup session, the promise of a supporting role in the still to be announced Dying Light movie, and a ton of other goodies in between”. Out of curiosity, I looked it up, and nearly choked on my breakfast when I saw the price point. $9.99 MILLION DOLLARS (USD). Yep. A 10 million dollar package for a video game and movie experience.
Now, this kind of pricing is an extreme case when it comes to these collector’s editions. However, there have apparently been several pre-order bonuses over the years which have had some pretty exorbitant pricing. Packages like this have included everything from the aforementioned movie experience, to leather jackets, to intricately-detailed models and replicas from the games themselves.
The English poet Thomas Tusser once said, “A fool and his money are soon parted”. Now by no means am I calling the people who invest in these bonuses “fools”. That’s not my intention. What I am saying, is that there is typically an enormous markup on these products, and there are lots of other ways that people could spend that money. Eight hundred dollars could get you a pretty decent weekend getaway in almost any kind of hotel in the US, for instance. Or, if you’re feeling more altruistic, make a donation to one or more of your favorite charities to help someone else who truly needs it. It really does make you feel good to do something nice like that for someone without the expectation of any kind of material reward.
But, if you’re still set on getting that huge bundle of video game swag with your pre-orders, who are we to judge? To each their own, and may the stuff you get bring you joy.
So tell us, dear readers: Do you get collector’s editions when you pre-order games? If so, what has been the most you’ve shelled out for one of these, what game was it for, and what do you think of higher price points like the one for the Assassins Creed Origins ‘Dawn of the Order Edition’? Let us know in the comments down below!