Exclusive Retailer Collector’s Edition Deals:
Is it Unfair Trading Or Value for Money?
©2010 Alex Hilton
I payed $120 for what ended up being a pretty average collector’s edition, but what annoyed me the most was that EB Games had no other competitors offering the same or very similar collector editions, so it was either pay the full recommended retail price (RRP), which I hardly ever do, or go without.
At the moment most game stores are getting retail-exclusive-content for most of the big AAA games heading our way. The content for these are either in-game content and or small objects that are included in the game package like a figurine.
Because of these exclusive deals between the publisher and the retailer the price of the collector’s edition is always full price whereas in the past there was some price movement when many retailers stocked them.
I think that no collector’s edition should be exclusive to any shop for a number of reasons.
Reason 1: Availability
Collector’s Editions are always fun to get but some of them aren’t always available. Stores these days want exclusive collector’s editions so that they can get customers to buy from their store and not go to one of their competitors.
This though is costing some people their chance to buy a collector’s edition if they don’t have access to that retailer (unless they can purchase online).
This means that if you only had a JB Hi-Fi near you, and the game is exclusive to GAME, then you would be forced to buy that edition online which can lead to other problems.
Some people who don’t have access to the particular shop that has the collectors edition that they want also don’t want to take the risk of buying products online either, because they don’t want their special edition damaged in the post, arrive late, or worse, lost.
This means that those people would not be able to get that edition, without having to take an unnecessary risk.
Then there is the issue of that wonderful Special Edition that you’d love, but is exclusive only to overseas retailers in a certain country. For example, Gamestop in the US offers a completely different Limited Edition Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood version than what is available here in Australia – one that has an exclusive to Gamestop Jack ‘n the Box.
You might be able to buy it online, but will it definitely be region free if you buy a 360 version, and again, will it arrive intact? What about the UK version which has everything ours has, but with an extra Lineage short film DVD and may even work out cheaper with the current exchange rate?
Here in Australia, we are region 4 DVD while they are region 2, and since our 360 (and PS3) won’t play NTSC DVDs it may not play these either.
Reason 3: Price
Another reason is that you have to pay full price if you want to collect it. There isn’t as much competition between shops to sell that edition as there used to be in the past because in many cases now these exclusive deals are made.
It seems to me that some of these prices even seem inflated, because nobody else can be selling them. And if you want an exclusive weapon, level, figure or whatever, you must pay their asking price. More often than not, these Retail Collector Editions are ‘only’ available as ‘pre-order’ only, and once the game has been released, the editions are no longer available.
Not only this but with each retailer trying to get their ‘own’ special features in many cases, you may like elements of one and elements of another pack but cannot justify buying all of them. It’s like they were split up so each retailer could have one of their own.
Reason 4: Smaller Retailers Disadvantaged
As these exclusive deals are only with the big gaming retailers, I pity the smaller game-selling companies who can only offer a standard edition or a lesser special edition. We have unfair trading rules to encourage competition but as usual the biggies seem to have the advantages over the little guys. Just looking at this short list of just two majors you can see how the two retailers have a number of games with exclusive content.
List of games with exclusive editions:
Some of the latest games that have a collector’s edition that are only going to be at EB games are :
Some of the latest games that have exclusive content only available to JB Hi-Fi are:
Collector’s Editions are meant for gamers that like a game enough to spend extra money for extra content, but because of these exclusive retailer editions, some people might have to pay more than they would like to, or simply miss out on that edition completely.
Obviously this is all a matter of choice and maybe too much choice, but I can’t help yearning for the days when the publisher put out two or three versions of their release and allowed all retailers to sell each of them.
Alternative Collector & Limited Editions:
- Medal Of Honor: Collectors Edition at Mighty Ape
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops Collectors Edition – at Mighty Ape
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops Hardened Edition – at Mighty Ape
- Mighty Ape Collectors Edition- at
- Fallout: new Vegas – at Mighty Ape
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