I Bought A Video Game's Collector's Edition And Have Regrets

On September 1, 2016 I pre-ordered the collector’s edition of Persona 5. I can’t remember why I did that then several months after it had been announced and several more before it would finally be released.

But I did. It cost me almost $110 with tax. Yesterday I unearthed the remnants of it from my closet, turning them over in my hand like ancient artifacts, wondering why on earth I’d wasted money on them.

Despite buying hundreds of games during my life, I’ve only splurged on a handful of collector’s editions. Usually they’re Japanese role-playing games. Partly that’s because I believe they will hold their value and so I can eventually resell them, making the damage to my bank account minimal. It’s also partly an attempt to psyche myself up for a game. JRPGS used to be my favourite type of game. Their effect on me was magical, the experiences they left me with transcendent.

I want to experience that again. So occasionally I drop an extra $US20 ($28), $US30 ($42), or even $US40 ($56) on the ingredients I think will help grease the wheels of my imagination to send me back to that wondrous place.

I’ve yet to find a collector’s edition that is worth it.

Atlus announced Persona 5’s Take Your Heart collector’s edition during E3 2016. The $US90 ($127) package would include a 4 inch toy version of Morgan, the game’s talking cat, as well as a 64-page hardcover art book, a “full-size” replica school bag for Shujin Academy where the characters undergo their studies, the soundtrack on a CD, and a collectible box.

It would also include the game, of course. Instead of being inside a normal plastic PS4 case it would arrive inside a SteelBook case, an object whose unusual capitalisation owe to the fact that it’s also the name of the company that produces the bulk of all brushed metal collector’s edition cases. “Featuring the Phantom Thieves on both sides, the SteelBook case will definitely keep your games safe from those trying to ‘take your heart,’” read the Atlus marketing.

On September 1 I ordered it from Amazon. As a general rule I try not to pre-order games, but collector’s editions have a tendency to sell out. The price for it there had dropped from $US90 ($127) down to $US76.49 ($108). Amazon took off another $US4.50 ($6) thanks to my Prime membership.

At barely $US10 ($14) more than the base price of the game, it felt like a steal. Seven months later on April 4, 2017, I came home from work to see the package sitting on my doorstep. I still remember feeling elated when I began opening it up on my bed. The collectible box everything came in was plastered with the game’s beautiful, vibrant art.

The high was short-lived. The bag was small and cheap. The 4” plush was, well, a 4” plush. I tossed it to my cat. She didn’t blink. The soundtrack CD was a nice idea but I didn’t have a CD player (The PS4 is the first PlayStation not to support the format).

The pages of the artbook were thin, full of white space, and light on descriptions or background insights into the game and its creation. The SteelBook was nice, at least, a fine addition to the nondescript shelf of PS4 games hidden deep within my TV stand.

The ghost of my childhood that had leapt at the sight of a giant box with gorgeous anime characters evaporated. I bundled up everything but the game and threw it all in the closet. I played Persona 5 for close to 20 hours in the weeks to come but never felt entranced. I knew it was great but didn’t feel it in my bones, SteelBook case or no.

Two years later, I still have it. I’ve moved and put it in a new closet. I should probably get around to finding it a new home.


Comments

    Collectors editions are more often than not, a complete rip off. With new releases being around $70 AUSD I haven't seen the point in a long time.

    They throw you a (often recycled) "steelbook", a few cheaply made plastic trinkets and some crappy digital content that more often than not unbalances the game and ask 3 times the price. The way I see it I'd rather 3 games then one with some plastic crap that'll end up collecting dust in a month.

    I have bought a few of the Assassins creed CE with the Steel Box/Cardboard Box some at $37 and $47

    For $30 each i got New
    Witcher 2
    Batman Arkham City
    Alan Wake
    F.EA.R. 3

    $10
    Alone in the Dark New

    I did pay full price for the Duke Nukem Forever and it came with a truckers cap that had a bottle opener on it for preordering it.

    though the most useful CE i bought was Wind Waker GCN with Zelda OoT and Master Quest for preordering it

    Though with a competition i entered i got The Breath of the Wild CE (i would consider the Best CE i have ever gotten) along with a Switch, some games and an extra controller

      That Windwaker bonus disc was so fucking good. I actually bought the game just so I could own OoT.
      Brought it home, smashed OoT, smashed Master Quest, then my friend was all "maybe you should actually play Windwaker" which I had no excitement for.
      Turns out it's really fucking good, too!

    Its very rare for me to fork out for a special edition unless it's something I know won't get tossed in a drawer.
    I grabbed the KH3 deluxe for the missus but the last time I recall doing it for myself was RE5 for the cool figurines.

    I went through a phase of buying these years ago - ended up throwing them all on eBay or in the bin. Dragon's Age Origin was the final straw for me, just a bunch of plastic crap in the biggest box you've ever seen.

    Haven't bought a special edition since and now i have way more money to actually purchase games.

      I got Dragon Age Inquisition's biggest edition for my wife and that was pretty much the last straw, it was like $300 and came with a heap of very poorly made plastic figures in a massive but crappy fake snake skin chest that broke apart within a week.

        Actually Inquisition was the one I meant, not origins in my original post. I agree, it was just awful.

    I used to buy the special editions all the time but stopped after realising that the figurines that came with the games were mostly pretty shit quality. They all live in a box in my garage now.

    I used to buy the special editions all the time but stopped after realising that the figurines that came with the games were mostly pretty shit quality. They all live in a box in my garage now.

    After a run of poor experiences (Spore, Duke Nukem Forever and AVP2010) I swore off CE's forever, except for Blizzard ones.

    Damn, almost picked this up at one point but hesitated (and it sold out), glad to see I dodged a bullet.

    I have received some Special/Collector edition games that were worth it

    Ni No Kuni 2 Collector's edition was neat, cool music box, A vinyl of the Soundtrack, the game and Art book. Was maybe a bit expensive then what I would have hoped (which sucked when it went cheaper after launch), but I still enjoyed it. Nothing felt cheap, even the box felt high quality.

    Fallout 4 'pip boy' edition: Yeah, yeah. A Lot of people hated this, but I found it quite alright. Bit plasticy, but it was a pretty good replica of the Pip boy with a nice display case (or pip boy box it could be stored in) and manuels that felt right out of the Fallout Universe. Unlike the dreadful 76 edition (helmet is much more cheaper made and feels less genuine, plus they give you figures for a board game or something?) I enjoyed the pip boy edition. Display it next to the Fallout Collection Nuke (also a cool package/collectable).

    ESO: Morrowind Collectors edition. This was like $150 and I picked it up, expecting it to be pretty eh, but it was like $50 more then the normal and had cool DLC, had a gift card to why not. Blown away, the statue was huge and well done (plasticy feeling a bit, but very solid), the 'lore' book is HUGE and felt genuine to the game, came with the steel case and tons of DLC, for $150!. See more crapper editions come with much less and cost more. One of the few I was very happy with. Shame the next expansion had a smaller statue and book (but still decent and cheap)

    For crappy ones:

    Spider-man PS4: Teased with an exclusive 'game spoiler-ish' statue and art book. I was very disappointed in what is pretty much a mess of a statue that unless you know exactly what your looking at, is pretty ugly looking. Plus they packaged the box with a 'this statue might spoil the game' and then put the game right on top of the statue, instead of the pamphlet on top of the statue and/or art book instead. Not that it spoiled much. Ugly and overly expensive. Had I seen the statue before launch (was secret till the last minute and even longer as I played the game first), never would have bought it.

    Bioshock Infinite Premium edition (iirc, not the song bird): Basically the Songbird edition without the Songbird. Crappy key rings and average art book. Oh and a figurine for the board game, but only one and it also came with the board game (iirc), so really useless. Don't remember it being much, but still pretty crap.

    Fallout 76: Not much else to add that the internet didn't already. Average helmet, crappy figurines, horrible bag and then the game just made the whole package worse.

    I personally buy Collector Edition's to display on the bookshelf or posters to put up, it's really no different from buying a painting to put on the wall or a vase to stick flowers in.

    It's "plastic crap" to some but same could be said for anything people like to collect, stamps are just pieces of paper, coins are just pieces of metal, artwork is just paint on a piece of fabric.

    I know some of those can have a lot of value but generally it's not worth as much to other people as it is to the person who owns them.

    I've not bought a collectors edition in a long, long time. I think either Halo Reach or Assassins Creed 2 were the last ones. I still have Ezio and the Reach branded Xbox 360
    What made me realise how pointless "collectors" editions were was when I went to a family friends house and had a look at his "collection". He had purchased the collectors edition for every single game he bought, and it was all just junk. So much money wasted

    BL3 diamond crate edition just sold out in less than 4 minutes and i missed out as I was on my phone.

    One person's trash is another's treasure, even the you of one day may value the same thing differently in time.

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