When Should You Buy a Collector's Edition Video Game?
Collector's Edition video games have become huge in the last few years - the most epic in recent memory being the Loot Chest Edition of Borderlands 2. Although after watching this unboxing of The Elder Scrolls Imperial Edition the Loot Chest may have a rival (I really like the statue).
If you're a HUGE FAN of a title/series, picking up a collector's edition of a video game makes sense. However, as cool as some of these limited edition games look, I always have to sit myself down and ask "Is it really worth it" before buying. Here's a few questions to help the process.
Will I ever use this stuff?
I bought the Mass Effect 3 Collector's edition when it came out (I'm a huge Mass Effect fangirl, so I didn't take the time to think my purchase through. ), netting me some free in-game items as well as a 70-page artbook, a mini-comic, a 4x6 lithograph, and a N7 fabric patch. A couple of years later, I still have all of those items....in the box. I ended up buying the bigger artbook and all the comics separately, and I still have no idea what to do with the lithograph and the N7 patch.
Imagine if you had actually gotten the Borderlands 2 Loot Chest. That chest looks large enough that it wouldn't display well anywhere in the house, and what are you going to do with all of those postcards, field notes and stickers? Probably throw them away or break them on accident.
If you like displaying video game paraphanelia around your house you probably already have plans for what you're going to do with each piece of a collector's edition. If you don't know, don't get it.
Is it Worth the Money?
Since my Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition came with free DLC and in-game items, I ultimately didn't end up spending too much extra since I would have bought the DLC anyway. Extra digital content can sometimes make up the price of a Collector's edition.
That's not always the case, but as long as you were going to purchase the DLC later on, it is often worth paying a little extra. However, if you're not planning on paying for DLC and you don't care about extra in-game items - then a Collector's Edition is probably not worth the extra money.
Is the Game Itself Worth Paying Full-Price For?
I don't oven buy my games at full price. I typically wait 3-6 months later for them to get marked down into the $30-$40 range until I will consider purchasing it. This is for two reasons: I'm cheap, and I'm waiting to see if the game is actually good.
Can you imagine paying $150 for the Borderlands 2 Loot Crate and then for some reason, the game completely flopping?? I would feel extremely foolish about the money wasted. In fact, I'm sure many people that bought the Aliens: Colonial Marines limited edition felt this way.
Aliens: Colonial Marines was panned as one of the worst games ever - barely getting a 45 on metacritic. You start playing the game, realize how terrible it is, and then the Xenomorph/Powerloader figurine starts taunting your from your bookshelf.
Instead of wasting your money and being mocked by inanimate objects, you could have waited to see how the game was received, then picked up the collector's edition for $25 after nobody wanted to touch the game.That's what I ended up doing, and my Xenomorph/Powerloader sits on my desk complimenting me on my wise purchasing decisions. Win win.
Worth it? Probably Not.
Ultimately, it comes down to logically thinking these issues through without letting yourself get swept away by the hype. I know it's hard, the hype-machine is strong and begs you to surrender to it, but stay strong and don't waste your money.