Yesterday I saw an ad for the Collectors Edition for Horizon: Zero Dawn and I got pissed. As excited as I am for the game (other than Persona 5 it’s my most anticipated upcoming game) I couldn’t help but get angry over the hubris Guerrilla Games and Sony were showing by asking for twice the normal prices for an unproven product. Not helping matters was that just days before Laura Kate wrote about the E3 stage demo, who said it felt “…far too restrictive…”. While this is pure speculation on my part, my reading of Laura’s write up is that the developers are scared of giving consumers more than an scripted and controlled look at the game. And yet, they’re still okay asking gamers to fork over twice as much money on a collectors edition.
This isn’t a new problem. Back in 2014 when Watch Dogs was being released it has so many collectors editions and pre-order bonuses that an actual spreadsheet had to be created just so interested parties could know which version of the game to buy. And yet, once the game came out it was pretty clear, at least to me, that it wasn’t worth the extra investment as the game failed in almost every way to live up to the promise it showed.
The fact of the matter is, New IP’s Don’t Deserve Collectors Editions. Period, end of story. Gamers need proof that a game or franchise is worth the extra investment before publishers begin to think asking for upwards of $100 is a reasonable asking price. I would have happily paid for a Dark Souls 3 collectors edition (and in fact am rather upset I couldn’t afford it at launch), but why would I have gotten a Bloodborne “Nightmare Edition” when I had no way of knowing how the changes to the establish Souls formula would impact the game? Sure, I love the game now, but upon the games initial release there was simply no way of knowing if I’d even like it. So who thought that was a good time to try and sell us extra crap?
We as a community have got to start sending the message that our trust is to be earned, not expected. If developers and publishers want us to drop twice as much money on their game, they need to prove that the game is worth the extra cost. This isn’t just a “Collectors Edition” issue; any time a company wants us to hand over money for something sight unseen, we have got to start giving them the giant “fuck you” we should have been this entire time. Buy all the DLC and Collectors Editions you want, but at the very least start demanding that these products have their worth be proven first.