It was previously announced that alongside the standard, collectors and deluxe collectors versions of Battlefield 1, EA would also release an “exclusive collector’s ” edition that does not ship with the game. I believe this is a very good move from EA in the way they are allowing players who may want to buy the game digitally to still have access to the physical benefits, which in this case include items such as the statuette. CD drives in PCs are becoming increasingly scarce as digital media continues to increase in popularity, so it is probable that a large number of consumers may prefer to own a digital version. It’s a move that will likely spark a new trend in the gaming industry, as the potential for a new source of income is discovered. The “exclusive collector’s”edition is currently selling on Amazon for $130, which equates to £100 as of 15/8/16. This is $60 more than the edition that includes the game, which means it has no negative monetary effects on the buyer. This is a surprising move considering the current trend of triple-A publishers squeezing as much money out of a product as possible which, in my opinion, not only destroys their reputation but also the nature of the game industry in general.
Another notable benefit to the addition of these bundles would be the increase in quality of the exclusive items. As companies will be more strictly critiqued on their product, it is increasingly necessary to produce an item of quality that is good enough to be sold on its own. The scope of the product would also increase as companies try harder to create more enticing content. There are barely any limitations to the product, meaning some very cool and creative items could be on the horizon. Fallout 4 started the trend of “out of the box” special editions, with them offering a Pip-Boy that had a variety of features. The possibilities available to other games are endless. The next Elder Scrolls title might perhaps offer a dragon item that is more than just a statue, instead potentially functioning as a fully working automaton. These items are much more enticing to potential customers, and with the Fallout 4 editions all selling out moments after they went on sale, it is clear that gamers are baying at the gates for creative collector’s editions.
Despite this move, I think the collector’s edition is still overpriced for what it is. For what is over double the price of the base game, all you receive is a poster, patch, playing cards, a steelbook, a piece of DLC and a statuette. While the collector’s edition will be highly valued amongst some collectors and die-hard fans, the fact of the matter is that you would still have to purchase the game itself, meaning that the total cost would come to a total of $200, a hefty price for a game you could purchase for $140 less. The main experience is obviously the game, upon which the focus should be placed, but a price of $200 is simply astronomical in comparison to a deluxe edition that ships with the season pass. Personally, what EA is offering is not worth the massive price-tag.
To conclude, I think it was a good decision to include a version in this way, as it will appeal to a wider market. The fact that the collectibles can be purchased on their own is a very good thing, even if they are overpriced. I believe that other developers should now follow suit and also release editions like this in order to appeal to the maximum number of consumers, though perhaps at a less steep price.