Tuesday, May 06, 2008

What Should Come in Special Edition Games

Gaming schwag - So you just dropped an extra $10-$20 for the "special" edition of your favorite game and all you have to show for it is a Making Of DVD. What a rip! As publishers continue to squeeze extra clams from gamers pockets, its seems like they give us less of what we really want. Keychains? Demo's of other games? A free month of Xbox Live? Get real. Sure the Master Chief helmet that came with Halo 3 is cool and the GTA IV special edition kit offers some nice goodies, but sweet stuff like this is few and far between. Some gamers are so dedicated to their favorite franchises, publishers could stick a licensed logo on a nude, autographed picture of John Goodman and somebody would buy it. But if we're going to blow some extra money at least give us something good. Here are my recommendations for what should come in special edition games.
T-Shirts - What would say "special" more than a shirt that no one else but special edition buyers can wear? Rockstar embraced this idea but not on a large enough scale. If you pre-ordered GTAIV from their website you got a hilarious Burger Shot shirt. Now that's the kind of special offer gamers can get into. When I was in middle school I owned a MASH videogame (yes MASH, based on the 80's TV show, don't ask). If you earned a certain high score you could send in a picture and get a free MASH t-shirt. When I hit the benchmark, I took a pic of my TV with a polaroid camera, mailed it in and got my shirt in the mail a few weeks later. It was a shit brown, hideous shirt but I thought it was cool. Further proof I've been a gaming geek my whole life, thank you.
Action figures - It makes perfect sense to put an action figure in a special/limited edition package. They're small, cheap to mass produce and gamers love'em. The special edition of Assassin's Creed comes with a small Altair figure, cool. How about a Snake poseable with Metal Gear IV, or an Alyx Vance model with The Orange Box? Meow! Action figures make great desk decorations and conversation starters.
Exclusive downloadable content - This was seen most recently with Rainbow Six Vegas 2 when gamers earned a special downloadable weapon if you had a pre-order for the game at a certain game store, but this should be expanded for special edition buyers. Special weapons, vehicles, outfits, music, gamer pics/themes, and even in-game money could be given away. Imagine playing Burnout Paradise with a special car right off the bat or being able to access new multiplayer maps in Call of Duty 4 without having to pay for it.
Other random crap I'd like to see -Stickers to put on your car or steam trunk (you know, for when you go to Africa and other faraway places like that), plush toys (kids would love these and I personally love the Valve Companion Cube), toy cars (perfect for racing games) and patches would be cool. Patches? Yes patches, like the kind you sew onto a jacket, let me explain. When I was a kid I travelled a ton. My parents bought me a jacket and whenever we went to a different country we'd get a patch from it and sew it on. Other kids would ask me about it all the time and since I moved around a lot, it was a great way to meet people. Would I wear a jacket full of gaming patches as an adult? Mmm, let's see (sitting...think it over...wondering how embarrassed my wife would be walking the dog with me while wearing this jacket...thinking about my friends busting my chops about it), yeah I probably would. Yet more proof of my gaming geekdom.


Anonymous said...

i think an obvious choice would be a strategy guide. if a game is $60 and startegy guide seperately is $15. then release a special edition for $70. it makes sense to save $5 and more people who weren't going to get the guide might say "what the heck, why not?" and get the special ed.

also posters could be an option (though maybe not by itself).


Terry "coloradojoe" Terrones said...

Damn, I forgot about posters. I meant to put that in there. Of course I'd want to see full sized posters, not the puny ones they sometimes hand out. I'm talking something I can hang on the wall and take up space...in my garage.

As for strategy guides, I don't see that happening. Personally I can't stand them because you can find them for free online and are full of mostly useless information. Besides, companies make too much money from them and wouldn't want to give that up. They're also expensive to make so giving them away makes no sense. T-shirts on the other hand, can be made for almost nothing.

Eli the Mad (Beer) Man said...

Good stuff all. The exclusive content thing is becoming a bigger and bigger factor for PC games in order to combat piracy. Digital online authentication and registration gets you extra downloadable gaming goodness.

I've never ordered a special edition of anything until... Age of Conan. Dropped almost $100 on this head lopping SOB. A faux leather map of Hyboria, a massive case that requires Arnold like arms to lift, an in-game war mount (in my case a gigantic woolly mammoth complete with extra bags for carrying the heads of decapitated lozers), but the most important thing... a drinking cape!

That's right. The drinking capes gets me free liquor in all the taverns in all of Hyboria! Why is this important? You mean besides being a "Professional Drinker" in real life and wanting my virtual Barbarian to be one as well? Why... the game comes with drunken brawl PvP ladders!! Oh, want more? Different alcohol gives your virtual hack n' slasher varying buffs and debuffs. So does sex. OH YA!

So a cape that lets me drink to my virtual hearts content? What's not to love?!