Promotional Copies Are The Real Limited Editions
It was a few days ago on Twitter, while posting my ninety-eighth tweet of the morning, when I noticed a tweet from a local online retailer which stated that stock of a limited edition of some game had been replenished and the game was once again available for sale.
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I don’t think you realise what limited edition means.
Anyway, that got me to thinking and after trying many different ways to incorporate an Inigo Montoya reference, I decided instead to write an article about it. This is that article.
Here’s the thing about limited editions: They’re limited, and so they have an inherently greater value because of their scarcity. If you are replenishing stock of a limited edition, then is it really limited? Is it? Really? I believe what you then have is a collectors edition. And what do you even get in these limited editions these days, anyway? The obligatory artbook and some DLC codes?
Granted, I would kill babies in their cots for the full collection of Assassin’s Creed collectors editions which include the figurines for each game. I do so adore gaming figurines, or maybe that’s the perpetual child inside me. (Not a sexual statement.) Either way, I wouldn’t stoop to paying exorbitant prices for such collectors editions at retail because I could quite easily get figurines I really wanted off eBay or BidOrBuy, so why bother with all the stuff I don’t really need? I mean, give me a collectors edition with a figurine, a poster and a t-shirt and I’m yours.
What the fuck even is a lithograph, in the first place?
So while collectors editions are easily explained — they’re versions with lots of unnecessary loot because some gamers are hoarders — what of limited editions? We’ve established that they’re not limited, so what’s the appeal? If it’s being able to tell people you have the limited edition, then what version do you think they have? If all the world was an orange, then an orange would be the average, it would be mediocre, run-of-the-mill, nothing special nor unique. Likewise, limited editions with replenishing stock.
Now on the other hand, when we review games we get promotional copies of games. They don’t come with much in the way of documentation or extra content, just the game discs and a watermarked cover together with an online pass if required. Sometimes review copies do come with extra content for review purposes or as part of a review bundle, but not in South Africa, or at least not for us. (This is me secretly hinting at more gaming t-shirts, distributors, you know I love you all.)
But you know what? Only a handful of South Africans own promotional copies.
They’re limited editions of games.
Sure you can’t really sell them because they have the giant sign on the front saying, “Not for resale” — although that doesn’t stop people from trying, or indeed trading, grey areas and all that — which effectively makes them valueless. And yet they have more value than any limited edition because they are, in fact, scarce. It’s for this reason that I prefer to hold on to my promotional copies, when they’re for really great games. Oh, you have a ‘limited edition’ of Borderlands 2 with a gold-embossed cover? Here, have a look at my promo copy. It’s not much, is it? But you know what? It’s the only time you’ll see one of these and get to hold it in your hand.
Basically what I’m saying here is: promo copies are the real limited editions.