As a video game creative agency in Los Angeles, collector’s edition projects are one of our many expertise. The term ‘Collector’s Edition’ is usually just another way of saying special edition, deluxe edition or even limited edition. They all share the similar meanings and focus on the fact that it’s more valuable than other products, which is why it is also used as a marketing incentive. According to Definitions, the absolute meaning of collector’s edition is:
“A release of a product that has additional features or items in it then the regular retail version. In the case of a DVD this could be behind the scene comments, or a music CD could contain the song text in a special booklet.”
MORE THAN JUST THE VIDEO GAME
Originally, the type of products produced for these editions were mainly relevant to the arts such as prints, books, recorded music, films, and, of course, our favorite, video games. Nowadays, it has moved into other categories, those including cars, fine wine, and other food/beverage services. In most cases, collector’s editions have a restricted and limited quantity, which increase its value and overall level of significance. Computer and video game collector’s editions are commonly referred to as CE’s. These video game collector’s edition versions act as a marketing and promotional tool for the publisher, game, company, etc. It implies there is an extra material of some kind included, compared to the standard version. These extra/bonus materials and other enhancements range from printed artwork to special packaging to extra discs containing extended information and content. For example, as mentioned in Wikipedia, ‘most Game of the Year, Gold, or Platinum editions are re-releases and rarely contain anything of extra value nor are of particular limited release, and thus are not generally considered Collector’s or Limited Editions.’ As mentioned earlier, collector’s edition may just be another term for special edition. Special limited and numbered edition books that may be hand-bound, signed by the specific artist or author, and having one or more original works or prints created directly from their work and printed under their own supervision are also what collector’s editions are known and referred to as.
PACKAGING DESIGN COUNTS
Now, what makes a collector’s edition truly special? Well, being the creative video game agency that we are, we take our ideas to the next level for any project we are briefed on. We like to think outside the box so doing the minimum job by just packaging the collector’s edition products in a branded rectangular tuck-top cardboard box is just not enough to us. It is crucial to always do research on the specific game the collector’s edition is being created for. Really putting our minds inside the audience/players/fans allows us to understand them more and develop concepts and ideas that would best suit the entire product. From cool figures to metal pins, to innovative packaging, to ridiculously slick presentation, it must consist of items the consumer is proud to own; items that will get them even more excited about the game, no matter how much the edition may cost.
OUTSTANDING COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS
To get a better grasp on this, here are some examples of collector’s editions that I found most interesting and appealing from 2016.
- Battlefield 1: Includes a figuring, some playing cards, a poster made of cloth, and much more in-game content.
- Mafia III: This CE comes with more diverse objects pertaining to the game. Metal dog tags from the actual game’s main character, coasters, and 2 vinyls of the game’s soundtrack.
- Halo 3 – Legendary Edition: This lustworthy edition came with a life-size helmet of the game character, Master Chief Mark VI. However, as stated in Goliath, the only problem is that the helmet was only ever intended as a housing for the game case bonus material, so it doesn’t actually fit on a human-sized head. Still a great collector’s edition also including exclusive storyboard art, soundtracks, and documentaries.
- Dark Souls III: The passionate fans went crazy of the intensely detailed statue of Lord of Cinder.
- Dishonored 2: This steampunk sci-fi game’s collector’s edition consists of a replica of the game character’s ring, a propaganda poster, digital in-game bonuses, and of course, the Corvo mask that makes an awesome decoration.
Last two that are not under the same category of video games, but still above the average/standard.
- The Beatles Rock Band Limited Edition Premium Bundle: In this collector’s edition, the plain old plastic guitar you usually see in a Rock Band set is replaced with a Hefner bass similar to the one famously played by Paul McCartney during their live performances. Aesthetically, the drums also look way better and come with a fake kick drum that is decorated with the band’s logo.
- Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas came in pretty cool 3D packaging.
For more cool examples of video game collector’s editions:
According to Robert Fure in Boiling Point, “Today, Special Editions and Collector’s Editions are released side by side. One of them is a full release and the other is a kick in the teeth. There is just nothing special about a release that has the extras it’s supposed to. When did the standard release become special? Why is getting what we always got supposed to be somehow better than it used to be?” The quality collector’s editions usually come out much later than the standard release; it causes more desire within the consumer to own the edition with the updated, additional and special features.
PROJECTS & 3D MOCKUPS
As mentioned earlier, making these collector’s editions come to life is a creative service of ours that we have been doing for years now. With a diverse team of graphic designers, 3-dimensional mockups and beauty shots are created for our clients with content branded to the particular game. Take a look at a couple of our proposals and concepts we have come up with.
**Not all final result**
- Assassin’s Creed Unity: The clever die-cut blade of the box packaging acts like a door that slides up and down to reveal and present the products inside.
- The Order 1886: As you can see, there were two different editions produced for this project – The trade gift limited edition of Silver Lycan Battle and the premium edition statue Lycan Battle.
- Mortal Kombat X: The motor driven doors and secret compartments definitely makes this collector’s edition stand out from the usual.
- Batman Arkham Origins: The use of material in this collector’s edition gives off the right tone, staying relevant to the video game.
- Here are more examples from our website: http://waypoint.la/#work/24
As you can see, packaging plays a significant “first-impression” role in video game collector’s editions, but nonetheless, the items inside are what really amaze the fans, which again, heavily helps sell the entire product.