EA Giving Out Reasons To Buy: Tries Deluxe Box Set Versions Of Games

from the neat dept

Someone submitted the following anonymously, suggesting that it was a bad idea, but it seems like a worthwhile experiment to me. EA announced a pre-order offering for a special "Collector's Edition" version of its game Dragon Age, which includes a fancy steel case, a cloth map of the world, a "making-of" documentary, a soundtrack of the game and a bunch of other extras. It basically sounds just like what many musicians are now doing by offering special deluxe packages for serious fans. It's a way to segment customers, so some can buy the cheaper regular version, and others, who really, really like the game, can go all out and get the deluxe set -- including all sorts of scarce goods that can't be "pirated."

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Steve Phillips (profile), Aug 14th, 2009 @ 5:00pm


    Blizzard has done this in the past - most notably with the Warcraft III collectors edition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Eric the Grey, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Blizzard

    Yea, it's not completely new. Turbine also did it with Asheron's Call I believe, with special extras in the deluxe set.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Chris Blaskey (profile), Aug 14th, 2009 @ 5:53pm

    Good idea, but hardly new

    A lot of game companies do this actually. It's mainly MMO companies, but some others do it as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 6:10pm

    Sounds like old news to me. I have collectors editions from a number of different games, including World of Warcraft and Guild wars. They are also not uncommon in the console gaming world. Consider the fallout 3 lunchbox CE and the halo Master Chief helmet CE.

    Considering that in most cases the value of what gets bundled into the CE is more than the price difference between the regular edition and the CE I'm not positive they make economic sense, but they definitely can foster consumer loyalty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Robert Ring (profile), Aug 14th, 2009 @ 6:11pm

    Yeah, this is pretty common. I got the Fallout 3 Collector's Edition, for example, which comes with a book of concept art, a bobblehead, and a making-of DVD, all in a tin lunchbox. A lot of companies do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    garfalk (profile), Aug 14th, 2009 @ 6:32pm


    and here i was, about to mention the same games.

    definitely not new, but it's always good to see more companies try it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Peter, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 7:20pm

    I am interested in Dragon Age. I purchased a lot of Bioware games. Baldurs Gate 1&2, NWN (and expansions), KOTOR. Probably half the games I purchased were from Bioware.

    I dreaded the day that EA bought them. Because I won't buy a game that requires interaction with remote DRM servers to play (which is typical EA). I will be watching Dragon Age closely. Have I already bought my last Bioware game? The ball is in EAs court.

    I always wondered who buys these more expensive big metal box things. Might have been cool when I was kid, but these days I love the new small box games, don't like my large boxes that take up more room. A metal case that takes up even more. That won't win me over.

    Screw around with DRM servers again and a long time paying customer will be lost here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Ed C., Aug 14th, 2009 @ 7:47pm

    From the nothing-new department...

    So, I remember when some companies used to put freebies with every copy. I've got a few posters, extras and sound track CDs, and even a novel! Most of them weren't even collector's or GOTY editions either. Ya, that was even back before anyone ever heard of digital distribution or internet piracy! Of course, the reason they did it then was because the market was flooded with games and they were trying anything to get noticed.

    Nowadays, we mere gamers are treated like serifs that should be grateful whenever they get around to releasing patches for the broken productes we paid for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Ryan, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 7:49pm

    Not New

    He didnt say it was new, just that it was a good example of combatting the problems of piracy. Instead of going out and filing charges, they found a way to make money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Nick (profile), Aug 14th, 2009 @ 7:51pm


    Right now I've got Batman: Arkham Asylum and Modern Warfare 2 preordered. They come with a batarang and night-vision goggles respectively. Metal cases and dvds are pretty lame too tell the truth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Forge, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 7:51pm

    It's not even new in MMOs. Guild Wars had collector's editions, not just of the main/first game, but of each subsequent chapter.

    I still enjoy the hardcover art book I got with GW original.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Kash, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 7:55pm

    Just look at Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 2. There are three editions. The regular, game only. the "hardened edition", a more typical collectors edition with steel case, dvd, art book, etc. And the "prestige edition", which includes everything the other two do and a pair of night vision goggles.

    Yes, real life night vision goggles. All for only $149.99

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Patrick, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 8:33pm

    The return of the Feelies

    The cloth map is pretty cool, harking back to the old Ultima games. Some old publishers always included a bunch of these "feelies" which gave some spice to the experience, such as "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 9:32pm

    Want to give a reason to buy? STOP USING VIRUSes disguised as DRM that are known to destroy peoples PCs (SECUROM).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Ed C., Aug 14th, 2009 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Not New

    The name of the game is still the same: added value. I'm actually glad that they're rediscovering it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Ilfar, Aug 15th, 2009 @ 5:04am

    I likes my shinies

    Given a choice between the standard version and the special one, I've always been a sucker for the shinier pack...

    Total Annihilation (came with the game guide), Starcraft (came with the guides too!), Supreme Commander (Shiny metal box, posters, big metal thing), Spore (Making of DVD and art book)...

    An extra couple or ten bucks, and I get fancy stuff to put on my walls. Who could say no? :D

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    ryan, Aug 15th, 2009 @ 5:50am

    I agree with all the people that say "This is nothing new!" because it isn't. Nevertheless, it being an old idea doesn't make it a bad idea. I love collector's/limited/special editions when it comes to games and I always buy them instead of the regular editions.

    I have to confess that I have somewhat of a collector's streak, so it definitely doesn't apply to everybody, but these collector's/limited/special editions are the best anti-piracy method one could come up with in my opinion.

    Bottom line is: yes, this is one good example of giving people a reason to buy and many game publishers use it (successfully I would say). Also, another good reason to buy, when it comes to EA, is that they are starting to come to their senses about DRM: the retail version of Dragon Age will have only a basic disk check. I really appreciate the fact that they listened to the users' feedback and acted upon it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Rob Weber, Aug 15th, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Why Not Go Free?

    Why keep fighting the demand for free digital goods by consumers? Why not invest more heavily in ad-supported options?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Van, Aug 15th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Not new, but still a great idea

    I agree with the other commenters: this isn't a new idea. It is, however, an awesome one for the right crowd. Just the other day I was looking through my Warcraft III Collector's Edition box set. I've had it for seven years, and I still like to go through it every now and then. It included a bunch of stuff which significantly added to the value and experience of the purchase (although it was notably more expensive -- something like $30 more than the standard version).

    The problem with this is that it often only appeals to a certain crowd. I, for example, greatly enjoy the tactile and visual sensations of the stuff that comes in these. Some people, however, "just want to play the game."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    batch, Aug 15th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    The collectors edition is not the new part

    The new part is that, if you buy this game new, not second hand or pirate it, you get two pieces of the download only DLC included: http://kotaku.com/5335971/dragon-age-pre+order-scheme-gains-%252B1-against-used-sales

    If a person buys the game used, they would have to pay for this extra content, should they want it, instead of it being included in the box.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    batch, Aug 15th, 2009 @ 1:09pm

    Re: The collectors edition is not the new part

    Need to clarify- the DLC comes with both Standard and Collectors. That's where the incentive to buy first hand comes in for all versions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Urza, Aug 15th, 2009 @ 6:19pm

    'Collectors Edition'. Right.

    How about they make some of this stuff _standard_, like they used to. A cloth map of the game for example. Nearly every game that I bought before around 2000 came with some kind of big fold-out map of some sort. Some of them cloth. And these weren't 'collectors editions'. Most games also used to come with big manuals - with the kind of information they now try to sell separately. And they'd come with stickers too sometimes. And catalogs to buy 'special edition' merchandise (T-shirts, patches, pins, etc). Why don't they bring that stuff back?

    Oh, right. Because a 'Westwood Studios' T-shirt means something. An 'EA Games' one doesn't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Have you seen this?


    Not only a game, but a souvenir as well!!!

    I don't really buy games but I bought this one!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Sos, Aug 16th, 2009 @ 4:24pm

    You post this like it is a new or uncommon thing. Its not.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Sheinen, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 3:10am

    I've got the LE Batman:Arkham Asylum on pre-order with Play.com for about £70. It comes with a Bat-Blade! How awesome is that?

    I also pre-ordered the LE Assassins Creed 2 with an Altair figurine in the box.

    Plus I got the Halo 3 which comes with a life-size Master Chief Helmet and both Gears of War LE Tins with Art Books.

    Consoles have a long history of doing this, it doesn't always work but when they get the right stuff in the bundle I'm happy to pay an extra £20-£30

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. icon
    Blenster (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 5:52am

    Re: Blizzard

    I was VERY pleased with the Warcraft III Collector's Box and frequently show it off as an example of "what to do". Conversely I felt very cheated by the Half Life 2 Collector's Box which came with the game on a single DVD instead of multiple CDs and a X-Large tee-shirt (that looks like a tent on me) and frequently point that out when showing how great Blizzard did with Warcraft III. My opinion of Blizzard as a company is much higher than that of Valve, even though I love the games Valve creates. I feel like Valve ripped me off and I *still* get annoyed when I think about that, years later.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Blizzard

    Did you not know what was in the box when you ordered it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 5:22pm

    It's not new, but it really works and is worth mentionning. I know some people who pirate everything they can and buy nothing except collector's editions. And they buy a LOT of those.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Valkor, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Why Not Go Free?

    Because intrusively ad-supported options are obnoxious, and less obtrusive ads are worth little to advertisers. Ads work for some things, but video games don't seem to be one of them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    another mike, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Blizzard

    Westwood, too. I use my Tesla soldier figurine when the family gets together to play Monopoly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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