Joystick: Where are all the collectors sets?

Published 11:07 am Thursday, June 28, 2012

Capcom's Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector's Set. Photo courtesy of Capcom.

I started salivating when I saw the new Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector’s Set. Packed with music, art, a Ryu statue and four Street Fighter games — “Street Fighter X Tekken,” “Super Street Fighter IV,” “Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition,” and “Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix” — this collector’s set looks jaw-droppingly awesome.

Though there’s a case to be made for Capcom butchering its previous releases by rereleasing all of this content, it’s still an incredible set filled with the kind of extras that longtime fans enjoy, and it’s something more companies should do.

A lot of developers are into repackaging and recycling games at the moment. Like I talked about last month, developers are putting a lot of resources into rereleasing HD upgrades of old games. It makes little sense to just release an HD game without at least some perks to get longtime fans interested and rope in newcomers with interesting tidbits.

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Problem is, special editions with tons of bells and whistles don’t normally sell well in the U.S. People like cheap deals at good values, and with game prices already sky high it’s tough to rationalize dropping cash on extra perks. Case in point: that Street Fighter Collector’s Set? $150, which was the same price for the “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” collector’s edition when that game came out.

Yet there’s hope on the horizon for extra stuff in gaming.

The “Skylanders” series of games, in which people buy toy figurines of monsters to use inside a fantasy world, is fast becoming the No. 1 selling franchise in the world, according to publisher Activision. Activision reported in April more than 25 million Skylanders toys worldwide since the game was released, and that’s way too much product for game companies to ignore.

You’ve got to believe Nintendo is planning its own Pokemon toys to be used in future “Pokemon” iterations.

So clearly there’s a market for extra stuff to go along with your games, as long as it’s packaged the right way. I’m hoping developers will consider packaging a few more freebies inside game editions soon, though I’ve definitely seen an increase in AAA titles with more add-ons.

Here’s hoping game companies can boost their special editions even better.