PlayStation 4’s Largest Consumer Market Sees Collectors Penalized the Most


I LOVE video games. Seriously, what was once a simple way to pass the time has really grown into an obsession of mine that has gone on for years. My “library” of games has grown well into the hundreds between both my physical copies & digital editions. This little hobby of mine, and probably yours too, has grown into a full blown passion.

To compound this, I am drawn to those special releases we’ve all come to love or loathe, the coveted Collector’s Edition or CE for short. These special editions for games come in all shapes & sizes and can cost a little more than the standard release or hundreds of dollars more for the collector’s edition. Often times these will include a special “steelbook” case, a bound art book, posters, lithographs, additional DLC codes or most importantly, a statue depicting the main character in some sort of action pose or scene.

…most importantly, a statue depicting the main character in some sort of action pose…

Many times publishers will even release various “levels” of collector’s editions. A perfect example of this is the CEs that were made available for The Order: 1886. This game saw two editions made available, the first branded as the “Collector’s Edition” which offered a variety of additional items including a very detailed statue of the main character titled Galahad Under Fire. Also offered was the “Premium Edition” which cost slightly more and shared much of the same content as the other CE but added in a collectible art book & a completely different statue titled The Endless Duel.

Both are great items to add to any collection, especially if you are a fan of the game. As a collector though, this begins to present a problem. Do I collect one, the other, or both? The drive from the publisher’s standpoint is to offer the customer a variety of choices at various price points to appeal to the broadest consumer base possible, thereby driving revenue and increasing popularity of the release. I understand the concept, but for those on a budget or really looking to collect, it becomes a very costly model to follow. But wait, it gets even better (or worse) depending on what side of the transaction you fall on.

…it becomes a very costly model to follow.

Lately, there seems to be a growing trend for publishers to now release region specific collector’s editions. Wait, what?! Yes, this certainly does happen and it is not an isolated incident for an obscure title that may see only ten thousand copies sold. Many of the mainstream titles have seen region specific releases with varying content for the same game. Other times, some regions may not even get a release of the collector’s edition even though the game itself is released in all territories. This kind of marketing baffles me to say the least but also frustrates me to the utmost.

This kind of marketing baffles me to say the least, but also frustrates me to the utmost.
As an avid collector, if I know a CE is available I’ll track it down if I have enough of an interest in it, the content makes it worthwhile, and if the game is something I want to play. This ends up costing me as a consumer a lot more since I now have to deal with currency conversions, international shipping costs and import fees & taxes. It also makes me wonder what the publisher was thinking by ignoring one of the largest markets open to them, North America (NA)!

If you think I’m kidding, here’s some of the most recent examples for some of the most notable games to release this year. Let’s revisit The Order: 1886 for a minute. I already covered the 2 releases that were available in NA, but did you know there was one available exclusively in Europe (EU)? The EU CE didn’t include any statue but included a replica Black Water vial and a custom storage box. I’d argue the NA editions offered more in terms of content for the price, but why not offer this 3rd edition stateside if it was already produced for the EU? I would have purchased all 3 if they were readily available. (Read up on the game with Glenn’s review here.)


Another major release was Bloodborne, which also saw a unique CE scenario. The NA collector’s edition, and I’ll use that term loosely describing it, was only a steelbook case, art book & soundtrack. Nothing great here in my opinion. However, Japan saw what was termed as the “First Press Limited Edition” which was very similar to NA version. The killer here is the EU version which saw the “Nightmare Edition”. This trumped either previous offerings by including various replica objects from the game, and it all came in a tin faux bookcase. Of course I imported this one because this was the “real” CE offered but again, no NA release! (For an in-depth review of the game, checkout Andy’s review for it.)


Yet another example is Tearaway Unfolded. This game saw a global release of the standard edition, however two alternative editions were offered only in the EU. To compound this region exclusivity, one of these was offered through a single retailer, The EU collector’s edition for this release included probably one of the rarer items to be offered by publishers, a plush doll of the main character Iota. This was only offered in a very select countries in the EU and the exclusive Amazon version titled the “Messenger Edition” added in some additional DLC. I think a NA release of the plushie version would have driven sales more for the game especially appealing to a younger audience with a broader distribution. (I’m sure Josh’s review here will give credence to how good this game really is.)


The North American crowd is left with the standard plastic case and no special additions.

The Last of Us Remastered and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection both have seen special editions released for other regions. The Last of Us Remastered offered a steelbook case version for the EU customer while Uncharted gets a “Special Edition” which also includes a steelbook case & art book. The North American crowd is left with the standard plastic case and no special additions. This is saddening as I’m sure there are many fans of these high profile franchises that would have liked a special version of the game for their library, I know I would have. (You can read Glenn’s review of the game right here on PS Nation too.)


And here’s a real curveball for you. Although titled as a Collector’s Edition, Journey Collector’s Edition combines 3 phenomenal releases, Journey, flOw & Flower in a single bundle but offers no additional content. That’s really not the surprising thing, what is surprising is that the trilogy will only have a physical release in the EU. Although available as a digital download in NA, I see no reason why a physical version isn’t available in NA given that the PS3 release of the same trilogy was available on disc.


As you can see, there are some weird decisions being made as to what regions will see what content and which versions are available for consumers. These examples here clearly show that the EU is favored a bit more when it comes to exclusive content and what I would say better inclusions in collector’s editions in most cases. I have other examples I can delve into but I think you see my point.

As a collector it makes the collecting aspect frustrating to track down what releases are available…

It remains unclear as to why these decisions are made or even how they made since the games see both worldwide releases and who’s content is not changed for each region. As a consumer it makes it difficult to know, that without alternative outlets, I may never see a special version of a game or even be exposed to the choice of a standard edition or collector’s edition. As a collector it makes the collecting aspect frustrating to track down what releases are available and then determine do I really want to spend the additional funds to import it.

…please, don’t limit our choice because of the geographic region we happen to reside.

The variety is great, and publishers continue to up the ante for what they include & offer the consumer in terms of content & additions in each collector’s edition, but publishers, please, don’t limit our choice because of the geographic region we happen to reside. In the end you’re not really impacting anyone but yourselves by limiting our options as to what we spend our dollars on.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Comment below or head off to our forums to voice your opinions about region exclusivity, collector’s editions and game collecting in general, we’re happy to hear your thoughts & opinions on it!

Written by Ben Palmer

Ben Palmer

An avid video game enthusiast who loves collector’s editions, retro gaming & the history of this great hobby.

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