Thursday, October 23, 2008

Collecting 101: Collector's Edition Games Are More Likely to Be Rare

Collector's Edition games are all the rage with video game publishers. They package in a bit more material like a second disc with some "Making the Game" videos and maybe a hologram cover. And for this the publishers get an extra $10 from the gamers. Which version is the better deal for gamers though?

Collector's Editions Cost More Money Upfront
If you only want to play the game the special edition versions are the more expensive option. In general the collector's editions cost about $10 more, but some games like the Halo 3 Legendary Edition (at right) cost hundreds more.

Collector's Editions Have Better Resale Value
Regular versions lose more in resale value than the Collector's Edition in both dollar and percentage terms. See the charts below:
Percentage Price Drop For Collector's Edition Games vs Regular
Dollar Price Drop For Collector's Edition Games vs Regular
Collector's Editions Might Increase In Price
There is a slight chance if you buy a Limited Edition game that it will actually become rare and really sought after by collectors. 3.4% of the Collector's Edition games increased in value while 100% of the regular edition games decreased. One of the special edition games, Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence Limited Edition, sells for $170 on average.

You Get Bonus Items With Collector's Editions
Some collector's/limited edition games include better bonus items than others, but almost every single one has at least a second disc with special material. Some include figurines, art books, music CD's, and every now and then all of the above. If you're a big fan of the series these extra items can be worth much more than the $10 price.

The winner is: Collector's Edition

  • Con: It costs you more money upfront
  • Pro: You get a few bonus items
  • Pro: You can resell it in the future for more than the regular version
  • Pro: There is a slight chance you can actually make money on the game.
It costs you a bit more upfront but overall the special edition games have more going for them than their boring, regular edition counterparts.

Methods: For the price portion of the article we compared the prices for Collector's Edition/Limited Edition games with their regular game counterparts (Mass Effect vs Mass Effect Collector's Edition, Ultimate Spiderman vs Ultimate Spiderman Limited Edition, etc). We calculated the price change from the original retail price to the resale price as of October 18th, 2008. The prices shown are the average price changes for the two groups and are provided by

This is part of our video game collecting 101 series.


Anonymous said...

I would say collector's editions are also good for gamers because if a person just wants to play the game, the fact that a collectors edition exists will make the regular version cheaper / more affordable over time. You made this point in your article, but looking at the existence of collectors edition for those that have no interest in them, but still benefit from them, is another way to view the situation. Does that make sense?

JJ Hendricks said...

I see what you are saying. People who only want the regular edition game get some benefit from the collector's edition because of lower prices.

GamesOgre said...

Since many collectors pride themselves in having mint sealed video games, I'd love to know how sealed collector's editions fair over time compared to their opened counterparts.

I collect mostly 8-bit Nintendo games, and collectors certainly pay outrageous prices for sealed games. Naturally those are older games and aren't collector's editions, but I'm wondering there's a trend there.

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