“My Country’s Better Than Yours”: Region Specific Limited Editions
Lots of times as Americans, we get different variations of the games that we purchase. We can choose to purchase the standard version, which is the meat and potatoes of it all: a game disc and a manual. But very often we may get to choose from special or limited versions of games. These special editions more often than not include additional content and merchandise and provide a distinct sense of vanity to the wide-eyed fan. Now sometimes things come in the form of pre-order bonuses or what have you but the point is that as a passionate fan you are able to obtain more products that relates to a game you like (or love).
That is why whenever the internet is abuzz with news and details of a hot new region specific Collector’s Edition, you become very disappointed. It is simply heart breaking to see some of the glorious trinkets and goodies that gamers of that region will be indulging in. Trading cards, art collections, DVDs, soundtracks, we pay big bucks for some of the things that come in special editions around the world. But why? What about you? What about the devote gamer who has been following this title since conception and would love nothing more than a themed controller skin?
Thus was my train of thought recently when I learned about the Fan’s Edition of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. This Europe only edition of the game comes in a fabulous package including a host of goodies that any BlazBlue fan would kill for. However, the only option of American fans was the lackluster standard edition. Not subtracting from the merits of the game itself, which is exceptional by the way, as a huge BlazBlue fan I had to feel at least a little disappointed.
Not that this was the first time I felt this disappointment. Near Christmas of last year, just before its American release, word circulated on the internet about a Collector’s Edition of Bayonetta. It included a replica of the gun she uses, a full size hand crafted gun replica for God’s sake. I was prepared for any kind of American LE release since I had saved up for it. Unfortunately, it too was limited to a specific region.
Since that time I have delved into forums and sites discussing why Bayonetta wouldn’t see an LE in the States. The results were mixed, from things like “SEGA doesn’t think it will do as good in the US” all the way to “Australia is just better than America, THAT’S why!” and all other assorted responses. The fact remains, it alienates the fans.
If a game is going to be released around the world, the same treatment should go for each continent it’s released on. My most recent example, BlazBlue, is really quite confounding since the States received the special treatment last year with a set that included a DVD and two CDs. A year later the sequel releases and the only option is the standard version. It makes you feel as though AKSYS doesn’t care about us anymore.
I understand that often time’s games are published in different regions by different publishers. For example, Atlus published Persona 3 here in the States, and gamers received a soundtrack as the pre-order bonus. So, since the publishing is being handled by Koei in Europe, those fans may not get the soundtrack. That being said, if they don’t get the soundtrack as a bonus, they will definitely get the option to purchase it at some time, which compounds the problem.
Now does any of this make me feel any better that I will never get a Scarborough Fair replica? Not really, but it does clear things up a bit. It sounds like they want to save money, which as companies, isn’t surprising. Even though in some cases it would be nearly impossible to bring region exclusive limited editions to everywhere the game is released, it sure does make one feel left out.