As World of Warcraft players, were very lucky because Blizzard is one of those companies who set the bar for what makes a Collectors Edition. Yes, theyre expensive and exclusive but many of us buy them regularly. Today were going to look at what could and what should be in the Mists of Pandaria Collectors Edition.
Blizzards Collectors Editions are lavish and beautifully made but theyre also rather predictable in their content containing the game on DVD, a bonus disc containing documentaries and cinematics, the soundtrack, a mousemat, in-game bonuses for their three franchises, including pets and portraits, and a lavishly illustrated artbook. In an interesting change to the lineup, StarCraft II and Diablo III also included custom USB keys containing previous installments of the franchises along with keys, which would allow them to be redeemed on Battle.net.
Ever since WoW launched, the Collectors Edition of all Blizzards titles have had a set format, a list of items, which we know they will contain. This level of expectancy means the edition are always insanely popular and produced in limited quantities with items which cannot be purchased elsewhere.
This means that seven years after its launch, the original Collectors Edition of World of Warcraft, still costs a fortune on eBay. As of writing one listing is going for a whopping $2,149.99! This is a massive amount, especially when you consider the average retail price of WoWs collectors editions has been $79.99.
Box of Mysteries
Mists of Pandaria is likely to contain all this. Perhaps well get another Pandaren pet or a USB containing Warcraft III. As much as we love these editions, though, theyre some what predictable: an artbook here, digital pets there. Sometimes it would be nice to have something a little different but thats for another editorial. The questions remain though, how long Blizzard can continue offering physical Collectors Editions when the shift moves towards digital.
In the last year or so, theres been a noticeable shift towards non-physical media. SW: TOR, for example, was released in four editions: a digital and physical edition, a digital collectors edition and the physical collectors edition. The digital collectors edition was the half-way house offering the exclusive in-game items found in the physical edition but not the CD, artbook and statuette.
The Diablo III Collectors Edition gives us some idea of what to see in Mists of Pandaria.
Lining up on launch night is a rite of passage for many a hard-core gamer, regardless of whether theyre there to pick up a normal edition or a special edition of their chosen game. The problem is, especially when games release in the depths of winter or for those who live in rural locations, it can be harder for a good proportion of people to get their hands on a copy. Sure, there are online merchants like Amazon, GAME and BestBuy who will deliver said game direct to your door but this seldom happens before the official launch.
The Rise of Digital Collector's Editions
This is where digital editions come in. They allow players to get the game and - often pre-download it - in time for the official launch. All you need is an internet connection and a credit card. In the case of digital collectors editions, you can also get some of the bonuses, which might not be otherwise accessible. They are also firmly in the middle ground being slightly more expensive than the standard digital edition but a lot cheaper than the physical collectors edition.
So what could Blizzard to with the Mists of Pandaria Collectors Edition? Well for starters, they could offer a digital Collectors Edition; most of the items we see can be made available online. The game key is redeemable online and the soundtracks are on iTunes, why not offer a list of coupon codes for purchasers, redeemable on Battle.net, iTunes and the Blizzard Store.
Even physical items like the artbook could be made available, either in digital format from iBooks for example or physical format via a code entered at the Blizzard Store or the appropriate e-book vendor. A week or so might pass and the book would arrive on your doorstep, along with any other items such as a USB drive or mousemat.
Yes, theres something about packaging and the feel of a highly sought-after Collectors Edition in your hands but how long before they become redundant? As we shift to the world of digital items, its hard not to wonder if Blizzard will be the last to hold out.
Do you have all the Collectors Editions? Why do you buy them? Would you prefer to get them digitally? Let us know in the comments below.
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