Video Games

The Struggles of Limited Print Games

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Comments (13)
  1. Pete Davison says:

    Oh, do I ever hear you on this. I will always buy physical by preference — I’ll even take technically “inferior” console versions in preference to PC purely to have something nice to put on my shelf — and while it’s great that some previously digital-only titles get limited physical releases at all, it’s a pain to get hold of them, particularly outside the US.

    As you say, shipping costs are pretty extortionate (especially for heavier limited editions), but the real problem is the scalpers who snap up the games within seconds with no intention of collecting or playing them — they just want to resell them for a profit on eBay. It’s sickening, but there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to do anything about it. Perhaps on the payment page you should have to write a short essay detailing why you want the game? 🙂

    I’ve been fortunate enough to grab quite a few games that I’ve wanted recently, but there are also loads that I’ve missed out on. Hopefully some other opportunity will arise in those cases; a lot of Limited Run’s games for PS4 end up ported to Switch at a later date (and rereleased via LRG at that time) so that’s often a “second chance” to snag something I want. Still holding out for Shantae: Risky’s Revenge…!

    1. Murr_GSRR says:

      Apparently Limited Run Games are able to track which orders are compiled by bots. No idea how, but they say that bot orders are cancelled and can be redistributed to people who sign to a waiting list for the game that they initially missed out on. Another issue is that a lot of their game orders there is no limit how many people can buy. So can see scalpers just picking up 10 or more copies of games. There is even a sort of incentive if you order 30 of the same game in that they just send you the unopened box of 30 games from where ever they get the games manufactured.

      I do like how the do a pre-order method now though, So they open pre-orders for the game they plan to distribute next, and will only produce that number of pre-orders they receive (but again I believe this is a tad adjusted and that they’ll only accept x thousand pre-orders for ease of manufacturing).

      1. Pete Davison says:

        Yeah. And they don’t seem to do the pre-order thing for every title they do, either. They could do with being a bit more consistent.

        I don’t know how prone to this problem the other “boutique” publishers like this are. I’ve bought a few things from Strictly Limited games (who, bonus, are Europe-based) and not had a problem, but they were also slightly lesser known titles.

  2. As someone who overwhelmingly prefers physical copies over digital, I can definitely relate, wholeheartedly. It sucks even more since I prefer my Xbox One over the Switch and PS4, so the fact that companies that do these limited prints of games to disk never do so for the Xbox…

    1. Murr_GSRR says:

      Genuine question, as I’m not an Xbox One owner. But how come Xbox rarely gets any of these limited games as physical prints? Is it to do with ID@Xbox?

      1. I honestly don’t know. All I know is that companies like Limited Run Games only seem to do PS4 and Switch releases.

  3. Timlah says:

    I’m not a physical collector myself, but I totally understand where you’re coming from.

    One thing that would be great for these companies, is a publisher who specifically caters to on-demand production of physical games. The issue is that this likely wouldn’t be great from a consumer’s perspective (trust me, been looking into one-off productions of things for my social group)… But if enough indie developers jumped on the bandwagon, it could begin to bring the price down.

    I guess all I’m saying is, as nice as it would be, there’d need to be significant drive from indies to do this – and a publisher willing to take a big gamble. However, if it’s print on demand, that gamble decreases for the publisher somewhat, but the margins for the developers begin to suffer (or the consumer forks out more).

    I just wonder how big the demand is? That’d be an interesting study in itself.

    1. Murr_GSRR says:

      Given that the number of outlets that are now manufacturing indie games in limited batches is ever increasing, I’d say the hobby and interest is definitely there. Some of them have collaborated together with games so that the batches are larger to purchase (Ruiner was sold via Limited Run Games and Signature Game I believe as a combined effort).

      There are a few publishers that are getting games with less development budgets out, Abzu, This War of Mine, even Stardew Valley all getting mass prints is very positive. It’d be nice as you say if some would take more on.

      1. Timlah says:

        This is it, there’s interest, but it’s getting a publisher / company to take that punt. I hate wording it like that, as I love a good indie game, but a big developer can mess with margins more than a small dev.

        Great article, by the by! 😁

  4. Will_GSRR says:

    I guess the question to ask is why would an indie developer want to release them physically? It costs them more and their sales aren’t being effected by being digital only. The video game market is now apparently 80% digital, why go with something that is effectively becoming dead technology?

    1. Murr_GSRR says:

      It costs them more to release physically, but if they sold enough physically they’d make it back and more? What does Ruiner cost on Xbox game store? It was sold physically for $25 which I’d hazard is a lot more. The stock ran out and I can’t recall but I think a good 5000 copies were printed. I’d like to guess that 5000 at $25 per copy is more than they’ve made with all digital sales combined even with Limited Run Games taking a cut of the money for the manufacturing and distribution.

      Yes digital sales are definitely increasing year on year as is evident with your 80% 2018 figure. But if indie developers are charging £5-£15 for their games digitally, but can sell even at least 10,000 at £25 physically (which they’d probably achieve based on the thirst for these limited print games selling out in seconds) I’d guess they’re making more money there right?

      Dead technology an all, but a collector is a collector. Music industry still sells records because collectors buy them and it’s still income to the artist and record label. Physical gaming media can still make money from physical releases, and evidently do with regards to these limited print games, my rant in, just up the batches from 2500/5000 to maybe 10,000/15,000? I’m sure they’d all still sell.

      1. Will_GSRR says:

        Ruiner is owned apparently between 200,000 and 500,000 people on steam, so the question for them is still why would they do it. They’re clearly doing very well just digital.
        Sure they could sell them physically and maybe they’d make more on the individual sales, but they’re selling to a niche market i.e. the collectors. You’re average gamer probably doesn’t care. Most people just want to buy a game online for the cheapest they can find it.

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