Have you started getting the feeling that special editions for video games these days don't seem all that... special? I know I have lately, especially after the bevy of special editions revealed recently (for Europe, so far) for the highly anticipated Ubisoft title Watch Dogs.
I've never really been one to gravitate towards special editions when picking up video games. The prices are usually outrageous since these tend to be packaged with things like statues or, in the case of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, a remote-controlled plane.
It's one thing to give franchise fans an option to go all out if they're willing to spend the dough, but four special editions seems a bit much. It can also get very confusing as is the case with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
There's the Special Edition with only some in-game content, the Skull Edition which throws in a steel case, art book, and soundtrack, then there are the big daddies with theBuccaneer Edition and Black Chest Edition. The latter two include a statue and bigger statue respectively stored in enormous boxes.
For the most part, each special edition comes with certain downloadable content. As is the case with Watch Dogs, you get one piece of DLC in the Special Edition and a completely separate one in the Vigilante Edition. When developers start cherry-picking content like this, that's when I have to cross the line.
It's no surprise that GameStop, Amazon, Best Buy, and other game retailers are vying for your business. The way to do that in the gaming department, it seems, is to land exclusive content that can only be obtained by purchasing at a specific outlet. The retailer gets their incentive, the developer gets an extra kickback from the deal with said retailer, and the consumers get the illusion of choice. Power to the players? Hardly.
Simply put, there needs to be an end to slicing out game content and only making it available from certain retailers. While it's true that said content could potentially appear later for universal download in the future, this isn't always the case. Don't force me to buy a statue just to get what should already be in the game.
Screw you, GameStop