Prosperity in Gaming Bundles
When I was growing up, playing games was so much simpler than it is now. You would get the game, play it, and be content you beat it. In my first article, I discussed how the gaming industry uses microtransactions to bring in profits. However, this isn’t their only cash cow. They also have another method. The gaming industry has figured out another way to make themselves more profitable and now, they’re creating different versions of the same game. In addition to the standard version, they now put out deluxe and collector's’ editions. They even bundle gaming consoles with the game. They also started to incorporate season passes that offer additional levels to the game. The video game industry is once again capitalizing on the gamer’s insatiable need to game.
Let’s use the recently released Kingdom Hearts III as an example. Kingdom Hearts III had multiple versions of the same game. They had the standard edition for $64, the deluxe edition for $80, the deluxe bundle for $230, and the limited edition PS4 bundle which included the game for $430. Fans who love the Kingdom Hearts franchise would do anything to get their hands on all of these versions. The regular deluxe edition includes a steelbook case, artbook, and a collectible pin. The deluxe bundle contains everything the deluxe edition has plus a Sora, Donald, and Goofy figurine (3 in total). The limited edition console is for hardcore fans because you get a PS4 with engravings from the game itself. It also includes an exclusive keyblade for PS4 users and a theme for getting the console.
The Gaming Industry has managed to come up with a novel idea to ‘weasel’ every dollar they can from us while appealing to the consumer in every person. They give us multiple options so we can decide which is a better buy and compare those same options to see which is worth the money. They also snag us in with collectible items because what gamer does not want to own an item from their favorite game to add to their own collection? I’m a prime example of this.
I bought the limited edition Kingdom hearts III PS4 bundle (the aforementioned console and game combo) and the deluxe edition for my Xbox One. Why you ask? I NEEDED to have both. With gaming now including different exclusives based on the edition you choose, you can’t help but want to ensure you get more bang for your buck. To me, buying a bundle is a way to save money since we are getting the game plus extras that would either cost a fortune to buy on their own or are only available through that purchase in one shot.
Ubisoft is one of these gaming companies that specialize in releasing multiple versions of the same game, be it digital or physical copies. For example, two of their most recent releases, Far Cry New Dawn and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, have 4 versions. Far Cry New Dawn comes in standard, deluxe, complete, and ultimate. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey comes in standard, deluxe, gold, and ultimate. The complete and ultimate editions of Far Cry New Dawn comes with both New Dawn and Far Cry 5 as well as everything that’s included in the deluxe edition. The ultimate edition takes it one step further because it also includes everything in the gold edition of Far Cry 5 as well. A Far Cry New Dawn game can run you anywhere between $40-$130. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is just as bad. With its varying editions, you’re paying anywhere between $60-$120. Similar to Far Cry New Dawn, the ultimate edition is jammed packed with awesome goodies. It comes with the standard game, everything in the deluxe edition, a season pass, and 3-day early access. Businesses like Gamestop, Amazon, and Walmart create these exclusive bundles only available through them. They can be purchased either online or in store. The Kingdom Hearts III PS4 bundle I mentioned scoring was a Gamestop exclusive.
Gaming has become more about obtaining collectible items and getting a step ahead of other gamers. The average gamer used to spend approximately $65 for the base game. As gaming has changed, gamers spend anywhere between $60 to $500 just to ensure they get the best that’s offered at a price they can afford. The price increase does affect certain gamers especially if their pockets don’t take them that far. The gaming industry just got smarter by adding bonus merchandise into the mix. Gaming has started to expand to people that are primarily collectors as well because they are offering statues and dioramas that are only available with the purchase of the game. The industry is becoming more profitable by releasing the same version of the game just with some perks so that they continue to bring in the revenue. Once again we are just dollar signs helping them to continue stay afloat at the cost of us blowing hundreds of dollars just so that we can maintain our addiction.