Author Topic: Your opinions on limited quantity, physical release online retailers  (Read 526 times)

Of course I'm referring to sites like Limited Run Games, Special Reserve Games, Super Rare Games, and their ilk of distributors/retailers that get very limited quantities of games printed and sell them as small, exclusive batches.


I didn't realize until recently how divided people are on them. I assumed that most people liked them because they supplied games that otherwise might have never got a physical release and made them available to collectors. However, there are a lot of people that seem to hate them since they see their business model as a blatant cash grab that in the end benefits scalpers more than actual collectors. I certainly see both sides of the argument, but I was wondering how others felt about them.

I don't see their business patterns fit or vary logical, I am sure they have their reasons why they don't produce in big bunches.

The way I see it if they want to make any money, why make such a small amount? and if people bought those limited quantities why don't they make more of them? I am still a little annoyed over Nintendo making the NES classic in limited supply.

Did they already abandon the NES classic or do they still sell it? I never looked into it because I only have a CRT I don't have a television with HDMI ports in which is why I didn't buy one :-\
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empovyle

I've purchased a handful of Limited Run games in the past. Their customer service is fairly good and the staff actively take measures against scalpers by only letting people buy a maximum of 1 or 2 copies of a game. Then, after the game sells out they go through and cancel all the botted orders and allow real people to sign up for a waitlist to get their hands on the cancelled orders. I'm not sure how great of a job they do for that though because it's not public knowledge how many bot orders get cancelled AFAIK.

I don't like that they ship games in crappy bubble mailers by default. You have to explicitly order a shipping box for a few extra dollars if you want your product undamaged. My Jak II copy came in the mail damaged (it looked like something was dropped on the case and there was a tear in the artwork), but customer service was kind about it and they mailed me a free replacement box. Nothing else though, only the box and the artwork, so if you wanted your game sealed then it might have been an issue when you had to open up the game and put your manual and disc in the new box. They made me take pictures of the damage first, and then after it was approved they had me take pictures again to make sure they sent out the correct cover variant (good). Fortunately I didn't have to request a shipping box for the replacement copy and they sent one on their own.

I've personally never had a problem with scalpers. They tend to only go for the supreme expensive collector's editions of games instead of the standard copies (obviously). Recently I've heard it's been getting out of hand with the Jak and Daxter collector's editions. I only wanted the regular copies and when Jak 3 went on sale, the standard PS4 copy remained in stock for almost 20 minutes after release, MUCH longer than the Jak and Daxter and Jak II batches. Edit: I just went back and checked, Jak and Daxter started at 5,000 copies of the standard edition, then Jak II and Jak 3 were upped to 7,500 copies for their releases, looks like they were trying to account for the demand.

The shipment times are usually very slow. For example I ordered Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath for PS3 (their first PS3 title) months ago, think February. Still to this day I've not gotten a shipment notice or any word about the game. They did this for Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee on Vita last year too, it was very slow. However it did eventually arrive and I'm happy with the product.

Same goes for all the other products. There's a lot of love put into the games and artwork and they don't seem overwhelmingly cash-grab to me.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 02:47:34 pm by empovyle »

sworddude

to be fair if the demand is there they will give a reprint or supply the games to greater retailers in alternate packaging.

so I can see why they would go for low supply so that all copies will be sold to prevent any financial losses. People forget that this market ain't super big. if you produce to many copies your profits will be gone you have to hit a certain sweet spot I'd imagine.

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aliensstudios

I used to be all-in on the fad and I've never once paid a scalper for one of these games, but lately I find the whole limited copies of [mostly] mediocre games for 30 to 40 bucks to be a rather odd practice. A couple of years ago I was buying LRG games just because they were LRG games, not because the games were necessarily good or even something I wanted to play. That's how I ended up with games like Thomas Was Alone or Breach and Clear: Deadline. Now I only buy the game I know I want to play like Snake Pass, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove or Golf Story. I bought Axiom Verge for Wii U simply because I'm a Wii U collector but I doubt I'll ever open the shrink wrap. At first I thought the practice was cool; I got Retro City Rampage from V Blank and it was crazy rare but nowadays you look at eBay and you can still get a lot of these limited release games for like 50 bucks or so. Most people who buy these games never even open them so what's the point? Sometimes they release something cool, but I have staved off of these limited release games and have been no worse for the wear lately.

Getting to the scalper point: Shit, I've started to sell games lately on eBay and I'm extremely entertained by the prices I get for what I'm selling. Sometimes it's well over what I spent, sometimes it's under what I spent. I bought two Wii U Axiom Verge's just so I could scalp the other one and I did! (That's my first EVER scalp) and it was neat to pretty much get a game for free. Game collector's hate it, (I still kinda do) but I understand the practice. Most of the times these companies don't limit the number of copies either so they're just begging for scalping to occur.
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telly

PRO Supporter

I've never purchased games from Strictly Limited or Super Rare Games, but I've posted a lot about LRG in the past on this forum. I do buy games from them occasionally, but only games that I want to play (I have Shantae: Risky's Revenge, Bastion, Broken Age, Cosmic Star Heroine, Spelunky, and Salt and Sanctuary).

My problem with LRG has always been their two handed business philosophy. I find it baffling that they can be about the "preservation of physical games" when they print less than 6,000 copies a pop! How the hell is that preservation? The game might as well have never come out physical at all if you ask me. It's such a farce. The company has been far more focused on the "limited" editions to sucker people in to buying product that they'll never actually use. The putting out of games on the Switch after it's been out on PS4, and the selling of games ALREADY available in physical form really speaks to that. That's just not the way I roll when it comes to gaming.

And doing sales this way brings out all the issues with physical media, like scalpers and getting crowded out of purchase lines for popular items. And it seems like every item for sale on ebay is way more expensive because it's usually sealed. I ultimately wish that every item they release was for preorder, I think it would still keep items limited but at least everyone would get an opportunity to purchase it with absolutely no worry of missing out. At least they're doing that with the heavy hitters nowadays.

At the end of the day LRG benefits collectors and scalpers FAR more than gamers who just want to play the game physically.

EDIT: empovyle also brought up how they ship their games in these crappy bubble mailers which I've also had problems with. My copy of S&S and Broken Age both had massive cracks in the case, and 90% of the time I open up the game with the disc loose in the case. Doesn't bother me that much since I can just replace the case, but I am worried that a game will become seriously damaged one of these days.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 04:19:24 pm by telly »
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ferraroso

I like their costumer support, price and the quality of their releases (so far, I've only bought from Limited Run and Strictly Limited though), but I hate their business model.
It seems to me that having a decided amount of copies of a determinated game may actually act as an incentive to scalpers.
When I buy a game, I don't care if only other 2,499 people also have a copy of it or not, I only care if I do! So, in my opinion, I'd prefer if they opened a product for sale for, let's say, one or two weeks and then print as many copies as necessary in accordance to the demand.
I don't know what are their contracts with Sony, Nintendo and the publishers though...

I remember when Limited Run was first starting I believe they were posting on this forum.

I like the idea that there are more physical games but I don't like how they are numbered to make it seem like you need them all. I have bought zero so far mostly because the games I am interested in I already have through like PS Plus or I bought them digitally for much cheaper.

telly

PRO Supporter

I like how they try really hard to get important patches and DLC on the disc before it ships out, even though that sometimes causes legendary delays like with Pixel Junk Monsters 2  :o
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I'm perfectly fine with the limited publishers. I find most of the complaints about them can be boiled to down to people with this mindset: "I want to be able to buy a game when it's convenient for me, so it can't sell out first!"

On print runs: they actually did a couple experimental runs early on where they did an open preorder system, to see if it would be beneficial. End result? It sold about the same as a standard run would have, and the amount of manpower they had to put into dealing with order cancellations ballooned. Basically, the handful of extra orders was cancelled out by the extra work. And no, this wasn't on an obscure release- I think it was Wonder Boy, so you can't say it wasn't a popular title. Later on, when they introduced Switch games, they did the experiment AGAIN to check that demand- and apparently it's a lot higher, becuase all Switch standard releases have a 2-week preorder window.


I've never had trouble buying a game I wanted from LRG- get online about 5 minutes early, log in to your account so your checkout info's ready. Simple. I do get people being pissed at the cart system- knowing your item aren't yours until you pay is a pain, especially on multi-release days. It seems to work just fine as long as you're a lil' proactive though- moseying in 5 minutes late is a bad idea.

At the end of the day LRG benefits collectors and scalpers FAR more than gamers who just want to play the game physically.

Any limited release from anywhere benefits scalpers- there's always someone with nothing better to do than wait & buy it, and someone else with so much better to do they'll pay a premium to not have to wait & buy it. LRG at least has item limits, making it difficult to be a career scalper with their product, or worse- forcing you to choose between a copy for yourself & a copy to flip. Also, if you're a gamer who wants to play the physical game, you ARE a collector- otherwise you'd save your money by buying a download.

You're not wrong though- regardless of what they say, LRG caters very much to the collector demographic, not the player.

Re: Your opinions on limited quantity, physical release online retailers
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2019, 03:40:18 am »
It's gonna be a sad time for people in 10-20 years who want a complete PS4 set.


sworddude

Re: Your opinions on limited quantity, physical release online retailers
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2019, 06:27:30 am »
It's gonna be a sad time for people in 10-20 years who want a complete PS4 set.

yup pretty much all lrg releases are more rare than the majority of the rarest retro games. Quantities are multiple times less than wester releases of panzer dragoon saga wich was around 10K in the US only.

If we keep that in mind horrific times await for them fools who attempt this. considering that many releases are between 1 and 5K only

On the other hand if the demand goes down and people can't get rid of it it can't be to hard to aquire them games. kinda hard to predict really. quantity and mediocre quality for allot of them releases might put people off to go on collecting for LRG types of releases.

Demand and hype are first priority in terms of collectibles. rarity comes 2nd as an important part for stuff to become valuable

Far to many examples in other collectible markets such as comics etc in wich case way more rare comics are less worth since the hype and or history of the item isn't as iconic as a far less rare examples wich are sought after even on the high end scale in the 10K's + $ range
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 06:59:28 am by sworddude »
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ferraroso

Re: Your opinions on limited quantity, physical release online retailers
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2019, 07:50:26 am »
It's gonna be a sad time for people in 10-20 years who want a complete PS4 set.

I believe it will be virtually impossible for someone to own a complete set of PS4 or Switch games in the future. For example, in theory, Strictly Limited Games should be considered as part of the European set, am I right?

sworddude

Re: Your opinions on limited quantity, physical release online retailers
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2019, 07:55:10 am »
It's gonna be a sad time for people in 10-20 years who want a complete PS4 set.

I believe it will be virtually impossible for someone to own a complete set of PS4 or Switch games in the future. For example, in theory, Strictly Limited Games should be considered as part of the European set, am I right?

how is it impossible? 1000 2000 copies around people hoarding them factory sealed mostly for reselling in the future. It's save few people want to keep those mostly for reselling

I mean if your wallet is ready It's possible. It's not like atari in wich only 5 or less copies exist for some games. unless this market crashes since to many items come out. Look at baseball cards etc to many collector versions could crash the market people lose interest. not to mention all games usually released on multi platforms wich makes the games as a whole less desirable to collect since you can choose between systems.

was only ps4 in the past, than ps vita as a 2nd and nowadays switch pretty much all the time aswell 3 consoles. keep in mind that multi platform releases include a seperate replica of the collectors edition for each of these 3 consoles.

takes this example

Do people really want to get the ps vita, ps4 and switch collectors edition of bloodstained curse of the moon the collectors edition for each consoles.? 1 of the 3 sure but all 3 that seems a bit much.

https://limitedrungames.com/search?type=product,article,page&q=curse%20of%20the%20moon*

I highly doubt it now take a mediocre game and ask this question again

I do know that there are collectors out there that want all 3 but what's the point. collectors editions are so common these days It's not special anymore let alone exact same replica's of said collectors editions of 1 game for 3 systems

Xbox one is the only console that seems to be shafted.

ps2,wii, ds and arguable psp era where the last generations in wich special editions where actually special and where normal releases where the majority.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 08:05:14 am by sworddude »
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Re: Your opinions on limited quantity, physical release online retailers
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2019, 08:20:19 am »
Utterly Detest Them!!!

It's quite simply as to why really, I find their business model to be flawed. They set a certain date and time on the Online Store for the consumer to buy their game, but the reality is that the item is usually gone witin the hour and then the people who really want the game are at the unrelenting scheming of scalpers on Ebay.

Quick Fix - Why not set a date and let all the people who want to buy the product do so with a Pre-order before the deadline. That way the consumer has a fair chance to get their order in and get the game and the company can a reading on how much stock they need and ship within the month... It just seems so simple, yet with their current bussiness model I jsut have to pray they don't get their hands on properties I actually want.