Though digital games distribution can seem all-encompassing these days – particularly given the challenges that have arisen over the last year for physical production, distribution and even retail due to COVID – most large publishers are still releasing their titles physically in tandem with their digital releases, and there are a number of smaller publishers creating lovingly packaged editions of indie games that have found great success amongst collectors who aren’t quite ready to fully shift over to 100% digital libraries. There’s something endlessly appealing about having a physical games collection, especially when the games in question have been lavishly put together by gamers, for gamers.
One such publisher, Premium Edition Games, have just launched their first titles for Nintendo Switch – and they’ve gone the extra mile to provide special products and features that should see them make great inroads in the limited, special edition game arena. Their first two titles – darkly amusing violent sports title Super Blood Hockey and indie compilation Pigeon Dev Games Collection (featuring Game Boy inspired hardcore platformers Awesome Pea and Awesome Pea 2, plus Bucket Knight and Explosive Jake) both release as a Premium Edition (featuring slipcover, inlay art, manual and a challenge card), with Pigeon Dev Games Collection also to be made available in a further two editions – Retro and Deluxe – which will are planned to be available at the end of April. These two extra editions are both laden with cool extras, including a retro-inspired box and CRT-style steelbook in the Retro Edition, plus these and a guide, soundtrack, pin and clamshell in the Deluxe Edition.
The Super Blood Hockey Premium Edition is limited to 5,000 copies worldwide, with Pigeon Dev Games Collection’s Premium Edition’s print run set at 3,000 units. The Retro and Deluxe version availability is even more scarce, with just 1,000 units apiece to be made available.
Though of course the included items and packaging are nice enough on their own, bringing a nicely modern feel to the almost archaic art of physical game collecting, one of the most intriguing and, frankly, cool features with Premium Edition games is the inclusion of challenge cards with each game. These cards feature game specific challenges which can earn players a game patch, which Premium Edition Games will send out for free once the conditions have been met. It’s a genuinely impressive touch that really does prove that Premium Edition are going the extra mile to give a real old school flavour and community feel to their product range.
You can check out – and buy – the first two titles in the range at Premium Edition’s website (note that non-US customers should instead go here). Despite the fact that physical games are regularly thought of as a dying product category in recent years, it’s wonderful to see companies like Premium Edition popping up to fill the void left by companies unwilling or unable to produce physical products, especially with such great attention to detail and clear regard for what gamers – and collectors – really want. I can’t wait to see what they have in the pipeline beyond their first two releases.
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