I've been a fan of lovely game-related tat in oversized boxes for some time, so here's a thing that's cool to me. RPS allies Gamer Network have announced a service for helping independent developers to create AAA-tier collector's editions called Gamer's Edition [official website]. They're partnering up with Idea Planet Collectibles to allow devs and their fans to set the specifications and then crowdfund a one-off production load through pre-orders. The first games to get the GE treatment will be Papers, Please and a double pack of Hotline Miami and its sequel.
Here's the official blurb:
Each Gamer’s Edition is built around one-of-a-kind collectibles, which are developed in close collaboration with the game’s developers and community and produced to order in one-off production runs. The crowdfunded pre-order system means that production commences only when there are enough orders to cover the manufacturing costs. By creating every package to order, Gamer’s Edition can deliver truly individual items directly to fans and enable independent game creators to offer collector’s editions that rival the biggest console releases. In addition, the platform offers great business value to developers as it avoids the typical production costs associated with releasing a collector’s edition.
While it won't be for everyone, there's an entire business based around high end goodies of this sort and nerds the world over absolutely love it. I could see myself going in for a Binding of Isaac: Rebirth GE, with the right items - dead crow, actual poop and the tears of a small child. Joking aside, games already as large as these are going to be the ones you see using this service, due to the numbers involved. Don't expect one for every £5 project you pick up on Steam, or to be able to make it happen for your own first games.
Here's the Papers, Please version, which'll go for $70 (around £45):
And the Hotline Miami one, which is $60 (£40):
They're each available for a month and need 1,500 and 2,500 orders respectively to get made. The prices are actually lower than I expected, not that much more than your average big budget game on release. This will vary by quality and quantity of addons, of course.
What would you like to see, RPS? Toy Audiosurf jet? Real actual giant talking Transistor sword? Official Thomas Was Alone brick? You can let them know here.