Physical copies have made a comeback
Today’s world of video games is much different than it was a decade ago – perhaps most notably, the prevalence of digital purchases. While the pros and cons of having a digital game library can be argued, one thing is for certain. There aren’t as many physical video games anymore.
The most usual draw to building a physical game library, rather than a digital one, is the pure sense of ownership. You can touch, resell, and borrow out your games, which is not the case in today’s age of strict digital rights management.
One interesting consequence of the dwindling physical game market is that publishers who do choose to produce them are having to pitch them in very unique ways. Special editions of video games are now more popular than ever, with some including a treasure trove of goodies that can amount to hundreds of dollars.
Due to the popularity of these special edition video games, third-party publishers and distributors are now more popular than ever. One of the newest and hottest trends is limited physical releases, where for example a game originally released digitally on the Nintendo Switch receives 2,000 physical copies for sale through a distributor.
In this article, let’s discuss how you can start taking advantage of some of the coolest and most special edition limited video game releases.
If you’re someone interested in physical video games, you’ve probably heard of Limited Run Games. Limited Run Games has become increasingly popular since 2015, and it’s viewed as the cream of the crop when it comes to putting out beautiful limited-edition games.
Limited Run Games has been responsible for physical releases for awesome digital titles such as Bastion, Dragon’s Lair Trilogy, River City Girls, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove, Turok, and more. The publisher actively releases physical copies for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, and even PlayStation Vita.
If you’re looking for games that launched without an official physical edition, Limited Run Games is your go-to. They’re also known for having some of the best customer support in the gaming industry!
Are your tastes more nostalgic than most? If so, iam8bit may be the perfect physical release distributor for you! While iam8bit houses a wealth of collector’s edition titles, it’s the cartridges that really grab people’s attention.
iam8bit’s Legacy Cartridge Collection includes the following titles:
- Earthworm Jim 1 & 2 (25th Anniversary Edition)
- The Lion King
- Mega Man X (30th Anniversary Classic Cartridge)
- Mega Man 2 (30th Anniversary Classic Cartridge)
- Street Fighter II (30th Anniversary Edition)
These cartridges, which span across the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, are major attention-grabbers due to their vibrant colors. This flair is a big selling point.
Aside from these retro cartridges, iam8bit is responsible for the physical production of games like Gang Beasts, Gone Home and Hyper Light Drifter. Expect to see something you’ve never had before when you check out iam8bit’s physical library.
Fangamer is probably best known for its video game apparel, including t-shirts, hats, posters, and accessories, but they do have a modest, yet very cool, selection of physical titles.
Fangamer often reprints Hollow Knight Collector’s Edition, and also holds regular stock of the Standard Edition. Other games in its inventory include Amnesia Fortnight, Golf Story, Slime Rancher, Thimbleweed Park, and more.
While Fangamer isn’t a standalone publisher, it regularly has collector’s editions of games produced by Limited Run Games. Limited Run Games also seems to sell their merchandise, so there may be a partnership in place.
If there’s ever a physical title that you want direct from a publisher (especially Limited Run Games) but is currently out of stock, give Fangamer a look.
Strictly Limited Games is coming off of arguably its headline release, Bubble Bobble 4 Friends on the Nintendo Switch. Some of its other releases include Door Kickers, Necrosphere, Raging Justice, Ultracore, and Vasara.
While other third-party publishers dwarf Strictly Limited Games in catalog popularity, it’s a known and trustworthy distributor and a great place to start your limited physical collection.
If you’re interested in staying updated on all upcoming releases, you can subscribe to the Strictly Limited Games newsletter without signing up for an account.
The Signature Edition Games library of physical releases is impressive. Many gamers may not have heard of Signature Edition Games, but perhaps they’ve heard of a game releasing a “signature edition” – that’s this company’s doing.
Signature Edition Games has released physical copies of Children of Morta, Dead Cells, For the King, Moonlighter, and many other popular titles across Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Xbox One.
Signature Edition Games first releases its physical games through pre-orders. If these limited editions make it past pre-orders with stock remaining, they’ll then be moved to the Signature Editions section of the website.
Although all Signature Edition Games titles are released with limited stock, the majority of releases make it past pre-orders. This makes buying online from Signature Edition Games a great option if you’re late to the market and just now building a collection.
If you’re an aspiring collector who’s interested in getting into special edition video games, physical indie releases are a great and modest place to start, and these five sites have got you covered. Go out there and grab those games while they’re available!