I’m not somebody who has a lot of money at the best of times. True, I may well have screwed up priorities when it comes to what I spend my money on, but still, there’s not a lot to go around. I think that’s something every gamer can relate to. Sure we can always get the cash together for another game, but the trouble is that we want all the games.
It might be better if I were just playing games on my PS4. That way Nintendo wouldn’t have me over the barrel they’ve got me over. The last year of games for the Switch has been unprecedented. I’ve bought far more games for that machine in its first year, than for any other console throughout its lifetime. That’s not easy on your wallet.
One thing that helps is to simply ignore all digitally released games. I hate the idea of owning games that are linked to one type of machine. On top of that, in years to come, when the eShops have closed, your digital games really are really only playable on one specific machine, and if that machine breaks, all your games are gone forever.
Now my plans are a mess, thanks to a couple of companies who have set out to take my few remaining pennies. Super Rare Games, and Limited Run Games have started releasing independent games, previously only available digitally, for the Nintendo Switch. I’m screwed.
If you haven’t heard of either of these companies, allow me to fill you in. Limited Run Games began work first, publishing physical versions of Playstation 4 and PS Vita games. They take their company name from the fact that the games they release are only a limited run, generally producing only 5000 copies.
Obviously these games sell out pretty much immediately, and after that the only chance you have to get a copy is to scour the ebay or Amazon looking for one that a scalper bought. I bagged a copy of Night Trap for the PS4 for $29.99. I saw it on Amazon a few weeks later for £125. As if that wasn’t enough pressure, they number the games. If you can stand to have game number one, miss two, then buy three, good luck sleeping at night. I’ve been able to ignore that particular sales technique as I discovered LRG long after they started releasing PS4 games. At this point it’s almost impossible to find a copy of every previous release at a decent price, now that’s all over. The Switch games are starting again at number one, and I’m there for it.
The first Switch release from Limited Run Games will be Thimbleweed Park, a point and click adventure from some of the people who brought us The Secret of Monkey Island. I’ve been able to ignore this digital only game, but no longer. I’m going to buy it, then I’ll have Limited Run Games Switch #1. From that point, there will be no stopping me. Bastards.
As if all that wasn’t enough, let me introduce you to Super Rare Games. It’s a similar setup to Limited Run Games, but based in the UK. I found them through a retweet. Until then, I had no idea they existed. Probably because they’ve only released one game so far, Human Fall Flat. Did I want to buy Human Fall Flat? Well, it turns out I want to buy most things when you tell me that there’s only 5000 of them. Consequently, Human Fall Flat sits on my game shelf. Thanks Super Rare Games!
They could at least have made it less of a great experience, but they’ve clearly gone and put some thought and care into it. What is a gamer to do? For a very reasonable price of £29 I got the game, a set of trading cards, which I believe will become part of a larger set following the release of more games with more cards. There was also a sticker, because there’s always a sticker.
Their second release will be The Fire in the Flood, which I’ve already pre-ordered. Did I want it? Sort of. I wish I could say no, but the truth is I was just ignoring it because it was only a digital game. Super Rare Games and Limited Run Games have me by my super rare limited balls.
There’s something else worth mentioning. Now, there’s no way I’m buying a digital only game. No way! Even if there is something that comes along tempting enough to get me to buy it, I can’t do it incase there’s a physical version released later. I’m spending enough money on games without buying them twice. On the other hand, I wasn’t going to buy those games anyway, so nothing has been lost.
I’ve got a lot of time for companies like the two I’ve mentioned. It used to be the case that all games had to be physical, and games that had to come on cartridges simply couldn’t be produced by small independent developers. Digital games made it possible for those developers to reach a wider audience, but these new physical releases makes it possible for them to reach old people like me.