Published on May 21st, 2012 | by Gerald Chan


Singapore’s Collector’s Edition Dilemma

If you are a Singaporean video gamer, this is a very unique first world problem. It seems for very popular titles, Collector’s Editions for games generally become Limited Editions.

While we cannot discount the fact that the terms “Collector’s” and “Limited” are used very loosely in a myriad of forms. Singaporeans seem to get a poor deal when it comes to these big expensive box sets.

Blizzard titles generally are very much in demand and it the most recent release of Diablo 3, the demand for the Collector’s Edition of the game has never been higher. I’ve heard of some stores in Singapore that went to the extent of having their customers BID for a copy of the Collector’s Edition. Ripoff much?

The more savvy gamers camped out for a restock and shipping it in worked out slightly cheaper if not slower. So why is there a shortage of Collector’s Edition of games in Singapore?

After all, being one of the more affluent countries in Asia, publishers seem to enjoy jacking up prices which is passed to the retailer and in turn the customer. In that case, shouldn’t there be a larger availability of such editions in Singapore?

In my time at a video game store, in order for one to receive a Collector’s Edition for ANY game, one has to commit to a rather large quantity of the vanilla title in order to get one. The ratios sometimes just don’t make good business sense. When large we are talking about the upwards half of three figure value in terms of quantity. The value may change from distributor to distributor.

In more recent times, lets talk about Starcraft and Diablo – WHERE ARE THE GOD-DAMN COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS?

Where art thou?

I can safely say that 75% of those in Singapore owning a Collector’s Edition of Diablo III, are mostly imports from Amazon. The situation is that dire.

So the question is, are the sets being deliberately withheld by the distributor of hotly sought after titles or is allocation poor by the publisher this side of the globe? If it were the latter, is it the onus of the distributor to demand of more copies?

More copies, leads to more sales and higher margins. Honestly speaking, in this day and age, the Collector’s Editions of games always bring in a higher margin.

So where are the Collector’s Editions of the games going to? I’ve always had the impression that such Editions always land up in the hands of the local media who hold tremendous clout. A few more go off to a second level of distributors that put up the box to desperate retailers for their customers who are willing to pay top dollar. A case of willing buyer, willing seller. Except the fact that the buyer usually gets ripped off pretty hard.

I’ve got word that there is a very big shipment of Diablo III Collector’s Edition coming into sometime today or tomorrow. Which got me wondering, if could bring in that many, why is there a shortage in Singapore via the official channels?

The video game industry in Singapore is simply weird.

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Thanks for visiting my blog! If it's video game related, I'm pretty much all over it! I'm Singaporean and in real life I'm involved heavily in social media.

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