Yesterday, when I returned from my lunchtime quest for the Marvel vs Capcom 3 Special Edition, I wrote a blog post as satelitte imagery was saving out (system resources give me very little juice to do anything else). This blog post was essentially mocking the extraordinary lengths I went through to acquire a copy. It was seeped in rage, sarcasm, outlying the quest, and holding three particular parties to task.
1. The stores, if you're not going to have premium editions, do not advertise premium editions. The only store on my list which actually got IN some special editions never advertised them. If I knew this was going to happen, I would have bought online the day before, when online copies were still plentiful. It was only after launch hour that online quantities quickly disappeared.
2. Capcom, during a launch is your best chance to rape gamers of cash. Not on alternative outfits, this right here. The steel case edition. I was not alone in my "Special or no buy" stance as, during my quest, I encountered many gamers trying to find this copy and ultimately NOT buying the game because the edition they wanted wasn't in stock. One even mentioned the same notion to me. "Why should I buy the standard when it's going to be $20 cheaper in three weeks?" This is a failing on your head for not printing enough copies.
3. Gamers, for enforcing the notion of "SUPER RARE" in items that were printed in numbers exceeding 100K. What I mean is this. Because we buy into the notion that something printed in these mass quantities is rare, we've created a scalpers market. In much the same way email scams work, 99.99% of the people who see a $130 copy of Marvel vs Capcom 3 say "no way in hell." Along comes that .01% and finds it quite reasonable, pays, and encourages this behavior. Again, most people say no but because one person will say yes, this means a whole army of lazy people out for a quick buck buy out quantities. The existence of this market is a bad thing for gamers.
Directly after work, a friend of mine laughed his ass off at this rant. It was obviously taking generic rage and exploding it beyond normal reason. Occasionally I would throw in a couple Dennis Learyesque "Okays?" but in general, he got that the rage was satirical and heavy heanded on purpose. Later online, I slid the .txt file to a couple other friends who got in their digs while understanding this was rage filled exaggeration. The only reason why I posted it online was because EVERYONE who saw this before it went online could see the satirical levels of rage. Apparently the DToid community is not quite so sharp on this.
I debated taking it down because, after all, when someone points out you're not suppose to eat paint chips, you don't keep eating. Some of the reactions to the blog were hilariously bad and, should my attempt have been to troll for idiots, I would have dragged a net full up onto the deck. Instead, I'm leaving it. Even though it doesn't paint me in the nicest picture (unless you read it as a long winded rant meant to be funny) it's an interesting example of some of the abuses we, as gamers, have accepted as fate. So allow me to respond here...
"You tried to preorder a game this hyped three weeks ago and it's Capcom's fault?"
This hyped?!? Okay, know what? Several weeks after Black Ops launch, collectors editions were still plentiful. Same with GT5. Hell, a couple weeks ago I acquired Deathsmiles Premium Edition that was woefully under produced. For this argument to become valid, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has to become the greatest selling game debut of all time. If 3 weeks before release is too late to acquire a special edition printed in excessively large quanities, then something is wrong.
Frankly? This culture of preordering months and months and months before release is stupid. In this one instance, out of the past seven years, I was caught with my pants down. I relied on advertisements to determine which stores would and would not receive Special Editions (which, I remind you, turned out to be false indicators). The only other time, God of War III, I had my preorders cancelled because not 1, not 2, but 3 different online retailers took more preorders than the number of copies they would receive. Gone are the days of the "surprise" Gold Cartridge for Ocarina of Time. If game companies are going to use these premium editions to boost their Day 1 sales, they should make sure they're readily available. With or without a Preorder.
"It's not worth a Day 1 purchase? What kind of gamer are you?"
Let me put it this way... the one store which had the "buy it here" bonus in my area didn't even know it came out yesterday. IF Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is going to be the same price today as it is Friday, or even March 13th, why is there a rush for this copy? Any promotion I could have obtained is lost. I don't play fighting games online because, well... online gamers are the biggest swirling mass of foulmothed racists and sore losers since Spain's football hooligans. Getting my friends over to play video games is rare, we more often than not do board games.
Special Edition is essentially the ONLY Day 1 bonus (should Toys R Us have had copies, I would have settled with the standard and just got the gift card). Otherwise, patience would have rewarded me with discounts beyond the $60. The kind of gamer I am is one who recognizes the writing on the wall and spends money accordingly. For example, Marvel vs Capcom 3 will be on store shelves easily into the Holiday Season and much cheaper at that time. Radiant Historia, however, will not. That one will dry up quickly, be produced in low numbers, and be on the secondary market for a premium that makes Infinite Space look reasonable. When a common game acts like a rare gem, it deserves to be overlooked in favor of the truly rare gems.
"Sounds like you didn't think ahead and are now blaming Capcom for your stupidity."
This one is fair. After all, when there is a market of people willing to shell out an extra $10 on a $60 game, the wise business decision is to deny them this ability with making this edition of the game rare. Especially considering, in less than a years time, the "street value" of this edition, for true collectors in the know, will be roughly $18. This isn't a game in truly rare status, after all. Capcom didn't even "pretend" and put Limited Edition on the cover. Nope, they said Special Edition. So Capcom could have done absolutely nothing to have flooded the market with the first run editions. And this wouldn't have even been in their best interest to sell a game for $70 to early adopters instead of $60...
To the many other detractors, I offer up this very simple advice. If a rant seems a bit too vitriolic, a bit too excessively mean, and seems larger than reasonably acceptable... it probably is. In essence, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was just a game. While it's frustrating to see the edition I'm hunting show up on Ebay to Scalpers Delight, it's still just a game. Great comedians such as Louis CK, Sam Kennison, Lewis Black, Christopher Titus, and Dennis Leary all use mundane, rather boring complaints and expand them to ridiculously large rants of life and death importance. Many others do this online. Not every "ZOMG, the world is gonna end" rant is completely serious. You should know this. You're supposed to be better than this.
Live and learn.