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Thread: Why are compilations almost always expensive?

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    Default Why are compilations almost always expensive?

    This question came to mind when I was browsing the web today and noticed some Wing Commander stuff.

    Wing Commander: Deluxe Edition (basically includes both the expansion packs) can be had for $5 or so, as far as I saw (I already have this so I didn't really look hard).

    Wing Commander II: Deluxe Edition can be had for $5-$10, and versions that come with Ultima VIII or Ultima Underworld can be had for $5-$20.

    Wing Commander III can be had for something like $20.

    So, $35 for the trilogy.

    Wing Commander: The Kilrathi Saga is a compilation of the above, reprogrammed for Windows 98, only it does NOT include the expansions for WC1 and 2 (though to be fair, those could be downloaded for free from Origin's website). This goes for $100-$400 depending on how complete it is.

    And here I'm like WTF.

    It happens to other games too: Interplay's various "Archives" releases can fetch $50-$100, Sierra collections can go from $50-$100, and I'd be surprised if the LucasArts collections aren't in the same boat.

    Admittedly, I can understand it in cases where the compilation adds something new that you couldn't get in the individual releases, but a lot of times its a case where buying the collected version is more expensive than just getting them piecemeal. Seriously what's with that?

    Thoughts?

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    Demand is the main cause, but limited print runs (in the case of Kilrathi Saga, highly publicised limited print runs) are a big contributing factor.

    My memory is a little fuzzy, but I recall that Kilrathi Saga had a worldwide run of something like 20,000 copies (peanuts compared to 200,000 for WCI and 300,000+ for WCIII). Now WCI/WCII deluxe editions shipped roughly the same number (based on the fuzzy numbers given in the Wing Commander Series Bible), but you could also pick up the original game, add-on and speech pack separately. Kilrathi Saga is the only way to experience the remastered WCI and WCII.

    I kick myself every now and then for not picking it up when it was on clearance here for $AUD30.

    As for the other examples you've cited, they're generally just better packages than the more recent re-releases, which drives the demand up. Wouldn't be surprised if print numbers were fairly small.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Sierra collections can go from $50-$100
    Or Free-to-Goodwill if you're an idiot like me and don't check for how much stuff sells before you get rid of it. Picked up LSL collection for like $2 many years ago. Oh well, I got the $2 back in enjoyment, so it's not the end of the world.
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    Some of those compilations include extra goodies that later rereleases didn't include due to various reasons (rights issues, too expensive to print, or they were too hard to get the games to work on the current version of Windows). These goodies include extra games, full printed manuals, soundtracks, special edition books (like that Larry book that I got with my collection)...

    These days they just stick the games on a crappy (as in not optimized) DOSBox install, put that on a CD, and call it a day.
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    Yeah, I've heard that Vivendi Universal's Sierra collections are ass. Makes me glad I already have most of the good ones from the "Collection Series" days.

    I still can't understand stuff like Ultimate Might and Magic Archives and Wing Commander: The Kilrathi Saga though. The former is just the individual games, except done in such a way where you need Windows to install them, and the latter's big advantage was that the games were reprogrammed for Windows 95... meaning that, in this day and age, it would probably be easier to run the DOS editions in DOSbox.

    And then there's stuff like the Ultima collection. Problem there is, practically every game in the Ultima series is available in like ten different compilations already, the individual releases are dirt-common and outside of an interview with Richard Garriott, the Collection is nothing new, so why is that particular one so special?
    Last edited by Edmond Dantes; 03-13-2011 at 05:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    And then there's stuff like the Ultima collection. Problem there is, practically every game in the Ultima series is available in like ten different compilations already, the individual releases are dirt-common and outside of an interview with Richard Garriott, the Collection is nothing new, so why is that particular one so special?
    Simple.

    It's one of only two ways to get a DOS port of the precursor to Ultima, Akalabeth: World of Doom. The other? Ultima IX: Ascension Dragon Edition, which can go for a LOT of money. Akalabeth was not available for DOS, Windows, or Apple / Macintosh in any other form.
    Last edited by Kitsune Sniper; 03-13-2011 at 08:03 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
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    Except as a fan-remake.

    But, point taken. I had overlooked Akalabeth. Which is surprising, because next to Ultima I its the game I come back to the most.

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    Wait wait wait. A fan remake? Really? That's the first time I've heard of that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsune Sniper View Post
    Simple.

    It's one of only two ways to get a DOS port of the precursor to Ultima, Akalabeth: World of Doom. The other? Ultima IX: Ascension Dragon Edition, which can go for a LOT of money. Akalabeth was not available for DOS, Windows, or Apple / Macintosh in any other form.
    The Dragon Edition just contains a disc only copy of the Ultima Collection anyway, the disc itself isn't any different to what would have been sold separately. I had the Dragon Edition so I know what the disc looked like.

    Akalabeth is also available for the Iphone/Ipad and other cell phones.
    http://www.akalabethapp.com/wwwak/
    http://www.dimjon.de/akalabeth_about.html

    And other fan remakes.
    http://www.hotud.org/component/conte...e/39-rpg/22400

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    To be honest, I prefer the UC port to the fan-remakes. The remakes all replace the keyboard-only system with a menu system, which I think takes away from the game.

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