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Thread of Independent, Limited and Region Specific Physical Game Releases

Oct 25, 2017
3,112
0
#1

Digital distribution has allowed for a growing surplus of fantastic games, but some folk lament the loss of having physical media released for the majority of titles. Retail games are something you can lend to a friend, get signed at a convention, leave on a shelf to look guiltily at when you realise it is still unopened or just to sell when you are done with it. While digital definitely is the king in terms of number of titles released there are still a decent amount of those games getting released on discs and cartridges. The issue being is that sometimes those titles get published in different regions than your own that, while your console can play it, you may not be aware of due to small print runs or tied to specific retailers that cause them to fly under the radar.

*https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ejQ7edT_cz97o/

*Use the tabs at the bottom of the page to navigate between systems.

This document was created to track physical releases for previously digital only titles, upcoming physical indie games and ones that were released physically but not in all regions. It primarily focused on PAL and NTSC region games with notable Japanese only physical titles mentioned. The document is still a work in progress and something I will continue to plug away at over time; it is also currently skewed towards North America as I'm not as aware of games that don't release in PAL territories as I am ones in my own region. Please let me know when there are things I miss and I'll update it.

*Doc is currently out of date. Need to get my main desktop back before I can edit the doc again. Temp laptop doesn't play nice with the large amount of data/pages in my Google sheet.*
 

Judge

Vault-Tec Seal of Approval
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
1,547
0
#5
Loved this thread before, added to "watching".

As for me, just grabbed The Girl and the Robot last week from SOEDESCO. Cover seemed decent enough to take a stab at it for $20.

My copies of LocoRoco and Patapon FINALLY came in from Play-Asia. I pre-ordered early in the year but Patapon kept getting pushed back delaying the whole order even though LocoRoco has been out forever.
 
Oct 25, 2017
595
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#6
This thread has always been a great source of information and full of helpful people let's hope this continues! Thank you for making it and keeping it updated, Dancrane212.
 
OP
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Dancrane212
Oct 25, 2017
3,112
0
#7
My copies of LocoRoco and Patapon FINALLY came in from Play-Asia. I pre-ordered early in the year but Patapon kept getting pushed back delaying the whole order even though LocoRoco has been out forever.
Did we ever get definitive results on the supposed lag in Patapon? It was the one thing holding me back on picking it up.
 

Judge

Vault-Tec Seal of Approval
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
1,547
0
#9
Did we ever get definitive results on the supposed lag in Patapon? It was the one thing holding me back on picking it up.
Not entirely sure, I haven't looked into it much since I pre-ordered and then kinda forgot about it. Almost expected it to never show up since I lost my email/confirmation from play-asia about my order :P
 
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Dancrane212
Oct 25, 2017
3,112
0
#10
Little Nightmares is getting another print on XB1/PS4. If you passed on the initial release in North America because you had to buy the CE (figure, poster and soundtrack) you can now get the game standalone like you could in PAL territories. Also includes the season pass but that's expected to be a code rather than on the disc (remaining two episodes are released after the game is shipped out).



Not entirely sure, I haven't looked into it much since I pre-ordered and then kinda forgot about it. Almost expected it to never show up since I lost my email/confirmation from play-asia about my order :P
I'll have to do some digging then. The game is definitely on my list if it still plays OK.
 
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Dancrane212
Oct 25, 2017
3,112
0
#13
Two SOEDESCO titles set for next year. No specific regions announced but you should expect a PAL release at the very least.

The first project in this cooperation aims to release boxed editions of award-winning hardcore sci-fi platformer Blackhole and non-violent sci-fi platformer Shiny to PlayStation®4 and Xbox One, with more titles expected in the future. The two games can be found in stores in early 2018
Games in question.
Shiny - http://store.steampowered.com/app/496390/Shiny/
Blackhole - http://store.steampowered.com/app/322680/BLACKHOLE/
 
Oct 27, 2017
197
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Germany
#19
Since Strictly Limited is in Germany people have been woried about the USK logo ruining the cover. It seems like they are aware of that and have some kind of solution that's a "big surprise" and "near impossible to guess" and will be announced in the coming days.

Very curious what they'll do.
 

TheMoon

|OT|
Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,029
0
Video Games
#20
Since Strictly Limited is in Germany people have been woried about the USK logo ruining the cover. It seems like they are aware of that and have some kind of solution that's a "big surprise" and "near impossible to guess" and will be announced in the coming days.

Very curious what they'll do.
reversible covers lol woooww XD
 

TheMoon

|OT|
Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,029
0
Video Games
#24
Do you have reason to believe they are lying? Reversible covers wouldn't be a solution for sealed collectors either.

hadn't seen that tweet. movies have (had) stickers sometimes in the past but not sure how anal the USK is about it having to be on the actual thing. or, wait, the StarCraft 2 collector's editions also just had stickers on the outside. that might actually be an option. transparent sleeves seems wasteful.
 
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Dancrane212
Oct 25, 2017
3,112
0
#25
Interview with LRG on their announced Switch support.

http://www.theswitcheffect.net/2017/10/interview-limited-run-games.html

Choice quotes...

With all the digital games that have been released and announced for the Switch, what are your top three you would love to bring to cartridge?

I would like to see Thimble Weed Park, Golf Story, and Fast RMX.
My final question is if you could give us a hint as to what your first Nintendo Switch title will be in 2018?

I can't really give any hints, but I can tell you we thought our first title would just be a pipe dream, but instead it's a hole in one.
 
OP
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Dancrane212
Oct 25, 2017
3,112
0
#31
I wonder if we’ll ever see a Vita print from them now that ESRB is an additional cost.
Sounds like the margin of those LRG Vita was already pretty tight. Wonder if the ESRB requirement will end up cutting a lot of those smaller games out of the running for physical copies.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,746
0
#32
Sounds like the margin of those LRG Vita was already pretty tight. Wonder if the ESRB requirement will end up cutting a lot of those smaller games out of the running for physical copies.
So Vita is being attacked by Switch, Sony, and ESRB? Jesus. Everyone double down on Vita prints! *levity*
 
Oct 25, 2017
115
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#33
Damn, I was checking that site every day for news about the PS4 Ruiner release. I wonder what other stuff they’ll release?
 
Oct 25, 2017
37
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Belgium
#34
Sounds like the margin of those LRG Vita was already pretty tight. Wonder if the ESRB requirement will end up cutting a lot of those smaller games out of the running for physical copies.
It's hard to imagine none of the announced LRG releases (and there are quite a lot of them) would be affected by this development. I think we should buckle up for a number of cancellations.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,746
0
#35
It's hard to imagine none of the announced LRG releases (and there are quite a lot of them) would be affected by this development. I think we should buckle up for a number of cancellations.
That's what I was afraid of. Ugh, this is not a welcome possibility.
 
Oct 27, 2017
454
0
Phoenix
#36
Being that the ESRB is functionally a mouthpiece for the ESA I wonder what beef the ESA had with small print runs? This seems like a move to deter such activity. I also wonder if this means if we will see more print runs of new games attached to Kickstarters as a way off insuring the added cost of the additional rating is offset. Would allow publishers like LRG to print newer games and pass along that additional rating cost without it looking too much like they are increasing their usual MSRP. When I buy at the 'physical' tier for a Kickstarter I am already assuming it will be substantially more than digital delivery.
 
Oct 25, 2017
37
0
Belgium
#37
Being that the ESRB is functionally a mouthpiece for the ESA I wonder what beef the ESA had with small print runs? This seems like a move to deter such activity. I also wonder if this means if we will see more print runs of new games attached to Kickstarters as a way off insuring the added cost of the additional rating is offset. Would allow publishers like LRG to print newer games and pass along that additional rating cost without it looking too much like they are increasing their usual MSRP. When I buy at the 'physical' tier for a Kickstarter I am already assuming it will be substantially more than digital delivery.
Their mission statement is the following:

"To empower consumers, especially parents, with guidance that allows them to make informed decisions about the age-appropriateness and suitability of video games and apps while holding the video game industry accountable for responsible marketing practices."

Now you have these companies like LRG that completely undermine that mission by skipping the rating process entirely. And they're no longer a minor player than can easily be ignored. LRG has been responsible for roughly a fifth (maybe even more) of all Vita games released physically in the US. So you gotta ask yourself (and the ESA does that): how credible is a rating system when a substantial portion of the games released doesn't have a rating? It makes perfectly sense for them to counter that evolution.

They don't have a beef with small print runs. They are protecting their mission, which is under attack to the very core by the stuff LRG and others have been doing.
 
Oct 27, 2017
454
0
Phoenix
#38
Their mission statement is the following:

"To empower consumers, especially parents, with guidance that allows them to make informed decisions about the age-appropriateness and suitability of video games and apps while holding the video game industry accountable for responsible marketing practices."

Now you have these companies like LRG that completely undermine that mission by skipping the rating process entirely. And they're no longer a minor player than can easily be ignored. LRG has been responsible for roughly a fifth (maybe even more) of all Vita games released physically in the US. So you gotta ask yourself (and the ESA does that): how credible is a rating system when a substantial portion of the games released doesn't have a rating? It makes perfectly sense for them to counter that evolution.

They don't have a beef with small print runs. They are protecting their mission, which is under attack to the very core by the stuff LRG and others have been doing.
I'm not sure the ESA/ESRB can hang their hat on consumer protection/parental awareness with this one. I certainly agree that might be what they might say or, at best, some constituent members may believe. But the ESRB's original implementation grew out of a market that existed entirely in brick and mortar. It was a market where a parent couldn't say; check the ESRB's website for ratings info or a kid with an Amazon gift card couldn't just order whatever the heck he wanted. This enforcement is new and forking the rating between digital and physical seems like an effort to leverage some of these smaller presses into line. What argument could be made for physical and digital requiring separate ratings? I know that conceivably a game could include something truly scandalous in their marketing collateral or instruction manual that wasn't in the game but should the entire game be re-rated? Shouldn't just the package sleeve, instruction manual be reviewed since the game itself was reviewed for purposes of the digital release?

Being that we are less than a month out from them ruling that blind boxes/loot boxes aren't gambling it feels like the ESRB takes their stated mission seriously when it suits them. That certainly wasn't "holding the video game industry accountable for responsible marketing practices."
 
Oct 25, 2017
37
0
Belgium
#39
I'm not sure the ESA/ESRB can hang their hat on consumer protection/parental awareness with this one.
Well, for starters there is an official ESRB logo on these products now, whereas there wasn't before.

There is no argument for separate ratings, I agree with that. But there was no rating at all on LRG products so consumers weren't informed at all on the moment of purchase. Maybe in the future LRG (and these other small publishers) could come up with a way to refer to the digital rating of the games (provided they've already been rated of course) they're publishing in a way that pleases the ESRB and that wouldn't require them to pay for another rating process?
 
Oct 27, 2017
454
0
Phoenix
#40
Maybe in the future LRG (and these other small publishers) could come up with a way to refer to the digital rating of the games (provided they've already been rated of course) they're publishing in a way that pleases the ESRB and that wouldn't require them to pay for another rating process?
That seems appropriate. I'd love to know the overall percentage of LRG's print-runs that are consigned to the small number of brick and mortar stores they work with (like Video Games New York). Is it 5% of a run? Less? The reason I am curious is that these small number of copies earmarked for boutique, independent video game retailers would be the only real way conceivably a customer would have the opportunity to buy one of their games without having immediate access to the ESRB's rating site at the time of purchase. However low this number may be I hope these smaller publishers find a way to persuade the ESRB/ESA to let them refer to the digital rating.
 
Oct 25, 2017
37
0
Belgium
#41
That seems appropriate. I'd love to know the overall percentage of LRG's print-runs that are consigned to the small number of brick and mortar stores they work with (like Video Games New York). Is it 5% of a run? Less? The reason I am curious is that these small number of copies earmarked for boutique, independent video game retailers would be the only real way conceivably a customer would have the opportunity to buy one of their games without having immediate access to the ESRB's rating site at the time of purchase. However low this number may be I hope these smaller publishers find a way to persuade the ESRB/ESA to let them refer to the digital rating.
Don't think that is good enough.

Similarly, the tobacco industry for example could argue that the ugly tobacco package warning messages are overkill when they would put up some health info on their website. Don't think the ESRB would be satisfied with just a link to their own rating site. The information is going to have to be on the packaging in some form.
 

Yian

Member
Oct 27, 2017
197
0
Germany
#42
Ruiner was the first SRG title I wanted to buy. :/

The problem isn't with the rating itself, it's the associated (double?) cost which apparently is prohibitively high for small print runs. I'm all for having a unified and industry led rating system but if it kills game releases then it's not doing its job.

This decision gives non-US publishers like eastasiasoft a huge competitive advantage and that can't be in the best interest of the ESA. The smaller publishers and indie developers need to come together and make sure their interests are represented.

I wonder if we’ll ever see a Vita print from them now that ESRB is an additional cost.
Apparently the rating costs are different (and lower) for titles that have been previously released digitally. Not 100% sure on that. SRG themselves said that this won't completely kill console releases and that legacy PS4 titles would be released in the future.
 
Oct 25, 2017
37
0
Belgium
#43
This decision gives non-US publishers like eastasiasoft a huge competitive advantage and that can't be in the best interest of the ESA.
It doesn't. Many Americans are hesitant to buy non-American releases. LRG's past releases have proven that an existing foreign release doesn't (or hardly) affects their sales.

Controversy over non-rated age-inappropriate video games is also not "in the best interest of the ESA". Should LRG or another small publisher do an unrated print run on a highly controversial game and should that blow up in the media, then that would bring the ESA in murky political waters and maybe even before a Congressional hearing.
 
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Yian

Member
Oct 27, 2017
197
0
Germany
#48
Controversy over non-rated age-inappropriate video games is also not "in the best interest of the ESA". Should LRG or another small publisher do an unrated print run on a highly controversial game and should that blow up in the media, then that would bring the ESA in murky political waters and maybe even before a Congressional hearing.
I'm 100% for required ratings on all games and said as much in my post. ESRB is a good idea because when a government imposes a rating system, it's usually worse.

Just saying that the requirement shouldn't price out smaller publishers. Basing the cost of a rating on the game's productions costs is also pretty nonsensical. That's apparently what killed Ruiner.
 
Oct 25, 2017
37
0
Belgium
#50
I'm 100% for required ratings on all games and said as much in my post. ESRB is a good idea because when a government imposes a rating system, it's usually worse.
I didn't claim you said otherwise, so not sure why you are bringing this up.

What I meant is that ESA will obviously stick to their guns when it comes to keeping the public informed, rather than drop their convictions in some cases to enable smalltime companies to make a profit of niche endeavours like physical copies of indie games. Which, let's keep things real, is ultimately what a 5000 copies print run of a under-$20,000-budget video game really is.

They're not trying to kill the industry. They're trying to regulate it. I'm sure some people on those boards can appreciate the idealism of "preserving video game history" and all. But that doesn't mean they can just let things slide without losing credibility over it. Also it opens the door for abuse, e.g. bigger companies avoiding the fees by releasing games through small shell companies etc.

Just saying that the requirement shouldn't price out smaller publishers. Basing the cost of a rating on the game's productions costs is also pretty nonsensical. That's apparently what killed Ruiner.
It is not. It's actually an industry standard for many things. E.g. voice work for small projects is typically cheaper than for games with higher production costs, even when the same people are involved.

There being enough money behind the development and marketing of Ruiner means that maybe the rights owner should've done a physical release themselves, because they have the means for it, in stead of leaving it to a small fry. You can't blame the ESA because some publisher is too greedy to release their own game the way many customers want them to.