For the longest time, special or limited editions of movies and video games have been released right alongside a standard version of the product. Often costing a little more, these special editions are designed to give fans even more bang for their buck, with physical or digital goodies often being packaged in alongside the main product. However, over the last decade or so, some video games have chosen to forego actually putting the game inside their collector's editions, and Diablo 4 is just the latest example of this disappointing trend.

Over the last decade or so, the gaming industry has added another tier to the pre-order process. Gamers now often have a choice between a standard edition, a special deluxe edition, or an insanely expensive collector's edition, with the big price hike between the last two tiers usually being due to a swathe of physical and digital goodies. While there have been plenty of excellent collector's editions over the years, like Halo 3's with its Master Chief helmet or Fallout 4's Pip-Boy edition, there have also been some pretty shocking collector's editions, and more often than not it's because they don't even include the game.

RELATED: What Diablo 4 Should Learn From Path of Exile, Diablo 3

Collector's Editions Should Always Include the Game Itself

Despite usually costing well over $100, it's become unfortunately common that a collector's edition will simply leave out the actual game, forcing players to make a separate purchase to actually get the game itself. While publishers seem to go through phases of thinking they can get away with this, EA is, naturally, one of the biggest guilty parties. The two most infamous EA collector's editions were the Battlefield 1 and Mass Effect: Andromeda offerings. While Battlefield 1's collector's edition at least came with a detailed statue and some other physical goodies, Mass Effect: Andromeda's was particularly grim, featuring just a small model of the in-game Nomad vehicle and a shoddy steelbook case for a nonexistent game.

Unfortunately, other big gaming companies aren't much better. Despite being an excellent game, Resident Evil 7 shipped a collector's edition that didn't come with the game, but did come with a replica of the Baker House, albeit one that was more often than not broken during transport. The industry seems to be repeating this pattern of releasing a gameless collector's edition, witnessing all the backlash it receives, refraining from doing it again until the heat dies down, and then starting the cycle all over again. And now Diablo 4 is the latest one to continue this anti-consumer trend.

Diablo 4 is one of the most anticipated games of the year, and naturally, die-hard fans are going to want to seize the opportunity to purchase a complete package. The Diablo 4 Limited Collector's Box comes with an exclusive themed mousepad, an electric candle, a cloth map of Sanctuary, a pin, an art book, and a few art prints. What's missing though, is Diablo 4 itself. While Diablo 4's collector's edition isn't nearly as expensive as some others, it still retails for almost $100, and that's a lot for what Blizzard is offering here.

The whole point of a collector's edition is that it's giving die-hard fans a complete package of everything on offer, so when one doesn't even include the game, it kind of defeats the purpose. Every collector's edition should come with the game as a standard, even if it's just a downloadable code, it needs to be in the box. Consumers shouldn't have to read the fine print to make sure that the game that's being advertised on the front of the box is actually inside.

Diablo 4 launches on June 6, 2023, for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: 7 Best New RPGs Coming Out In 2023