Thursday, 31 March 2016

INTERVIEW: Limited Run Games*

As a gamer, I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that finding out that a game you’re excited for will only be released digitally can be really disappointing. After all, you wanted to give it a place on your awesome gaming shelf, right? There’s nothing wrong with digital copies, of course, but there’s also nothing wrong with wanting the option of a physical game. This is where Limited Run Games comes in.

Limited Run Games is a company focused on bringing limited physical copies of digital-only games to the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita. It was founded in 2015 by Josh Fairhurst, founder and CEO of Mighty Rabbit Studios. So far, Limited Run has released limited runs of Breach & Clear for PS Vita and Saturday Morning RPG for PS Vita and PlayStation 4. Once a run sells out, that's it – no reprints!

I recently got the chance to speak with Douglas Bogart, the co-founder and Head of Sales at Limited Run, and he very politely let me ask him some questions about the company. If you want to know what goes down at Limited Run, read on.




How did the concept of Limited Run Games come about? 


Josh [Fairhurst, CEO of Mighty Rabbit and Limited Run Games] came up with the idea when he noticed a lot of games going all-digital. As a collector and someone who was against the all-digital age, he created Limited Run Games to combat it. He wanted to not only release his own games from the Mighty Rabbit Studios side, but to help other developers get their games out physically. 


What is the process in deciding which games will receive a Limited Run? How long does it take?


We will either contact a developer or they will reach out to us. In terms of deciding a game, we usually just go after games we like or have a big following. We aren't in a habit of saying no to anyone right now. Once a contract is signed it takes about two months to get a product in hand. 


What has been your biggest struggle as a company so far?


Our biggest struggles have been meeting demand and getting larger companies to notice us. We keep increasing our run size, but we keep selling out! Which is what we want and need. It's just tough because we could always sell more if we had it, but because we finance all of our runs ourselves, we have to find a good balance so we aren't left with back stock. There are also a lot of games by bigger companies we would like to tackle, like Sega's Yakuza 5 for example. But getting them to notice us right now isn't feasible. We would also like to work with Double Fine. But a lot of companies still see us as an indie company, which we are, but we would like to tackle some bigger games too. 


Do you think there's a future in physical copies of games, or do you think the future is purely digital?


I think it is inevitable that the future will be all digital. But we will fight it for as long as we can! 


If Limited Run Games could work with any developer on any digital game, what would it be and why?


Sega and Yakuza 5. All the Yakuza games in the main series so far have had a physical edition, even the future titles that are finally coming here have physical versions coming. But Yakuza 5 does not, which makes absolutely no sense (well, it does in some cases...). But to think that entry will be the only game that was localized and did not get a physical edition is just crazy to me. Not to mention it makes my shelf look incomplete! 


Are there any older digital titles that you'd love to help "bring back" as a physical copy?


Outlast, Mercenary Kings, Transistor, Guacamelee... I could probably keep going. We want to see as many games as possible in physical form to preserve them. 


Lastly, where do you hope Limited Run Games will be in five years time?


We hope to be the name that people think of when they think about limited edition games, or rare games in general. We want people to treasure the games they purchased from us. When a developer thinks they should do a limited release, we want to be the first name that comes across their mind. We hope in five years we are doing larger print runs for even bigger games but still keeping it limited, of course! ;)


So there you have it. At the time of writing, Limited Run Games is set to release physical runs of Oddworld New 'n' Tasty, Futuridium, Volume, YIIK and Cosmic Star Heroine, so make sure you’re following them on Facebook and Twitter for updates if you're interested.

And remember, all of Limited Run's releases are truly limited edition, so once they're gone, they're really gone!

[The * in the title means that I've used this piece in an assessment for university, but that doesn't affect my overall view!]

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