One of the interesting things about this console generation is the renewed interest in physical cartridges for Nintendo Switch releases. Several high-profile indie games have gotten limited edition collector’s releases thanks to companies like Super Rare Games. We recently interviewed George Perkins, Head of Doing Stuff at SRG. He shared his insights into how well the collector’s game market is performing and what we can expect to see from Super Rare Games in the future.
1.What inspired you to start helping indie developers create physical copies of their games as a niche market?
We saw a lot of great independent games being released on the platform not getting boxed copies, and we wanted to help fill that void in the market. Super Rare came largely as a passion project, two of the first games I worked on in the video games industry were Human: Fall Flat and The Flame in the Flood. Both titles were only available digitally and I really wanted to have them physically to always remember the projects. We then realized we could help support the developers of these great games, and in the process, have a physical copy for our collection.
2. How do you decide which indie games to partner with for a physical release? Do developers approach you or do you approach them?
It’s about 50:50 at this point. I do a lot of outreach to developers but conversely a lot of teams see our work and seek a partnership with us. The decision process has evolved slightly since our launch just over a year ago, at the start, it was effectively all my favourite games. Luckily, it seems people have a similar taste to me! Now we are trying to diversify our collection and its important to us that we have a game for everyone in our community. This year we will definitely have something which will resonate with all the different types of gamers out there.
3. The trading cards are a neat idea, how did that come about?
Growing up, I was obsessed with Yu-Gi-Oh! and used to enter local competitions. I was a big collector of the trading cards and that definitely is the inspiration to why we do that.
Unlike other physical collector’s edition vendors, Super Rare Games decided to focus exclusively on Nintendo Switch Games. Turns out, there’s a reason for that. Despite the PS4’s popularity, the indie marketplace is pretty saturated and doesn’t have anywhere near as much traction as the Switch. A good example of this is Thea: The Awakening performing better on Switch than XB1/PS4 during its launch week.
4. You’ve released more than a dozen Switch physical releases, care to share which indie games have been most successful for you (and the dev)?
Each game has performed as well as each other – they are basically all sold out! The Adventure Pals and Knights of Pen and Paper were probably our quickest sell outs. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is our rarest title and currently is worth over 200£ on secondary markets. Human: Fall Flat and The Flame in the Flood have sold the most copies with both having 5,000 copies available worldwide.
5. Why did you decide to focus on making Switch games exclusively? Other similar services like Limited Run Games also produce PS4 versions.
The PS4 physical indie market is very saturated and was less exciting for us to venture into. As a new company, it was important to get our branding spot on, so sticking to one platform really helped that blossom. Nintendo consoles are historically more collectible so that’s also a factor which influenced us.
6. Have you had any interest in re-prints in previous games featured? Would reprints of old releases be possible again in the future if there was enough demand?
We won’t ever reprint games. Lots of people buy our games due to the rarity of them and its important we preserve that.
7. Have you experienced any problems during a game’s release that was unexpected?
With physical production, there will always be delays. Luckily, we are always working about a month ahead of schedule so these are never felt by the consumers. Nintendo’s approval process can definitely take a while sometimes. We are incredibly well versed in this so it’s very rare we get burnt by unexpected issues.
8. What is your favorite game Super Rare Games has released as a physical edition for Switch?
Difficult question to answer as I love them all. If I had to choose one it would probably be Mutant Mudds or The Adventure Pals.
9. Which game would you most like to help bring to fans as a physical edition?
Advance Wars is one of my favourite games of all time – so that would have to be my dream game!
10. Any teasers for which games we can expect to see from SRG in the future?
We are going to be releasing a few genres we haven’t explored yet! JRPG’s and point and click games are definitely on the agenda for this year.
I’d like to thank George for taking the time to speak to me about Super Rare Games. It’s interesting to see how well the Switch market is responding to these collector’s editions. The fact that Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime is worth over $200 on the secondary market proves indie fans love physical editions and there’s a decent-sized market for them.
We’re excited to see which games Super Rare Games features in the coming year. Up soon is the Fairune Collection and Q.U.B.E. 2 and N++ are still available for purchase. N++ is one of my favorite games so hopefully I can snag my copy before they’re gone forever.
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Ashley lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys exploring new games on the Switch. She loves hardcore platformers, roguelikes, and most games described as "it's like Dark Souls but _____." She talks about games a lot and her cat a little.