Game of the Year Edition

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It's the Game of the Year! Guest-starring Batman.

When a game publisher wants to cash in on a title that critics cannot stop gushing about come awards season, how do they do it? Why, by bundling the game with all released DLC and slapping a Game of the Year Edition sticker on it, of course!

This trope refers to the increasingly common practice of bundling a critically acclaimed title with extra content (such as paid DLC) at a reduced price (much to the chagrin of those who bought everything separately). Theoretically, it's a win-win situation: gamers who may have held out purchasing a game released during the holiday rush or award bait season can jump right in for a reduced price, while publishers can make a quick buck on a title which requires very little publicity to market (at least in comparison to a brand-new title). Right?

Unfortunately, these bundles are usually released within weeks of the last round of DLC hitting the market, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of many a gamer. Furthermore, some have begun to avoid purchasing DLC packs until they are released as part of the inevitable GOTY edition or packaged together at a reduced price online through the likes of Steam, even if such a package isn't planned. It's even worse for developers, who lose potential sales due to consumers being reluctant to pick up the base game if it will be inevitably be going for much cheaper within less than a year and include all DLC content.

This trend most likely started with Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, which was added to with the Tribunal and Blood Moon expansion packs, and later had these coupled with the main game in a cheaper re-release. However, earlier examples of "Game of the Year Editions" were titled various things ("Deluxe", "Complete", "Gold", "Battle Chest") and similarly bundled (main game plus the expansions).

Not to be confused with a certain Belgian-Australian musician that you used to know. For the fanfic trope where this is applied to a universe, please see Sudden Game Interface.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
    • Batman: Arkham City. As you can see above, the box isn't exactly subtle about it. It gives you all of the challenge maps, alternative skins, lets you play as Catwoman, and adds the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC.
  • Assassin's Creed III: The Washington Edition, which adds the The "Hidden Secrets" pack: Three new missions including the Mayan Ruins content, two new outfits, and two multiplayer characters,the "Battle Hardened" pack: three new multiplayer characters, new maps and "The Tyranny of King Washington", which, aside from the mission itself, adds the three additional alternate reality pieces of single-player content that sees you transforming into a bear, eagle, and wolf. And also summoning invisible wolves. Because hey, when you're playing in an alternate world with a Native American player character, you are allowed to go all out with all of this stuff.
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: Jackdaw Edition
  • Dead Island, which, considering its lackluster reception, turned out to be the borderline for what a company could call something a Game of the Year, without opening itself to massive mockery from the blogosphere.
  • Dead Rising 3 has the Apocalypse Edition, which includes the four DLC story campaign but not the "Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha" mode.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which goes by the Director's Cut and has all the DLC weapons and the standalone Missing Link campaign integrated into the main game.
  • Dishonored. Also re-released for the PS4 and Xbox One as the Definitive Edition.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV & Episodes from Liberty City: The Complete Edition
  • Left 4 Dead. An odd case, given that the Steam version has no paid DLC to bundle with it. For 360 users, the GOTY Edition comes with the free Survival Mode DLC on disc, but Crash Course and The Sacrifice are not included.
  • L.A. Noire
  • Red Dead Redemption. Includes new Hardcore single-player difficulty option, plus the wildly popular Undead Nightmare single and multiplayer offerings, as well as all the additional downloadable content, including all the DLC originally released as pre-order content as well as the Solomonís Folly single player gang hideout and challenges (available for the first time on Xbox 360).
  • Saints Row IV takes it one step further by including a "Game of the Century" edition. It also has the Re-Elected editions for PS4 and Xbox One, which includes all the original game's DLC on disk and a digital download voucher for the Gat Out of Hell standalone campaign.
  • Tomb Raider: Game of the Year Edition on PS3/Xbox 360. Definitive Editon on PS4/Xbox One.

    Fighting 

    First Person Shooter 
  • Battlefield games starting with Battlefield 3 have the Premium edition, which includes the base game and the Premium season pass.
  • Borderlands
  • Borderlands 2, but it does not include the Upgrade Pack 2 and Headhunter Packs. It was also released with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! on PS4 and Xbox One as The Handsome Collection.
  • Call of Duty 2 up until Modern Warfare.
  • Destiny has done this twice: originally with The Taken King Legendary Edition, which bundled vanilla Destiny and all the expansions to date; and Destiny: The Collection, which is the previous collected edition plus the new expansion, Rise of Iron. One would suspect they would do it with the next expansion if it weren't for the fact that Destiny 2 is in the works.
  • Deus Ex. It includes the multiplayer mode, which is also a free update for owners of the original.
  • Gears of War 2
  • Halo 4
  • Homefront
  • Unreal Tournament. Also included several popular user mods.
  • Unreal Tournament 2004. As the Editor's Choice Edition.

    Racing 
  • Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box
    • Despite its name, this does not include all the DLC, only adding in the free patches and the Party Mode content. (Which, to be fair, was all the DLC that existed at the time of its release). Over the next year, multiple car packs, game modes, and even a new area were made available. (Unless you were on PC, which only got the Ultimate Box edition in the first place.)
  • Dirt 3: Complete Edition
    • Notably, the PC release of this package was also used to move the game's multiplayer system from Games for Windows - Live to Steam. Because of this, the developers gave it free to any previous owners, even those who hadn't purchased any DLC.
  • Gran Turismo 5: XL Editon
  • Midnight Club: Los Angeles: Complete Edition is notable because it's easier than the original release.
  • Need for Speed Rivals: Complete Edition was just an excuse for EA to make up for the lack of a new series entry in 2014.note 
  • Formula One 2013 has the Classic Edition, which included four extra former F1 tracks and some extra cars. However, this came out alongside the release of the main game, but seeing as no further DLC was planned or made, it's a complete edition by default.

    RPGs 
  • Fable II comes with both DLC packs on disc.
  • Fallout 3 GOTY Edition was released with all five of its expansions, Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta, retailing for $80, the original price of Fallout 3 at release.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind GOTY Edition came out with its two expansions, Bloodmoon and Tribunal.
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion GOTY Edition came out with only two of its numerous expansions, The Shivering Isles ($30 on Xbox Live), and Knights of the Nine ($10 on Xbox Live), for $30, making a massive price differential.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released its "Legendary Edition" on June 4, 2013 - speculation is that Dead Island's release of a "Game of the Year" edition is the cause of the rebrand (or the fact that it was released a year and a half after the initial release).
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance had a Gold Edition featuring all the DLC characters from both the Hero Pack (Hawkeye, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and The Hulk) and the Villain Pack (Magneto, Sabertooth, Doctor Doom and Venom). This is now the only way to get these DLC packs since Activision lost its Marvel license.
  • Two Worlds is similar to the Dead Island example, as no reviewer actually gave it a GOTY award.
    • Bloodborne may be even more guilty in this regard: while beloved by critics, the GOTY edition was announced before 2015 (the year it was released) even ended.
  • Wasteland 2 has a port for the PS4 and Xbox One that's titled the Game of the Year Edition, which also upgrades the PC version to Unity 5. Similar to Left 4 Dead, Wasteland 2 has no DLC period.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GameOfTheYearEdition