Yo dawg, I heard you like collector's editions, so we put collector's editions in your collector's editions so that you can collect while you collect
Remember when getting the collector's edition of a game used to actually mean something? Sure, it might have only been a shoddy picture or a cheap figure, but it was something special, something extra as an incentive to maybe pre-order or show some loyalty to a franchise. Anyways though, that was then, and this is now (skip to 3:00 minute mark).
I counted no less then ten different editions of Assassin's Creed 3 rattled off during that spiel. Sure three of them are for European markets, but even the ones that will be released in the North American market will have a bunch of different items packaged with them, at least if that gigantic list is any indication. I know that choice is generally speaking not a bad thing, but I think that this is getting a little ridiculous for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost is the fact that with so many options out there, people might get overwhelmed. As strange and even ludicrous as it sounds the idea that if there are too many versions of a game out there that people might just not buy one is, sadly, a valid concern in this day and age. When it's only collectible items like figures or wall scrolls, then it's not such a bad thing, but when you start including things like multiplayer unlocks and actually missions, then it becomes a whole other kettle of fish.
I know that these separate, distinct DLC bites are more than likely going to be sold somewhere at some point down the road, but in my eyes that doesn't really mitigate the damage of shattering something cohesive and then selling the bits and pieces to a thousand different takers.
This leads me to my second, more subtle point. You might recall that Batman: Arkham City has a lot of DLC, from the Catwoman campaign to the Robin and Nightwing packs, the challenge maps, the post game DLC, and then all the different costumes that were sectioned out to the different shops that you could pre-order the game from. It was impossible to get all of these different bonuses and set-pieces unless you were willing to spend an insane amount of money or had people that wouldn't mind giving you codes for the access to the data that you didn't get with your purchase.
The thing is though, that all of these things have been now gathered into the Game of the Year Edition of the title. If I've read what it includes, then it's basically utterly everything that you could have gotten from the five or six different places, but all in one package and for the price of one game. Since rereleases with all the content added in are ofttimes inevitable, what's to stop players from waiting aside from their own eagerness to play the title as soon as possible.
Again it's the same mentality that helps drive Steam sales; you know that there's going to be a more complete edition down the road, which will probably cost less than what it would to buy the base game and all the assorted goodies. So if you have the patience, why bother picking things up day one? The thing about that is that companies want you to pick the game up day one, because that first massive push is where games make most of their money. So if more people decided to get savvy and wait, well then there might not be a GotY edition to get later on....