Saving us from a Digital-Only Future: Interview With Limited Run Games

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

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By


Limited Run Games | Limited Run Games

While I was at PAX East 2016, I got a chance to Speak with Douglas from Limited Run Games! That’s right, the people bringing you physical versions of digital games and as the name implies, its incredibly limited. You may have seen posts about it on twitter of people being happy this is happening….and of course people being upset when they miss out on buying one since they sell out incredibly fast. The latest one Futuridium literally sold out in 5 minutes during the first round. In any case I asked them a few questions and you can see their responses below:


OR: I’m Justin Guillou From Operation Rainfall. I am the Anime News Manager and with me today I have…

LMR: Douglas Bogard with Limited Run Games

OR: Thank you Douglas for speaking with me and coming out here to answer a couple of questions I have. So Basic question: What Inspired you to pursue Limited Run Games?

LMR: We started off wanting to produce our own games physical and then once we got that going, we realized that it was a lot of work and we saw why a lot of developers were shying away from it. So we wanted to fight the ‘Digital Age’ by making more physical games so we started going after other developers and letting them know that :”Hey this isn’t impossible and we can actually take away the financial burden that goes with this and a lot of the work and make it down to one day’s work for you.

Saturday Morning RPG

Saturday Morning RPG

OR: Very Nice! Do you think that the success of Limited Run Games is inspiring more companies to release more physical copies?

LMR: I feel like its inspiring more developers to pursue a physical copy. I don’t necessarily feel like its inspiring too many other companies to try physical because a lot of other companies are still trying to do larger retailers, which is something that we’re not doing because we want to continue to value a developer’s game and a lot of indie games that end up going to Gamestop, Best Buys or Toys R US end up in the clearance bin because they were over-produced. Another reason why we like to keep things limited but still keep enough stock to where its fair.

OR: Very Good. How are these games selected?

LMR: Originally We went after games that we wanted to release then we started off with taking community advice, like what games did a lot of people want to see, and we just went and tried to get more variety. So we wanted to go after Visual Novels, we feel like there could be more of them. We wanted to go after more RPGs. We do it by community and we also go by what we personally want because there is not too many games we won’t play ourselves and a lot of developers actually approach us now.

OR: That definitely shows that you are successful if a developer is approaching you. It’s not even like “Oh hey can we do this?”, it’s now “No, Lets do this man! We want this!”. I know you mentioned about  being close to the community and I know you have a thread on NeoGAF, and you mentioned that you would be interested in doing Yakuza 5 or Fatal Frame 5. However because of all the companies involved you may have to adjust their print run and might have to also charge a bit more money for that.

Fatal Frame Maiden of Black Water

Fatal Frame 5

LMR: So if we do Yakuza 5 or if we do Fatal Frame 5  we will be just distributors. We won’t be part of the limited run line so they will have none of our marketing involvement and it won’t be branded by us at all. So we will  also be charging a little bit more for it. For example if a PS4 disc costs 5 bucks  SEGA, Koei Tecmo might charge us a little bit more than that because they want to make some money off on it too. And then we will have to raise the price too in order to make money and our distribution deal, which is public with people is normally 70:30 in the developers’ favor, it might be a little bit lower in that case. But we are willing to take a little bit of a hit in order to maker these games physical.

OR: That is incredible that you’re willing to take a hit to make these games physical. I’m noticing that a lot of the games coming out like Breach & Clear, a lot of them are vita  games. I’m sure a question that’s on a LOT of people’s minds is why publish  for the Vita as it’s a so-called “dead” system?

LMR: Because we feel like it’s the Dreamcast of this generation. There’s a lot of niche games on it and a lot of Japanese games, a lot of games you just won’t find on the major platforms. And People that own the Vita love their Vita, they are very die-hard. I still feel like the Vita is doing really well. There are a lot of people who import their Vitas because there are so many cool exclusive ones overseas. So we feel like those fans deserve games too. It’s not fair that Gamestops and Best Buys are shrinking their[vita] sections. There’s still plenty of vita games coming out. Maybe not AAAs from Western developers but there are still a lot of games coming out and a lot of people are still developing for it so we are going to keep doing it until Sony tells us we can’t do it anymore.

OR: Speaking of the Dreamcast, one aspect that the Dreamcast has, that I guess is kind of unique to it is that, I consider it the “Zombie” of consoles in that its dead but yet games still keep coming for it somehow someway. Last year there was about five Dreamcast games that got released.

LMR: Pier Solar Came out!

OR: Pier Solar was the big one, and the one a lot of people know. That’s definitely interesting that you are drawing these parallels between the Dreamcast and the Vita, The similarities are definitely there. Did you ever think that this would be as successful as it is?

LMR: Yes and No. I felt it would  be successful, the other half of Limited Run Games he thought it would be successful too but he thought it might take a little bit longer for it to take off. In truth I felt the same way, but I was a little bit more optimistic. But I will say neither one of us thought Breach & Clear would sell out in 90 minutes!

breach and clear

breach and clear

OR: I remember seeing twitter and all the updates as Breach & Clear was selling out and you guys were really happy. I’m very happy for you, that’s really cool that Breach & Clear would sell out so quickly. I’m kind of curious because there are other companies like GaijinWorks and they do releases of pretty obscure PSP RPGs. The way they do it is that they have a poll well before the game is released and they ask: “Would you be interested if we were to do a physical copy of this game?” and based off of those numbers they adjust their print run off of that.  Would Limited Run Games ever consider doing something similar to that for a future release?

LMR: We would do surveys, I don’t think we would ever do a pre-order system like Vic does. We also have considered memberships but until we get a more stable release schedule we’re not going to revisit that just yet. But I know that soon in the future we are planning a loyalty program, maybe give people that have always been with us or maybe they have done three releases straight a head start or maybe early access. But in terms of pre-orders and memberships, it’s still on the fence. There are a few games we may test that out with but again we always test things out before we implement them for good and ask the community how they feel.

OR: I am so surprised that this is doing so well and I’m actually very grateful for it, you guys are doing an Amazing job. I got Saturday Morning RPG. That looks great, the artwork is fantastic on the cover of the PS4 version. I definitely look forward to your other games down the line like Cosmic Star Heroine which is definitely one that is on my radar. Oddworld is coming out in a couple of days and that is probably going to sell out very quickly and I’m sure a lot of people are going to be really about that.The overall service has been really good, you guys ship VERY quickly. I did not expect to get my copy as soon as I did. I soon as I got the email, next thing I know its in the mail!

LMR: We are going to speed that up this time!

OR: Oh Wow! So its going to get even faster *laughs*Well that is definitely fantastic. Thank you very much for Speaking with me, its been great.

LMR: No Problem.


So what do you think of Limited Run and what they are doing for physical game media? Let us know in the comments below.

About Justin Guillou

Justin joined Operation Rainfall after visiting the site numerous times and reading the articles on Xenoblade Chronicles. He enjoys searching for and collecting some of the more obscure video games out there.




  • Panpopo

    This company is perfect for niche game collectors, and any support for the Vita is always welcome. I really liked this interview and it shows they understand their audience.

    I like the comment about Yakuza 5 and Fatal Frame 5 as potential distributors – keeping hope alive for physical versions of these games!

    I understand the appeal of digital games but I like just popping in a disc or cartridge and playing it right away. I really liked Yakuza 5, and am grateful we got it at all, but it was something like a 22 gig download, and it was a slow download – if this is the future I want to be stuck in the past.

    • JGuill

      Fatal Frame 5 being digital only was so dumb. Because an entire portion of the WII U ownership(those who bought the first 8GB models) are completely unable to download even the demo without a hard drive. I buy a lot of Nintendo Products and even got some of their digital titles both purchased by myself and even through their old Club Nintendo. I really wanted Fatal Frame 5 but to download it I have to delete Zelda, Pikmin 3 and a few others! And let’s not talk about the fact that at the time I was also waiting for and ready to download the Xenoblade X data packs! Seriously, It’s like I’m getting screwed out of Nintendo’s games because I supported them. How the hell does that work!?

    • Panpopo

      Yeah, I would complain less if the Wii U had a larger hard drive – the data packs for Xenoblade X was a killer for me. I wanted Fatal Frame 5 but I am not willing to buy an external hard drive for this game.

      Maybe their next console will fix this issue by simply having way more hard drive space.

    • JGuill

      Yea I really hope they put bigger hard drives in the NX especially if they decide to do more of this moving forward. But watch, the NX will have less space or even worse….proprietary memory *gasp*

    • Mantiskilla

      Good Interview

      I personally have gone all digital across all my platforms other than my import japanese 360 shump games (my japanese 360 has to be used for something). My desire to have physical games has long set sail for me probably b/c I just don’t like clutter and showin’ off video game collections as I got older unlike I used to. I play on PC and after having the experience of Steam I just felt having all my games digital on PS4, XB1, Wii U, etc.

      I can totally understand consumers who still collect video games, and why this is a viable solution especially for Vita games unless you want to spend a fortune on memory cards (I got 2 64gb ones myself & man that sounds bad).

      As far as the Wii U HDD space yeah its pretty pathetic; however, after breaking it down I got an external HDD for about the price of 2 new physical Wii U games and in turn I was able to have my entire library of Wii U games digital now with lots of space to spare not to mention still space on the original drive. It really can be the better purchase but again I think this is more about people just not wanting to do digital b/c of various factors (slow/capped internet, like to hold the disc and box, etc)

  • Mr0303

    They are really doing a great job. The moment gaming goes all digital is the moment I turn into a retro gamer. I do hope that their success encourages more developers to do a limited physical releases – most hardcore fans will really appreciate that.

    I suppose the Vita does have that Dreamcast appeal of a great, but underappreciated platform. Most of the games I import are Vita ones especially given how some of them won’t ever be released in the West and it is one of my most played platforms especially with great features like cross save.

    • JGuill

      I hope these companies start noticing the demand for physical media. Even a limited print run would satisfy loads of people and will sell!