SpongeBob SquarePants is a beloved franchise that raised a whole generation of ’90s kids and then grew up with them into the meme era. The yellow sea sponge was everywhere including video games including the 2003 game SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is the remastered version of that game and instead of just being a simple $30 digital release like other upgraded ports, THQ Nordic is going a bit overboard. In addition to the regular $30 title, it also has two ludicrous special editions that come in at $150 and $300.
The $150 Shiny Edition comes with the game, socks, stickers, six lithographs, and a statue of the sponge and his snail, Gary (meow). It’s a bit ridiculous, especially for that price, but is bested by the F.U.N. Edition that doesn’t seem as fun as its name implies. This $300 box comes with the same stuff from the Shiny Edition but also with two extra statues of Patrick and Sandy, and some keychains.
Collector’s editions are often not worth the money and prey on fandoms, but this seems like the most egregious example in quite some time. The original game has around a 70 on Metacritic, showing that it was quite an average game for the time. But despite riding the middle of the critical road, it garnered somewhat of a cult status that probably was somewhat a mix of the relative quality of licensed games and nostalgia.
Nostalgia is a big part of SpongeBob‘s appeal since it was such a seminal cartoon for kids who grew up in the 1990s and early 2000s. After a bit of a slump, his status was recharged as those ’90s kids got older and memed him back into popular culture where those who didn’t grow up during SpongeBob’s golden age were able to bond with the Krabby Patty cook in a different form.
And by putting out two remarkably expensive versions of this remaster, THQ Nordic is heinously setting its sights on those who have a soft spot for the soft sponge and pushing the grift further than many other gross collector’s editions. It’s a bold move and one that doesn’t look to please fans as much as it is supposed to squeeze them. Mr. Krabs would be proud.
[Image Credit: Viacom]