PAX West 2022: An Interview With Limited Run Games

HPP Closes Out PAX West By Interviewing Limited Run Games


Limited Run Games | PAX West Featured

Well folks, I managed to save the best for last! At PAX West I was presented with the rare opportunity to interview the good folks at Limited Run Games. Since I’m such an advocate of physical collecting, and a fan of their excellent physical editions, I was beyond stoked to meet up. I got to meet with Limited Run Games’ Marketing Director, Alena Alambeigi, and asked a few pressing questions about games, physical storefronts and possibilities for the future of LRG.

How did LRG get started producing physical video games?

Sure! So Limited Run Games was started by Josh Fairhurst and Douglas Bogart. They were best friends in high school. And basically Josh Fairhurst owns a development company called Mighty Rabbit Studios and they did Breach & Clear and Saturday Morning RPG. Basically what happened was he didn’t know if the company was going to fold or not. He also knew that in the future it could be one day that the store the game was published on could go down or be delisted and he wanted something to show for all of his hard work. He wanted to be able to own his own game. So he took the very rest of the money the company had, and put it into printing a very small run. And that’s kinda how Limited Run started, because it sold out crazy and he’s like “Maybe there’s something to this”. And there’s more games that need to be physical that people want.

What determines which games are published by LRG? Is it a democratic process?

I mean, there’s so many different ways that it can happen. Sometimes we’ll reach out to the developers cause we think the game is awesome. Like for instance, I’m out here walking around to see if there’s anything I think that’s interesting that we wanna do. Sometimes they reach out to us. Sometimes there’s people internal that come across something and they’re like “this looks really cool, we should do this”. Limited Run’s really diplomatic about letting everyone have a voice, you know?

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Is there any chance you’ll open up another physical storefront?

So, um, you know, there’s no plans right now. But Josh has always said that, “if this one’s successful enough, to open a second one in the Bay Area”.

HPP: I jealously want one here too (Seattle area), it’s closer to where we are now (than the first LRG storefront).

Are there any developers or publishers you’re dying to work with in the future?

Yea. So there’s tons of developers and publishers that we’d like to work with. We’d love to work with Square Enix proper. For the most part, Limited Run has worked with almost everyone in the business, and we’re very fortunate in that sense.

HPP: Yea, I know you’ve worked with Konami and Capcom, a lot of the big names.

Limited Run Games | Castlevania

What advantages does Carbon Engine Emulation have over other types of emulation?

Yea, so, I wish that I could answer this question very good for you. Yea, I’m not on the development team, but I know that the two guys that are, which one of the guys is Modern Vintage Gamer so some people might know who he is, and Joe is like our lead dev guy, they are both very, very, very into making sure that it’s the most accurate way to play that’s possible. Accuracy is very important to them. They don’t want any latency, they want it to be exactly as it would have been if you were playing it on the original hardware. So I can’t tell you the technical aspects of it. I know that they’re paying attention to that, that they care about that.

Is it easier to bring games to one console over another?

It’s kind of a hard question to answer. We just sold our first Xbox game, which was Tetris Effect: Connected. And we’ve never done it before, so it’s kind of a learning process for us. So I would say that’s one reason that makes it a little more difficult than it is, say Sony or Nintendo, cause we’ve been doing that for so long.

What’s one title you’d love to bring to modern consoles but for some reason, be it licensing issues or resistance from the publisher, prevented you from doing so?

So I wouldn’t say so much that there’s stuff that’s preventing it. There’s certain games that it’s really hard to find the licensing. Like who owns it?

HPP: Like really old stuff?

Yea, like old PS1, old JRPGs and stuff that it’s like literally you have to hire a detective to find out who owns the licensing for it. Makes it really hard.

Limited Run Games | Shantae

Which do you find more exciting – physical editions of upcoming games? Or physical editions of classic video games? Why?

Well it depends on the game. I mean, there are certain retro games that gets me really excited. Like I was really excited about Glover (laughs). So like it hits a certain nostalgia point for me personally. But then also I love upcoming games. I can’t wait til we do River City Girls 2 physical. That’s gonna be so awesome! So yea, just depends on the game.

FOMO is a hot topic lately, with some longtime collectors backing out of the hobby, arguing that LRG and similar publishers’ business models rely too heavily on it. Has this issue ever factored into LRG’s decision-making process?

Yea, so Limited Run never intentionally tries to print too little. It literally came and spawned from a sustainability issue. So like it’s not exactly sustainable to make these huge prints that go to big retail. That’s a reason why so many devs stopped doing physical games, because they would spend so much money to manufacture them. Sometimes they’d end up in like discount bins. And with the Limited Run way, we literally make what people order plus some extra for conventions and replacements. It’s just the most sustainable, green way to make a physical product. So, you know, we know that people scalping or FOMO or buying stuff up just to resell is just a part of it. But that’s never something that we would encourage. It’s just something that is a byproduct of the type of business that we have.

River City Girls 2 | Featured

Any plans for the future you’re willing to share?

I will just say this. With the news of Embracer Group buying up Limited Run, there’s nothing I can like speak about, but I can say that they have a ton of awesome IP that there’s obviously a lot of potential there. We’ll let you guys speculate and talk about what you wanna see (laughs).

Thanks for checking out HPP’s interview with Limited Run Games. Once again I want to thank Alena and LRG for their time and answering all our questions. Be sure to stay tuned for more exciting news from LRG. And chime in below with games you’d love to get the LRG treatment!

Josh Speer
Got my start in the industry at oprainfall, but been a game fanatic since I was young. Indie / niche advocate and fan of classics like Mega Man, Castlevania and Super Metroid. Enjoys many genres, including platformers, turn based / tactical RPGs, rhythm and much more. Champion of PAX West and Knight of E3.

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