Music, Books, and a Physical Store
By Jared Petty
Stepping into the Limited Run Games offices in North Carolina is a little overwhelming. From the outside, it’s not much to see—a quiet little office in a quiet little office-park. But even a cursory glance into the first offices you enter reveals that you’ve entered a company of collectors. Our founders’ suite is genuinely overwhelming: a sensory overload-inducing cacophony of action figures, album art, statuses, toys, games, boxes, and the various game-adjacent paraphernalia accrued over a lifetime of fandom coupled with a forever-physical philosophy.
We’re Limited Run Games, but games are only a part of what we make, or even what we’re about. Video games exist at the heart of everything we do, but there are more ways to celebrate the physical legacy of games than just cartridges and discs.
Video game music grew up alongside the development of electronic synthesis and sound chip technology. In the early 1960s, when the MIT hackers were cobbling together Spacewar, they were also modifying their PDP-1 minicomputer to play four-track electronic music through a speaker system rigged to the four light-bulb plugs on the front of the computer. Like Spacewar, the punch card-powered music program was an unauthorized experiment to push the boundaries of what a computer could do besides count really fast.
Game developers sought to push the sound capabilities of their games from very early on. Nolan Bushnell demanded the roar of a crowd in PONG, but Al Alcorn knew the iconic beeps and boops would lodge into our heads. Early games implemented startup jingles (PAC-MAN), voice synthesis (Berserk), dynamic music (Dig Dug), and full scores (Pitfall 2, Pac-Land) that fed into the math-rock vibes of the NES and the weird improvisational melodies of the C64. Some games became as or more remembered for their soundtracks as any other element of their design and as storage and compression technologies improved side by side, video game music became more generally orchestral in nature.
That inherent relationship means LRG’s forever physical take on games extends to preserving and enjoying the sonorous delights of some of the best game music out there. Vinyl and CD soundtracks are a big part of what we create around here, and the selection of available music is always changing. Right now, the haunting soundtrack to Martha Is Dead is ready to pre-order on vinyl at LRG.
Video games inspire writers and artists in two ways. The first is through the act of creation: a new game needs concept art, pixel art, 3D modeling, a story, and a script. The second is through the lens of player experience: the change in perspective that the act of playing a game elicited leads to all kinds of creativity: anecdotes, fan art, criticism, historical context, and more.
Limited Run’s books work to respect both of these. By reaching out to the creators of the games we publish, we can provide readers with stories and images straight from the source. And at the same time, because we’re humans who love games, we can contextualize it all through the lens of history and player experience. That’s the approach we took to Limited Run: The Complete Run Vol. 1, a compilation of all our first-year publications with background, art, and the stories behind them all. If you want to know more, you can pick up Limited Run: the Complete Run Vol. 1 at LRG.
We also put a lot of love into our books that go into our Collector’s Editions… take a look at that Monkey Island book sometime!
And keep your eyes open. There are a lot more books to come.
A Retail Store
A lot of you reading likely have memories of a favorite game store, a place where you knew the staff, hung out, played some demos, made some friends, and bought some of the best games you’ll ever play. We are all-in on the physical games experience, so we’re opening a store of our own soon. We’re targeting April for the grand opening in Cary, North Carolina.
It’s a place with the vibe of a 90s video game or video rental store, a place for events, for talking games, browsing shelves, buying books, and maybe discovering a few games you missed out on.We don’t want to spoil all the fun ahead of time, but if you want to know more, here’s a write up from the folks at Polygon.
Limited Run Games:
is a subsidiary of “Freemode”, an operative group comprised of gaming and entertainment companies owned by Embracer. Limited Run Games is the industry leader in the production and distribution of premium physical video games. Limited Run seeks to celebrate the legacy of gaming through its award-winning collector’s editions. Founded in 2015, they have published over 1,000 physical games, exclusive merch, and collectables. Limited Run is the gold standard in bringing digital games to physical form and now re-releasing retro titles on modern platforms via their proprietary Carbon Engine. Visit limitedrungames.com for the latest offerings and to learn more about Carbon Engine development. Follow the brand on your social media platform of choice for all LRG-related updates:@limitedrungames.