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Release Type Guidelines

Introduction to Release Types

Release Types were added to RF Generation in 2011 to bring peace, order, and civility back to the database. In the time before Release Types, there was a war between those that loved variations, led by the Defender of Variants, and those that hated variations, led by the Slayer of Variants. To end this senseless war, Release Types were added so that everyone could choose whether they wanted variations to be visible or not. And thus, the war was over. OK, maybe it didn't happen quite like that, but there is some truth in there – you will be able to choose to hide variations if you want to.

Release Types are a simple addition to RF Generation. A selection of Release Types are available on every page in the DB, both hardware and software. It is a required field for all new additions to the DB, and for existing entries, you can simply edit the page and choose which Release Type(s) is(are) most appropriate. That's all there is to it, pretty simple, right?. Once all the entries in the DB are filled in with Release Types, we will implement a way for you to hide anything that is a variation.

Multiple Release Types

The Release Type field was designed to work best when as few as possible types are applied to each entry, and not as a “check all that apply” sort of list. Basically, use multiple Release Types sparingly, and only where necessary. For example, it's NOT OK to use “Best Seller”, “Label Variation”, and “Packaging Variation” for a Greatest Hits version of a game. Instead, just “Best Seller”. The label and/or packaging variations are implied when the “Best Seller” selection is picked. It is OK to use multiple types if a console was initially released in two or more colors. The appropriate Release Types would be “Model Variation” and “Original Release”.

There are other times when more than one release type is necessary. One example is some Special Edition hardware items. If the SE hardware only has extra bundled items and a different packaging, it would be “Packaging Variation” only. But if the hardware itself also changes (e.g. the Resident Evil 5 Xbox 360) then it gets “Packaging Variation” and “Model Variation”.

Definitions of Release Types


Alternate Publisher

Used for games that were released by a second publisher, usually after the initial publisher has stopped releasing the game. This Type is most common on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo systems, as Majesco re-released many of the popular games for these systems.

Best Seller

Used for games that were re-released as “best sellers”. The title changes from company to company, but the most common ones are Nintendo's “Player's Choice” and “Nintendo Selects” brands, Sony's “Greatest Hits” brand, and Microsoft's “Platinum Hits” brand.


Used for all game demos. Whether the demo was a pre-order bonus, or came with a magazine, if it's a demo and not the full game, it gets this Release Type.

Label Variation

Used for games that have an alternate version of the game label, which means that it this only applies for physical media. Examples of this Type include reprints due to errors, artwork changes, and things like the Seal of Quality on NES cartridges.

Media Variation

Used for games where the physical media changes. Examples include the three and five screw NES games. Games that change media or are offered in different media types, including games that were released on CD-ROM and floppy disks are also this Type.

Original Release

Used for all games that are the initial release. These were the first release, and in many cases, it was the only release. So any games that do not have variations, automatically get Original Release.

Packaging Variation

Used for games that had a change in the packaging. It could be a subtle change in the UPC or the whole design of the cover art could change. This Type is also used if the contents of the packaging change, (e.g. Extra items included with the game). If any part of the packaging (i.e. the box/case) changes or the contents of the packaging changes, this Release Type should be used.

Special Edition

Used for all Special/Limited/Collector's Editions games.


Model Variation

Used for hardware that changes physically. It does not include changes to circuitry and other internal components (any such changes need to be listed under the “Trivia” section for that console's entry). Color changes (e.g. Nintendo 64 and GameCube hardware), design changes (e.g. Sega removing “High Definition Graphics” from the Genesis), and the removal/addition of ports on a system (e.g. Nintendo removing the “Digital Out” port on the GameCube).

Original Release

Used for the original hardware. In the case of systems, this is what was available when the console launched. Any hardware that was never changed or had variations made, will use this Release Type.

Packaging Variation

Used when a piece of hardware has changes made to the packaging (i.e. the box), but generally, the hardware itself doesn't change. This also includes any Special/Limited/Collector's Edition consoles, and bundles.


Q: How do I classify a variation that only had a change in the materials that came with the game?
A: Packaging Variation

Q: How do I classify a game that had manual changes, but no other observable changes?
A: Packaging Variation

Q: “I don't see a difference on this variation! HALP!” A: If you're unsure of any Release Type, make a post on the forums, or send a PM to any of the DB Staff members. We're here to help you, don't be afraid to waste our time with “stupid” questions.

release_type_guidelines.txt · Last modified: 2018/12/10 03:29 by apolloboy