God Of War Ragnarok’s Expensive Bundles Come With Steelbook Cases, But No Discs

God Of War Ragnarok’s Expensive Bundles Come With Steelbook Cases, But No Discs
Image: PlayStation

The upcoming God of War Ragnarök will be available in a variety of editions at launch. None of these bundles, however, include physical versions of the game itself.

After some confusing back-and-forth in recent weeks, Sony announced this morning that God of War Ragnarök is heading to PlayStation consoles on October 9. The much-anticipated game, like many of its contemporaries in the AAA space, will come in increasingly expensive packages, some of which include empty steelbook cases. Instead of discs, customers will receive codes for downloading the digital version of God of War Ragnarök on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

We’ve seen this sort of thing before. Another first-party PlayStation Studios game from earlier this year, Horizon Forbidden West, was bundled in two packages (both priced at or above $US200 ($278)) that featured steelbook cases similarly devoid of actual physical discs. Ubisoft also made headlines in 2020 when it announced the Xbox collector’s editions of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Watch Dogs: Legion wouldn’t come with discs in the United Kingdom.

Like, this is weird, right? I don’t think I have to make some grand argument to convince anyone of that. And while the missing God of War Ragnarök discs could feasibly be chalked up to global supply chain issues stemming from the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, Sony was apparently able to source bespoke extras for the bundles with no problem. Are Blu-rays that much harder to produce than tens of thousands of wooden toys, dice sets, and Mjölnir replicas? I’m sceptical.

Kotaku contacted Sony for more information but didn’t hear back before publication.

It seems the gaming industry is becoming increasingly hostile to the concept of ownership, which can be worrisome as older online storefronts are phased out. Do you ever truly own a digital copy of a game when the rights holders can just easily make that data inaccessible? Let’s all hope this isn’t a sign of things to come because, as it stands, folks hoping to grab one of these big God of War Ragnarök bundles will need to shell out an extra $US60 ($83) if they want to hold an actual disc in their hands.

Comments

  • “ Let’s all hope this isn’t a sign of things to come”

    I mean, you’d have to be as dumb as a brick to work in the industry and actually think this sort of thing while it’s blindingly obvious where this is all headed.

    At this point game discs are almost entirely pointless, apart from being able to get physical versions for cheap when they go on special or hit the second hand market. It’s been a long ass time since they’ve served any function than being a key on a disc.

    They barely if ever contain the game, we’ve had to install and run the game from the hard drive now for over a generation on consoles and the PC market has been almost entirely digital for a lot longer.

    It’s also worth mentioning that one of the PS5 SKUs has no disc drive, why would they want to sell the collectors editions when a lot of their potential customer base is gonna be stuck with a pricey drink coaster instead of a digital code which, ya know, services the entire customer base.

  • I prefer discs but goddamn, Ian, you turnip.

    The special edition goodies would’ve been designed and made ages ago, the physical discs won’t have begun production until much later.

  • I’m with Johnny on this. The digital version is superior in every way, outside of resell value. I’m just not good enough at actually finishing games to ever be content in giving/selling them in the future.

    I purchased the digital copy of HFW (at over 30% of the costs of disc version on day 1) just so I didn’t have to juggle games in and out of the drive to play.

    If I got to save on HDD space then maybe the disc version would have an advantage but you don’t. So being able to play any game in my library vs having to get up and swap discs has a pretty good appear to go digital.

    I think the final argument that 1/2 the PS5 don’t even have disc drives seals the deal. It isn’t weird, it’ll continue to happen and citing it as news is a bit much. Why not just write an article on what is in the collector additions and be done with it.

  • This is the future, and is pretty much standard soon… if your a diehard fan who buys collectors edition, you also want to play it immediatly, preloaded on your PC / Console.

    The biggest issue is in delays in supply and shipping either by the manufacturer, port issues, supply chain or retailrs that can’t break street date to get you the game the same time as everyone can download and play it.

    Recently Elden Ring collectors edition – was delayed for a lot of angry fans were forced to either wait cause or buy a second electronic copy (a lot of streamers did this)

    Xenoblad Chronicles collector edition was also delayed. Nintedos solution was to give them the regular version and then are planning to give them the steelcase and book as a seperate delivery in September.

    Also Playstation did sell a discless PS5, so it would be silly NOT to sell a discless PS5 game collectors edition.

    With Gamepass being all inclusive of all Microsoft studios upcoming titles, expect to see Xbox collectors editions in the future to be discless too.

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