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 November 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 $200) 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 skeptical.
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 $60 if they want to hold an actual disc in their hands.