Hellblade II and Alan Wake 2 are signs of a worrying trend
Senua Saga: Hellbade II It is the next big exclusive video game for the Xbox console coming this year. We learned a lot about the action game coming through Live developer on Thursday. We also learned that later Hellblade II You will not get physical release, continuing the trend of big AAA console games skipping discs and going digital-only. This is not cool.
For a very long time, console games big and small (PC is a different story) have always released physical versions of games because there was no other option. But in the Xbox 360 era (almost 20 years ago), some smaller games or indie titles started skipping physical releases and becoming digital-only, often at a cheaper price. There has been concern by some that this could result in games being unavailable once the servers hosting the content are shut down —This is what happened and still is. However, over the past two decades, with the exception of smaller games or indie titles, most games were still getting physical releases across all platforms.
And then Alan Wake II It happened.
While I love Alan Wake II (It’s my personal game for 2023) One of the weird and frustrating trivia about the game is that it may be the first ever major AAA, blockbuster, GOTY-rivaling game from a major publisher to skip any physical release on any platform, even consoles. Entertainment therapy Explained in the FAQ That the decision to skip the disc release came at a cost Alan Wake II It could stay at $60 instead of $70. The studio also wanted to avoid charging a disc but forcing people to download a big update anyway, which is definitely annoying, but is it so bad that it justifies it? Alan Wake II It only exists as a $60 digital game? I’m not sure about that.
What’s so bad about digital-only games?
Digital-only games have some problems. It’s hard to keep them on consoles, people with limited internet options are screwed, and digital games can’t be resold or traded. And let’s not forget: digital games only exist as long as the companies running the digital stores allow them to. Granted, all major platforms will allow you to re-download previously purchased games, even if they have been removed from the storefront for licensing reasons. But that’s only true as long as the people running the storefront see it. (In some cases, this is not true at all.)
So, it’s not great when a big game skips the physical release. Make sure not to all The game on disc can be played offline or without “day one” patches, but most of them are already playable, As documented by fans on this stylish site.
That’s why it was disappointing to see Hellblade II It has been confirmed by Xbox as a $50 digital-only video game. Some might argue that many will play Hellblade Sequel via Game Pass and you’d never own it anyway, which is probably true. But it’s still not ideal to charge that much for another AAA console game – compared to other cheaper digital titles – while also removing the option to buy it physically. This means that people will not be able to trade Hellblade II Or stick with it and get it up and running years after servers die and companies close.
The video game industry has always been very bad at preserving its history. They are often fans and modders, And even, yes, pirates Who do the hard work Publishers and developers This needs to be done to ensure that as many games as possible can be played 30 years from now. And if this new trend of AAA console games skipping disc and going digital-only continues to grow, tIt’s already a miserable state of affairs to keep the game It’s going to get worse.
(Tags for translation)Alan Wake