God of War Ragnarok bundles include Steelbook cases with no discs inside

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On Wednesday, Sony released an unboxing video highlighting all the bonuses included in the Premium Collector's Edition and November's "Jotnar Edition" of God of War Ragnarok.  But if you watch that video, you may have noticed that one specific element is missing: a physical copy of the game.

The disc omission is particularly odd because both special editions include the SteelBook display case you typically use to store your game discs in style.  In this case, however, the PlayStation Blog specifically states that "no game discs are included" with the SteelBook.

If you want a copy of the game to be kept, in that case, you'll have to pay an additional $60 or $70 for the physical standard version of the game.

Otherwise, you're stuck with the digital download code that comes with the pricier special editions (while Sony hasn't announced pricing yet, similar collector editions from Sony have run $200 and up in the past).

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Players who pre-order Ragnarok Collector's Edition will also not be able to preload their digital copy of the game to play immediately on launch day.  Instead, they have to wait for physical receipt of their package and the "printed voucher code" included inside, then start what could be a lengthy download depending on their connection speed.

Leaving discs out of pricey packages isn't exactly a new move for Sony.  Horizon Forbidden West, released in February, included a $199 collector's edition and a $229 "Regalla Edition," which was also packed with physical bonuses but lacked a physical game disc.

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Leaving discs out of pricey packages isn't exactly a new move for Sony.  Horizon Forbidden West, released in February, included a $199 collector's edition and a $229 "Regalla Edition," which was also packed with physical bonuses but lacked a physical game disc.

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The Forbidden Vest came in a limited $70 to $80 "special edition", however, which included a steelbook, mini art book, and a disc-based copy of the game.  As with Ragnarok, only physical copies will be available in a bare-bones "Standard Edition" (and a "Launch Edition" that includes some free DLC).

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Sony is also not completely alone in this trend.  May's remastered Mass Effect: Legendary Edition launched with a "Legendary Cache" bundle of physical collectibles that did not include a copy (physical or digital) of the game.

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And back in 2020, Ubisoft announced that some of its $199 Collector's Edition games for Xbox would include download codes instead of discs (though physical versions were also available at one time).