OPINION: Horizon Forbidden West’s CE’s Digital-Only Code Is Wrong

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

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Horizon Forbidden West | Logo

If you haven’t seen the news today, the collector edition tiers for Horizon Forbidden West dropped for preorder on the PlayStation Store. They do look, admittedly, pretty amazing. Check out the photos below, and be sure to take your time looking at the statute that both CE editions (Collector’s Edition and Regalla Edition) come with.

Horizon Forbidden West | Regalla Edition

The two CE of Horizon Forbidden West each come with an empty steelbook and a digital code for the game. (Images owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment).

Horizon Forbidden West | Collector's Edition

There is just one -major- problem here, however: there is no physical copy of the game that comes with the two tiers of collector editions. Yes, we are getting a steelbook in both…for a physical edition of a game that we aren’t getting. Sony has, furthermore, confirmed that neither top-tier version of the game will be getting a physical play disc in their FAQ. Instead, you will only be getting a digital download code for the game:

 

Horizon Zero West | FAQ

Taken directly from the FAQ. (Image taken by me).

This is absolutely ridiculous and just plain wrong. Horizon Forbidden West is not a fly-by-night game coming out of a small indie studio, but instead is one of the PlayStation 5’s marquee games being published by Sony Interactive Entertainment with a February 18, 2022 launch date. At the point where you’re spending north of two-hundred dollars for a collector’s edition of a video game, it is not unreasonable to ask that a physical copy of the game be included in your order.

The only rationale that I’ve been able to sort-of figure out for this is that Sony has also said that there will be no PlayStation 5 upgrade option for the PlayStation 4 Launch (aka Standard) Edition and Special Edition versions of Horizon Forbidden West– both of which are physical disc editions:

Horizon Forbidden West | PS4 Launch Edition

The basic edition at least has the game on disc for people to enjoy…even if you can’t upgrade it for PlayStation 5. (Images owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment).

Horizon Forbidden West | FAQ

Instead, the only way that you can have both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 access is to purchase the Digital Deluxe, Collector’s, and Regalla Editions. What this means is that both top-tiered versions of the game (price-wise) are therefore flagged for both consoles of the game, and Sony doesn’t have to 1) produce two versions of the collector editions for each console, 2) limit the collector editions to only PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 gamers, or 3) develop a key system to upgrade a base PlayStation 4 to a PlayStation 5 copy exclusively for these games.

These are all sound money-based rationales to make, and Sony naturally wants to sell as many copies as they possibly can.

But, again, at these price points for the Collector’s Edition and Regalla Edition? I really don’t think a physical copy of the game is too much to ask for, and I do not want this to become a gaming industry norm if people snap up these collector’s editions without a physical copy of the game included. People should be able to have a physical copy, and not just a digital copy with an accompanying empty steelbook, to keep instead of trying to juggle which game they want to delete off of their hard drive for Horizon Forbidden West to be installed in.

This move by Sony also effectively does away with the re-sale market for the game itself. Once you’ve finished a digital game after all, you can’t resell or trade it in. This again makes sense from a business perspective for Sony…if they weren’t already selling a physical version of the game at the lowest price tier possible.

Frankly, this just eats into the goodwill among the buying gaming public. It is not an outrageous idea to offer the bare minimum that is included in the bottom-tier standard edition in the two most expensive editions of the game, and I shouldn’t have to ever worry about losing access to a game that I spent serious money on years later if Sony decides to ax that console’s online platform and not back down again like they did for the PlayStation 3 and Vita. Especially for something like Horizon Forbidden West which will sell incredibly well no matter what PlayStation platform it is on.

There is a simple fix for this, however: Sony needs to just admit that they are wrong in doing this, and include a physical copy of the disc with these two collector’s editions. There is no reason not to.

But at least I should be happy that the collector’s edition comes with a copy of the game at all that I don’t have to buy separately.



Are you preordering Horizon Forbidden West? What do you think of the Collector’s Edition and Regalla Edition only coming with a digital code?

You can preorder Forbidden Horizon West now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it. Do you want to do an interview? You can reach me at interviews@oprainfall.com