Ubisoft recently updated their support page with some sneaky information. They changed it so that the Xbox One collector’s editions of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla being shipped outside of the US will no longer contain a physical copy of the game. Why is this? No one really knows. The company has confirmed that those in the US will get a physical version of the game with their collector’s edition, but they’ve refused to talk about anything else thus far.
I think I’ve figured out what’s going on though.
To me, this all looks like it revolves around Smart Delivery. That’s the service that Microsoft is using to automatically upgrade certain games on Xbox One to Xbox Series X. It’s a service that they’re offering for all first-party studio titles, but only a select few publishers seem to be getting the same treatment for their games.
I reckon that because Ubisoft can only get an automatic upgrade with Smart Delivery on digital versions of their games, they’re no longer going to offer those games as a physical version. At least in collector’s editions. To them it’s a bad investment, because those copies may never get played. Some consumers even buy the collector’s editions and never open them, in order to keep them in mint condition.
This may not be the case if it was this one game on its own, but there’s more. Ubisoft has added that any collector’s edition versions of Watch Dogs Legion and Far Cry 6 will also come without the physical discs.
Now there could be a separate reason for all of this. If Ubisoft has had an issue getting discs delivered in time to send out collector’s editions, then this might be their solution. It would make sense, because they’d need to ship products earlier if they’re heading to Europe or the UK than if they’re staying in the US.
Whatever the actual situation is, Ubisoft is definitely going to annoy some people. I buy the collector’s editions from Ubisoft because they’re so great, and come with such good quality collectibles. However, if I don’t get a physical copy of the game with them, I don’t see the point. To me, part of the collectible is the game itself, and without that disc, I just don’t want the collector’s edition.
Let us know what you think of collector’s editions in the comments.