Electronic Arts confirms that the forthcoming PC version for the DICE-developed World War I shooter, Battlefield 1, is a digital-only release in North America.
When speaking to the video game outlet PC Gamer, a representative for the publisher Electronic Arts stated that the PC version for Battlefield 1 will be sold without a disc in North America, as the platform’s port is only going to be offered as a digital-only purchase for the continent. Interestingly enough, the publisher still has plans for Battlefield 1‘s PC iteration to be sold at physical retailers, but fans are going to find nothing more than a download code within the box upon purchase.
To be specific, this digital-only situation applies to the standard edition of Battlefield 1‘s PC version, while the “Early Enlister” Deluxe Edition is available exclusively online. The major downside for those really looking forward to Battlefield 1 on PC is the fact that the game’s Exclusive Collector’s Edition, which contains a 14″ statue, a deck of cards, a cloth poster, a patch, and a messenger pigeon tube with additional DLC, is just going to be released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The international market, however, shines a ray of hope on those desiring an actual PC disc for Battlefield 1. Although the Electronic Arts representative offered no specifics as to which areas would have them, “some countries” are expected to have a physical copy inside the PC edition’s box, as the spokesperson explains:
“Here in North America, there will be a PC box version that you can buy in stores that will have a code in the box and no disc. If you buy that same PC box version Internationally, some countries will offer a disc inside.”
Although the shift toward phasing out discs for PC titles altogether might make some fans a tad wistful, it’s not as if Battlefield 1‘s PC version being digital-only in North America is too surprising. After all, with analysts determining in 2013 that roughly 92% of PC video game sales are digital downloads, it makes perfect sense that Electronic Arts and other companies would skip the manufacturing of actual discs in order to save on production costs.
Not to mention, even when fans choose to buy a physical copy of a PC title nowadays, they will put the disc in and download the rest of the game’s assets from Steam anyway. For instance, Fallout 4‘s PC discs contain partial data, with the missing bits having to be downloaded from Valve’s digital marketplace.
In any event, one can safely assume that the announcement of Battlefield 1‘s PC version being digital-only won’t raise many, if any eyebrows at all. The fact of the matter is that having downloads as the primary way to enjoy content is becoming the norm for practically every game out there. At this point in time, Battlefield 1 fans’ main concern should really be whether or not developers can avoid a rocky launch like its precursor, Battlefield 4.
Battlefield 1 is set to release on October 21, 2016 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.