The (Too) Many Choices Of A Ubisoft Release

Every year around this time, I start looking through my pre-orders for the remainder of the calendar year. This year, there aren’t too many games I’m compelled to pre-order, but one of games I do have locked down is Assassins Creed: Origins.

I have the standard edition pre-ordered (how many times can I use the term “pre-order” in this piece?), but I got to thinking about the handful of other editions I saw available on Amazon. Then I decided to look at Ubisoft’s store to see how many more were on offer.

All in all, there are seven different editions of the game available for pre-order.

Seven.

That’s at least five too many.

These are the listings I found on Ubisoft’s store:

Holy crap.

Let’s break this down by edition and price.

Assassins Creed: Origins (standard edition) $59.99
Assassins Creed: Origins (deluxe edition) $69.99
Assassins Creed: Origins (gold edition) $99.99
Assassins Creed: Origins (gold steelbook edition) $109.99
Assassins Creed: Origins (Dawn of the Creed collector’s edition) $159.99
Assassins Creed: Origins (God’s collector’s edition) $119.99
Assassins Creed: Origins (Dawn of the Creed legendary edition) $799.99

Yes, you read that right. There is an edition of this game that costs just under $800. I don’t want to judge, but that seems fairly excessive.

Ubisoft seems to finally understand that all these editions could be confusing, and I found the following comparison chart:

And that only includes the first four options! Never mind the other three editions which include physical items (e.g.: statues).

Now, as a person who is up to date on video game news and is aware of Ubisoft’s penchant for a zany amount of editions for the same game, I have a decent idea of what to expect and how to navigate their overcrowded waters. But I shudder to think of what happens when someone who isn’t familiar with either video games in general or Ubisoft in particular, tries to buy this game as a gift for someone. I imagine them going into a GameStop (or another retailer) and asking for the game, only to be asked which edition they want and to be faced with the many confusing options Ubisoft has laid out before them.

I actually like the comparison chart above (it helped me make my decision on the edition I wanted to pre-order), as it simplifies the differences between editions.

But the larger question that looms above all seven of the options is: why are there so many? Does all this pay off for Ubisoft? Why have more than a standard edition, an edition which includes the expansion pass, and a potential collector’s edition? And none of those options even takes into account that there will likely be retailer-specific pre-order bonuses as well. It makes it difficult to be truly excited for a game when, from the get go, you are left wondering what content you are missing out on simply because you pre-ordered it from a particular retailer. I understand there need to be incentives to order from one establishment over another, but, at a certain point, it starts to feel a little ridiculous.

I’m more excited for Origins than I’ve been for any other Assassins Creed game in recently memory, but all these editions border on laughable (for me). I can’t imagine the strategy pays off for Ubisoft, but then I think they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t, so I’m left wondering. And if it does pay off for them, how ridiculous will this get in the years to come? Will there be a dozen editions? More? If you go to their website to look at the options, will you have to download an Excel spreadsheet just to figure things out?

How do you feel about Ubisoft’s many offerings? Do you like having all these options? Or do you wish they would simplify the menu?

13 replies »

  1. Hey Rebekah! It gets confusing having so many editions. Especially, like you stated in your blog if someone goes to order this as a gift. They wouldn’t know where to begin; might get discouraged at ALL the different editions being offered. As for Ubisoft, they need to remember the adage, Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.). Also, this can NOT be a business saavy idea to have so many editions. I understand the idea of differentiation; this is asinine! Not saying that there isn’t an edition out there for every gamer; where do you draw the line (both figuratively & literally speaking)? But spending almost $800 on a collector’s game that you may only play a few times is absolutely ludicrous, imho! Just my two cents! You have any further thoughts on the subject?

    Liked by 1 person

    • But see, I wonder about that. If it wasn’t a lucrative option, I feel sure they wouldn’t keep doing it. But also, if it IS profitable, how much more out of control could this get in the future?

      I can’t even imagine what an $800 edition of a game would have to have for me to even think about buying it.

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      • If they are in it just for the money; at what point does this become about the gamer (not just padding company profits)? Not just about which company/dev makes the most money off of said editions? I understand your point of view.

        Liked by 1 person

      • But then if it wasn’t profitable, I’m sure they wouldn’t keep doing it. So those editions must sell well enough to keep generating them for new releases. I would just love to see actual sales number broken down by edition.

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      • I understand where you’re coming from Rebekah! On the other hand, at what point is being profitable just going towards the bottom line; where do you draw the line in regards to optimal pricepoint? Also, does profitability dictate sales growth? Just my two cents!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve stopped pre-ordering games and practices like Ubisoft’s are one of the big reasons why. Even looking at the chart of what their increasingly high price tag gets you makes me sad. From the base $60 game and extra $10 gets you one mission of unknown length and a couple of weapons and in game items. Another $30 on top of that gets you the season pass which no one knows what that entails only two more in game items and equipment. Add another $10 to get a steelbook cover?

    As a business it’s Ubisoft’s choice to charge what they want for their goods, but as consumers we should be aware that practices like these don’t have our best interests at heart. Letting the hype machine cloud better judgment rarely ends well, but there must be enough people buying into it to keep doing this otherwise it wouldn’t be happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some of that chart made me a little disappointed. I was like, is the steelbook case really worth $10? For me, the answer is no. And an $800 edition is just…so ridiculous.

      I agree that enough people must be buying them to make this a lucrative practice, but I’m thinking it’s on the slippery slope of becoming out of control. I just wish if a company sold a season pass, they had to state outright what would be included on that season pass, specifically. Too many unknowns.

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    • I mean there are SEVEN. That’s just so many editions. I will probably stick with the standard edition as well. If they offer specifics of the season pass, I may consider that as well, but right now, standard has my vote.

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  3. I’m back! I’ve been out of town picnicking and camping. I’m tired but ready to play games. There’s not many games this fall that I want on day one other than Destiny 2. I still want to play the Assassin’s Creed games that I haven’t played yet (I haven’t finished AC: Black Flag) and so I’ll likely wait on Origins. The 20% off physical games from Amazon or Best Buy made me comfortable last year to go hog wild over different game editions. This year I’m taking a break (I did ask my brother who’s buying me Destiny 2 for the GameStop edition if he could find it). But the myriad editions of AC: Origins are ridiculous and over-priced in classic UbiSoft fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome back!! How was camping?!

      Oh man, I’m right there with you on Destiny 2. In fact, just last week I set up the clan to move forward into Destiny 2. The Land Sharks will be there!

      Oh man, that 20% off incentive is hard to ignore for pre-orders. I’ve definitely pre-ordered games I might not have otherwise had the discount not been present.

      I mean there are SEVEN editions. Like, three I could understand but so many and one coming in at $800 is just…kind of hilarious to me.

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    • Absurd is definitely the word here. SEVEN EDITIONS!! That’s so many. I’m going standard edition as well. If a season pass isn’t specific on what the expansions will be, I sit it out. There have been exceptions, but most of the time I wait to see what will be included before I plunk down more money.

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