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Planetary Annihilation

Early access, but in a box: Nordic Games are selling hard copies of Planetary Annihilation

Planetary Annihilation is in its gamma phase of development.

There it is on Amazon, in a rectangular DVD box like all the others - a tangible, physical version of Planetary Annihilation, the interstellar RTS currently tearing up Steam Early Access.

“Of course there will be some who dislike the idea or question its raison d'être (especially from those who have Steam on start-up),” publishers Nordic told PCGamesN. “But we are willing to find it out for ourselves.”

The boxed version of Planetary Annihilation won’t be released until June 20, but is available for pre-order for £39.99 - a tenner steeper than its Steam price.

The box will be subject to the same updates as its Steam counterpart - though will of course require an internet connection.

“We think of it as an alternative to the typical pre-order, where you usually get cosmetic DLCs, skins and stuff like that, instead of actual gameplay,” Nordic told PCGamesN. “So we kind of want to try it out and see what happens.”

Uber Entertainment have put together a playable in-game commander to be sold exclusively with the new retail edition.

On their Steam page, the developers explain they’ve now reached the “gamma phase” of Planetary Annihilation.

“Over the course of gamma, we’ve been rolling out a lot of incredible features that make it easier to connect, team up, browse, compare, and interact,” they write. “We’ve also ratcheted the game’s intensity to the next level with sweeping balance changes.”

Gamma isn’t the final version of the game, however, but a “phase of development” - and players can expect to see the game continually updated “over the next few months and weeks”.

Thing is: this box is going to date really fast, isn’t it? Pluck it off a shelf in August and you can expect a hefty download before playing the thing.

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Lunatitch's picture
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And this is where I draw a line with early access.

It's not acceptable to box an incomplete product.

When I buy something, in a box, in a store, I expect it to be fully working - not some beta/alpha/early access crap.

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Varonth's picture
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You mean like for example Battlefield 4?

Aww crap... bad example I guess.

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Lunatitch's picture
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Yeah, I know what you mean.

But despite having massive bugs, at least it's pretending to be a finished product and would be if it weren't for technical/balance issues.

This thing isn't even finished, and they know it - yet they will still charge folks 40quid for a boxed copy :-/

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Belimawr's picture
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they need to stop calling this bollocks early access, the day you sell a game or open an ingame store that games should be classed as a released game.

but then from the money grabbing prats who charged people more to play the more broken the game was, this should have really been expected.

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remy561's picture
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PA is only 1.8gb in total atm, so I don't think you'll have to download a lot. Also the boxed version can be connected to steam. ;)

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subedii's picture
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"Thing is: this box is going to date really fast, isn’t it? Pluck it off a shelf in August and you can expect a hefty download before playing the thing."

As long as the patch is cumulative and not consecutive, which I suspect is going to be the case.

I still remember the nuttiness that was Company of Heroes. Install game, install 7 consecutive patches, ranging from 10's to 100's of megabytes (wait for each one to download). Each one requiring an install process that could take 10-30 minutes, and each one requiring the game to restart before the next patch could be applied.

Grief, before the game moved fully over to Steamworks, I remember trying to install my copy to play one time. Literally took all evening and I wasn't able to play in the end. And CoH was ostensibly "complete" on launch.

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Danger Zone's picture
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And the whole Early Access ball of shit continues to whittle away at the integrity of this industry.

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TenClub's picture
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This is getting out of control.

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Mountain_Man's picture
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I would be fine with "early access" in theory if developers were as clear as possible about the state of the game they are selling. How about a boiler-plate disclaimer that they are legally required to put on the box or website where the game is sold:

"This product is in development and currently in an incomplete state and is being sold 'as is' with no implied or explicit guarantees. While the developer has current plans to continue working on this product for the foreseeable future, the customer should be aware that it may never be completed to the customer's satisfaction and/or development may be halted at any time without warning. No refunds. Buy at your own risk."

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