We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

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.