Fans Upset $250 Halo 5 CE Only Includes Digital Copy, But 343 Exploring Solutions

The most expensive version of Halo 5 doesn't include a physical disc.

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The $250 version of Halo 5: Guardians should be the ultimate version of the game for collectors--it is, after all, dubbed the Limited Collector's Edition. And yet, last month, we learned that it would include a digital copy of the game, rather than a physical disc. While this route has its benefits, many Halo fans were upset with the news, although 343 Industries now says it's hoping to have a solution that will make those players happy.

During a Halo panel at San Diego Comic-Con, franchise development director Frank O'Connor addressed a question about whether CE buyers will have an option for getting a physical copy. "The honest answer is that we did a lot of research and we didn't make that decision lightly," he said. "We have a significant number of people who want the game early. And with the digital version, we had to balance that against the production dates for the statue and all that.

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"And we get it. Nobody thought this announcement was going to happen and would be easy and everyone would be happy. But the reality is humans feel loss more than they feel gain. So some things don't make up for things you lose."

That doesn't mean 343 isn't trying to do something about the feedback it's received. "[T]he good news is that we are working on trying to come up with a solution that can make the people who did want a physical disc happy," O'Connor continued, though he failed to offer any specifics. "And we'll hopefully have more to announce about that at a later time."

The absence of a physical disc in the collector's edition was deemed especially odd in light of the fact that both the standard and limited editions will include one. Unlike those versions, however, the collector's edition will be available a week early. This will allow CE buyers to begin downloading Halo 5 early, though they'll have to wait until it officially launches to actually begin playing.

"But we hear you," O'Connor said. "These logistical decisions are super hard. The statues have to ship before the other versions. Some people wanted the digital version. And as we go into this digital and physical transition, while hopefully we'll have a way to solve that for Halo 5, the industry's going to change. And the way that people play console games in particular is continuing to evolve more and more towards digital.

"But we have this oddity of a big, physical object. So we're trying to solve that, and we hope that we'll be able to make everyone who wants what they want as happy as they possibly can. And, again, we'll have more to announce about that at a later date."

Halo 5 is due out for Xbox One on October 27. The $250 Limited Collector's Edition, which includes everything pictured above, will be available on October 20.

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