Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect Trilogy bundles reflect drastic changes in video game retail

assassin's creed ezio trilogy 

Video game retail continues to decline as casual and hardcore gamers alike move to digital platforms for their gaming purchases. GameStop is slipping away while Steam, iTunes, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and others continue to deliver content directly to consumers. What’s a major game publisher to do? Start releasing bundles of games with greater frequency. Both Electronic Arts and Ubisoft are releasing budget packages for two of their most successful franchises with the Assassin’s Creed Ezio Trilogy and the Mass Effect Trilogy Edition this November.

The first of these is actually a PlayStation 3 exclusive. On November 13th, Ubisoft will release a PS3 only package with Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, and Assassin’s Creed Revelations included, just in time to capitalize on Assassin’s Creed III’s release. The package is just $40, an impressive figure considering that each of those games is sold individually for $20 or more.

EA’s Mass Effect Trilogy Edition on the other hand is for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Out on November 7th, this will actually be the first time the original Mass Effect is available on Sony’s system. No word on what DLC for any of the three games in the science fiction series will be included on the disks.

Both of these packages reflect a dramatic shift in how big publishers are approaching the retail video game business. In multi-million selling franchises, anthology collections are typically reserved for years when there’s no new entry in the series, for when enough time has passed that a standalone release has reached maximum saturation, or to promote a major new release. The Metal Gear Solid Collection for PlayStation 2 for example came out four years after Metal Gear Solid 3 and just weeks before the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2008.

While that logic holds for Ubisoft’s Assassin’t Creed Ezio Trilogy—though the turn around for this is unusually fast—Electronic Arts’ release of the Mass Effect Trilogy Edition would never have happened even just four years ago. Mass Effect 3 has only been on shelves for six months, and the company is releasing a brand new standalone version of the game for Wii U at $60 two weeks after the Trilogy Edition. In the past, this would be seen as an insane move, destroying potential sales of the first two games through a renewed push  for the latest sequel through the holiday. Today, though, EA’s release is a reflection of the overwhelming competition in the shrinking retail market.

Gaming

New Sony patent suggests a wireless PSVR headset could be on the way

Images and documents in the Japan Patent Office appear to suggest that Sony is planning a wireless version of the PlayStation VR headset. It isn't clear which system it will be used for.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

Make some room in your backlog. Here are all the games to look out for in 2019

2019 is already a huge year for video games, with a large number of series getting new installments, including some that have been dormant for years. Brand new franchises are also being created.
Gaming

These are the classic NES games that helped redefine gaming

The NES left an indelible mark on pop culture and revolutionized the gaming industry. Check out our picks for the best NES games, whether you prefer an immersive RPG, side-scrolling brawler, or something else entirely.
Gaming

Get over here! All the details on next week’s Mortal Kombat 11 closed beta

Mortal Kombat 11 will hold its closed beta period from March 28 through March 31, giving those who pre-ordered the game the chance to check it out prior to its official launch in April.
Computing

HP’s Omen Mindframe headset keeps your ears chill, but might leave you lukewarm

The Omen Mindframe headset uses HP's FrostCap technology to keep ears cool during long gaming sections. While it delivers on keeping ears cool, it forgets some of the essentials of a quality gaming headset.
Gaming

Amazon drops a deal on SteelSeries Arctis 3 gaming headset for Nintendo Switch

Amazon is currently running a deal on the SteelSeries Arctis 3 gaming headset, which is compatible with Nintendo Switch as well as Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, mobile, and virtual reality.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Gaming

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.
Gaming

Upcoming zombiefest Days Gone boasts 30-plus hours of story-driven content

Days Gone, the first PlayStation 4 title from Sony's Bend Studio, looks to offer a different type of zombie game. Here's everything we know about the forthcoming title, from the setting to its gameplay.
Gaming

Need to perform a factory reset on your Xbox One console? Here's how to do it

Whether you're upgrading to a One X and giving your old console to a friend, or troubleshooting a technical issue, sometimes your Xbox One needs a clean slate. Here's our quick guide on how to factory reset an Xbox One.
Gaming

New character Octane makes an entrance with the first Apex Legends Battle Pass

Apex Legends' first season kicks off March 19 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The Battle Pass comes in two versions, with the base version costing around 10 bucks. Seasonal rewards include a bevy of new loot such as legendary skins.
Gaming

Is Google launching a game-streaming service? Watch our GDC livestream to see

Google is presenting its 2019 GDC keynote on March 19. Here is how you can tune in to watch the event, as well as what could be shown during the presentation. Google's Project Stream service could be on the agenda.