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

The Army wants YOU … to play esports with soldiers

The U.S. Army is creating esports teams for games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and League of Legends. The initiative looks to boost recruitment, after missing the mark for the first time since 2005.
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

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

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 everyone.
Deals

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.
Gaming

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Mobile

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.
Computing

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.
Gaming

PlayStation 4 celebrates fifth anniversary with ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ bundle

The PlayStation 4 is officially five years old today, November 15, and to celebrate the anniversary, Sony is offering a new console bundle that includes a free copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Gaming

‘Hitman 2’ makes a target of the unkillable Sean Bean, but you’d better not miss

Famously mortal actor Sean Bean will be available to kill in Hitman 2 beginning November 20. He'll be in the game as an Elusive Target for two weeks and you'll only get one chance to take him out.
Gaming

Bug is turning ‘Fallout 76’ players into mutants even more terrifying than usual

A bug linked to the Power Armor gear in Fallout 76 appears to be turning players into bizarre naked mutants, complete with extremely long limbs that are more than a little unsettling.
Gaming

Tips for surviving the nuclear wasteland in 'Fallout 76'

Before running into nuclear wasteland with your Pip-Boy, take a moment to consider these Fallout 76 tips. From food and water to maintaining weapons and armor, here are the things all beginners should know.
Gaming

Find a fish and get your boogie on with Fortnite's week 8 challenge

The Fortnite season 6 week 8 challenges have arrived as we near the end of this spooky season. The big free challenge this week is the Fortnite fish trophy challenge where you need to dance with different fishes. Here are all of the…
Gaming

For the first time ever, PlayStation will be a no-show at E3

For the first time in the event's history, E3 2019 will not feature Sony or PlayStation. The massive event almost always features a lengthy press conference from Sony, often after all other major companies give theirs.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…