Why can’t we play it now, just saying
From that link.
General availability ( GA ) is the marketing stage at which all necessary commercialization activities have been completed and a software product is available for purchase, depending, however, on language, region, electronic vs. media availability. Commercialization activities could include security and compliance tests, as well as localization and worldwide availability. The time between RTM and GA can be from a week to months in some cases before a generally available release can be declared because of the time needed to complete all commercialization activities required by GA.
Basically, the game is done coding-wise (excluding if there’s a day one patch) but they need to finish the commercial side of things. Physical copies, distribution and so on. This probably also gives them time to try the Gold copy for any gamebreaking bugs that pop up late in the development cycle, enabling them to make a headstart on patching it before the public have to experience it (however it’s still not foolproof as it’s a small sample)
In the digital age, distribution certainly shouldn’t be a holdup.
As long as consoles use discs it will be. And as long as collectors editions and other physical media exists.
This is a thing, unfortunately.
Consoles still need discs, and people with the money (and the all-too-common will to spend said money) will want their collector’s editions, which happen to include physical copies of the relevant software. And discs take time to produce, label and write the data onto them. Followed by QA, packaging, shipping and delivering/selling.
But is it unfortunately?
Think of people who live rural enough to have poor internet, or people who live in areas with hit-and-miss connections at the best of times, or minor disaster prone areas that cause infrastructure issues.
If it was digital only they may be unable to download or play a game they’ve looked forward to because of a internet blackout. With a disc they could play an outdated version.
It caters for the more unlucky fans to some degree. Yes it’s inconvenient for those who don’t suffer from said issues. But there’s also those who don’t who’d rather have a disc.
Call me old fashioned, but I love a good physical copy of a game. I don’t need to connect to the internet if I wanna do stuff, I don’t need to always be logged on if I wanna play, I can loan it to friends so they can play and still have my console… I mean, there are so many benefits. I don’t want every game I ever own to be connected to a digital profile that could potentially be lost forever. If I have to wait an extra 2 weeks for the game to come out because of the physical limitations… the pros outweigh the cons by twenty metric ■■■■-tons IMO.
Never. I’m part of the so-called “digital” generation. The “I want it now” lot. I’d happily wait for stuff. I’d rather have physical copies of most things. Games, DVDs, Books. Physical media has it’s own appeal and charm.
As a console player who already purchased it digitally I can say with absolute certainty that consoles don’t need discs.
Further, I can play most of my digital games without being online. And the ones I cannot wouldn’t work offline even if I had a disc. But if some people prefer to wait longer for physical, then by all means let them. It’s not like it’s got a hardline simultaneous release going. Just ask Steam users.
It really depends on where you are. To give just one example, there are large chunks of the US that still do not have broadband access. Even areas that do may have sub-par download speeds, and data caps are still a fairly common thing from the major US providers. So there remains a market for consoles with disks, and games that ship on disk. Given how big games are getting, not having a disk option means losing sales.
In such a situation, a PC user would equally need a disc. Whether there’s a market for it is immaterial to the point, which isn’t about eliminating discs but rather not waiting for them.
True. Then, of course, you’d be looking at the advertising/marketing schedule as well, which was probably set long before the game went gold around the release date… End of the day, it’s a business decision and MBAs will MBA…