It is with a sad irony that Ubisoft uses the word “Physical” in all its advertising for Just Dance 2023. A reference to Dua Lipa’s hit song (so we’re told) which has one of the biggest titles, it seems like there’s nothing “physical” in the game, even in its boxed copies.
Yes, the infamous ‘Code in Box’ has reared its cartridge-sweeping head again, this time taking aim at the popular dance franchise. You can buy Just Dance 2023 in digital form through the Switch eShop or, apparently, you can buy the same digital copy in retail stores, but this one comes with a box!
True, if you really want to show all your friends that you’re the proud owner of Just Dance 2023, then a box copy gracing the shelves of your game collection might be an attractive prospect. However, if you wanted to double down on this feeling of nostalgia, perhaps by presenting the well-worn Just Dance 2017-23 Switch cartridges in a carrying case, think again.
We are aware that the transition to purely digital gaming is underway. Last month we saw something similar happen with the ‘physical’ release of OlliOlli World and its move to a code in a box. But aside from the waste of materials, money, and shelf space, seeing a big company like Ubisoft make the somewhat gimmicky move feels a bit… strange.
yes, the game Amazon availability announces that the boxed the release is nothing more than boxed code, but we didn’t expect Ubisoft to accept it so quickly and we imagine others will feel the same way.
It’s a tough time for Ubisoft right now, admittedly, and perhaps the pre-order bonus on that fancy panda phone ring will be enough to make buying the Just Dance 2023 box a worthwhile endeavor. We, however, struggle to see the point.