It is with a sad irony that Ubisoft uses the word “Physical” in all of its publicity for Just Dance 2023. A reference to the hit Dua Lipa song (so we are told) which takes one of title’s the top billings, it seems that there is nothing “physical” about the game at all – even down to its boxed copies.
Yep, the infamous ‘Code in Box’ has reared its cartridge-snatching head once again, this time targeting the popular dance franchise. You can purchase Just Dance 2023 in a digital form via the Switch eShop, or, it seems, you can purchase the same digital copy from retail stores – but this one comes with a box!
It is true, if you are really very keen to show all of your friends that you are the proud owner of Just Dance 2023, then a copy of the box adorning your game collection shelves might be an attractive prospect. If, however, you wanted to double up on this feeling of nostalgia, perhaps presenting the well-worn Switch cartridges of Just Dance 2017-23 in a carry case – think again.
We are aware that the transition to purely digital gaming is well under way. Just last month we saw a similar thing happen with the ‘physical’ release of OlliOlli World and its movement 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 deceptive move just feels a bit… off.
Yes, the game’s Amazon availability does advertise that the boxed release is nothing more than a code in box, but we just didn’t expect Ubisoft to come around to it so quickly and we imagine that others will feel the same way.
It is a tough time for Ubisoft at the moment, admittedly, and perhaps the pre-order bonus of that snazzy panda phone ring will be enough to make buying the Just Dance 2023 box a worthwhile endeavour. We, however, struggle to see the point.