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Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition doesn’t include Phantom Liberty on the PS5 disc, but it is on the Xbox Series X|S one

The PlayStation 5 version of Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition won’t include the Phantom Liberty expansion on the disc, unlike the Xbox Series X|S edition. Here’s why.

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Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition is the definitive edition of Cyberpunk 2077, just as its name suggests. It’s a physical version of the game that includes every update up to version 2.0 along with its expansion, Phantom Liberty, and will be available on December 5, 2023 for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. However, as confirmed by a member of CD Projekt Red, the PS5 version does not include the DLC on the disc.

The PS5 version of Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition does not include Phantom Liberty on the disc, but the Xbox Series X|S version does

Marcin Momot, global communications director of CD Projekt Red, clarified on November 21 on his account on the social network The Xbox Series X|S version of Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition does include Phantom Liberty on the disc, the one for PlayStation 5 instead adds a download code, as well as on PC.

This revived the eternal debate about the preservation of video games. Indeed, the only version of the Ultimate Edition of Cyberpunk 2077 that will survive the inevitable closure of the servers that host Phantom Liberty downloads in the future is the Xbox Series X|S because it already includes all the game content in physical format.

Why doesn’t the PlayStation 5 version include Phantom Liberty on the game disc and instead it’s a download code?

Why doesn’t the PlayStation 5 version include Phantom Liberty on the disc? John Linneman, a renowned member of Digital Foundry and expert of the video game industry, has an interesting theory. According to him, “I think they have to recompile a version of the game with the DLC plugged in which means resubmission to Sony. Probably time and money involved they didn’t end up spending”.

Linneman quoted some precedents of this: exactly the same thing has happened in other “definitive editions” of certain video games released on PlayStation 5, such as Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade and Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate. He also gives as an example Horizon Forbidden West - Complete Edition, which includes the base game and the Burning Shores expansion. In this case, Guerrilla Games, the developers, did integrate this additional content on the disc because effectively it was a different SKU than the base game.

And here is the crux of the matter: launching a new SKU (stock keeping unit) of a video game on PlayStation 5 represents an additional cost that not all developers and distributors are willing to assume. Instead use existing SKUs to get rid of stock and relaunch the same title with some extras in the form of a download code.