The physical edition of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora requires an internet connection to install.
Reddit user Interesting-Squash81 received their physical PS5 copy of the game early, but when they tried to play the game they got an image simply showing the game’s logo and its December 7, 2023 release date.
The user then tried to change the date and time on their console and launch the game offline, but they were still shown the same image.
It appears that the game won’t continue until it’s been verified online – perhaps requiring a day one patch, or simply just performing an online check to see if the release date has passed.
Either way, the result is the same – players without an online connection will be unable to boot the physical edition of the game.
This is reinforced by a small message on the front of the game’s final box art, which reads: “Internet required to install the game.” This message reportedly wasn’t on the early box art shown during the pre-order process.
For the vast majority of players this won’t be an issue, as their systems are almost permanently connected online.
However, like other games that require online connections to play, it does raise issues of preservation, as when servers are turned off in the distant future, it appears that the game will no longer be playable.
This could be remedied in the future with subsequent releases of the disc removing this need to connect online, but it’s not clear if the requirement can be removed from these day one copies.
Set after the events of the first Avatar film in a never-before-seen continent of Pandora, the game sees players teaming up with different Na’vi clans to protect their homeland from the RDA corporation.