Several online retailers have announced they won’t be selling the year’s biggest launch on their digital distribution systems. Direct2Drive, GamersGate and Impulse all are refusing to sell the PC version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and all for the same reason, namely, the game’s PC version relies on the Steamworks client, which is bundled with the game, for multiplayer gaming.
Included in Steamworks, installation of which is mandatory for multiplayer mode, is DRM, game save management, and Steam’s digital storefront, putting the game into direct competition with other gaming storefronts.
Steam is a fantastic service and a welcome innovation among most gamers, but they really need to split their storefront off into a separate business if they want to do the right thing for the industry.
The cynic in me is whispering that these distributors know most people will buy the MW on Steam anyway since that makes it simpler, so they are not losing many sales in this move and will garner points with PC gamers p*ssed of about the loss of dedicated server support and the 18 player limit.