Last month, Microsoft announced that the upcoming Xbox/Windows 10 exclusive game Halo Wars 2 would be available worldwide in a physical PC version through a partnership with THQ Nordic. Unfortunately, the company has since changed its plans and the physical edition of the Windows 10 game will now only be available to purchase in Europe (via Neowin). 343 Industries' Community manager Brian Jarrard shared the following explanation on Halo Waypoint :
Earlier this month, you may have heard that we were partnering with our friends at THQ Nordic for worldwide availability of a physical retail version of Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 PC. Since then, our retail plans have shifted and Microsoft has made the decision to focus the release of the physical retail version to Europe only. THQ Nordic is a great partner and they are working with us to ensure this transition remains smooth for our customers.
Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 PC will remain available worldwide, digitally, via the Windows Store. We apologize to any customers affected by the change in our retail plans, and thank everyone for the continued support as we look forward to the release of Halo Wars 2 for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC on Feb. 21, 2017.
The news may be disappointing for those of you prefer to purchase physical media or who don't have a fast Internet connection to download the 24GB game. Just like the Windows Store version, the physical version of Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 will also support Xbox Play Anywhere but will require a one-time online activation at install with a digital token. Nothing changes for the Xbox One version of the game which will be available to purchase physically and digitally worldwide.
Customers who pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition of Halo Wars 2 will get early access to the game this Friday, February 17 while other customers will have to wait until February 21 to try it. Sound off in the comments if you think the limited release of the physical PC version could hurt sales of the much anticipated first-party title.
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