Buyers Who Purchased Modern Warfare 2 Via Steam Discover DRM Puts Them 2 Days Behind Everyone Else

from the that-sucks dept

When talking about video games, we sometimes hear that Valve’s Steam is one of the few examples of “DRM that works,” but that’s hard to accept when you hear ridiculous stories like this one. Apparently people who downloaded Modern Warfare 2 via Steam, expecting to be able to play the game today (along with everyone else who bought it in a store today) have discovered that the DRM has been setup so you can’t actually play the game until Thursday. Ouch. It’s yet another example suggesting that Infinity Ward really does not care at all about PC gamers. The game will likely sell millions of copies anyway, but it’s really amazing to see how badly the company treats its PC gamer fans.

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Companies: activision, infinity ward, valve

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Comments on “Buyers Who Purchased Modern Warfare 2 Via Steam Discover DRM Puts Them 2 Days Behind Everyone Else”

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Designerfx (profile) says:

lots of boycott

it may be hush, but wait for the modern warfare 2 stats to come out.

all I can say is, lots of gamers are revolting on this – sales numbers won’t be pretty, and plenty have stated the intent to boycott activision at this point.

Activision wants to be able to make a case that nobody wants PC games so that they can shove console DRM on every gamer under the land. Console DRM is a lot easier to control than PC’s where people can get around DRM and actually have rights (and not be overcharged). This is the real situation that nobody pays attention to. Many groups are colluding by flat out boycotting activision at this point.

Hulser (profile) says:

Re: only one thing to do...

I’ve had a good overall experience with Steam, but I’d have to agree that this is a good tactic. The boycott will likely have little impact, but if the Steam support lines are flooded with people wanting a store credit because they can’t play MW2 on the promised date, then Steam may be able to exert at least some pressure on Infinity Ward. Am I holding my breath? No, but at this point, I think the only way this whole overburdonsome DRM problem is going to get resolved is when two corporations have to battle it out, not when there are boycotts, petitions, or sternly-worded letters. (Same goes for copyright reform.)

Dan says:

As much as this sucks for users who bought it via Steam, the delay is 100% because Activision wants the unlocking to be delayed. It isn’t a bug, it isn’t an authentication error or anything like that. The publisher wants digital copies to be delayed as to “force” more retail sales. Valve or Steam has nothing to do with this decision – it is all Activision’s choice in the matter, the platform just happens to be Steam.

Btw retail purchased copies work fine, it is only the digital version that is DRM’d up.

senshikaze (profile) says:

Dear Activision / Infinity Ward,

ah, iw/activision, when will you ever learn? I know it seems that shoving it to PC gamers is all the rage these days, but it really doesn’t help make more sales. I promise.
I know, the good times we had. Cod 2 was literally a work of art. 3, not so much, but we all know IW had nothing to do with it. 4. Wow. What a game. It did everything right. Great story, great graphics, great control, great multiplayer. It is still one of the must play FPS’s of the past half decade. I beat it numerous times just to see all the sights again. I play multiplayer for many, many hours. Threw a few grenades into the back of my roommate’s head. Fun times. Fun times.
COD:WaW was decent, not as good as 4 or 2, but 10x better than 3. It was a good repentance from the developers of three.
And then we hear of Modern Warfare 2.
There was some trepidation, of course. The name was quickly changed and the developer was announced as the gods of fps’s development: infinity ward. Many people were ecstatic to hear that not only will we not be fighting more nazi’s (thank god), but it will done by the people who made fps’s fun again.
And then as the release date got closer, news started trickling out. Same price as the console version. Well, can’t say i didn’t see it coming, but still a shock. No dedicated servers. Okay, well that may not be bad, not cool, but doable. Then no console and no way to change most defaults. Well, I guess that is okay, your game and all. Must use IWnet, no LAN play. Wait, what? Then forcing you to use steam, but buying over steam is a three day wait. What the hell?
Well, it has been an awesome few years, but Activision/IW, I have to break it off. It is your own fault.
No don’t bother calling, it’s over.

thublihnk (profile) says:

Steam is a damn fine system. It’s flawed, but it’s light years ahead of anything else on the market. Mike, look into other digital distribution outlets for games or game DRM services, then get back to us on how a Steam is horrible. One publisher delayed ONE game on ONE service? Would you write a post if your local bookstore was a little late getting a book on the shelves because the publisher decided to make an arbitrary limitation on the sale of the book?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

thublihnk, you can’t compare the two because people already paid for their copy of MW2. If I paid for a book a few days early and then went to pick up the book when it was released, then found that they pushed back the release date of the book (even though they were already in the store room in back) I’d be ticked.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh, I see. Since you say “it’s good,” that means we should all agree with you, the authority on the subject and ignore Steam’s multiple issues. Silly me.

“even though anyone who’s used the system (despite obvious exceptions) has given it glowing reviews”

You must be kidding.

Jeff says:

Steam is alright

I mean, Steam gives good sales at stuff. Team Fortess 2 had a 2-hour halloween sale multiple times for $2.49. A while back, Half-life 2 and stuff were reduced greatly. Steam also keeps all your games up to date, which is nice so you don’t have to look for patches.

I had one issue where I bought a $5 puzzle game a few days ago, and was somehow accidently given Trine, a $20 game, and it wasn’t a game I cared for. I contacted Steam Support and got it corrected right away since it was the honest thing to do.

Besides, we should already know about “VALVE TIME”. They always delay the releases of stuff, and there is usually a good reason. (Quality Control?)

lux (profile) says:

No matter how good the content/gameplay experience is in Modern Warefare 2, I am certain hardcore gamers will not flock blindly to this. As a gamer at heart, I can tell you with 100% certainty that just having slick new graphics and a couple new features will not blow away the market and have gamers come running. Case in point:

COD2 was released in 1995, yet still claims the #3 spot on Xfire for most played game online. The community is massive, and they consumer about 4 million minutes of the game daily! A game thats over a decade and still pulling these kinds of numbers says many things:

1) COD2 rocks tits
2) Very few games to date have surpassed its playability and replayability.
3) COD2 game its users lots of freedom to tweak and mod the game as they saw fit

Give gamers the power to tweak and alter the game your wrote for them, and they will respect for you it, for decades to come.

Pat (user link) says:


Explain this. I bought a preordered copy from simplygames in the UK. Got it today, input the CD expecting to load up the game…Nope, Steam comes up…Ah, thats for the multiplayer methinks……I will pause that and load up the single player game….what!…I have to download it…WTF is this..Am I right in thinking that I have essentially a blank disc and that I have to download the game when I have a Fu*&kin CD? This makes no sense…So i try to download it..after 2 hours of “Error, busy server messages”, it finally starts to download….3 hours in, I have downloaded 6%… This sucks…with small mouth and pointy teeth..

I have a PS3 but FPS games are only served on the PC…consoles are for console games…PC’s are for serious games…After months of waiting to get into the game all I am hearing and experiencing is bad bad news for us PC gamers…I can’t believe they have shafted the very people who made them who they are..Forget Xbox and PS3 multiplay…COD 4 on the PC is where it was at….They are doing us up the a55 and they are not KY ing us up first…

How can Infinity Ward totally screw this up after months of preparation? Forget Steam and the Publishers wankofvision, Infinity Ward are to blame…greed and self delusion has clearly overcome them…What a load of Shit!

joe says:

Steam and DRM

I really want to be good and not pirate so I have been buying my PC games off of Steam. I bought Risen and the DRM wouldn’t let me play it. I had to make a copy of my friends pirated copy and use that one. The I bought Dragon Age and Steam wouldn’t let me play after I had my PC off the internet for 3 days. I’m not even really against DRM because it is still easy to pirate games but I think because of these annoyances I won’t be using Steam anymore.

Overcast (profile) says:

When my son first had to install Steam with Halflife two – it took me hours to get it working right – patches, bugs, etc..

Was Christmas day – no tech support to be had.

I guess, it has it’s advantages, but I avoid games through Steam, but it’s a better idea than CD locks and crap – I suppose. Only problem is – if you have a dead Wifi card – like we did later, you’re stuck with no internet and no Steam games, unless you know to put them in offline mode first.

It’s too cumbersome.

Overcast (profile) says:

I really want to be good and not pirate so I have been buying my PC games off of Steam. I bought Risen and the DRM wouldn’t let me play it. I had to make a copy of my friends pirated copy and use that one. The I bought Dragon Age and Steam wouldn’t let me play after I had my PC off the internet for 3 days. I’m not even really against DRM because it is still easy to pirate games but I think because of these annoyances I won’t be using Steam anymore.

heh, yeah – I’ll buy my games no matter what – if I play it, I buy it, but yes – I run some ‘altered’ copies instead of originals too – I hate having to use the CD’s – such a hassle. I hate having to be online – unless I have a reason to be online, I disable my Ethernet (simple right click) – when playing single player games etc – it’s one security hole that’s not needed… if I don’t need it.

Fentex says:

Valve's Steam

> we sometimes hear that Valve’s Steam is one of the few
> examples of “DRM that works,”

Steam is responsible for my ceasing playing computer games.

Having to have that piece of annoying kludge manage my games and successfully destroy my two-thirds completed game of Half Life 2 absolutely destroyed my interest in playing such things.

Lucretious (profile) says:

Re: Valve's Steam

and when was the last time you tried it, when it was in beta years ago?

For me its convenience. I don’t have to store my games, I don’t have to keep track of serial numbers, if I have a computer at another location I can install my games on that one as well just as long as Steam isn’t running on my other one. I’ve never had a single issue to date. And talking to others I get the same impression.

The issue with MW2 isn’t the fault of Valve/Steam, it’s the publishers who feel they need to make concessions with Brick & Mortar outfits. Hopefully that will end soon since B&M’s are paying less and less attention to the PC as a gaming platform anyhow.

lux (profile) says:


CoD 2 came out in 2005. When you’re claiming a decades-long dedicated fanbase, at least make an effort to look up when a game came out.

Go back and read my post, you can apologize later 😀

Oh, and the Half Life series’ mod community puts CoD2’s to shame.

CoD2 and Cod4 are ranked at #2 and #3 on xfire, totaling 15 million minutes per day across 150k people; compare this to CS:Source which has 1.6 million minute across 17k people. Get your numbers straight before making a statement like that :p

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: @Thublihnk

Counter Strike is a mod of Half Life. Counter Strike Source is not a mod of Half Life 2. In your defense, he said the Half-Life series so he’s cheating by counting both Half Life and Half Life 2 (my opinion), but his underlying point is correct. The HL2 modding community is far, FAR larger than CoD.

Literally I don’t play I any Half Life 2 mods but I’ve heard of a few (Gary’s Mod, etc). I can’t name any CoD mods.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Modern Warfare 2: Brining console shortcomings to the PC

The really messed it up by making a console game, and then just porting it to the PC.
I will not be buying the game, and have talked at least 3 others out of it so far (2 others might get it anyways, so somewhere between 3 and 5 won’t).

Many of my reasons are nicely summed up here:

If I wanted the console gaming experience, I would play on the console. Forcing us into a console gaming experience on the PC is not acceptable.
Activision and IW: Get it right next time and I will consider buying.
Note: I also refuse to pirate this game.

RastaJon says:

So... is it on?

According to steam my MW2 is 100% ready but when i try to play it it wont unlock. No message of any kind is displayed.

When i validate the game files there is always a file missing which is downloaded and installed, which it obviously aint.

So is there a problem with my steam/gamefiles or are Activision still not letting us on?

Techone says:

Activison and Steam Suck!

I cannot believe a software company can have such disregard for the honest consumers who purchase their games. While I see the need for the protection of intellectual property rights, to have to go through this BS to play a game is unreal. Not only does it run in the background leaving your computer vulnerable to attacks, they assume we want to buy software and talk with friends through their software?? I for one will now look into pirateing and cracking these games from now on. And if I succeed, it is completely their fault for putting me through this crap just to play a game I payed $60 for.

Yeebok (profile) says:

Re: Activison and Steam Suck!

Only $60 ? Luxury! I think it’s $110 in Australia. Oddly $AU is worth very similar to $US at the moment (per Xe, 1.00 AUD
=0.933400 USD) which should make it $65 over here, even with rounding up.

Even then I bet *we* get the crappy MA15 version since some idiot attorney general over here thinks 15 year olds should be able to play GTA.

tovopro says:

Double-edged sword...

Either way you look at it, the PC consumer is still “ganked” in the end. If we decide to boycott and NOT purchase the PC version of the game, Activision will have a viable excuse to no longer have their developers create for PC gaming (the only thing executives sees are numbers, nothing else). On the other side, if we do decide to purchase/support this game on the PC, it says that we allow Activision to tell us what we SHOULD like and that we just have to DEAL WITH IT. Either way, Activision wins. Sad, so sad!

nzfurion says:


I got home with my copy and installed it, or did i?……It unbelievable to purchased a game only to discover it has to be downloaded even tho It came with 2 DVD’s! seems I cant play it to day after all. I think the requirement of an internet connection is bullcrap. I have to pay for the downlaod data so it may cost me an extra $40…..fortunately this is illegal in New Zealand and the govt agency pays for and enforces fair practice so Activision can expect a big fine and restitution over this.

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